Fr. T. Britto S.J. who was the then parish priest of Railway Colony during 1940s found that many more mill workers were coming to Madurai from the villages for work and found them without spiritual care. He bought lands near Gnanaolivupuram and made them settle there. A temporary church was built for them in 1958 and in 1959 the parish was created as St. Joseph’s church.
During the time of Fr. T.A. Soosai, St. Britto High School was started in 1968 and the next year in 1969, St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary, having been shifted from Devakottai and Bishop’s House campus Madurai, was shifted to Gnanaolivupuram. A new presbytery was built in 1971; in 1975 a small shrine in Karimedu and Karur Vaisya Bank was built; the construction of new parish church was completed in 1976; and in 1977 Social Action Center run by laymen was founded. And in the same year a chapel was built in Packianathapuram and the parish council started functioning.
At the time of Fr. V.M. Irudayam, the elementary School’s boundary and compound was clearly demarked from that of St. Britto High School. At the time of Fr. Dhivyanandam the first floor was added to the presbytery and a second floor to Pius X Seminary. Fr. Arul Joseph founded Narpani Niruvanam to be managed by laymen. In 2008 English Mass at 4.00 p.m. was started for the parishioners.
There is a place called Kilaneri which is of historical importance. It is here Fr. De Nobili is said to have come for occasional rest. The Idayars of this place became Christians for whom Robert De Nobili built a chapel in honour of St. Anne. This ancient church has now disappeared leaving a remnant of a wooden cross. In 1975, Fr. T.A. Soosai built a new chapel on the site of the old one and dedicated it to our Lady of Assumption. Now it is under the territory of Nagamalai Pudukkottai parish.
The Catholic population of this parish is 5000 who are spread in the areas of A.A. Road, Park Road, Sr. Rose streets, Melaponnagaram, Gomaspalayam streets, Karimedu, Packianathapuram, Meyyappan streets, Sahayamatha street, Visuwasapuri streets, Harvey Nagar, Kanmaykarai etc.
This parish is known for its various activities of spiritual and social programmes.
- Rev. Fr. Britto
- Rev. Fr. Dhanasamy S.J.
- Rev. Fr. J. C. Motha S.J.
- Rev. Fr. T.A. Soosai
- Rev. Fr. V.M. Irudayam
- Rev. Fr. M. Dhivyanandam
- Rev. Fr. Arul Joseph
- Rev. Fr. S. M. Selvaraj
- Rev. Fr. Jude Vadakarai
- Rev. Fr. Gnanapiragasam
- Rev. Fr. Arul
- Rev. Fr. Michael Charles Vincent
- Rev. Fr. Jerome Eronimus
- Rev. Fr. A. Louis
- Karimedu – St. Antony chapel
- Packianathapuram – St. Antony chapel
- Milgate – Annai Veilankanni chapel
Parish Council, Anbiams
- Legion of Mary
- Vincent de Paul society
- Altar Servers
- Catholic Association
- Friends of Sacred Heart
- Good news Heralds of the Redeemer
- Nanmarana Sabai
- Jesuits, LTI; members – 12, ph: 3918022
- Sacred Heart brothers; members – 3, ph: 2361166
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyons; members – 9, ph: 2361054
- Servite Sisters; members – 10, ph: 2603324, 2603894
R.C. Primary School
- St. Britto Nursery and Primary School (Separate management)
- St. Britto Hr. Sec. School (Separate management)
- Loyola Technical Institute
- Loyola Community College
- Annai Arul Illam, Hostel for the poor girls
- Holy Family Primary School staff: 22 (18), students: 937 (93)
- Holy Family Higher Secondary School staff: 43 (32), students: 1432 (174)
Arockia Annai Chapel, Millgate
- Mr. S. Irudayaraj – 9442039112
- Mr. Joseph Xavier Raja – 9443060459
- Mr. Thatheu Joseph – 9443013822
- Mr. Gernamus – 9443327720
- Mr. P. Arockiasamy – 9344101733
- Mr. A. M. James – 9790128232
- Mr. John Moses
- Mr. I. Paul Raj – 9443064114