08. KEELA ERAL
St. John Bosco; (2000) 2012: Tuticorin
We the Salesian Community of Keela Eral envisage
- A faith filled Catholic Community in the parish,
- The empowerment of the rural, poor, the marginalized,
- And make efforts to enlighten and empower the rural poor youth towards personal and social transformation.
- Shepherding the Catholic Community with a genuine pastoral zeal and catechizing through the proclamation of the Gospel.
- Empowerment of the rural poor marginalized through social conscientization and community organization.
- Providing opportunities for academic and character formation to the youth.
KeelaEral as Sub-station under Vilathikulam Parish:
Don Bosco mission started with the parish along with its sub-stations. This parish was part of Vilathikulam till 6th of August 2000. Earlier it was part of Keelavaipar and later KeelaMudiman. In 1981, it was attached to Vilathikulam parish. The Salesian Mission came into existence at Vilathikulam as a result of the Provincial Chapter 1992 which spoke about new vision. At the request of the Bishop of TuticorinMost.Rev.Bp.Amalanathar to the Salesian provincial of Chennai Province Fr.VincentDurai raj, a study was done by Fr.Solomon and Fr. Antony Samy in 1993 in Vilathikulam area. The Salesians took over the Vilathikulam parish in 1994. Fr. Lawrence, S.D.B. became its first Salesian Parish Priest. In 1996, Fr.Lawrence bought 8 acres of land at KeelaEral and built a house for the Salesians to stay. In 1997, the Salesian sisters came and started working in this area, initially staying at Valampatti and from 1998 at KeelaEral. After Fr. Lawrence, Fr. Vincent Sebastian took over as the parish priest. He was in charge for two years from 1998 May to 200 May. In 1999, a community hall was built at KeelaEral to look after the villages of this area for training the girls in tailoring and for common animation.
Keela Eral as a Separate Parish:
On the 6th of August, 2000, the parish was bifurcated from Vilathikulam parish and officially inaugurated by the Bishop of Tuticorin. Fr. Rosario Perez took charge as the first parish priest on the same day. This parish was part of the Vilathikulam community. Fr. Amala Joseph was installed as the Rector of this community on the 25th August 2000. On 24th May 2001 Fr. Felix took charge of the parish. In 2001, Anbiyams were started at KeelaEral. The vocational bible school also was started this year. In the academic year 2002 – 2003, a little boarding with 9 boys was started. The same year also enjoyed the beginning of help from CFCA for 26 children. Fr. Felix took special interest in developing the economic situation of the people by teaching them candle making and other useful trades.
Don Bosco Technical Centre at Keela Eral:
From 24th of May 2003, Rev.Fr. Gerard Britto took over as the parish priest. A new building was built for providing non formal technical training with the help of German Government agency. The building got completed in June 2006. From July 2006 the non formal technical centre started to function with 63 students with Bro. Chinnapparaj as its first principal. DTP course, two wheeler and four wheeler mechanism, electrician and electronics trades were started. From June 2007 onwards Fr. Amaladoss took charge as the parish priest and Fr. Joe Augustine took charge as the new principal of the technical centre.
On June 26th 2007 the parish church at KeelaEral was inaugurated and it became the official parish church. In the year 2007-08, 118 students were admitted and a new trade welding was also added. A training hall was built in the same year with the help of program project and was inaugurated in August 2007. On August 15th, the new chapel at Bommiyapuram was blessed by the Provincial.
KeelaEral Don Bosco Society – Technical Training under TNOU:
In January 2008, the house was registered as KeelaEral Don Bosco Society (Reg.No.17/2008). From June 2008, the small boarding that was functioning for the school going students was stopped and the students were encouraged to go to Vilathikulam. In 2008, the Sunday Catechism and the Anbiams were officially inaugurated in the parish. The Parish council was formed with official elected members from Anbiams. January 2009 the non-formal technical centre was attached to the Tamil Nadu Open University under the name of Don Bosco Community College.
