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Home Food for Thought The Konkan Coast St.Fidelis Friary, Monte Mariano, Farangipet

St.Fidelis Friary, Monte Mariano, Farangipet

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Monte mariano churchA dilapidated chapel dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and a tottering old building, which once belonged to the Portuguese Franciscans, was standing on the little hillock, called Monte Mariano, at Farangipet. The buildings with the adjoining compound were placed by the Bishop of Mangalore at the disposal of the Capuchins for the purpose of the novitiate house when they came to Farangipet in May 1930. The chapel was repaired and on its side was constructed the novitiate block. Until 1969, this was the only novitiate house of the Capuchins in India.Aseraphic school was also attached to it until 1949. The novitiate for the non-clerical friars was shifted to Muvattupuzha (Kerala) in 1963. The Junior Professorium was conducted at Monte Mariano from 1966-70 for the non-clerical friars. After the erection of the new Province, the novitiate was brought back to Farangipet in 1973 and has continued to be there to date. In June 1978, the Initiation Course located at St. Fidelis Ashram, Lucknow, Mahanagar, on an experimental basis since June 1973, was once again shifted to Monte Mariano.

The gradual increase in the number of vocations in the Province since 1987 and the need for providing accommodation for the candidates of St. Fidelis Vice-Province erected in the North in September 1981, made it necessary to take up the construction of a new block in 1982.

Presently, though the formation of the novices is the main ministry of the friars at Monte Mariano, they also render pastoral service to the parishes around. To mark the Golden Jubilee of the friary, St. Fidelis Commerce Institute with about 100 students was started in May 1982 in a rented building. The proposal for a new building to accommodate the increasing number of students of the commerce institute and the tailoring section was approved in August 1982. The building completed in 1987 now houses about 100 students.

St.Anne's Friary, Mangalore
St.anne'sThe place, originally known as "Lawn View" and measuring 45 cents, belonged to Mr. George Lobo, a retired jailor.He gifted the place and his house to the Capuchins in May 1936, in memory of his deceased wife, Mrs. Annie Lobo. Hence the friary is named after St. Anne. Earlier the house was used as a centre for Franciscan gatherings. A hall was erected for this purpose in 1937, which served also as a chapel and eventually became the Portiuncula, dedicated to Our Lady of Angels. In 1941 the house of Mr. George Lobo was declared a hospice attached to St. Fidelis Friary, Farangipet. Some friars started staying here for the purpose of doing social work and other pastoral ministry in the town. A shrine of St. Anthony was constructed at the corner of the triangle during the same year.

Since Mr. George Lobo was still living in one of the rooms of his old house and the friars needed privacy, a temporary residence was constructed behind the shrine of St.Anthony in 1943. In 1950, after the death of Mr. George Lobo, the temporary residence was demolished and the old house of Mr. Lobo was re-modeled and the chapel was enlarged. For the purpose of promoting vocations to the Order, the Assisi House was started in 1955 in a small rented building. The compound, measuring about 2 acres, adjoining the friary and known as 'Grasmere', which belonged to Mr. P.C. Lobo, the brother of Mr. George Lobo, was acquired in 1960 and the Assisi House was shifted to its present premises.

The old house constructed by Mr. George Lobo at Lawn View and which had housed the friars for more than 25 years, having become inconvenient for habitation, was demolished in 1977 and on the same site the new friary was constructed and completed in 1979. The students ofPUCwere accommodated in the Friary from 1979 to 1983.

In 1983 the PUC students were shifted to the Assisi House which itself was rebuilt in the year 1967 to accommodate the increasing number of boys studying in Assisi House. From 1987 Assisi House looked after only capuchin candidates who did their PUC studies. In August 1999, Postulancy ofKGMwas shifted toAssisi House.

The friary has many initiatives to its credit. In early 1950's, under the leadership of Fr. Cyril Andrade the S.F.O. apostolate began in Mangalore. Later, under the leadership of Fr. Vincent Lobo, the S.F.O. ministry thrived in Mangalore diocese. In 1943 the Konkani Natak Sabha started by Fr. GeorgeAlbuquerque Pai S.J. was transferred to the Capuchins of St. Anne's Friary. Fr. Cyril Andrade became its president. By 1951, under the leadership of Fr. Philip Neri, a good Hall, named Don Bosco, was built and to-date the Capuchins direct the sociocultural activities of the K.N.S. Some years later, Fr. Vincent Lobo started the Konkani family monthly magazine, "Sevak" which saw its first issue in September 1959. He also started Assisi Press in 1970 as a landmark in the media apostolate of the Province.

The friars are now engaged in varied forms of apostolate: preaching, spiritual assistance to the S.F.O., promoting vocations, apostolate of the press and the stage.

Holy Family Friary, Brahmavar
BrahmavarparishBrahmavar has a special prominence in the history of the diocese of Mangalore because of the schism, which took place in 1887. The priests in charge of the parish at Brahmavar had worked zealously for the reunion of movement and to render pastoral assistance to the diocesan clergy in the Northern part of the diocese. The Bishop of Mangalore however entrusted the pastoral care of the parish, along with the two substations Petre and Nilavar to the Capuchins on 15April 1956. They completed the plastering and flooring of the Church, which along the new belfry was blessed inApril 1961.

The fraternity at Brahmavar was canonically erected on 28 February 1960. The friary building was completed and blessed on 19 December 1966.Anew church was erected at Petre through the efforts of the friars and by 1968, Petre was separated from Brahmavar as an independent parish, now cared for by the diocesan clergy. The chapel at Nilavar was built in 1967. While taking good care of the Brahmavar parish, the friars also render sacramental ministry to the neighbouring parishes, give spiritual assistance to the SFO, preach retreats and recollections to various religious and lay groups and promote vocations to the Order.

Deena Seva Ashram, Bangalore
Deena seva ashramIn 1965 the friars went in search of a place for a friary in Bangalore at Kengeri. The present site at the Valagerehalli was bought in 1968. The construction of a friary was begun in 1971 and it was blessed and declared a canonically erected house in 1974.

In 1976 an additional block was constructed with self-contained rooms for the sick and aged friars. When the Orientation Course had to be shifted here from Monte Mariano in June 1980, the construction of an additional floor was taken up. In 1981 the common study houses of the four jurisdictions were wound up in favour of regionalization and inculturation. The Provincial Chapter accordingly decided to conduct the entire programme of formation of our candidates from Orientation to Theology in our own province. Deena SevaAshram thus became the major study house for students of Philosophy and Theology and Professorium Brothers from June 1981. The Orientation Course was shifted from Bangalore to Navelim.

As the number of the students of Philosophy steadily increased it was found necessary to shift the Theologate to Kripalaya, Mysore, in the year 1985. Deena Seva Ashram became the institute of philosophy and religion. Meanwhile the bishop requested that it be made a quasiparish so as to meet the pastoral requirements of the people around especially those who steadily came to settle down in the near-by satellite town. The Capuchins took diligent care of this parish until a new parish church was built in the Kengeri Satellite Town and the Archbishop appointed a diocesan priest as the pastor in July 2002.

At Deena Seva Ashram a new auditorium was blessed on August 31, 1997. A new Chapel, Library and Dining Hall was constructed to accommodate increasing number of students.

The provincial chapter of April 2007 took a historical decision to shift the present philosophate at Deena Seva Ashram to Kripalaya, Bogadi, Mysore and the theologate at Kripalaya to Deena Seva Ashram Bangalore, keeping in mind the concept of Campus Theology and also to promote the activities of Darshan Research Institute. The mutual transfer of houses took place on June 25, 2007. The theologate was re-christened as 'Darshan Institute of Theology".



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