Province History

The steady and vibrant growth of the Order in Tamil Nadu during the past 40 years has now come to the moment of bearing further fruits. The idea of the province’s bifurcation was initiated and reflected upon extensively from 2005 in various forums of chapters and provincial meetings. In view of a possible bifurcation of the Province, the General Definitory approved a pastoral visitation of the Province by Br. Peter Rodgers, the General Definitor and Br. Francis Christi Vattakuzhy. After consulting extensively, with individuals and groups at diverse levels, the General Definitory of the Order decided to establish two new circumscriptions (Prot. N. 00953/ 10, dated April 05, 2011).

The Capuchin Conference of Major Superiors in India, in a letter dated 16th December 2011 (Prot. N. 00889/ 11, d. Const. 111. 1) manifested its approval for the erection of the new Provinces.


The General Minister,
having carefully observed all the provisions of Canon Law
and the norms of our Constitutions (111,§1),
and with the consent of the General Definitory,
the suppression of the Province of Tamil Nadu,
and at the same time
within a portion of the former provincial territory the
with all the rights and obligations of a Province of the Order.

This decree will receive its legal force on April 25. 2012, the day of its promulgation.

The new Province has the Amala Annai (Immaculate Conception) as its Patroness. The boundaries of the Province of Northern Tamil Nadu will consist of the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore, the Archdiocese of Pondicherry & Cuddalore, and the Dioceses of Chingleput, Vellore, Dharmapuri, Salem, Kumbakonam, Tiruchirapalli and the Diocese of Tanjore, as it subsists at the moment of the promulgation of this decree. Udhayam polytechnic college, Thenkuda, in the Province of Southern Tamil Nadu is an extra territorial house belonging to the Province of Northern Tamil Nadu. Gnanalaya, Trichy, will be the proposed Provincialate.

The Province will be responsible for the Domus Praesentiae of Burkina Faso, and the collaboration with the Capuchin Province of Prance. It will also be available for service in the General Vice Province of Arabia.

The following are considered members of this Province:

  • Those brothers who, according to their birthplace, belong to this Circumscription;
  • Those brothers who have opted to belong to it in response to the consultation previously held;
  • Those brothers now in simple profession who originate from the territory to which the province extends;
  • Those brothers who hereafter will make their profession as members of this province.

In accordance with the Constitutions (111 § 4), with the consultative vote of the perpetually professed friars who have opted to belong to the new Province of Northern Tamil Nadu. and with the consent of the General Definitory, given during its meetings of March 19th, 2012, we hereby appoint as Provincial Minister and Definitors the following friars:

Provincial Minister: Br. Mathew Arul Marianathan Joseph, OFMCap.
Provincial Vicar: Br. Aruldass Bellarmine, OFMCap.
Second Definitor: Br. Divakar Motha, OFMCap.
Third Definitor: Br. Antonysamy Arockiasamy, OFMCap.
Fourth Definitor: Br. Arul Xavier Raj lrudayaraj, OFMCap.

Furthermore, it is established that an extraordinary provincial chapter s hall be held within one year at which all perpetually professed friars of the Province will participate (Const. I l l, §4). This Chapter shall discuss the life and the witness of the brothers, prepare a Statute of the new Province, and draw up capitular and electoral procedures for use In the elective chapter.

While we praise and thank God for the abundant graces He bestowed upon the Province of Tamil Nadu, we invoke His blessings upon the newly-formed Province of Northern Tamil Nadu. We heartily congratulate the friars of the new province, commending them to the secure protection of Amala Annai, their patroness, and entrusting them to the loving care of our Brother Francis and Sister Clare. We pray, through the intercession of Mary, for God's eternal blessings on the friars of the Province of Amala Annai - Northern Tamil Nadu.
Given in Rome at the General Curia on March, 26th 2012, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.


Br. Mauro Johri, OFM Cap. - General Minister
Br. Sidney Machado, OFM Cap. - General Secretary