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The origin of Amruthavani Communications Centre goes back to some chance happenings in the early 1960s. Around that time, Fr. Arulappa, the late Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, was sending out from Madras free Telugu publications and information about Christ, to interested Telugu non-Christians.
   
 
   
     
 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF KURNOOL DIOCESE

Forest Area: About 7,86,412 acres (18% of the total area) mainly in Kurnool district.

The main forests are: Nallamalla and Erramalla in Kurnool District.

Rainfall: Average rainfall per annum is 575 to 600 mm.

Main Rivers: Thungabhadra and its tributary Hundri, Krishna and Kunderu in Kurnool District. Pennar, chitravanthi and vedanthi (Hagari) in Anantapur District.

Literacy Rate: About 36%

Present Religious Data: Catholics: 71,105
Christians: 3,05,000
Non-Christians: 78,66,001

Beginning and Growth of Christianity:

Jesuits: The first missionaries in this area were the Jesuits from Pondicherry in 1700. When the Karnatic Mission was founded by the French Jesuits, there were a large number of Catholics in the Telugu Region. Geographically Karnatic Mission consisted of the Region from the North Arcot districts in the south to Chilkballpur in the west and from river Krishna in the north to Bay of Bengal in the East. Mr. Madoot and Fr. Lenege are the founders this Karnaic Mission. Later in 1702 Fr. Dela Fontaine and in 1720 John Carmette joined the team and worked in this mission.

Paris Foreign Missionary Society: After the withdrawal of Jesuits in 1773, the people were left without priests for 50 years until the priests of the Paris Foreign Missionary Society stepped into field. Though few in number, these gallant missionaries worked hard and kept the faith of the people alive. Great progress was made especially during the time of Bishop Clement Bonnard (Dayananda Swamy) so that the northern area of the Karnatic Mission was erected into a vicariate apostolic. Around this time the people in Onteddupalle received Christian Faith.

In 1843 the Telugu Districts were attached to the Vicariate of Madras which was first manned by the secular Irish Missionaries from Maynooth and All Hallows. To aid these Missionaries, Priests of St. Joseph’s Society, Mil Hill, London came in 1875 and began working among the Telugus, till quite recently (1985) in some parts of Kurnool Diocese. The Franciscan Fathers also laboured in the western parts of the diocese for some time specially in the present Adoni, Yemmiganur and Ramadurgam Parishes.

Mill Hill Missionaries: The Missionary zeal and works of the Mill Hill Missionaries for more than 100 years among the Telugu Christians is praise worthy. As a result of their labour in 1928 the diocese of Nellore was erected comprising the civil districts of Nellore, Guntur, Kurnool, Anantapur, Kadapa and Chittoor with Most Rev. William Bouter MHM as its first Bishop. During his time great progress was made in the local church which is seen in the erection of new dioceses, bifurcated from Nellore Diocese. In 1940 the diocese of Guntur was erected and was entrusted to the indigenous diocesan Clergy and Bishop Most Rev. Thomas Pothakamuri as its first Bishop who was succeeded by Most Rev. Ignatius Mummadi. In 1967 the diocese of Kurnool and Anantapur with Most Rev. Joseph Rajappa as its Bishop. Later in 1976 the diocese of Kadapa was erected, comprising the two civil districts of Kadapa and Chittor. All these 4 dioceses - Nellore, Guntur, Kurnool and Kadapa - are the fruits of the dedicated service and labour of the great Mill Hill Missionaries. Of course the hard work, sacrifice and dedicated pastoral ministry of the diocesan indigenous clergy and men and women religious especially the JMJ Society are to be re-called.

 
     
  Formation the diocese: The diocese of Kurnool with the two civil districts of Kurnool and Anantapur was erected on 12th June 1967 with Bishop Joseph Rajappa as its first Bishop.  
     
 

1. Most Rev. Joseph Rajappa (1967 -1988)
2. Most Rev. Mathew Cherian Kunnel PIME (1988 - 1991)
3. Most Rev. Gorantla Johannes DD (1994-07)
4. Most Rev.Poola Anthony , the present Bisbhop

 

 
 

Most Rev. Poola Anthony, DD
Bishop's House
Our Lady of Lourd's Cathedral
Bishop's House Compound,
B’Camp, Kurnool 518 002, AP
T: (08518)-271298

 

 

 

 
     
 

Bishop Poola Anthony hails from Chindukur village of Poluru parish of Kurnool diocese. He was born on the 15 th of November 1961 in a devout Catholic family to Mr. P. C. Anthony (Late) and Mrs. Arogyamma. He was ordained a priest on the 20 th of February 1992 at St. Mary's Cathedral, Mariapuram for Kadapa diocese. He is known for his talent in music, composed many songs and produced some cassettes in Telugu. He worked in different places in various capacities.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Kurnool on the 8 th February 2008. He was consecrated and installed as Bishop of Kurnool on the 19 th of April 2008.

