|Archdiocese of Madurai
It was God’s will that the Claretian missionaries from Germany made their maiden visit to the Archdiocese of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. In 1972, Fr. Franz Xavier Drinberger CMF along with Fr. Kuriakose Thekkilakattil, one of the Indian Claretians during the visit found that Arul Anandar College at Karumathur was suitable institution to undertake the philosophical studies for the would-be Claretians. Then the first batch of students were recruited and accommodated at Christ Hall, the Diocesan Seminary, in 1973-74 in view of sending them for their Pre-university and Philosophy. Among the first batch of students, Fr. M. Singarayan CMF only completed his formation and become a member of Claretian Congregation.
Fr. Mathew Njayarkulam CMF, who was then the Vocation Facilitator for Tamilnadu, worked strenuously and recruited many students, which necessitated to start a formation house in Tamil Nadu. Therefore in 1976, during the month of June, under the Superior-ship of Fr. A. Mathew Njayarkulam, a group of non-professed PUC students and a group of professed students, who would do their Philosophy, began their community life at “Pangram”, a rented house situated in front of Arul Anandar College in 1975. From that group, Frs. S. Maria Arul and A. Raphael Raj completed their formative process. The newly constructed formation building was named as “Claret Bhavan” which was subsequently blessed by the then Archbishop Most. Rev. Justin Diraviam, on 27 December 1977.
Claret Bhavan community during these forty-two years of its existence in Karumathur, has been instrumental in forming Claretian students from different Provinces of India and Srilanka. It also served students who belong to other Congregations like “Society of Divine Word”, “Schoenstatts’, and “the Diocesan Seminarians from Srilanka” and enabled them to have their UG and Post-graduation at AAC. Claret Bhavan community also served as the Curia of the Dependent and later Independent Delegation from 1984. For a short time, it also served as the Provincial Curia from April 1994 to June 1994. During the course of its history, Claret Bhavan community gave birth to Karumathur Parish, St. Claret Schools and Claretian Mercy Home. So far more than 632 students have passed through this stage of formation till 2019.
At present there are 55 Students from different Claretian Organisms of India and Srilanka as in 2019.