Msgr. John Kottaram

Msgr. John Kottaram, called to be God’s greatest chosen instrument, was ordained on 6 th of January 1947 by Archbishop Mathias in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Broadway. He served as an assistant parish priest in St. Francis Xavier’s Church Broadway (1947), Mount Carmel Church at Korattampet (1948) and Materdolarosa Church at Royapuram – (1949). It was a good experience, a situation that contained both urban and rural areas. He had an insight into the dehumanizing conditions of the families in urban slums and the utter poverty and helplessness of a large number of rural people. During these six years he had the fortune to work under experienced missionaries and it gave him the confidence to take up pastoral work independently. He became the Parish Priest of Kasimedu in the year 1953 and served there for 22 years. During these years with the accompaniment of the Legionaries of Kasimode Parish, he started his missionary journeys to the remotest villages of North Chennai where there was no sign of Christianity. Taking into account the dedicated pastoral mission of Rev. Fr. John Kottaram and based on the recommendation of Archbishop Most Rev. Louis Mathias, Pope Paul VI in September 1966 conferred on him, the title of Monsignor. However, in his humility, he continued his pastoral work as a Simple Priest. Realizing the need to stay with the people to meet their needs, in 1974, our Founder made use of the service of the Legion of Mary members who came forward to stay in the mission field at Minjur


I, as the Founder of the congregation of the Seva Missionary Sisters of Mary of the Archdiocese of Madras - Mylapore, thank his grace most Rev. Dr. R. Arulappa former Archbishop of Madras – Mylapore for having recognized this congregation as a pious union on the 26th of July 1974. Then again my gratitude goes to His Grace most Rev. Dr. Casimir Gnanadickam for his love and concern shown in the growth and development of our congregation. Now I extend my sincere gratitude to His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Arul Das James, the present Archbishop of Madras- Mylapore, for having given the decree of Erection of our Congregation as a Religious Institute of Diocesan Right on 8th Dec. 1996 on the feast of immaculate conception of Mary and for having recognized and approved the Constitutions and the General Regulations on 3rd July 1997, the feast of St.Thomas the apostle.

I write these few lines to my spiritual daughters to express to them and also to anybody who is interested in this missionary congregation, the Charism and the Special Purpose for which this congregation has been founded by me. I am a missionary, and it is my desire and expectation that my spiritual daughters also be missionaries, my ardent desire and efforts were always to make Christ known and loved wherever he is not known. Hence, I took up the mission of Minjur, Ponneri Taluk, where Christianity was not at all known. This congregation was formed with the help of three legionaries Sr. Mary Sebastian Sr. D. Arokia Mary and Sr. Victoria peter who were associating with me to spread the Word of God and His Kingdom.

I have given them my motto in the words of Our Lord, ‘Go and Teach Ye All Nations’ to give Christ and Christian values to the Non-Christians, so that we become all things to all men, to bring all to Christ. Hence with this sole purpose of Evangelization , the methods we used from the beginning were, family visitation, counseling, conducting schools,  orphanages, dispensaries, non-formal education, self – help training and other development  activities which are beneficial for the spread of the word of god.

To carry out this Mission of bringing Christ to the non-Christians, we could use any means according to the needs, culture of the place, availability and the signs of the times. My sincere desire is that the sisters should preferably go to the Non-Christians in the villages or in the towns where other catholic missionaries have not yet penetrated. To this end the sisters could take up any sort of work, provided their sole purpose, i.e., to make Christ known and loved is achieved. I hope and pray that my spiritual daughters and their followers will carry out this mission of evangelizing the people of God with all their strength and ability with the Divine Help.

May Almighty God, Mary the Queen of the Missions, the principal patron and St. Thomas, St. Teresa of Lisieux and St. Francis Xavier as their second patrons, help them to live to the full, the Charism of their founder and to carry out his mission as long as this Congregation exists.

Manali New Town

Chennai - 600 103

3rd July 1997

Msgr. John Kottaram


Seva Missionary Sisters of Mary

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