|Immaculate Conception Church, Kuthalur,Tamilnadu Tourism|
Immaculate Conception Church, Kuthalur, Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu,
governed by the diocese of Sivagangai, is the largest and oldest church in this area. Kuthalur was one of the largest Parishes in the R.C. Archdiocese of Madurai & the Mother Parish of many new and large parishes of today. The building work began in 1860 and completed ten years later as the funds were available only through donations. This church is also referred to as as Sebasthiar Kovil in local parlance by the people. This Roman Catholic church is steeped in history, spanning 150 years and bear witness to the exit of the East India company rule, followed by the direct take over of India by the British Crown. The French Jesuit Missionaries were instrumental in developing this church into what it is today. Earlier, this village was called "Chinna Colombo" (Little Colombo) by the local people because most of people, in particular, Christians of this village before independence went to Ceylon (Sri Lanka and Burma (Myanmar) for employment.
Prior to the construction Immaculate Conception Church here, the Christian community had a small church (Kurusadi) dedicated to St. Sebastian. Hence St. Sebastian's Novena is celebrated on a grand scale with devotion in the Second Week of January every year. The purpose of the festival is to thank him for being the patron of the Catholic Community in Kuthalur. Every year there will be a Car (Chariot) procession in the third week of May and also San Sebastian feast. It is believed that before the commencement of this Parish in 1860, Rev. Fr. Peter Ferrin S.J. began his ministry here - Marava Nadu, using the village of Kuthalur as his base.
The main altar in the church is adorned with Mary's statue specially imported from abroad. The grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes was added by Fr. K. V. Paul in April 1955. A fascinating fact about this church in a small village is it is through the philanthropy of an unknown German lady, the entire church came into being. In 1970, in a Grand manner the Centennial Jubilee was celebrated by the villagers and as part of the 100th year celebration a big hall - mantap was built, besides complete renovation was done. The old church has French Gothic style architecture and is made of brick and lime mortar.