St Joseph church, Pezar is situated at a distance of 20 kms from Mangalore and is surrounded by Bajpe, Thokur, Katipalla and Surathkal parishes.

The church of St Joseph is one of the most ancient churches in Mangalore diocese. It existed here even before 1670. The history of the parish for the period from 1800 to 1864, written in Portuguese language is available, according to which, Mr Pascal Kamath bought a piece of land from a Jain, built a thatched roof building at Kalavar village, which served as the church; Tipu Sultan demolished the church and used the stones of the demolished church to build a Darga. It is also believed that during this time the valuable government documents showing the gifting of the land of 1.14 acres was lost. As a result of this, after more than 430 years, this land is a government property according to their records. Application to transfer this land to the church has been made to the government.

When the local Catholics returned from Srirangapattana they rebuilt the church in a lowly valley, which made access to it rather difficult. This was done fearing further raids by the Muslims. This church was under Padroado, directly under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Goa till 1886. The priests from Goa used to serve the church. In 1886 it was ceded to the diocese of Mangalore. V. Rev. Fr J. Baretto, the parish priest and vicar forane made some additions to the church in 1908. V. Rev. Frs Gregory I. D’Souza, M. Rebello and Sabas Fernandes succeeded him. V. Rev. M.S. Fernandes built the existing presbytery in 1942.

Fr Norbert D’Souza built the Grotto in 1986. Fr Cyril Pinto constructed new belfry.

The celebration of Passion of our Lord Jesus on Tuesday of the Holy Week is a unique religious tradition, which started after the return of the captives from Srirangapattana, in remembering those people who laid down their life for the faith during the captivity under Tipu and celebrated with religious fervour.

In 1996 state government sanctioned 4.33 acres of land for this devotional purpose. On this land on April 18, 2000, during the time of Fr Cyril Pinto, new Stations of the Cross were erected and the Calvary Grotto was built.

Pezar is the Mother Church for 8 parishes, viz., Bajpe, Surathkal, Gurpur, Ferar, Thokur, Permude, Neerude and Katipalla.

Pejavara church Higher Primary School was started in 1923 and had its own building in 1933. In 1966 Fr John G. Pinto started Pejavara High School.

- Source : mangalorean.com

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