Vincentian Congregation (VC)
1. Name of Congregation: Vincentian Congregation (VC)
2. Founder: Servant of God Rev. Fr. Varkey Kattarath
3. Founded on: November 20, 1904
The Vincentian Congregation is a clerical society in the Syro-Malabar Church with its Generalate at Edappally in the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly. It comes under the category of the Societies of Common Life according to the manner of religious. It is of Pontifical Right.
The Congregation was founded on 20 November 1904 as a Koventha at Thottakom by Fr. Varkey Kattarath with three diocesan priests, with the approval and encouragement of Mar Louis Pazheparampil, the first Vicar Apostolic of Ernakulam. The Koventha was based on the Common Rules of St. Vincent de Paul and on the model of the Congregation of the Mission, founded by him in 1625. However, due to various reasons beyond their control, all of them, including the founder Fr. Kattarath, were forced to disperse by 1915.
After some years, Rev. Frs. George Mannara, Antony Pauvathil and George Vattamkandathil expressed their desire to lead a religious life to Mar Augustine Kandathil, the then Archbishop of Ernakulam who directed them to revive the religious community once founded at Thottakom. Accordingly, they revived it and began the community life at Thottakom on 19 July 1927. Fr. Varkey Kattarath joined them at Thottakom in October 1927. The Koventha at Thottakom was officially called the Vincentian Congregation in 1938.
Spirit and Charism
The spirit of the Congregation is the participation in the spirit of Chirst, ever active in the church, lived and recommended by St. Vincent – an intimate, personal love of the Father, docility to the divine providence and an ardent, compassionate love of the poor. The Congregation draws its spirit and distinctive character from the life and works, and the Common Rules of St. Vincent de Paul who is chosen as the Father and Patron of the Vincentian Congregation. “To preach the Good News to the poor” (Lk.4: 18) is the motto of the Congregation. As visualized by St. Vincent, we strive to give expression to the spirit of Christ, resplendent in the five virtues of simplicity, humility, meekness, mortification and zeal for the salvation of souls. The ardent and compassionate love of the poor inspires the Vincentians to work hard and to do their best to improve the conditions of the poor, and to share their lot by adopting a humble and simple life style. A whole-hearted commitment to the evangelization of the poor and their human and Christian advancement is the identifying mark and charism of the congregation.
The charism of the Congregation is realized by the preaching of the Word of God, missionary works among non-Christians as well as in the educational, social and charitable apostolate in order to help the poor in their integral development.
Popular Mission Retreat: It is a special type of retreat aimed at the thorough renewal of parishes. Such parish retreats are appreciated and welcomed by the bishops, parish priests and faithful. For this retreat, we have two teams of preachers for Kerala, one for Tamil Nadu, one for Andhra Pradesh, one for East Africa and another team for the Hindi speaking area.
Retreat Centres: As a follow-up of Popular Missions, the Vincentian priests organize other forms of preaching such as Bible conventions, residential retreats, online retreats, night vigils etc. We have 51 prayer and retreat centers, including the well-known Potta-Divine Retreat Center. We are expanding such programs to foreign countries also, including some African countries.
Mission: In places where the Gospel has not yet been preached or the Church is not yet well established, the Vincentians share the missionary responsibility to preach the message of love of Christ. We engage in two-fold mission work: namely mission ‘ad gentes’ and re-evangelization.
Charity: Upholding the charism of St. Vincent, the Congregation is organizing several programs and institutions for the benefit of the most abandoned. The fundamental principle of our social and charitable activities is the social message of Jesus revealed in the sacred scriptures and following the example of our heavenly patron St. Vincent de Paul. The words of our Lord in the description of the last judgment, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren you did it to me” (Mt.25:40), inspires each Vincentian in this regard. As part of our social and charitable activities, we run De Paul care centers to accommodate the poor cancer patients, SSSMILE Village to rehabilitate the abandoned and several houses for the aged, the poor children, the mentally ill, aids patients and the lonely.
Education: The educational institutions run by the Congregation maintain a Vincentian touch, making them affordable for the poor and ordinary people. Through this, we are fulfilling the duty of forming worthy children for the church and responsible citizens for the country. our educational institutions distinguish themselves by their spiritual, intellectual and cultural excellence. The Congregation is running many schools and educational institutions all over India both in rural as well as urban areas and one in Africa. These institutions give special attention to the character formation of the new generation, by inculcating in them the spirit of love, service and fraternity.
Parish Ministry: Vincentian priests are working as pastors in many parishes, as invited by the bishops in Kerala, India and abroad.
Fr. George Mannara, Msgr. Thomas Nedumkallel, Fr. Jacob Kallarackal, Fr. George Kammattil, Fr. George Manalel, Fr. Paul Kariamadam, Fr. Antony Plackal, Fr. George Arackal, Fr. Varghese Puthussery and Fr. Varghese Parappuram served as Superiors General of the Congregation for different periods of time. At present the Congregation is led by Fr. Sebastian Thundathikunnel, elected Superior General on 26 April 2017.
5. Office Bearers
General Administrative Body
Fr. Sebastian Thundathikunnel : Superior General, General Administration, Recruitment, Formation, Community Life, Auditing
Fr. Michael Kareekunnel : Asst. Superior General, Dept. Popular Mission, Retreat, Pastoral Work
Fr. Antony Chakkungal : Dept. Social and Charitable Works, Mission
Fr. Alex Chalangady : Dept. Education and Media
Fr. Antony Moonnupeedikackal : Dept. Finance and Construction
6. Names of the Provinces
Provincial Administrative Bodies
Fr. James Kallumkal : Provincial Superior, Provincial Administration, Recruitment, Formation, Community Life, Auditing
Fr. James Chelapurath : Asst. Provincial & Dept. of Education and Media
Fr. Paul Parekkattil : Dept. of Popular Mission, Retreats and Pastoral work
Fr. Francis Naduviledath : Dept. of Mission, Social and Charitable Works
Fr. James Kokkandathil : Dept. of Finance and Construction
St. Joseph Province
Fr. Mathew Kakkattupillil : Provincial Superior, Provincial Administration,
Recruitment, Formation, Community Life, Auditing
Fr. Augustine Mundackatt : Asst. Provincial, Dept. of Popular Mission
Retreats and Pastoral Work
Fr. Cyriac Kodamullil : Dept. of Mission, Social and Charitable Works
Fr. Benedict Kuruppamtharamukalel : Dept. Education and Media
Fr. Innocent Puthentharayil : Dept. of Finance and Construction
St. Thomas Province
Fr. Varghese Puthussery : Provincial Superior, Provincial Administration,
Recruitment, Formation, Community Life, Auditing
Fr. Joseph (Joby) Kallungal : Asst. Provincial, Dept. of Mission, Social and Charitable Works
Fr. Augustine Puthiyedath : Dept. of Popular Mission, Retreats and Pastoral work
Fr. Varghese Kottackal : Dept. Education and Media
Fr. Sebastian Kallath : Dept. of Finance and Construction
7. Houses (Province wise)
Houses under Generalate
Houses under Marymatha Province
Marymatha Province consists of two regions and two missions.
GOOD SHEPHERD REGION
SACRED HEART REGION
ST. PAUL MISSION
ST. VINCENT MISSION
NEW MISSION / HOUSE UNDER PROCESS
Houses under St. Joseph Province
St. Joseph Province consists of one region and one mission
ST. XAVIER’S REGION
MOTHER THERESA MISSION
Houses under St. Thomas Province
St. Thomas Province consists of three missions
CHRISTU JYOTI (U.P.) MISSION
DIVINE MERCY (NORTH EAST) MISSION
JAI YESU MISSION