The various ministries under the St Therese of Lisieux Church
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Vellayambalam – “name” and its neighbouring
Vellayambalam connects the arterial roads connecting Kowdiar, Sasthamangalam, East Fort, Thycaud and Thampanoor, junction is in the state of Kerala, India. It is too characterised by the statue of Ayyankali in the centre of the roundabout which serves as a memorial to the freedom fighter. The road leads from Kowdiar Square to the Fine Arts College, Vellayambalam. Museum and Rama Rao Lamp was considered during early 1930’s and “Charalkonna” (Copper Pod tree, or Peltophorzion Pterocarpium) brought from Sri Lanka was planted as avenue trees. Before the widening, the Vellayambalam junction was a tiny place, where four narrow roads met. A Wayside Inn (Vazhiambalam) of the revenue department occupied the south east corner of that junction at the foot of the diamond hill. As the Maharajah often passed through that junction, the inn was kept clean and whitewashed. Because of that white wayside inn (Vella Vazhi Ambalam) that junction came to be known as ‘Vellayambalam’ (shortened form ofVella Vazhi Ambalam) and in due course the locality around were also named Vellayambalam.
Government and other Offices constitutes various ranging from KELTRON Kerala's Electronic hub , Latin Bishop's House, Police Headquarters, Trivandrum Planning Board, HSBC bank - the only one in Trivandrum city, KFC-Kerala Financial Corporation, KPCC centre, Kerala Water Authority, Ambedkar Hostel for boys, Air India's District Office, Institute of Engineers Hall. A major number of Travel agencies operate in and around this area. CDAC- The Centre Govt: Establishment is also here. Raj Bhavan, the house of the Governor of Kerala, is situated here and forms a major landmark. Vellayambalam Palace today houses one of the electronic companies named Keltron. The place stands in its full beauty during Onam. Yakshi Amma Althara Temple forms an important temple in Vellayambalam. The temple is constructed around a huge Banyan tree. Rajapatha starts from Vellayambalam and the buildings here are beautifully illuminated with colourful lights in the eve of Onam. Trivandrum International Airport is about 12 km and the Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station is 5 km away from Vellayambalam. Vellayambalam as is the neighbourhood to Kowdiar where the king's royal palace locates and thus has great recreation place - Kanakakunnu as is described the rest place of king.
A BRIEF HISTORY
1992 December, 7 is the golden day in the history of Vellayambalm parish. It is on that day, from Palayam cathedral parish and Nanthencode parish, a part was bifurcated to form a new parish by name Vellayambalam. The idea of a new parish blossomed on 17thNovember, 1992 with the issuance of a decree (No. 485/ 92/ 15-5) by the then Bishop of Trivandrum, His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. Soosapakiam M. and the then chancellor Rev. Fr. Mohan C. Leon declaring to form a new parish with name St. Theresa of Lisieux at Vellyambalam. It was actually the enthusiasm and determination of Msgr. S. Thomas then Vicar general of Trivandrum Diocese that paved the way for the establishment of the new parish and he assumed the charge as the first Parish Priest of Vellayambalam. The diocesan documentation centre, a hall primarily used as a granary, in the Bishop's House compound was availed to conduct church services until the construction of a new church for the parish.
To begin with there were about 165 families and roughly 700 members arranged in 9 family units for the new parish. But at present the parish has grown with a population of 1458 members in 356 families scattered over 12 BCC units. The families residing within a radius of 1 to 8 kms from Vellayambalam constitute the parish area. The parish boundaries run up to Thirumala, PTP Nagar, Poojappura towards East, Museum, Christ Nagar, Kanaka Nagar and Devaswam Board towards West, Edapazhanji and Vazhuthacuad towards South and Ambalamukku, SAP Quarters, Kowdiar etc towards North.
Msgr M. Joseph became the Vicar general of the diocese of Trivandrum and Parish Priest of St. Theresa of Lisieux Church vellayambalam on 20th November 1996. His long cherished desire and enthusiasm resulted in the construction of the new parish Church. The parishioners also dreamed of a church of their own to accommodate all. The Most Rev. Dr. Soosa Pakiam, bishop of Trivandrum granted sufficient land within the Bishop's House Compound for the construction of a new Church. Msgr. M. Joseph dedicated himself tirelessly to the herculean task of constructing the new church. On 3rd June 2000 His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Soosa Pakiam M. the Archbishop of Trivandrum laid the foundation stone and blessed the newly constructed church on 26th January 2004. The church has a floor area of 450m2 with 2mts wide verandah on either side, where about 750 persons can assemble for worship at a time. It has a cellar with same area of the church which functions as a parish hall for the purpose of conducting catechism classes, seminars, religious meetings etc. Mr. Angel Moose designed the new church and worked as consultant engineer and Mr. E. M. Mathew was the Convener of the construction committee.
Parish Council is the apex body that oversees the various functions and activities of the parish. The various activities proposed to be carried out by the various forums are placed before the Parish Council. The approval of the parish council is mandatory. Various activities of the parish is done basing on the preplanned plan and budget for the financial year, that is evolved from BCC, ministries and parish, then approved by the Forane and diocesan bodies.
The parish council consists of 21 members with Parish Priest as the president. The elected members from BCC units, conveners of the three ministries, members of the finance committee, BCC coordinator, sister representative, KCYM representatives and a nominee of the parish priest are the members. 30% of the seats are reserved for women. The suggestions and applications of the units and developmental programme for the parish are placed in the parish council by these members. Parish Council decisions are communicated to the respective units. The Vice president, Secretary and treasurer are elected from among the Parish Council members. The conveners of the various ministries were elected from the representatives of the respective unit ministries. The duration of the council and ministries is 2 years.
The parish Council discusses the annual plan outlay and budget. It sanctions the necessary funds for the various activities, finalizes the reports on various projects, monitors the activities of the ministries and maintains the accounts of the parish and units. Thus it ensures the spiritual and material well being of the parishioners.