Very Rev Fr Mathew Alakulam MCBS
- Founder of the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament
Fr Mathew Alakulam, the architect of the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (MCBS), was born on 30 th March 1888 at Poovathode near Bharananganam. After his primary and high school education he joined the Puthenpally Seminary as a scholastic of Changanassery Archdiocese. On 21 December 1913 he was ordained a priest by Mar Thomas Kurialassery.
Fr Mathew, a zealous young shepherd, served as assistant parish priest at Kurusumkal, Koonammavu, Mundankal, Cheruvandoor, Elamthottam, and Pravithanam and as parish priest at Poovathode, Edamaraku, and Elamthottam. Since 1919 he was professor of Syriac at Puthenpally Seminary. When Mar James Kalassery became Bishop of Changanassery he found none other than Fr Mathew as his first secretary. He was superior of the Franciscan Third Order, and the mastermind behind the Orphanage Press and Priests’ Provident Fund in the diocese of Changanassery.
Foundation Of MCBS
On 7 th May 1933 Fr Mathew Alakulam together with Fr Joseph Paredom founded the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (MCBS) at Mallappally Mission church. Today MCBS, a religious congregation of the pontifical right, is known as the Benedictines of the Syro-Malabar Church due to her unique liturgical, Eucharistic, and missionary charism and contributions.
Loud Speaker Of The Holy Spirit
Even when Fr Mathew was a young priest he was renowned for his inspiring speeches. His writings and sermons on Holy Spirit were so famous that he came to be known as the ‘Loud Speaker of the Holy Spirit’. Attuned to the voice of the Spirit and walking long distances barefooted, he preached hundreds of retreats in every nook and corner of Kerala.
Like St Ephrem Fr Mathew was a powerful instrument in the hands of the Holy Spirit. He was sub-editor of the magazine Eucharist and Priest published from Puthenpally Seminary and was the founding editor of Vedaprachara Madhyasthan, the official tongue of Changanassery Archdiocese. He wrote many articles and authored 24 theological books.
Missionary And Mystic Of The Eucharist
Fr Mathew, a great mystic and missionary of the Eucharist, often exclaimed in joy and wonder, “praised be to the Most Holy Mystery of the Eucharist full of goodness and glory. Let there be worship and glory to the Most Blessed Sacrament as innumerable times as there are stars in heaven and clouds in sky”. He was called for eternal reward on 21st December 1977 and his mortal remains were buried in the church at the MCBS mother house,Kaduvakkulam.