 
 
Pastoral Ministry: 
1992 to 1993 Assistant at St. Mary's Cathedra, Mariapuram, Kadapa
1993 to 1994 Assistant Parish Priest at Amagampalli
1994 to 1995 Parish Priest at Tekurpet and Correspondent of RCM Elementary schools of Chinnayaraasala & Kappalapalli
1995 to 2000 Parish Priest of Our Lady of Fatima Church & Director of St. Thomas Boarding Home, Badvel   
 
2000 to 2001 Parish Priest of Holy Cross Chruch, Veerapally Correspondent, RCM UP school, Veerapally & Konasamudram Director, Vander Valk Boys' Boarding Home
2003 to 2008 Coordinator for CFCA – Secretary for Educational Society &
Deputy Manager, RCM Schools , Diocese of Kadapa
Ministry Abroad:
2001 to 2002 Resident priest at St. Joseph 's Catholic Church, 211 Church Street , St. Joseph 's City , MI 49085 , Kalamazoo Diocese , USA
2002 to 2003 Associate Pastor at St. Genevieve Catholic Church, 4835 W. Altgeld Street ,
Archdiocese of Chicago , USA
 
 
 
 
Catholic Population in the diocese: 71,105

Number of Priests: 87
a) Diocesan: 47
b) Religious: 40

Number of Religious Brothers: 13 & Sisters: 313

Number of Catechists: 234

Number of Parishes: 49
 
     
 

EDUCATIONAL
Elementary Schools: 39;
Upper Primary Schools: 5;
High Schools: 34
Colleges: 5;
Technical Schools: 3;
Training Schools: 14

CHARITABLE:
Hostels: 6
Boarding Homes: 40
Home for the disabled: 6

HEALTH SERVICES:
Hospitals & Dispensaries: 11;
HIV/Aids Centres: 2;
Leprosy Centres: 2

 
     
  Social Service centers:  
 
  • KDSSS: Kurnool Diocesan Social Service Centre, Venkayapalle – 518 453 Kurnool Dt. A.P., T: (08518)-270691
  • DSS: Maria Nilayam Social Service Centre, Gargeyapuram – 518 452, Kurnool Dt. A.P., T: (08518)-238148
  • SSA: St. Anne’s Social Welfare Society, Near S.P.Y. Reddy Farm, Gopavaram P.O., 518 583 Mahanandi Kurnool Dt. A.P., T: (08514)-232710
  • SJ: S.J. Social Service Centre, Madakkasira – 515 203 Anantapur Dt. A.P., T: (08556)-220288
  • VC: De Paul Social Service Centre, Karivena, Atmakur – 518 422 Kurnool Dt. A.P., T: (08517)-283135
 
     
 
KURNOOL-2 (1992)
Our Lady of Lourd's
Cathedral
Bishop's House Compound,
B’Camp, Kurnool 518 002, AP
T: (08518)-271298
KURNOOL-1 (1980)
St Theresa’s Co-
Cathedral
Near Children's Park,
Kurnool - 518 001, A.P,
T: (085180) -222836
ADONI (1870)
Infant Jesus Church,
Adoni - 518 301,
Kurnool Dt AP
T: (08512)-250664

