St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha – a Major Seminary of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church – is one of the prominent institutions amoung the centres of formation of catholic clergy in Kerala. The seminary had its humble origin in 1764 at Verapoly and was shifted to the present location at Mangalapuzha in 1932. Ever since the inception, the seminary has given birth to thousands of priests amoung whom there are Cardinals, number of bishops, and scores of others who, in different capacities, rendering their service to the people of God in various parts of the world. And the seminary continues to serve the Church, ever adapting itself to the changing needs, with renewed commitment and expertise.
Started by the Carmelite missionaries, the seminary was functioning as an inter-ritual seminary which catered the needs of the three rites – Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara and Latin – in Kerala. Raised to the pontifical status in 1964 the seminary was entrusted to the Kerala Catholic Bishop Council (KCBC) by the Holy See. By this time the seminary had two wings: Mangalapuzha seminary giving formation to the theology students and Carmelgiri Seminary forming philosophy students. Later in 1996, as part of the structural re-organisation on the basis of Rites, the Mangalapuzha seminary was handed over to the Oriental Rites and Carmelgiri to the Latin Rite to form clerics in their own respective traditions. Currently, the Mangalapuzha seminary has about 275 seminarians, hailing from various dioceses, undergoing formation.
Conveniently located by the national highway 47 near Alwaye, Mangalapuzha campus is blessed with a pristine environment where lush green trees, sprawling meadows and plentiful vegetation that fashion the atmosphere serene and peaceful. The majestic chapel which is built in gothic architecture and the soil that is sanctified by the tender and holy footsteps of Blessed Frs. Aurelian and Zacharias render it sacred and ethereal and thereby, making it into the most ideal place for formation.