VINCENTIAN CONGREGATION

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 congrega¬tion was founded on 20 November 1904 as a Koventha at Thottakom by Fr. Varkey Kattarath, Vicar of Vaikom, with three diocesan priests, namely Frs. Joseph Kariapurayidam, Mani Paramkulangara and Kusumos Kattezhath, with the approval of Mar Louis Pazheparampil, the first Vicar Apostolic of Er¬nakulam (1896-1919), based on the Common Rules of St. Vincent de Paul, on the model of the Congregation of the Mission, founded by him in 1625. As the members of the Koventha were asked now and then by the bishop to do pastoral work in different parishes for long, inspite of his formal instruction on 2 August 1912 to Fr. Varkey Kattarath to take steps for a proper commu¬nity life as per the Common Rules of the Congregation of the Mission, all of them left Thottakom by 1915 for various reasons with the permission of the bishop who invited them to his diocese for starting the Koventha.

After some years Rev. Frs. George Mannara, Antony Pauvathil and George Vattamkandathil expressed their desire to lead a religious life to Mar Au¬gustine 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. With the permission of the Archbishop he took the first vows on 20 July 1929 and perpetual vows on 19 July 1931, before his death on 24 October 1931. The Koventha at Thottakom was officially called the Vincentian Congregation in 1938 before the pioneer fathers took the first vows.
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