ALUR (2001)
RCM Mission (MF)
Alur PO
Kurnool Dt. - 518395

ALLAGADA (1979)
Holy Cross Church,
Allagada 518 543,
Kurnool Dt A.P
T: (08519)-220807
ANANTAPUR (NORTH)-
1948
Our lady of Mount
CarmelChurch,
Ramachandra Nagar,
Anantapur-515 001, AP
T: (08554)-223591
ANANTAPUR (SOUTH)-
1970
St. Francis De Sales Church
MSFS House, Anantapur
515 002, AP
T: (08554)-273258
ATMAKUR: (1971)
Holy Trinity Church
Atmakur - 518 422, Kurnool Dt
T: (08517)-283134
BANAGANAPALLE:
(1988)
Mother Theresa’s Church
Banaganapalle - 518 124,
Kurnool (Dt) AP
T: (08515)-227278
BANDI ATMAKUR: (1994)
Catholic Mission,
Bandiatmakur,
Kurnool Dt-518 523, A P
T: (08514)-252813
BETHAMCHERLA: (1976)
St. Louise De Montfort Church
Bethamcherla-518 599, Kurnool Dt A P
T: (08516)-273907
CHAGALAMARRI: (1960)
Catholic Church
Chagalamarri-518 553, Kurnool Dt A P
T: (08519)-232310
CHAPIREVULA: (1997)
St Anthony’s Church
Chapirevula-518 502, Nadyal
Kurnool Dt, A P, T: (08514)-250176
CHENNAMMANAYUNI KOTA: (1988)
St. Joseph'sChurch
Chennammanayuni kota-515 641,
Anantapur Dt AP T: (08491)-272174
COWLUR: (1961)
Sacred Heart Church (Via) Panyam
Cowlur Po
Kurnool (Dt) A.P- 518 112
DHARMAVARAM: (1971)
St Andrew’s Church
Dharmavaram RS-515 671,
Anantapur Dt., AP, T: (08559)-223275
DHONE: (1978)
St Peter and Paul's Church
Dhone R S -518 222, Kurnool Dt, A P
T: (08516)-221461
GOOTY: (1880)
St Joseph's Church Gooty, R.S
Anantapur Dt, AP, 515 402
T: (08552)-252702
GOSPADU: (2002)
St. Anthony’s Church
Pasurapadu – Village & Post
Gospadu Mandal – 518 593
Kurnool – Dt., A.P
T: (08519) - 252957
GUNTAKAL: (1880)
Our Lady of Health Shrine
Guntakal 515 801, Anantapur Dt AP,
T: (08552)-227076
HINDUPUR: (1989)
St. Pius the X Church
Hindupur 515 202, Anantapur Dt, A.P
T: (08556)-220288
JOHARAPURAM: (2001)
St. Antony’s Shrine
Joharapuram, B – Camp P.O
Kurnool – 518002
T: (08518) – 245 326
JUPADU BUNGLOW: (2002)
RCM Church, Jupadu Bunglow (Post)
Nandikotkur (Mandal)
Kurnool – Dt., A.P
T: (08513) – 282 043
KADIRI: (1979)
Catholic Mission Kadiri-515591,
Anantapur Dt, A. T: (08494)-223614
KALYANADURGAM: (1984)
R.C.M. Church, D : No 8- 2037,
Hindupur Road
Kalyanadurgam, Anantapur 515 761, A P,
KODUMURU Mission - (2000)
Marianivas, Mariapuram,
Kodumuru P.O.
Kurnool – 518 464
T: (08412)-228545
KOILAKUNTLA: (1967)
St Mary's Church
Koilakuntla 518 134,
Kurnool Dt A P., T: (08510)-225697
KOSIGI: (1998)
R.C.M. Church, Sunkeswari,
Madhavaram (Via)
Kurnool Dt. A.P. 518 349
T: (08512)-259029
MADDIKERA: (1880)
Infant Jesus Church
Maddikera-518 538, Kurnool Dt, A P
T: (08520)- 237094
NANDIKOTKUR: (1968)
Vailankannimatha shrine.
Nandikotkur-518 401,
KurnoolDt.AP, T: (08513-280728
NANDYAL: (1968)
St. Joseph's Church
Nandyal-518 501,
Kurnool Dt, A.P,
T: (08514)-243512
ONTEDDUPALLE: (1733)
R.C.M. Church
Via Nossam,
Onteddupalle - 518 145,
Kurnool Dt, A P, T: (08510) – 225697
ORVAKAL: (1974)
Church of our mother of Mercy
Orvakal – 518 010
Kurnool Dt., A.P.
T: (08518)- 238743
OWK: (1975)
Christ the King Church,
Owk, Kurnool Dt., A.P.- 518 122
T: (08515)-238779
PATHIKONDA: (1976)
Church of Twelve Apostles,
Pathikonda, Kurnool Dt.,
A.P. 518380
T: (08520)-226644
PEDDAKOTTALA: (1925)
Holy Name of Jesus Church,
Pedda Kottala
Kurnool Dt., A.P. 518 503
T: (08514)- 242514
POLUR: (1900)
Holy Family church, Polur Po,
Kurnool Dt., A.P. 518 511
T: (08514) – 235437
PREMAGIRI: (1998)
St.Mary’s Shrine, Premagiri,
Nandanapalli P.O
Kurnool Dt., A.P. 518 452
T: (08518)- 285002
P.YALERU: (1870)
Our lady of Lourdes Church,
P.Yaleru P.O, (Via) Atmakur
Anantapur Dt. A.P. T: (08554) - 250470
RAMADURGAM:(1850)
Assumption Church,
Ramadurgam, Via Nemekallu
Kurnool Dt., A.P.- 518 396
T: (08523) – 239901
RAPTADU: (1997)
Sacred Heart Church,
Don Bosco Mission,
Raptadu
Ananthapur Dt., A.P.- 515 722
T: (08554) – 256701
RAYADURGAM: (1992)
St.Mary’s Church,
R.C. Mission, B.T.P. Road,
Rayadurg P.O.,
Ananthapur Dt., A.P. 515 865
SIRVEL: (1954)
Catholic Church, Sirvel, P.O.
Kurnool Dt. A.P. – 518 563, T: (08519) – 236490

