About us

MOUNT CARMEL RETREAT CENTRE is the official retreat centre of the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum in the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, situated at Vettinadu, Trivandrum, in a beautiful hilly place. Here is a peaceful atmosphere, which helps one have meditation and retreat without any distraction. At present, there is a full-day retreat programme every Saturday. Rev. Fr. Daniel Poovannathil, Director of the retreat centre, leads the prayers and preaches in the retreat.

Foundation stone for the Retreat Centre was laid by His Beatitude Baselios Cardinal Cleemis on 1st April 2017. The first phase of the retreat centre was blessed and inaugurated on 8 April 2018.

Them I will bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer; Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.    –   Isaiah 56:7

Message for 2024

2024 New Year message from Fr. Daniel Poovannathil


1. The Inception

Way back in 2008, it dawned upon a group of enthusiastic youngsters of the St. Mary’s Cathedral Church at Pattom, Trivandrum, to organize Evening Retreats on the first Saturday of every month. The retreats were mainly intended for those who worked as employees.

With the whole-hearted cooperation of the Parish Priest, the idea took off well. A few months later Fr Daniel Poovannathil, who was then serving as the Parish Priest of the Holy Family Malankara Syrian Catholic Church at Karette in Trivandrum, was invited to lead the Retreats.

That was the beginning of what led to the gradual yet sure blossoming of the Mount Carmel Retreat Centre at Vettinad, Trivandrum.

2. Formation of Carmel Catholic Ministry

The presence of the Holy Spirit became more and more tangible, and blessings began to be showered aplenty, even as powerful Intercessory prayers were being offered at the Mar Ivanios Tomb Chapel every Tuesday, to support the retreats. Thus the “Carmel Catholic Ministry” came into being.

The group took on the responsibility of arranging and coordinating retreats for the laity in general, and for the youth in particular.

3. Finding the right location

A year later, on inspiration from His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, night vigils were held on the second Friday of every month. During the Malankara Catholic Church Assembly convened in 2011, the dire need for a Catholic Retreat Centre in Trivandrum came up for discussion.

Yes, we desperately wished to have a centre, to pray, and to teach the Word of God. The members of the CCM plunged into ardent prayer for the intention. They shortlisted 50 different places in Trivandrum, and prayed fervently in order to discern God’s choice of a place for the Retreat Centre.

4. Spiritual Inaguration

In the year 2016, while conducting the Pentecost preparation retreat at the Malankara Catholic church in Attingal, Cardinal Cleemis laid his hands on Fr. Daniel Poovannathil, prayed 3 devout Hail Marys, and declared the Retreat Centre open, even before a place had been found, and with not even a single penny in hand!
Following Pentecost, the members of the CCM began a 90 day prayer for the Retreat Centre. That was closely followed by a 500 day prayer at the Mar Baselios Engineering College Chapel. The Archdiocese of Trivandrum owned 35 acres of land at Vettinadu. Cardinal Cleemis graciously allotted five acres of this land towards construction of the Retreat Centre.

5. Foundation and Construction

In April 2017, the first foundation stone (blessed by Pope Francis), was laid at the construction site. The very first piece of construction was the small Divine Mercy Marian Chapel. In this chapel, the soothing presence of Mother Mary was miraculously manifested by her unique fragrance, which wafted in and around the Chapel. This drew more and more people to the chapel to pray. By the Grace of God, the construction of the retreat hall and the ground floor block was completed within a year. The Mount Carmel Retreat Centre was blessed on the 8th of April, 2018 – the auspicious day of the Feast of Divine Mercy.

Construction of the remaining 3 floors was over by the 4th of August 2020 – the day of the Feast of St. John Marie Vianney and was blessed on October 5th – the day of the Feast of St. Faustina. 

Construction of  ‘Vianney Bhavan’ – a residential building for Bishops and Priests, was also completed and blessed on the 4th of July 2021.

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