St. Joseph’s Boys Home has a rich and impactful history that spans over a century. It began its journey in the late 19th century with a strong commitment to caring for vulnerable boys in need. Nestled amidst the serene surroundings of Koonammavu, the home has provided a safe haven and transformative opportunities to countless young men over the years.
St. Joseph’s Boys Home holds a significant position in the context of Varapuzha’s longstanding commitment to aiding the destitute even before the Archdiocese of Verapoly came into existence. Its rich history dates back to 1880. Originally based in Koonammavu, the home later relocated to several locations over the years. Eventually, it found its way back to Koonammavu, where it currently thrives as a beacon of hope and transformation.
This Home for the destitute was established by the Most Rev. Dr. Marcelino Berardi O.C.D. in 1880. The institution was shifted from its original locale in the Lady of Immaculate Conception press – the official press of the Metropolitan (മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്തയ്ക് അടുത്ത അച്ചുകൂടം), Koonamavu to Ernakulam (The press came to be known as the I.S. Press while in Ernakulam). Meanwhile, the operations initially kicked off at ‘Thumpaparambu’ opposite to present day St. Albert’s High School, Kacheripady. It also worked from Kumarakom for a while and later, Kalamassery.
Under the guidance of Archbishop the Most Rev. Dr. Angel Mary O.C.D., the Home moved to Kalamassery in 1914, where it became associated with the Holy Angel Institute. Here, the children received primary education and training in various vocational skills, including carpentry, stonework, weaving, rubber tapping, and embroidery. Over time, the Home expanded its offerings to include Polytechnic, ITI, and JTS training, empowering the children with valuable skills for their future.
St. Joseph’s Boys Home has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity. In recent years, the Home garnered attention for its remarkable achievements, such as large-scale cultivation of the unique saline-tolerant rice variety called ‘Pokkali’ rice. They also made headlines for successfully running a cashier-less vegetable shop, showcasing their commitment to exploring new avenues and creating opportunities for the boys, which eventually earned them a state award for agriculture.
Relocation and Growth
On the first of June, 2008, St. Joseph’s Boys Home underwent another transformative change when it relocated to Koonammavu, where it stands today. The construction of the modern facility commenced on the 19th of December 2007, and was blessed by the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Acharuparambil, the Archbishop of Verapoly on the 29th April 2009. Within the walls of this purpose-built haven, the boys find a nurturing and secure environment, fostering their growth and empowering them to flourish.
Renaming and Leadership
In April 2018, the Boys Home underwent a name change and is now known as the St. Joseph’s Boys Hostel. Under the guidance of the current director, Fr. Sangeeth Joseph, and with the assistance of Fr. Jose Dominic, the Home continues to uphold its mission of transforming the lives of the boys entrusted to its care. Today, the St. Joseph’s Boys Hostel continues to make a difference in the lives of 32 young boys, ensuring their holistic development and preparing them to become responsible and virtuous members of society.
Fr. Sangeeth Adichilil
Fr. Jose Dominic
St. Joseph’s Hostel (Boys Home)
Varapuzha – 683518
P. 94470 29229