In adherence to a custom proficient from childhood, at least once during every vacation- we’re accustomed to visiting the Catholicate Aramana to participate in the Holy Qurbana at the Catholicate Chapel.
I recall during the days of H.H. Mathews I Bawa, the buildings were maintained in immaculate condition and the surroundings were spotlessly clean, with even the beautiful rounded pebbles in the front courtyard being devoid of dirt or weeds growing between them and its particularly worth mentioning that even the cultivated areas surrounding the Catholicate on all sides were so impeccably clean.
Over the years the maintenance had declined slowly and during my visit last month, I was astonished and concerned to see the pathetic state of the buildings and surroundings at its zenith, especially at the back all along the northern side and at some points with growth of lichens on walls and the view from the bus stop down the road being unbearable- the building having a worn out look, the erstwhile cultivated areas over grown with weeds / shrubs and the top of the north side Verandah had a few clothes hanging out from under a feebly built G.I. tin roof sheet; a poorly kept reception at the entrance of the stairway leading to the upper chamber of rooms, the walls wore a weathered look with cobwebs at certain corners and the floor were all soiled, the pebbles in the front court yard had become so dirty and scanty with weeds growing in between them, the entire building lacked a fresh coat of paint, the terrain from the main drive way to the parking lot was in dismay; and with the Peerumade Engineering college sign board and their buses parked facing the main gate gives one the feeling that he is in a college campus, rather than at the official residence of the Catholicose. It was indeed difficult to experience the sanctity and the serenity of the Catholicate Aramana.
It’s suggested that activities related to the Engineering College be shifted to a room in the Baselios College campus, which serves a better proximity of reach from the town and that Engineering college buses be parked even for the weekends in the Baselios college campus, instead of at the Catholicate Aramana.
Work needs to be started in full earnest and with a yearly maintenance schedule-to meticulously restore the entire area of the Catholicate Aramana-buildings as well as the site, to a place of distinction, sanctity and serene atmosphere that befits the Catholicate Palace.