St. Paul's Church, Singamparai, Thirunelveli
St. Paul's Church is located at Singamparai, a village in Mukkudal Town Panchayat, situated just north of Mukkudal in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu, The village has the history about 200 years. The people who had adopted the Christianity came from the village Somanthamperi. They Bought lands from the land-lords of Pettai and settled down here. They built a church in 1929 dedicated to St. Paul the apostle. St Paul’s Church in Singamparai is located at 8°44'56.5"N 77°31'59.1"E or 8.749020, 77.533081.
The church of St. Paul the apostle is the biggest church of the village and it became a Catholic parish church in 1939, separated from Veeravanallur parish and its first parish priest was Fr. A. Couturier S.J. In 2013, Thalarkulam became a new parish and separated from Singamparai parish. Now the parish area covered includes the villages Mylapuram, Ilanthaikulam, Mukkudal, Pappakudi and Ariyanayagipuram.
About 200 years ago the Catholic community converted by St. Francis Xavier and other Catholic community from Somantheperi came and settled in Mylapuram near Mukkudal. The cash and conflicts between the two groups paved the way for the migration of the community and the creation of Singamparai. The Catholics from Somanthaperi bought the northern side of Mylapuram from a Muslim land-lord of Pettai and settled there with the help of Rev. Fr. Paul Nather, the visiting missionary. There after it was named as Singamparai.
A small chapel was built here and the statue of St. Paul was installed in it, which was removed from the Church of St. Peter and Paul at Mylapuram. The origin of this new hamlet of Singamparai dates as far back as 1845. Till 1901 Singamparai was under the jurisdiction of Sendamaram during which period the Chapel was enlarged with a titled roof in 1894. Then it was included with Veeravanallur, and Rev. Fr. Gabriel laid the foundation for the present Church in 1991.
The construction of the Church was completed in 1929 by Rev. Fr. A. Couturier S.J. who also built up quarters for the priest. In 1931 Singamparai was made a separate parish and Rev. Fr. A. Couturier became the first parish priest. He sowed the seeds for good education by starting schools for boys and girls separately. In 1938 the sister of the Immaculate Conception were brought from Madurai and they did their best for the betterment of the Parish.
Indeed Fr. Couturier uplifted the undeveloped parish in so many ways. Rev. Fr. T. Kurian S.J. Rev. Fr. S.A. Antony Metha S.J. and M.V. Diaz served under Fr. Courturier as Assistant Parish Priest. His amicable and amicable character won the hearts of his parishes, and he was respected to such an extent that they celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his entrance in to the Society of Jesus in 1938 in a grand manner.
Fr. Couturier was succeeded by Fr. R. Visuvasam in 1941. The successors were also successful in many aspects. This old Parish celebrated its Golden Jubilee during the time of Rev. Fr. S.L. Arulappan. All priests, who served there, took the interest in improving the standard of people life. So many developmental works had been carried out. The school which was only middle, was upgraded up to 12th Standard. Thus the Female Literary was encouraged.
The church of St. Paul the apostle is the biggest church of the village. There is also a Latin Church of St. Antony of Padua, and another church in the village. There are grottoes around the village for St. Antony of Paduva, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Annai Velankanni and Archangel St. Michael.
List of Fathers
· 1930 – 1940:Fr.Alphonse Kuthuriyar
· 1940 – 1947:Fr.R.Visuvasam
· 1947 – 1950:Fr.Valantin Dias
· 1950 – 1957:Fr.J. Manala
· 1957 – 1959:Fr.K.S.Visuvasam
· 1959 – 1960:Fr.P.S.Antony
· 1960 – 1963:Fr.R.S.Peter
· 1963 – 1972:Fr.A.Arulappar
· 1972 – 1978:Fr.Perkmans
· 1978 – 1987:Fr.S.L.Arulappan
· 1987 – 1990:Fr.Arul Amburose
· 1990 – 1996:Fr.S.L.Lurudu Raj
· 1996 – 1999:Fr.Jokim
· 1999 – 2001:Fr.Anna samy
· 2001 – 2004:Fr.John Britto
· 2004 – 2007:Fr.Lawrans
· 2007 to 2012:Fr.Alocius Durairaj
· Holy Mass will be conducted at about 6:15 AM except Sundays.
· Sunday Mass conducted at 6:30 AM, 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM.
· Praying the Rosary will be held on Fridays at 6:30 PM.
· One hour Adoration will be held between 7:00 and 8:00 PM on Fridays
· On First Saturday Rosary will be held at 6:00 PM, Holy Mass at 6:30 PM, Healing at 7:30 PM and Benediction at 8:00 PM. One hour Adoration will be held between 7:00 and 8:00 PM. On all other Saturdays Rosary will be held at 6:00 PM, Holy Mass at 6:30 PM and Healing Prayers at 7:30 PM.
Singamparai is located at about 31 Kms from Thirunelveli, 9 Kms from Veeravanallur, 180 Kms from Madurai and 148 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Veeravanallur and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.