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Home Food for Thought The Konkan Coast History of Mangalore Diocese

History of Mangalore Diocese

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Blessed Fr Joseph Vaz in 1681 mentioned the structure at Bolar serving as a church, then known as the Factory Church. The church was built by the Portuguese when they landed in Mangalore in 1568
The Portuguese under King Diego de Silveira won the battle at Mangalore on January 5, 1568, occupied the city and built factories and godowns for storage of spices. They built the fort of St Sebastian and also the church.
1600  South Kanara   -   Ruled by King of Bednore.
1623   Cathedral Church  - 
Pietro della Valle, the Italian traveller who visited Mangalore in 1623 mentions  of the Holy Rosary at Bolar
1675 - Thomas de Castro 
Pope Clement X appointed Thomas de Castro, a Theatine priest, as the Vicar Apostolic of Canara on 30th August 1675    The ancestors of many Mangalore Christians are Goans who were welcomed by the Hindu rulers of Bednore for their skill in agriculture. Others came to Mangalore to escape the trials of inquisition and also to avoid the constant raids of the Marata rulers.
1680   Milagres   Church, Hampankatta
Rev. Thomas de Castro in the year 1680 on the Inam land gifted by Queen Chennama and the Bednore King at the site of the present cemetery. 
Padroado Conflict
Schism    Instead, they appointed Fr. Joseph Vaz as the Vicar Forane of Canara and he was asked not to submit to Bishop Castro unless he showed the letter of appointment. Fr. Joseph Vaz was a saintly man, worked as a zealous missionary and he submitted to Bishop Castro. Bishop Thomas Castro as the Vicar Apostolic of Canara: The Portuguese supported the mission activity under the Padroado (Protectorate: privileges) in Canara
1756   Milagres Church Hampankatta
Fr Antony Pinto built a new church on the site of the present one in 1756 as the earlier church was too old.
1784  The Captivity (1784-1799)  
During the time of Tippu there were at least 27 Churches and a Seminary in Canara
Cathedral Church   Rosario Church was desecrated and destroyed by Tipu Sultan’s forces in 1784.
Milagres Church Hampankatta  
On February 24, 1784, Ash Wednesday, the soldiers of Tipu Sultan destroyed the Milagres church, the stones of which were used by Tipu to erect the Idgah on Light House Hill, and took many Catholics as captives to Srirangapattana.
1799   End of Captivity 
Amongst those who returned from the captivity was   Mr Lawrence Bello, a baker to the Europeans at Mangalore, who built a chapel on the site of the present church to replace the destroyed church.  Fr Jose Minguel Mendy served in this chapel as the parish priest.
1811 Milagres Church, Hampankatta
In 1811, Fr F.M. Mendez, the Vicar Vara laid the foundation for a spacious building.  The parish priest received a contribution of Rs 600/- from the government with the help of Salvadore Pinto, brother-in-law of Marianne Monteiro and former Munshi under Tipu, and built a new church. 100 years later in 1911, the façade of the church collapsed, and it was decided to demolish the whole building and raise a new one.
1813 Cathedral Church
After the Catholics returned from Srirangapattana from their captivity, they wanted to rebuild the church. The work started in 1813. The English government gave a grant of Rs 4,000/- to rebuild it and also to build the Milagres church.
1815  Most of the Churches were rebuilt.
Msgr Bernadine, a Carmelite, as the Pro-Vicar Apostolic of Mangalore. After him, Bp Michel Antony and Bp Mary Ephrem looked after the spiritual well-being of Mangalore Catholics. All the three Bishops gave special attention in training the local clergy.
Bishop Mary Ephrem
Mary Ephrem was instrumental in bringing the Cloistered Carmel at Kankanady and the Tertiaries (Apostolic Carmel sisters) to Mangalore. Mangalore under the Verapoly Carmelities:
1849 Milagres School.  
Fr Pius Noronha started a primary school in 1849.
1850  Rosario Cathedral
On April 16, 1850, the church was raised to the rank of a Cathedral. Rev. Fr Urban Stein sj, a German, was the first parish priest of the Cathedral (1845–1888).
1865    Urva Parish 
Carved out of the Cathedral Parish.
1858 - Rosario School, Bolar
In 1858, Christian (De-la-Salle) Brothers started St Mary’s School later known as Rosario School which is now a Pre-University College
1859  -  St. Ann's Girls School, Bolar
The Sisters of St Joseph opened a school for girls in 1859 at St Ann’s grounds.  When this congregation shifted to Cannanore, the Apostolic Carmelite Sisters took-over the charge of the school and the place.   In the early 1900s my mother and her sister studied in this school
1878 - The diocese is placed under the Jesuit Mission
Italian Jesuits arrive in Mangalore. Rome studied the situation and handed over the Mangalore mission to the Jesuits of Naples who reached Mangalore on 31st December 1878 under the leadership of Msgr Nicholas Pagani. Two more Jesuits from Bombay joined the original group of six among whom Bishop Pagani, Rev Augustus Muller, Rev Angelo Maffei and Rev Urban Stein are famous. Jesuits in Mangalore
1880  St. Aloysius School
Upper Secondary School meant to prepare students for the Matriculation Examination. Functioning in a single building, it counted on the opening (January 12, 1880) a hundred and fifty students on its rolls and just two teachers (Fr. Jos Willy s.j. and Scholastic Postlewhite s.j.) on its staff