On May 24th Fr. Joe Augustine was transferred and Fr. John Vellayil took charge as Administrator. Along with the responsibility as the Parish priest, Fr. Amaladoss was also asked to be the Principal of Don Bosco Community college from May 24th, 2009. At this time, there was a survey done in the parish with regard to the number of Catholics and the reception of sacraments in the parish by Fr.Arockiam who had come to the Parish as a new Priest. The family card was introduced for the first time in the parish.
From May 24th 2010, Fr. Justin Sengol replaced Fr. Amaladoss and became the Parish Priest and the Director of the house. On May 24th2012, Fr. Justin Sengol and Fr. John Vellayil were transferred. The Salesian Community at KeelaEral was made as a canonically erected house from 24th May 2012. Fr. Amaladoss was made as the new and the first rector of the community. Fr. Vincent Sebastian was appointed as the Parish Priest and Fr. Ashok Lawrence was made as the administrator. Br. Albert who had done his regency was transferred and Br. Arul Kumar joined our community to do his regency.
The new Parish Priest took charge of the parish and went around the substations as the parish was neglected to some extent due to various reasons. He began visiting the families of the parish community by giving them a patient hearing. He identified some problems that were plaguing the parish. He began to remedy them one by one by the participation of the salesian community, the sisters and the faithful themselves.
The celebration of the Holy Eucharist was regularized in the substations on Sundays as well as on weekdays. The Sunday catechism and the anbiams were given new lease of life by the sisters and the volunteers of the parish. The Assistant Parish Priest was looking after them. The youth group at KeelaEral was given new life and was organized and animated by the director of the youth group, Fr. Ashok. The youth group was involved in all the parish activities and was appreciated by all.
The parish council was revived and made to play their role in building up the parish community. We began planning the activities and programs of the parish for the whole year and started implementing them with their help. We started various pious associations like the Legion of Mary, Vincent de Paul society and the Golping unit to animate the celebration of the Sacraments and sacred liturgy. The catholic custom of saying the rosary in the families was restored by them as well as helping the poorest of the poor in the parish.
Celebration of liturgical feasts like Christmas and Easter with due preparation in advent and lent was given great importance. We had spiritual retreats organized for various groups and prayer meetings, adoration with Blessed Sacrament and facilities for reconciliation were provided to make these feasts meaningful to increase their faith in the Lord and in the Church. Eucharistic adoration and procession along the streets in KeelaEral was introduced. Village patron feasts were celebrated with due preparation and spiritual fervor.
From 2013 January onwards monthly subscription of Rs.20.00 per family was introduced and the anbiam leaders were given responsibility to collect them and give to the finance committee. This committee was created in every substation in order to collect all the income and meet all the expenses of the substation.
This committee is responsible for the maintenance of the substation in every aspect especially in its growth and development. It collects all the income by way of Sunday collection, subscription and donations etc. and gives half of it to the parish office every month for the administration of the parish and the other half will be used for the maintenance of the substations by them.
Every year, there used to be conducted summer camp for the children of the parish and it’s substations to use their vacation usefully with various competitions and games. Another initiative that was introduced in the parish was a prayer group consisting of about 12 members who gather every Sunday evening to pray together for an hour and go to visit a family in need to pray for them.
Every substation also wanted a charismatic prayer meeting in the evening to hear the word of God and pray. Lay preachers were invited to conduct the charismatic prayer meeting in all the substations. It was well appreciated specially at the time of the village patron feast. Pilgrimages to various shrines around us were introduced once in three months either on foot or by bus. This brought spiritual renewal in the parish.
From 2014 onwards we tried another novelty of introducing Sunday mass in all the substations instead of weekday mass in some substations. Saturday evening we begin the Sunday mass in two of the substations. Other substations have their Sunday mass as usual in the morning as well as in the evening. During the weekdays, the parish priest is free to visit the families and organize other programs.
Every 24th as well as last day of the month was remembered in honor of Our Blessed Lady and Don Bosco with special mass and kissing of the relic. First Friday is also remembered with Eucharistic adoration followed by Holy Mass. Of late, we introduced half night prayer i.e. a kind of charismatic prayer every first Saturday from 8.30 p.m..to midnight. Priests as well as lay persons are welcomed to conduct the prayer and preach the word of God for the people. Members of the pious associations will see to organizing it.
