The Church dedicated to St. Francis Xavier is located in Murkoth Palke’s Saverapura and belongs to Moodbidri Deanery. The Church is in Belvai Village and located nearly 10KM from Moodbidri.

When we focus on the history of St. Francis Xavier Church, our attention centers on one person, a true servant working for the Kingdom of God, the late Rev. Fr. Francis Xavier D’ Souza. He was the Parish Priest of Alangar Church during 1958 - 1971 and for his selfless service, was fondly called ‘Poki Padryaab’. During this period, sensing people’s need, he built 2 churches, one at Moodbidri Town (Corpus Christi Church) and the other at Belvai (St Martin De Porres Church). Both the churches were declared independent parishes in 1971 and Fr. Francis Xavier D’ Souza became the first Parish Priest of Belvai Church.

In 1973, Fr. Francis Xavier D’ Souza’s attention went on the people surrounding Murkoth Palke and sensing people's need, he bought 5 acres of land to build a Church at Saverapura.

In 1985, Rev. Fr. Mathias Pereira took charge as the Parish Priest of Paladka and the Chapel construction gained momentum. In the coming years, people through voluntary work, erected the compound wall and dug up the well.

In 1988, on the auspicious occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Paladka Parish, Late Very Rev Bishop Basil S. D’ Souza, the then Bishop of Mangalore Diocese laid the foundation stone for the chapel. Fr. Mathias Pereira was very instrumental in finishing the construction work of the Chapel. The chapel was inaugurated and blessed by Late Bishop Basil D’ Souza on Dec 3, 1991 with Grand Eucharistic Sacrifice at 10:30am. Fr. Mathias Pereira for his noble work is regarded as the “Architect of Saverapura”. There were 42 families in 2 wards namesly, St. Antony and Christ King that belonged to this chapel at that time.

Since then the following Parish Priests of Paladka church used to come to Murkoth Palke chapel for Mass and other pastoral needs.

Fr. Mathias Pereira (1991 – 1994)
Fr. Benjamin Pinto (1994 – 2001)
Fr. Norbert Lobo (2001 – 2008)

When Redemptorist Fathers opened their house in Alangar they began to help out the Paladka Parish Priest in the spiritual needs of the chapel.

In a parish council meeting of Paladka church held on 24th February, 2008, when Fr. Norbert Lobo was the parish priest, it was decided to hand over the chapel to the Redemptorist Fathers. A request was submitted to the Bishop of Mangalore, Most Rev Aloysius Paul D'Souza in this regard. The Bishop in his letter dated April 2008, entrusted to the Redemtporist Fathers the spiritual care of the faithful with all the faculties. Fr. Eugene D’ Silva took over as the priest in charge of Saverapura Chapel in 2008 on the feast of Pentecost. Later Fr. Prem Prakash Dsouza took charge as the Priest in-charge of the Chapel in June 2009 and served till February 2015. In February 2015, Fr. Rakesh Mathias took charge as the Priest in-charge of the Chapel.

The Church has a playground prepared in 2009 for the children and youth to play. Every year in the month of October Sports competitions are held. On Christmas night various cultural programmes are conducted and an open stage was put up for this purpose in February 2010. Yearly retreat helps people to enhance their faith. A grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Fathima inaugurated in February 2010 helps people to show their respect for Mother Mary . A new generator facility was blessed and dedicated to the Church during Christmas 2012.

The annual feast of the Church is celebrated on the 3rd December, on the feast of St. Francis Xavier.

Parish declaration :  

On Sunday, June 7, 2015 on the The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), the Chapel was raised to the Canonical Status of a Parish at the Eucharistic Celebration at 4pm presided over by Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D'Souza, Bishop of Mangalore. Fr. Rakesh Mathias was appointed as the first Parish Priest. St. Francis Xavier Parish, Saverapura, Murkoth Palke is the 116th Parish of the Diocese.

Silver Jubilee Celebration : 

The parish celebrated the Silver Jubilee of foundation of Chapel / Parish and held inauguration of the newly built Parish House by Redemptorist Community of Nithyadhar Nivas, Alangar on 1st August 2017.

At 9.45 a.m. in the morning, Bishop Aloysius Paul D'Souza of Mangalore Diocese along with MLA Abhayachandra Jain inaugurated the newly built road of the church. This was followed by Presbytery inauguration by V. Rev. Fr. Ivel Mendanha, CSsR, Vice-Provincial Superior, Vice Province of Majella, Mumbai.

Bishop Aloysius then blessed the Presbytery and chapel located inside the house.

This was followed by Solemn Jubilee High mass where Bishop Aloysius was the main celebrant and nearly 40 priests of Moodbidri Deanery and many Redemptorist guest priests concelebrated. Parishioners of Saverapura actively participated in the liturgy and gave thanks to the Lord for the fruitful 25 years.

This was followed by a stage programme presided over by Bishop Aloysius Paul. The man responsible for the development of Saverapura, Fr. Eugene D'Silva was honoured with the title "Saverapuracho Suryo".

Parish Priests who have served in the parish:

Rev. Fr. Rakesh Mathias (2015 - 2019)
Rev. Fr. Prem Prakash Cutinha (2019 onwards ... )

- Compiled by Catholic Time Staff

"Saverapuracho Suvaad" - Parish Souvenir published in 2018

Related Links : 

News - Silver Jubilee celebration and Presbytery inauguration at Saverapura Church (Aug 3, 2017)

News - Saverapura Parish comes into being as 116th Parish of Mangalore Diocese (June 7, 2015)

News - Saverapura set to become parish from June 7 (June 6, 2015)

News - St Ignatius Loyola Church, Paladka celebrates Centenary Jubilee (Dec 17, 2013)

Article - History of St Ignatius Loyola Church, Paladka


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