Welcome to Hospitaller Order of St. John of God St. Thomas Province, India

Hospitaller Order of
St. John of God

Community of St. Thomas the Apostle Poonamallee, Chennai

The St. Thomas Community at Poonamallee included/includes the following:

  •     St. Thomas Provincial Curia
  •     St. Thomas Novitiate House
  •     St. Thomas Home for the Aged
  •     Sponsoring Programmes and
  •     Non-formal Evening School for Children.

The Story Behind

As the years passed and the activities of the Brothers at Kattappana grew, it became necessary to have a separate house for the formation of candidates who were in the different stages of formation.

Thus, a second foundation of the Hospitaller Order was planned in the Provincial Chapter held at Frankfurt, Germany, in June 1980. Br. Makarius Klaholz was the Provincial. Br. Alfons M. Höring was requested to conduct a survey to find out a suitable place to start the Formation House in India.

Selection of Poonamallee

In the survey, conducted in August 1980, Br. Alfons included the following places: Bangalore, Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli, Poonamallee and Guntur.

Finally Poonamallee was selected because the ‘Sacred Heart Seminary’ was there and the Salesian Fathers, who then managed the seminary, as well as the diocesan priests there, were ready to help. The presence of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) Fathers was an added advantage.

Arrival of Bro. Alfons M. HOERING

Bro. Alfons arrived at Poonamallee on 8th January 1981. Fr. Joseph Puthenkalam SDB, the Rector, (who was of great help in the initial stages) and all the professors welcomed him and he was accommodated in the seminary.

In April 1981 about 1.7 hectares of land was purchased. Bro. Stephen Chirayath arrived in May 1981 as the second member of the ‘Community’. His knowledge of Tamil (local language) and experience were of great advantage. He worked hand in hand with Bro. Alfons, toiling day in and day out to develop the new foundation.

Arrival of the First Novices

The novitiate was shifted from Kattappana to Poonamallee on 21st October 1981.

Bro. Prakash Madappally, the Novice Master, arrived with the first five Novices.

A week later, Fr. Joseph Puthenkalam SDB, blessed the temporary house and celebrated Holy Mass in honor of St. John of God. (There were temporary huts for dormitory of the community, the chapel, classroom, refectory, car shed, etc. These huts were damaged by a severe cyclonic storm in November 1984).

Formation Programme

The Formation House at Poonamallee used to house three stages of formation, namely, Aspirancy (one year), Postulancy (for six months to one year) and Novitiate (for two years). Since 2016 There is a common Postulancy & Novitiate in the Philippines. But the Aspirancy period is at Poonamallee.

There are regular classes, ashram experiences, novices’ get-together programmes and other courses arranged by certain renewal centres.


At Kattappana

1970-1971 Br. Fortunatus Thanhäuser
1971-1980 Br. Alfons M. Höring

At Poonamallee

1980-1981 Br. Prakash Madappally
1981-1983 Br. Alfons M. Höring
1983-1992 Br. Benedict Nadayil
1992-2001 Br. Francis Mannaparampil
2001-2007 Br. Yanka Sharma
2007-2010 Br. Francis Mannaparampil
2010-2014 Br. Raphael Swamidoss
2014-2018 Br. Benedict Nadayil
2018-2022 Br. Paul Varghese
2022- Br. Benedict Nadayil

Br. Benedict Nadayil is the present Novice Master.

Br. Sonu Borde is the Postulants Master.


St. Thomas Home for the Aged

As a great visionary and charismatic formator, Br. Alfons understood the need for practical training in our apostolate of Hospitality. He planned a home for the aged to accommodate 30 persons.

On 18th January 1983 the foundation stone was blessed by His Grace Rayappa Arulappa, the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore. It was laid by Dr. Christian Hübener, the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany. A ten-member group of “Indienhilfe Verein” and Br. Michael Mockenhaupt, procurator for the missions, were among the many guests present.

The completed home for the aged was blessed by the Archbishop, and was inaugurated by Mr. Manfred Bianco Maselli, president of Indienhilfe Verein in January 1985.  The following were present: Rt. Rev. Dr. Abraham Viruthikulangara, Bishop of Khandwa, Br. Michael Mockenhaupt, a delegation of Indienhilfe Verein, including Herr Frany Weigel, one of the main benefactors, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Co-workers, neighbours and friends.

The construction of the present St. Thomas Home for the Aged was started in April 1997. It was blessed and inaugurated in January 1999, together with the Provincial House.


Br. Benedict Nadayil is the Director of the Home for the Aged.

St. John of God Dispensary

The community has been running a dispensary for the poor of the area from 1983 onwards. A new Dispensary was built in 1995. At present the Dispensary is not active.

About 30-40 patients used to frequent the dispensary for free treatment.

Sponsorship and Non-formal Evening School

The Community is helping many children for their education by providing books, school bags, uniforms, etc. The community is also organizing a non-formal evening school for students from the nearby streets.


Preparations for Priesthood

In June 1984 two Brothers, Francis Mannaparampil and George Kizhakkekara joined the community for their priestly studies in the nearby Sacred Heart Seminary. They were ordained deacons, by His Grace Casimir Gnanadickam SJ, in April 1990 in the presence of many distinguished guests. Their priestly ordination was at Kattappana in April 1991.

Blessings and Inaugurations

The New Formation House was blessed in March 1985, and the Chapel in 1988.

The present Provincial House was blessed and inaugurated in January 1999. Archbishop Arul Das James was the main celebrant.

The Demise of Brother Benito & David

Bro. Benito, a Novice, was diagnosed brain tumour in January 2000. Since surgical and medical interventions did not help, he was taken to St. John’s Hospital at Kattappana, in November. There he died on 14th November.

In January 2002, David Marianus Ekka, an Aspirant from Jharkhand, was drowned in the sea at Mahabalipuram, 80 km from Poonamallee. He is buried near the Grotto of Our Lady at Poonamallee.

The Community

There are 7 Brothers in this community engaged in various activities.

Br. Benedict Nadayil is the present Prior (superior) of the Community.


1981-1983 Br. Alfons M. Höring
1983-1985 Br. Savio Padinjarekutte
1985-1986 Br. Jose Mathew Thottathil (as Vicar)
1986-1989 Br. Jose Mathew Thottathil
1989-1995 Br. Albert Thekkumkaduthadathil
1995-1998 Br. Thomas Kanjiramoottil
1998-2001 Br. Jose Mathew Thottathil
2001-2003 Br. Albert Thekkumkaduthadathil
2004-2007 Br. James Edayadil
2007-2010 Br. Baiju Valuparampil
2010-2014 Br. George Kizhakkenath
2014-2016 Br. Chinnapparaj Paul
2016-2018 Br. Benedict Nadayil
2018-2022 Br. Aloysius Mattathil
2022- Br. Benedict Nadayil




Hospitaller Order of St. John of God

53/54, Queen Victoria Road

Poonamallee, Chennai, PIN - 600 056

Tamil Nadu, INDIA



Br. Shiju Nanthikattu







Br. Benedict Nadayil





Hospitaller Order of St. John of God

53/54, Queen Victoria Road

Poonamallee, Chennai, PIN - 600 056, Tamil Nadu, INDIA



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