New parish council was elected as per the diocesan rules. Two (one male and female member) from every anbiam were elected by the people to represent them by secret voting. Three of the council are ex-officio members and one from each pious association was taken to form the parish council. This was approved by the Bishop of Tuticorin diocese. The old parish office was shifted from the old building to the new quarters of the salesians which is just behind the parish church.
Don Bosco College of Arts and Science:
The Provincial team was making all efforts to start a college at KeelaEral. And so to speed up the process the council had decided that the non-formal technical training be stopped. And so from 2012 – 2013 there was no training under Tamil Nadu Open University whereas the community catered to the local drop outs with the training in House Electrician and DTP, with the available machineries.
In May 2012 Salesian Community of KeelaEral was erected. The Community was asked to study the feasibility of starting an Arts and Science College. Thus the Community college (TNOU Programme) was closed from June 2012 onwards. Fr.Amaladoss the Rector was asked to look in to legal procedures and obtain required permissions from the Government and University to start the College.
The Beginning of the Arts and Science College:
The need and justification for an Arts and Science College in this area may be summed up as follows:
- To make higher education qualitative, inclusive, cost effective and accessible to the rural masses.
- To exercise a preferential option in favour of the rural youth especially the First Generation Learners and those of the weaker sections
- To facilitate the actualization of individual potential, integrating knowledge, skills, values and behaviour and prepare the students to face the global opportunities and challenges of a meaningful life and career, and
- To constantly pursue higher standards of excellence, integrity and credibility in all endeavours and form the students, in collaboration with all the stakeholders of higher education, to be agents of social transformation
As the move for the Arts and Science College was going well under way, the Provincial team had decided to go for a new residence for the Salesians and some modification in the existing structure of the buildings. Accordingly on 25th March, 2013 the Provincial laid the foundation stone for the new residence at KeelaEral. From May 24th 2013 Fr. AmalaJeyarayan joined the community as the Administrator and Fr. Ashok Lawrence took a turn as the Warden of the Hostel. Br. Christopher and Br. Fabian joined our community as student Brothers.
The Arts and Science College was inaugurated on the 15th July, 2013. As there was a delay in the formal communication of the university affiliation only spoken English course was conducted for about a month. On the 16th of August 2013 the official college inauguration was held in the great esteemed presence of Fr. Provincial, Albert Johnson and Mr. V. Markandeyan, the M.L.A. On receipt of the formal communication on 29th August 2013 classes commenced with official curriculum and syllabus. There were altogether 74 students in the college for the academic year 2013 – 2014, belonging to four departments namely B.Com. C.A, B.C.A., B.A. English and B.SC Maths. For the academic year 2014 – 2015 the following courses were added for namely M.A. English, and B.B.A. There were also two buses arranged on contract for the college and was blessed on 11.06.2014. On May 24th 2014 Br.Fabian joined the Threspuram Community and Fr.Alexander Suresh and Cl.Rubin joined our community. Fr.Alexander Suresh became the hostel warden and Fr.Ashok became once again the administrator of the house. A new residence for the salesians was built with the help of JugendhilfeWeltweit, Switzerland in 2013 and was inaugurated on 15.12.2013. We had also accommodated 48 hostellers (20 boys in the Campus and 28 girls with the F.M.A. sisters). As there was no separate building for a hostel, 20 boys in class rooms. The foundation stone for the hostel which could accommodate 120 boys was laid on 08.09.2013. The new Salesian residence was blessed by Most. Rev.Dr. YuonAmbrosie,the Bishop of Thoothukudi diocese and inaugurated by Fr. Albert Johnson, the provincial on 03.09.2014.
On May 24th 2015 Fr.Ashok and Fr.Alexander Suresh were transferred. Fr.MichaelArokiasamy joined our community as the administrator and Fr.Charles joined as hostel warden and Fr. Amala Jeya Rayan became the new Principal of the college. On 7th April, 2016 a new canteen, kitchen and store outlet were opened by Rev. Fr.Vaclav Klement, the extraordinary visitor. In May 2016 the auditorium was converted into 4 class rooms. Solar system (4kv) was installed in the college with the help of Loyola foundation, USA. The computer lab was equipped with 10 more computers and internet facility. On May 24th Fr.Vincent Sebastian, the Parish priest was transferred to Sri Lanka and Fr.George Fernandez became the new Parish priest. Fr.Herwin became the administrator and hostel warden from May 24th, 2016. A new toilet block for girls was also constructed in June, 2016.
