Karunalayam (Thiruverkadu Mission)
The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament consisting of Priests and Brothers had a humble beginning in Chennai in the year 1979, through the pioneering effort of Fr.K.Y.Anthony. Fr. McKenna, then superior, supported the journey in the southern part of India to nurture vocations for the Eucharistic mission. When the number of students kept increasing, Fr.K.Y Anthony met the need for a bigger place with help of the mother province, Australia and under the leadership of the Superior General and the Assistant General. Thus the present students’ house was established. The house was named as “cenacle”. It has housed aspirants, major seminarians and priests over the last 28 years. Karunalayam is an offshoot of this formation center and has so far several priests who are ready to welcome priests, religious and lay people for Eucharistic Evangelization.
The Most Rt Rev Chinnappa himself suggested to call this center as Karunalayam, which means, “The abode of Compassion”. For the past ten years there is a great development in this city of Chennai. People long for the word of God. They like to hear the word of God. Regular Sunday masses in the parishes are not satisfying their needs. They like Pentecostal sects for they give importance to the word of God. They express an anxiety over the hearing the word of God. The People particularly of the poor and middle class long for more spiritual food. A lot of people come to the Church and some conversions take place. There is a revival in the Catholic Church here. Hence the Society started organizing Charismatic prayer services to preach the word of God. The Archbishop of Madras Mylapore has seen the efforts of Blessed Sacrament Priests and Brothers personally and appreciates their missionary work. The work of Blessed Sacrament Society here has gone on for the past 11 years. More than 850 retreats preached, a number of prayer groups helped spiritually, counseling for more than 1500 people in this year alone-these are some of the highlight of the center. The Prayer Hall namely Karunalayam was initiated and built by Fr.M.I.Raj sss the Director and Fr.Punithan sss the administrator.
The programs of the Karunalayam
Every first Saturday of the month healing prayer service followed by the Eucharist from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Third Saturday of the month fasting prayer and sharing the word of God from morning 10 am to 5.00 pm and Night vigil service is conducted on full moon day. We have adoration and Eucharist on every Sunday 7.30 am to 8.45.am
The main purpose of this prayer house is to evangelize people to have devotion towards the Blessed Sacrament. The main aim is to project Christ as the healer and the miracle worker in our lives. Jesus healed the ailments of physical and spiritual and this Eucharistic evangelization center tries to invite people to go to the master of their life through the prayer-filled atmosphere of this place. People must experience the healing power of Jesus and be cleansed of their sins to face the problems of their lives and to become Eucharistic persons. Now Thiruverkadu mission is attached to this Center and the pastoral and spiritual needs of the people in and around Karunalayam will be taken care by SSS religious.
Presently, Fr. Inigo is the PP of Thiruverkadu mission & Karunalayam in-charge.