Alangar, May 23, 2015 : A memorial of Fr. Faustine Corti SJ a missionary was erected today at the Holy Rosary Church, Alangar. This memorial was reconstructed by using the remains of the old house in which Fr Corti had lived. Fr Corti would spend few days every month in this house and catechize the local people, of which about 50-60 families still remain. The memorial was blessed by Most Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop of Mangaluru and was inaugurated by V. Rev Fr Stany D’Souza SJ, Jesuit Provincial, Karnataka. This memorial is to remind us of the great missionary zeal of Fr. Corti, which knew no limits. Keeping Naravi as the base, his missionary activities covered the surrounding areas Mudukodi, Perady, Shirthady, ALANGAR, Arva, Badyar, Venur, Madanthyar, Ujire, Penchar, Nellikar, Homapadavu etc. He also started the school of St Thomas which today has flourished into a group of educational institutions.

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The formal function was presided over by Most Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, V Rev Fr Stany D’Souza, V Rev Fr Austin Peres (Vicar-Var Moodbidri Deanary), Rev Fr Basil Vas, Parish Priest Alangar, Rev Fr Kenneth Crasta, Asst Parish Priest Alangar Church, Sri Gerald Lobo, Vice President Alangar Church, Sri Jagadish Adhikari, Vice President Mangalore district BJP, Sri Eshwar Bhat, Sri Mahalingeshwara temple Alangar, Sri Mohammed Ali Abbas, Proprietor Abbas Saw Mills, and Sri B Vishwanatha Purohith, Sri Sri Sri Jagadguru Ayya Swamy Matt, Alangar.

The Dignitaries were welcomed by Rev Fr Basil Vas. There was a depiction of a scene from the life of Fr. Corti, presented by Sri Santhosh Rodrigues and Team, Lourdes Ward. The dignitaries spoke on the importance of living in communal harmony as brothers and sisters for the common good of all. Donors of this memorial and the dignitaries were felicitated during the programme. Sri Gerald Lobo thanked everyone for their support in making this program a success.

About Rev Fr Faustine Corti

A native of Switzerland, Rev Fr Faustine Corti, was born at Curio on November 5, 1856, as the youngest son of the nine children of Francis and Lucy Jerosa couple.

After his initial schooling, he joined the Society of Jesus (SJ) in 1878. However, in 1884, he bid goodbye to his country and arrived at Mangalore. During his stay at Jeppu, he learnt Tulu and Konkani languages and also taught at St Aloysius school for two years. He was ordained a priest in 1891, and subsequently taught in St Aloysius College for 10 years.

Though he was teaching in the college, his heart was yearning for for the poor. As a result, he landed in Naravi in the year 1905. Soon after his arrival at Naravi, he started to work among the Dalits and poor people.

One of the first things Fr Corti did upon his arrival at Naravi was to erect a large wooden cross measuring about seven meters high, on a hill, now known as ‘Kurusugudde’ (Hill Cross), where the present convent of the Sisters of Charity exists. During his 21 years of thankless service at Naravi, he worked strenuously for the poor, when people fondly called him the Living God as well as “Guru of Harijans”. For a long period, Fr Corti used a horse named ‘Kempi’ for his travelling. Quite interestingly, it is said that Kempi saved Fr Corti from dangers on several occasions.

Though he lived in Naravi, he served the people of the surrounding regions like Moodbidri, Peradi, Shirthady, Alangar, Arva, Badyar, Venor, Madanthyar, Ujire and Nellikar among other places. Interestingly, most of the places have their own parishes n ow.
When a large number of Dalits suffered from small pox, Fr Corti extended all his help, lived with them in their huts and treated them with care against all odds.
The British government which recognised the service of Fr Corti, awarded him with ‘Kaisar-I-Hind’ title in 1918. It is during the same period Fr Corti decided to build a church in the vicinity.

When he realised that he needed money to realise his dreams, he returned to Italy to collect money for the church building in 1920.Due to his tireless efforts, he became ill and passed away on October 9, 1926. His mortal remains were buried at Jeppu cemetery.

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About Holy Rosary Church Alangar

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