SRISAILAM: (1977)
Catholic Church,
Srisailam Dam East, P.O.,
Kurnool Dt., A.P. – 518 102
T: (08524)-286735
TADIPATRI: (1939)
Christ the King Church
Tadipatri,
Ananthapur Dt., A.P. 515 411
T: (08558)– 220573
UPPALADADIYA: (1998)
St.John’s Church,
Uppaladadiya,
Kurnool Dt. 518 452
T: (08518)-288306
VELUGODU: (1981)
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church,
Velugodu P.O
Kurnool Dt., A.P. – 518 533
T: (08517) – 235123
YEMMIGANUR: (1976)
Bala Yesu Church, Yemmiganur,
Kurnool Dt., A.P., 518 360
T: (08512) – 255956
YERRAGUNTLA: (1994)
Our Lady of Lourdes Church,
Catholic Church, Yerraguntla,
Kurnool Dt., A.P. – 518 510
T: (08519) – 246820

 
   
 
     
  Shrines and pilgrim centers in the diocese  
 
1. Our Lady of Health Shrine, Guntakal: The church at Guntakal was established in 1880. The Mill Hill Fathers worked in this Parish till 1971. The original church was built by Fr. A. Karoot. Fr. G. Goes added two wings to the church. Fr. Louis Rego extended the church in length and width in 1980 and built a Shrine in honor of Our Lady of Good Health. Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Rajappa, the then Bishop of Kurnool, declared the Shrine as a Pilgrim Centre. The major festivals of this parish is Nativity of Our Lady on 8th September. The popular belief in the reported vision of Our Lady of Lourdes to 2 Hindu School Children has spread far and wide and since then thousands of devotees are visiting the Shrine. A magnificent Shrine of Our Lady of Health was blessed and opened by His Excellency on September 8, 2002.
 
     
 

2. St. Antony’s Shrine at Adoni: The presence of Christianity in Adoni is there right from 1750. Portuguese Priests used to look after it. It was belonging to the diocese of Bellary until the formation of the state of Andhra Pradesh. The famous St. Antony Boarding was there even before the erection of Kurnool Diocese. There is Shrine of St. Antony in the boarding premises. There is special devotion to St. Antony’s here. Every first Tuesday of the month large number of catholics gather for the Holy Mass, celebrated in front of the statue. On 13th June of every year, a sea of devotees throng for the blessings and prayers of St. Antony.

 
     
 
3. St. Antony’s Shrine, Joharapuram: Joharapuram was the substation of St. Theresa’s Co-Cathedral, Kurnool-1. In the year 2000, it was bifurcated from St. Theresa’s Co-Cathedral, Kurnool-1 and erected as Parish. St. Antony’s Shrine at Joharapuram is one of the important Shrines in the diocese. Every year on 13th June, the feast of St. Antony is celebrated very grandly. The devotion to St. Antony is steadily growing year by year. From 17th February 2005, thousands of people of all religions, from far and near are thronging to the parish church of Joharapuram everyday, to have a Darshan and Blessing of St. Antony as they find a lot of change in the eyes of the statue of St. Antony.
 
