Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara  (Founder)

Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara was born on 10 February 1805 at Kainakary, Kerala. At the age of five he began his studies in a village school, called kalari. When he was 13, he joined the seminary at Pallipuram for his priestly training. While he was in the seminary, his parents and his eldest brother died of an epidemic. On 29 November 1829, he became a priest.

Saint Chavara was instrumental in founding two Catholic Religious Congregations - one for men, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), and the other for women, Congregation of Mother of Carmel (CMC), for the spiritual renewal and all round development of the society.

Starting seven ashrams and a convent in different parts of Kerala, Chavara initiated a spiritual movement among the people of Kerala. He established the first Catholic Sanskrit School, a major seminary and a printing & publishing house at Mannanam. He directed that every church should start a school attached to it and encouraged children even poorer sections to attend the schools by supplying midday meal and dress for them. He founded a ‘Home of Charity’ to take of the destitute, the beggars, the uncared sick and the old. He also organized the first voluntary charitable association in Kerala for self-help among the needy.

Even in the midst of such manifold activities, he found time to write several literary and spiritual books in prose as well as verse. Among them, ‘Anastasyayude Rakthasakshyam’ is the first narrative poem and ‘Nalagamangal’ the first chronicle of history in Malayalam. He knew seven languages - Malayalam, Tamil, Sanskrit, Syriac, Latin, Italian and Portuguese.

Essentially, however, Saint Chavara was a man of prayer and great charity. He lived for 65 years and died on 3rd January 1871. His sanctity was first recognized by the Church, when Pope John Paul II beatified him at Kottayam (India) on 08 February1986. Later, he was canonized a "saint" at Saint Peter's Square, Rome by Pope Francis, on 23 November 2014. Saint Chavara is the heavenly patron of all CMI and CMC institutions. Let us pray to him to intercede before God for all our needs, especially for success in our studies.

Important Sayings of Saint Chavara
  • Children, you are God’s gift in the hands of your parents
  • The children who have a love of God and fear of God will love and respect their parents
  • Trust your mother, God will hear the prayers of the mother as yours
  • Food is for the body, so is wisdom for the intellect
  • Go to school regularly and recall to mind what is taught during the week
  • Laziness fosters evil habits
  • Let your friends be those who love God
  • The day in which you have not done any good to your fellowmen will not be recorded in your book of life
  • Keeping bad books is like hiding fire in hay
  • Regular reading of good books and meditating on them will illumine the mind
  • Attain punctuality by means of a regular timetable
  • You angels will be turned to devils, if you fall into evil situation
  • You ought to reach home before evening and take part in the evening prayers
  • Desire that others love you, and not that they fear you
  • Take special care to keep modesty while you sit, walk or lie down
  • You are to forgive and forget the wrongdoings of others
  • Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell who you are
  • What you earn by deceit and theft will melt like snow
  • Idleness is the mother of all vices and would induce one to the habit of drinking
  • Both stinginess and extravagance are equally sinful
  • Had you not lighted the lamp during the day time, you could have lit it during night
  • Do not insult or trouble the poor
  • God decides your vocation and it is you to choose it
  • If your parents have left any obligation of restitution, fulfill it with diligence and devotion
  • Even if you are grown in age and maturity, you have to respect your parents and submit to them
  • Do not hate your own brethren
  • It is the duty of children to look after their parents
  • Do not be the cause for your parents to shed tears on account of you
  • The humble man is the greatest among men
  • Since you belong to God, you have to give yourself back to God

