- daijiworld.com

Udupi, Dec 1, 2015 : The new building of Christ Church, Manipal will be inaugurated by bishop of Udupi diocese Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo on Saturday December 5 at 4.30 pm.

The foundation for the new Church building was laid by bishop Dr Gerald Lobo on November 13 last year. 

The history of Manipal Christ Church goes back to the history of Christianity in this part of the region. The Church of Nossa Senhora de Milagres, now popularly called the Milagres Church, Kallianpur reveals the history of Christianity in Udupi district today. The church built with the help of the local queen gradually grew to accommodate more and more Christians in and around Udupi and Manipal.

Today, Manipal is known globally and has become the abode of an international community. With the opening of the Kasturba Medical College or KMC and the Engineering College or MIT, the number of Catholic students in the region increased. They had to travel to Udupi to attend Sunday Service and to fulfill religious needs, but most of the students were non-Konkani speaking people and the service in Udupi Church was in Konkani. It was Fr Sylvester D’Souza, the then Chaplain of St Cecily’s Convent, who realized the need of religious service in English. When he approached Dr T M A Pai with the problem, permission was granted to him to conduct the Eucharistic service on Sundays and other days of obligation in the Kannada Primary School, Manipal. Thus the Catholic community of Manipal came into existence officially on July 12, 1959 with a celebration of the holy Eucharist in the new place.

Within a year, after initial hurdles to get a plot of land to build a church, Fr Sylvester was able to get the present site of Christ Church, a two acre plot from the government of Karnataka.

The plans for the construction of a Church were finalized and on Palm Sunday on March 22, 1964, the foundation stone was laid. With the help of well-wishers and the mediation of John, Sripapthy Acharya of Bharath Construction, Udupi, agreed to complete the Church Building without any advance payment. Without his help, the building of Christ Church would not have been a reality. The Church was inaugurated on January 17, 1967 by the late Cardinal Valerian Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay.

A presbytery with six rooms was inaugurated on May 1, 1968, and Fr Sylevester became the first and full time resident parish priest of Manipal Christ Church.

Fr Sylvester now dreamt of a Youth Centre for various activities of the youth of Manipal. With a donation from the Propagation of Faith, the foundation stone of the Youth Centre was laid on January 11, 1970. With the amount available and personal loans, Fr Sylvester could complete the first phase of the Youth Centre building. With the help of students and parents from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, Fr Sylvester was able to complete the second phase of the building which was formally inaugurated on December 3,1978 by Tan Sri Dominic Vendargon, former Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Fr Stany Tauro came to Manipal as the next parish priest. Fr Stany happened to be an ideal person in the midst of the Youth of Manipal. He revived the Youth Centre.

Fr John Mendonca took charge as the parish priest on May 14, 1983, on Fr Stany’s transfer to Fr Muller Hospital as assistant director. Fr John built the community with diverse socio-spiritual activities. It was during the tenure of Fr John, Christ Church completed the Silver Chapter.

Fr Walter D'Mello took over from Fr John in the year 1987. The Parochial House and the Universal Counseling Centre is the result of his hard work.

Fr Harold Mascarenhas succeeded Fr Walter in 1994. He dreamt of an English Medium School and made a small beginning. The Youth Centre swelled with students.

Fr Joseph Cardoza took charge from Fr Harold in the year 2001. Fr Joseph, a trained counselor revived the Universal Counseling Centre. Christ School, an English medium school under the state board came into existence.

Fr Francis Lewis succeeded Fr Joseph in the year 2008. The whole campus was given a new look. Christ School was upgraded from state board to central board. The infrastructure for the School was given a new look. The Church was renovated to accommodate more people. An Adoration Chapel was built to help people to spend more time with the Lord.

Due to the increasing number of parishioners in the community, the Church faced constraint of space especially during the Sunday congregation. Thus, a need for a bigger church was felt by the parish council and the parishioners. The foundation for the new Church building was thus laid on November 13, 2014... read full story...


News from Udupi Deanery (Mother of Sorrows Deanery)

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