KOTTAYAM: The 188th Memorial Festival of Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius, the founder of the old Seminary was celebrated.
The flag was hoisted by Seminary Manager Fr. K. V. Joseph at 9.30 am on Sunday 21st November 2004. Many pilgrims from Kunnamkulam, the birthplace of Metropolitan Pulikkottil Mar Dionysius, attended the ceremony. They had been welcomed by the parishioners under the leadership of Fr. Dr. K. M. George, the Principal of Orthodox Theological Seminary .
The Old Seminary is the oldest theological seminary of the Malankara Orthodox Church. It is situated in an area of twenty acres of land, on the southern bank of the Meenachil river. The place is on the western boundary of Kottayam city. The decision to lay the foundation for such a seminary for the proper training of theological students had been taken at the meeting held on the 40th day after the demise of Marthoma VII. The construction of the seminary started on 3, Kumbham 1814 on the sixteen acres of land donated tax free by Maharani Lekshmi Bhai. Her Highness had also donated Rs.20,000 because of the goodwill of the British Resident Col. Menroe permission was given to use the interest of the ´Vattipanam Case´ for the construction of the building. These two amounts and the money collected from many well wishers formed by the capital of the construction. This amounted to Rs. 45,395 approximately.
It was the pulikkottil Ramban himself who prepared the plan of the monastery. He was well-versed in architecture. The building containing a ´nalukkettu´ and a chapel was completed in 1815. On 21st March, 1815 the Madras Government informed the church authorities that none other than a Metropolitan had the right to receive the interest of the “Vattipanam”. Soon, Pulikkottil Ramban became Metropolitan. The Travancore and Cochin Maharajas accepting this promotion through official declaration. This marked the end of the continuity of the Pakalomattom Family as Metropolitans and also the increase in the influence of English Missionaries and Residents in Church affairs. Which finally led to the division of the church.
Regular institutional education of English started in Kerala for the first time in this Seminary in 1817. Other major languages like Syriac, Sanskrit, Hebrew and Latin were also taught here. The 150th Jubilee of the Seminary celebrated in 1965.
The southern block was completed in 1965-67. From 1967 onwards the principal of the seminary was the world famous Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios Metropolitan when he passed away Dr. K. M. George was appointed as the principal. The teaching program in the seminary continuous successfully under his able guidance.
The Tombs of the Metropolitan Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius, his successor Dionysius II and Vattasseril Geevarghese Mar Dionysius are situated in a chapel adjacent to the Seminary. Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius, the founder of this seminary which provides modern kind of theological education passed away on 24th November 1816. His 188th memorial festival was celebrated in the seminary on November 21st, 2004.
The Catholicos of H. H. Baselius Marthoma Mathews II, inaugurated the recently constructed P. G. quarters. After the evening service at 6 p.m Fr. Dr. O. Thomas, the priest Trustee of the Church made a speech. There was prayer at the Tomb at 7 p.m. This was followed by the Raza.
On November 24th 2004 Perunal Qurbana will be celebrated by His Holiness. There will also be an incense prayer at the Tomb.