About CMI

The Congregation of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) is the first indigenous religious congregation in the Catholic Church of India. Fr. Thomas Palackal, Fr. Thomas Porukara and Fr. Kuriakose Chavara of the Syro-Malabar Church of apostolic origin, who felt that “a lot of good had not been done due to the absence of a Thapasu Bhavanam (House of Discipline) and a Darsana Veedu (House of Vision)”, had the challenging vision of providing spiritual leadership and fostering unity and growth in the Kerala Church. With the permission of Bishop Maurelius Stabilini, the then Vicar Apostolic of Verapoly, they founded a religious house at Mannanam on 11 May 1831. Jacob Kanianthara who later became the first professed brother in the Congregation, cooperated with the founding fathers from the beginning. The name of the Congregation was ‘Servants of Mary Immaculate’.Soon, some more priests and clerics joined the founding fathers and thus a small religious community took shape. On 8 December 1855, the religious Congregation was canonically approved and the first eleven fathers made their religious profession. Blessed Chavara, the only surviving founder, was appointed the first superior of the Congregation. Since, during the early period of the religious Congregation, the Vicars Apostolic of Verapoly were Carmelites, the congregation had come under the Carmelite influence; hence, the rules of the Carmelites with some modifications were given to them in 1855.

In 1860, the community was affiliated to the Order of Carmelites Discalced with the name, ‘Third Order of the Carmelites Discalced’ (TOCD). The Constitutions were approved ad experimentum by the Apostolic See in 1885. In 1958, the name was changed to ‘Carmelites of Mary Immaculate’ (CMI). The Congregation was granted pontifical exemption in 1967.From the very beginning, the religious life in the congregation was rooted in the Indian, Oriental and Carmelite spiritual traditions. Being contemplatives in action, the members engaged in such activities as the Church in Kerala was in need of at particular times. They preached retreats, conducted seminaries for the training of the local clergy, met the challenge of educating the youth and disseminating Christian literature, laboured for the propagation of the faith and for the reunion of separated brethren, undertook works of mercy and started charitable institutions.The apostolate of the CMI Congregation gathered new dimension and momentum as mission areas were entrusted to it beyond the boundaries of Kerala. In 1962, Chanda became the first mission ordinariate of the Syro-Malabar Church and was entrusted to the Congregation. Since then, more mission dioceses and regions were erected in Central and North India. There are now four dioceses in North India and one in South India entrusted to the Congregation, viz., Chanda, Jagdalpur, Bijnor, Rajkot and Adilabad. These five dioceses are headed by CMI Bishops. This is indeed a milestone in the progress of the CMI missions and an abiding evidence of the recognition by the Apostolic See. Besides, many members are engaged in various kinds of apostolate in other parts of India and also in other countries. The Prior General, assisted by four Councillors, is at the head of the administration; the Prior General’s House at Chavara Hills in Kochi is the headquarters of the Congregation. For the sake of administration, the Congregation is divided into 15 provinces, one region and 7 sub-regions. At present the Congregation has about 3000 members including 9 bishops, 1766 priests, 1 permanent deacon, 26 brothers and 1200 brothers in formation. More than half of the priests are working outside Kerala, of whom about 367 are doing pastoral services in 27 countries around the world.

CMI Vision

To evolve into a premier technological and research institution, moulding eminent professionals with creative minds, innovative ideas and sound practical skill, and to shape a future where technology works for the enrichment of mankind

CMI Mission

To impart state-of-the-art knowledge to individuals in various technological disciplines and to inculcate in them a high degree of social consciousness and human values, thereby enabling them to face the challenges of life with courage and conviction.

CMI Objective

The institution has the broad objective of being an active agent of change by responding to the needs and challenges of the times. This is achieved basically through the process of education, training and research.

Administration

Provincial

Fr. Walter Thelappilly, CMI

Devamatha Provincial House,

Patturaikkal, P.O. Thiruvambadi

Thrissur - 680 022, Kerala, India

Ph: +91-(0)487-2337767; +91 9447527282

Email: frwaltercmi@hotmail.com

Vicar Provincial & Secretary

( Pastoral Ministry & Evangelization)

