The Solemn Feast of Thattazhathamma was held at Don Bosco Vaduthala from Jan 7th to 10th. The Novena in preparation for the feast began on December 29, 2009.
This year the feast was celebrated with at most solemnity and devotion under the hard work and guidance of the General body of all the sponsors who number around 1600 chaired by Rev. Fr. Devassy Chirackel, the Rector. Rev. Fr. Sebastian Ottaplackal, Rev. Fr. Joffie Puthuva and Rev. Fr. Babu Manisserry were the other Salesian priests who made this event a grand festival of the shrine of Thattazhamma. This is one the most crowded feast of Ernakulam region where thousands of people gather together on the days of the feast to venerate their mother whom they fondly address as the Thattazhathamma (the mother of Thattazham).
Several eminent priests of the area were invited for the various days of the feast to celebrate Mass and to break the Word on the days of the Novena. One of the important peculiarities of this feast is that the extra money collected is used for helping the poor.
On the first day, 7th January, at 06:00 pm Rt Rev. Dr. Joseph Karikkasery, the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Verapoly, was received at the church. The reception was followed by the hoisting of the flag by the bishop. Customarily it is a belief of the people of Thattazham that the intentions asked to Our Mother during the hoisting of the flag will be answered immediately during the days of the feast. And therefore there was indeed a very huge number of people on the occasion. After that there was the Solemn Eucharist presided by the bishop and Rev. Fr. Joseph Thattaraserry gave the homily. On that day at 09:00 pm there was a drama, Ammayude Ormakku, staged by Kollam Assisi.
On the second day of the feast, Rev. Fr. Paul Thundiyil celebrated the solemn High Mass at 06:30 am and Rev. Fr. Thomas Mangad celebrated the Mass at 05:30 pm in the Syro Malabar rite. Rev. Fr. Justin Kaiprampadan gave the homily in the evening. That day too at 09:00 pm there was Kadalirampunna Samkhu, a drama by Kollam Anaswara.
On the third day, Saturday, 9th January, Rev. Msgr. George Veliparambil, celebrated the Mass. There was the solemn festal Mass at the Parish Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Chathiath and there followed the procession of the statue of Our Lady from the parish church to Don Bosco. On that day four hour long procession was concluded by Rev. Fr. Job Kundoni at the shrine of Our Lady of Thattazham. The procession was followed by an orchestra by Cochin Kalasadan.
On the feast day, 10th Sunday Rev. Fr. Joffie Puthuva celebrated the solemn Eucharist at 07:00 am and Rev. Fr. Rector at 04:30 pm. The Solemn Feast Day Eucharist was celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Sebastian Luiz, and Rev. Fr. Stanly Mathirappally, the Director of the Bible Apostolate, gave the sermon. In the night there was a mega stage show, led by the Cochin Kalabhavan.
Indeed the feast was an occasion of genuine devotion and attachment to thattazhathamma. Several people were found flocking to the confessional and the church was packed for the various liturgical functions. There were many miracles that were reported during the days of the feast itself. In the early mornings one could find many gents and ladies sweeping in and around the church in gratitude for the favours received.
Bro Sumon SDB