A new library block was added to the existing College main block and was blessed on 21st January 2017. A portion of land with 64 cents of land adjacent to the playground was bought and the whole campus was fenced. The St. Sebastin church in the campus was dedicated as Don Bosco Shrine with the permission of the Bishop and the college students use shrine for their spiritual purposes. The Keela Eral village church was renovated at the cost of Rs. 11 lakhs and regular liturgical services are provided.
At the occasion of the platinum Jubilee of RC primary school at Bommaiyapuram, the dilapidated old building was demolished and the new construction has begun with the help of APIS Group, Italy at the estimate of Rs.18 Lakhs. The students’ strength in the college increased from 575 to 712. The first graduation ceremony in the college took place on 31st March, 2017 in the presence of the MS University Registrar and 58 students were conferred degrees.
On 24th May 2017 Fr.Amaladoss was transferred to Tiruchy and was appointed as Provincial Economer. Fr.Marcel Lincoln was appointed as the Rector, Secretary and Parish Priest. Fr.Peter was appointed as the Administrator and Fr.Alex Suresh was appointed as the Hostel Warden.
Don Bosco Alumni association was started with 75 students of the first batch. The annual meeting of Don Bosco Alumni, Keel Eral will be held on every 26th January. The foundation for the Women Empowerment Center was laid on 8th March 2017 and was inaugurated on the 20th February, 22018. The project is supported by BMZ and Don Bosco Bonn, Germany. The Centre offers various Skill Trainings to women of the locality including College students.
On 24th May 2018 Fr.Marcel Lincoln was transferred to Madurai and Fr.Amala Jeyarayan was appointed as the Rector and Secretary. Fr.Jude Muthuselvan was appointed as the Vice Rector and Parish Priest, Fr.Daniel Pushparayer was appointed as the Administrator, Fr.Thivya Alexander was appointed as the Warden and HOD of English Department and Fr.Rozario Antony was appointed as the Dean and Professor in BCA Department. Bro.Rex Innacimuthu is the sub-warden and Bro.Jepison Dos is doing his final year BA English Literature student.
PARISH: St. Sebastian’s Parish at Keela Eral consists of 7 Substations. There are altogether 177 families and 13 Anbiams in the Parish. Around 90 children attend the Sunday Catechism classes. Parish has got pious associations like Vincent De Paul and Legion of Mary that have their regular meetings and prayer animations. There is an Altar servers unit with 15 members. Parish has got a youth group with 23 members.
DBCAS: Don Bosco College of Arts and Science with the motto, Enlighten and Empower, imparts quality education, focusing on the rural, poor and marginalized young. There are 6 UG courses and 1 PG course. There are altogether 717 students (301 Boys 416 Girls) studying in the college this academic year. There are 32 teaching staff and 6 non-teaching staff working in the college.
HOSTEL: Don Bosco Hostel accommodates the distant students studying in the college. There are altogether 62 students residing at the hostel.
NEIGHBOURHOOD MINISTRY: The community concentrates on the neighbourhood ministry. There are 10 Evening tuition centres with 295 children. There are 6 children parliaments with 213 members. There are 9 Eco Clubs with 168 members. There are 12 Women Self Help groups with 138 members.
Don Bosco Mission
Don Bosco College of Arts & Science
Keela Eral, Ettayapuram Taluk,
TUTICORIN DT – 628 908
Phone: (04632) 271468 House
(04632) 271558 College
(04632) 271448 College
Volleyball Tournament at Don Bosco College, Keela Eral
Don Bosco College of Arts & Science, Keela Eral organized Volleyball Tournament in honour of Don Bosco on February 18th & 19th. It was an open tournament organized to encourage sports among the young people. The participants came from Kovilpatti, Sayalkudi, Tiruchendur, Sattur, Kanniyakumari, and from the nearby villages. Fourteen teams took part in this […]Read More