1885 - Monsignor Nicholas Pagani s.j.
On October or November 25, 1885, Msgr Nicholas Maria Pagani was consecrated as Bishop at Cathedral .  St Joseph's Seminary, St Aloysius College, Fr Muller's Hospital, St Joseph's Workshop, Codialbail Press and orphanages were established by him
1880 - 1930 Mr. John Manuel Castelino, the father of my mother,  was the head master of this School.  Later he founded the Cathllic Bank, Catholic Club and Roman Catholic Provident Fund  and was generally known as Castilen Mistry, under whom many priests and men were educated and they fondly remembered him.  He died in 1945.
1887 - The Diocese of Mangalore
January 25, 1887, Mangalore was declared an independent diocese,  Until now, it was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Verapoly.   St. Joseph's Seminary was Inter Diocesan, training the priests of other dioceses besides Mangalore.
1888 - Kulur Parish, carved out of Cathedral Parish. 
1907  - Milargres School added more classes up to III form, - 8th Standard.
1908  - St. Aloysius School
In the twenty-eighth year, it came to have a Primary Section tagged on to its Middle School Department.
1910 Cathedral Church
In 1910, Rev. Fr H.I. Buzzoni sj,  the  parish priest, demolished the structure of the old Cathedral and  commenced the work  of erecting  the present day spacious and beautiful church worthy of the status of a Cathedral.  Bro. Divo sj was the architect of the Cathedral. This is the only church in the diocese with a magnificent dome crowning the spacious sanctuary. The Cross on the dome of the Cathedral was lit every night serving as a beacon to the sea-farers
The mortal remains of Rt Rev. Mary Ephrem, the last vicar Apostolic before the erection of the Mangalaore Diocese and the Rt Rev. Bishop Nicholas Maria Pagani sj, were interred in this cathedral.  The mortal remains of Bishop Basil S. D’Souza were also interred in this Cathedral in 1996.
1910 - Bishop Paul Perini, s.j. 
Bshop Paul Perini sj, the  second and last Jesuit Bishop, was consecrated on December 4, 1910
1911 Milagres Church Hampankatta
Fr S. Frank Pereira erected the present magnificent church in 1911, with Fr Diamanti sj of the  Jeppu Seminary  as its architect.
1914 - Bendore Parish - Carved out of Cathedral Parish
1923 - First Indian Bishop
Pope Pius XI divided the Diocese in 1923 and appointed Fr Valerian D'Souza, one trained in St Joseph's Seminary, as the first native Bishop on February 28, 1928.
1924 Cathedral Parish
The main altar was consecrated by Bishop Perini on April 3, 1924 when he was the Administrator Apostolic. Fr H.I. Buzzoni also erected  a belfry tower and installed four  bells imported from Italy.
1931 - Bishop Victor R. Fernandes
Born 1881. Ordained priest 1910.  Primary education and Sunday Catechism   were his highest priorities.  Data: (16 May 1931 Appointed - 4 Jan 1956 Died)
Bishop Fernandes founded the diocesan communities of Olivet Brothers for men and, Ursulines, Bethany Sisters for girls.
1934 - I was born in Catholic Bank Building, now demolished, in front of Milagres Church, Hampankatta. Baptised in the same church, and received first communion and confirmation too, in the same church.
1935 - Cascia Parish, carved out of Cathedral Parish
1940 - 19748  studied in Milagres School, Hampankatta.
1944 Milagres School
In 1944 Fr Francis Pinto added a new building 
1949 - Milagres School was upgraded to High School 
1955 Bishop Basil Peris
1956 appointed. 1958 died.
1956 Milagres Church Hampankatta
The spacious portico was added in 1956 by Fr Albert V. D’Souza, later the Archbishop of Calcutta. The main altar has the privileged status, Altare Privilegiatum.
1958 Bishop Raymond D'Mello
Born 1907 in Kirem, Ordained: 1937. 1959 ordained as Bishop of Mangalore 1964 Appointed Bishop of Allahabad Died in 1971.
1959  Bishop Basil D'Souza
Born in Bondel in 1926. Ordained a priest in 1952. Ordained a Bishop in 1965. Died 1996
1980 St. Aloysius School
Now, in the centenary year, the world of St Aloysius College includes in its grand sweep a First Grade Day College, a First Grade Evening College, a High School, an Evening High School, a Higher Primary School (or Middle School) and a College of Business Administration. Having nineteen buildings of its own (including among others the Centenary Commemoration Building the College Students' Recreation Centre, the old Academy Hall, the College Auditorium, two workshops, the buildings served as Staff Quarters for a good number of the College teachers, three blocks of the former "Down College" providing residential accommodation for quite a few Middle School teachers and other employees, the three hostels and the former Boarding House where the vocationalised courses are currently held) the College now counts 4,591 students on the rolls of the several institutions in its fold (as against the original number of 150 students) and 148 teachers (as against the original number of two teachers)!
1982 Milagres School
Upgraded as the P.U.College on 1982.
1996 Bishop Aloysius D'Souza
Becomes Bishop of Mangalore. Born in 1941 in Agrar and ordained priest in 1966 and Ordained bishop in 1996
2004 St. Aloysius School
125th anniversary of the founding
For more details on the diocese


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