Fr. Thomas Chakkalamittath, CMI

Devamatha Provincial House,

Patturaikkal, P.O. Thiruvambadi

Thrissur - 680 022,Kerala, India

Ph: +91-(0)487-2337767; +91 9447959986

Email: chakalamattath@hotmail.com

Secretary for Finance and Agriculture

Fr. Jose Kavungal, CMI

Devamatha Provincial House,

Patturaikkal, P.O. Thiruvambadi

Thrissur - 680 022, Kerala, India

Ph: +91-(0)487-2337767; +91 9446940670

Email: devmatha@vsnl.com

Secretary for Education and Mass Media

Fr. Anil Kokonth CMI

Devamatha Provincial House,

Patturaikkal, P.O. Thiruvambadi

Thrissur - 680 022, Kerala, India

Ph: +91-(0)487-2337767; +91 9447518665

Email: anilkonkoth@gmail.com

Secretary for Social Apostolate

Fr. Joy Vattoly CMI (Jr.)

Devamatha Provincial House,

Patturaikkal, P.O. Thiruvambadi

Thrissur - 680 022, Kerala, India

Ph: +91-(0)487-2337373

Email: joyvattolyjr@rediffmail.com

Auditor

Fr. Antony Perinchery, CMI

Devamatha Provincial House,

Patturaikkal, P.O. Thiruvambadi

Thrissur - 680 022, Kerala, India,

Ph: +91-(0)-487-2337373, +91 9446278211

Email: fr_perinchery@yahoo.com

CMI Education Policy

We, the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, after the example of our founder Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara, consider education as the integral formation of the human person for the fulfilment of his/her individual and social responsibilities.

Our educational endeavors aim at forming leaders who are intellectually competent, spiritually mature, morally upright, psychologically integrated, physically healthy and socially acceptable, who will champion the cause of justice, love, truth and peace, and who are ever open to further growth.

The secret of the success of our educational institutions is a community of teachers who are committed to their vocation, professionally competent, morally upright, just and humane in dealings, culturally sensitive and who grow in the true vision of education.

We aspire towards creating a just and humane society where dignity of the human person is respected, where unjust social structures are challenged, where our cultural heritage of ahimsa, religious harmony and national unity are upheld, and where the poor and the marginalized are specially taken care of.

We have to reach out to the families, primarily of the students, to assist them in their needs, to share in their joys and sorrows, and to help them experience love and freedom so that the students realize that our educational institutions are an extension of their homes.

Our institutions are open to all students irrespective of caste and creed; they are accepted and cherished as they are and are helped to grow in their cultural, social and religious traditions. As they are privileged to be in our institutions, they will also have the right to get acquainted with the person of Jesus Christ and his Gospel. Being institutions established and administered by and for a minority community based on religion, they will give preference to Christians in admissions and appointments and have a special concern for the faith formation of the Christian youth.

Our institutions are also open to society at large by making their resources available for the ongoing education and growth.

For the realization of this CMI goal of education, we invite students, parents and teachers to share this vision and to cooperate with us wholeheartedly.

All Round formation: Aims at- the formation of future leaders who are intellectually competent, spiritually mature, morally upright, psychologically integrated, physically healthy and socially acceptable, who will champion the cause of Justice, love, truth and peace and who are ever open to further growth.

A community of committed teachers: Partners in the mission; professionally competent, morally upright, just and human in dealings, who are ready to adapt and grow according to the needs of time, while being faithful to the CMI vision of education.

Family centered education: CMI educational institutions believe and uphold the centrality of family in shaping a just society, and hence believe in reaching out to the families, primarily of the students, to assist them in their needs, to share their joys and sorrows, and to help them experience love and freedom so that the students experience their educational endeavour in CMI institutions as an extension of their home life.

A just and humane society as the ultimate goal: CMI educational endeavours must contribute to the building of a just and human society, where the dignity of the human person is respected, unjust social structures are challenged, our cultural heritage is upheld, religious harmony and national integration are promoted and where the poor and the marginalized are specially taken care of.

Open to all aspiring students: Irrespective of their caste and creed, the students are accepted and cherished as they are, and are helped to grow in their cultural, social and religious traditions. Community oriented: CMI educational institutions have to reach out to the community, by making their resources available for the ongoing and non- formal education.