St.Joseph’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Palayam, Trivandrum, is the Cathedral Church of the Latin Archdiocese of Trivandrum
This 137-year old grand monumental Goethic structure has a moderate beginning. The initial Church was constructed in 1873 as a Parish Church to look after the spiritual needs of a few Catholic military men and a few Catholic families who mainly migrated from the coastal region of earstwhile Travancore state, comprising of the present Kanyakumari and Trivandrum Districts. The very name Palayam has its ethymological meaning a ‘Contonment’ ie, the Military’s residence. On May 4th, 1873 the first Church was blessed by the then Bishop of Quilon Most Rev.Eldaphonese OCD and Rev.Fr.Emygdius OCD, the Parish Priest.
The Second phase of extention work in the manner of the Cross was done in 1912 during the tenure of Rev,Fr.Pamcratius OCD. And the final stage of extention, including the Goethic style imposing front and the bell-tower was completed in1927 during the time of Rev.Fr.Ildaphonse OCD. The three ‘Do-Re-Me’ syncronising bells were brought from Belgium and were installed. These bells were named Joseph, Xavier, and Aloysius to denote St.Joseph the Patron of the Church, St.Francis Xavier, the Apostole of India and Bishop Aloysius Maria Benziger the pioneer Missionary-Bishop of Quilon respectively.
When the Quilon Diocese was bifurcated and the new diocese of Trivandrum was formed on 1st July 1937, St.Joseph’s Church became the Cathedral Church of the newly formed Trivandrum Diocese. And when His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. M. Soosapakiam was made the Archbishop and the Diocese of Trivandrum became the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Trivandrum in 2000, St.Joseph’s Cathedral was also raised to the status of the Metropolitan Cathedral.
This Cathedral Parish has 1780 families grouped into 45 Family Units. The total Population of the Parish is 7890.
We have three Holy Masses on week-days and 6 Holy Masses on Sundays. Besides the Holy Masses, there are Novenas to St.Antony, St.Joseph, St.Jude, and Perpetual Succor on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday respectively. There is regular Sunday Catechism Classes on Sundays from 8.45 am to 10.00am. Confessions are heard in the Cathedral Church on every day from 5.00pm to 7.00pm. Sacrament of Baptism is administered on all Sundays at 12.00 Noon. Weddings are solemnised on all days except on Sundays in consultation with the Parish Priest. Funerals are conducted at the Parish Cemetery at Pattoor. Memorial services are conducted at the Pattoor Cemetery Chapel and intentions for the deceased are included in the Holy Mass, offered at the Cathedral.
The Parish Office is open from 9.00 am to 1.00 Noon and from 3.00 pm to 7.00 pm on all days except Sundays and Days of Obligations. Cathedral Priests can be met at anytime from 9.00 am to 12.00 Noon and 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm on all days except on Sundays and Feast days.
The major renovation and restoration of St.Joseph’s Metropolitan Cathedral was begun on 31st August, 2008. This 137 year-old gigantic heritage building badly needed a thorough renovation. And this work was initially agreed upon to be carried out by the Archeological Department of Government of Kerala. It was at their own initiative that this work was assigned to Ravi Gundu Rao and Associates, Mysore, an internationally reputed firm for conservation and preservation of archeological monuments. Though, later on, the Government backed out from the scene, the parish decided to proceed with the available resources. And from that time onwards, we had experienced the providence of God and His blessing, showering on us and on this project of renovation. The Cathedral renovation work was completed as schedule by April 2010 and the cathedral was blessed and re dedicated by his grace Most Rev. Dr. Soosa Pakaim.M, Archbishop of the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram on the 1st of May 2010; the feast of St. Joseph the worker. Very Rev. Dr. C. Joseph, parish priest, was the pioneer to accomplish the task of renovation of the Cathedral Church.