     
 
4. St. Antony’s Shrine, Chapirevula: Chapirevula was a substation of Nandyal Parish. On 2nd June 1997 it was erected into a new parish and was entrusted to the Capuchin Fathers and Fr. Adolph Kannadipara was appointed as the first parish priest. This station was started some 200 years ago by a Catholic by name Mariadas Kottala, a Kilometer away from the present church. The chapel and the house were destroyed in the cyclone of 1951, only statue of St. Antony was saved. It was under the parish of Polur in the beginning and later on it came under Peddakottala. Fr. Kasken MHM, Priest of Peddakottala Parish bought land in Chapirevula for the church and for the catholic families and built the present church in 1955. Fr. Philip extended it to the present size. Later on it came under Nandyal Parish. The new Parish Priest of Chapirevula Fr. Adolph Kannadipara, OFM. Cap. Has built the new parish church and the parish house. The sisters of Servants of Mary have constructed their convent and school at Chapirevula. Devotees of St. Antony come to the chapel on the first Tuesday of every month. Every year the feast of St. Antony is celebrated on June 13 and many devotees from far and near visit the shrine.
 
     
  5. Vailankannimatha Shrine, Nandikotkur: Nandikotkur was originally an outstation of Kurnool Parish and was made a parish in 1967. Fr. Cheriyan was the first Parish Preist. The construction of present church was started by Rev. Fr. Joseph Perincheril. Fr. R. Shoury completed it and during Fr. K. Joji’s time (1994), this was raised to a Shrine and was blessed by His Lordship Most Rev. G. Johannes along with 2 other Bishops. Our Bishop declared it as the Second Shrine of Our Lady in the Diocese.  
     
 
6. Srisailamatha Shrine, Srisailam: Srisailam was earlier under Donakonda Parish. There were 3 Catholic families who were working as stone cutters. They were originally from Rajamupalli which belonged to Donakonda at that time. The Parish Priest of Donakonda used to go there to celebrate the mass twice or thrice a year. On August 15, 1977 the new Srisailamatha Mission was opened by Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Rajappa. The first Parish Priest was Fr. John Xavier. Fr. Louis Rego built the first presbytery there. Fr. Francis D’Cruz built the Srisailamatha and briefly in 1979. The present presbytery was built by Fr. Joseph Palladan and completed by Fr. Joseph Vetticad. The present church of Srisailamatha was built by Fr. G. Shoureddy in 2000.
 
     
 
7. St. Mary’s Shrine, Premagiri: In 1972, Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Rajappa erected a wooden Cross-on the hill of Military Colony. From that time, there is way of the Cross on Friday. Every Good Friday, good number of the faithful from various parts of the diocese participate in the Way of the Cross. This Premagiri Parish was bifurcated from Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral Parish on March 12, 1988 and was entrusted to the Vincentian Congregation. Fr. Francis Naduviladathu VC was appointed as its first Parish Priest. The new church was blessed and opened by all the Bishops of Andhra Pradesh on 30-08-2000.
 
     
 
8. Yathrikulamatha Shrine: A seven storied Marian Shrine constructed in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was blessed and opened by Bishop Gorantla Johannes on 26th January 2004. The Shrine is located in the premises of KDSSS by the road side. It is hoped and prayed that this will add to the growth of devotion to Our Lady and bring many Christians and non-Christians closer to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
 
     
  9. Mariagiri Shrine, Krishnapuram: Krishnapuram, a remote village in the district of Anantapur, though it looks ordinary in every sense of the word, has a unique place in the History of the Andhra Catholic Church as well as in the history of the Jesuits in the pre-suppression era. As the Jesuit Missionaries set foot in Andhra in the early 18th Century at Krishnapuram, built a house and big church there, and reaped a great harvest for the Lord by receiving a good number of people of all castes into the Kingdom of God, thus establishing a flourishing church in Andhra, Krishnapuram is called the cradle of the Andhra Church. Thanks to the interring of the mortal remains of Sanjivanadha Swamy, Shourinadha Swamy and Divyanadha Swamy, the land of Krishnapuram became more holy and sacred, not only for the Catholics but for all the others too. Near to Krishnapuram there is a hill on which the statue of Our Lady was erected and it is called Mariagiri Shrine. The devotion to Mother Mary is increasing day by day. Many people daily pay a visit to the Shrine and the tombs.  
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