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Monday, May 14, 2018

All Kerala Catholic Congress Celebrates Centenary

(image courtesy: syromalabarchurch.in)
The 'All Kerala Catholic Congress' (AKCC) which was founded in 1918 as 'Keraleeya Catholica Mahasabha' celebrated its 100th anniversary conference in Thrissur from May 11th - 14th, 2018. Major Arch Bishop Cardinal George Alencherry and many Catholic Bishops, priests and laity participated in the grand 4-days convention. The Catholic Congress which was founded by the fore-fathers of the Catholic Church was instrumental in many important historical agitations and social reform movements in Kerala. Even though AKCC is a community based political organization, as per the objectives of the founding fathers, it strives to safe-guard the secular values and works for strengthening religious and communal harmony.

The very idea of starting an organisation for Syrian Catholics took shape during the ‘Nalpathumani' ritual held in Mannanam in the central Travancore in 1905. It was first proposed by 'Nidhirickal Mani Kathanar' who was an important figure in the growth of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of Kerala. Later many meetings were held and subsequently the 'Keraleeya Catholika Mahasabha' was formed on the 30th April, 1918 at Changanacherry with Mar Louis Pazhayaparambil as its founding president.

The name was changed into 'All (Akhila) Kerala Catholic Congress' in 1931 and got involved actively in many social issues. AKCC's role was significant in organizing 'Malayali Memorial' and many other important social and political reforms. AKCC has been raising its voices for the welfare of the farmers and other socially and economically backward people. Even though it is a powerful organization, it keeps a wise distance from political parties (extend its open support only whenever time and need compel) and it will continue to uphold its secular values and fight against religious and communal parties and divisive forces.

The Convention was presided over by AKCC president Adv Biju Parayanilam. Centenary message was delivered by Mar Andrews Thazhath (Arch Bishop of Thrissur). Kottayam Arch bishop Mar Mathew Moolakkattu, Changanacherry Arch Bishop Mar Joseph Perunthottam and Kanjirapally Bishop Mar Mathew Arackal and AKCC legate Mar Remigius Inchananiyil also spoke.

Centenary souvenir was released by the Curia Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, Mar Sebastian Vaniyapurackal and Kothamangalam Bishop Mar George Madathikandathil received the first copy and inaugurated the distribution. Managing Director of Nedumbassery Air Port V J Kurian, Rashtra Deepika vice chairman Davis Edakkalathur, John Kachiramattom, Mohan Thomas, Prof K M Francis, Biju Parayannilam were felicitated in the convention.

Land gifting project to 100 homeless people and volunteering in 100 mission centers were announced by Rev Fathers Gio Kadavi and Varghese Kuthur respectively.

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