SACRED HEART CHURCH, KOLALGIRI
The Sacred Heart Church, Kolalgiri is situated at a distance of 68 kms from Mangalore and 11 kms from Udupi and about 4.8 kms from Kallianpur. It is surrounded by Brahmavar, Petri and Perampalli Parishes.
Originally, Kolalgiri was a part of the Milagres Church, Kallianpur. In 1887, majority of the Catholics of Kolalgiri had joined schismatic church of Brahmavar. In 1907, Fr Sebastian Noronha, parish priest of the Milagres Church started a school at Kolalgiri and by educating the children he succeeded in getting back their parents, about 61 families, to the Catholic fold.
In 1915, Fr Aloysius J. D’Souza of Kallianpur opened a Mission Centre at Kolalgiri and appointed Fr Sebastian (Sabas) Joachim Fernandes, his assistant to work at this place. Fr Sebastian Fernandes started St Francis Xavier School in 1915 which became a Higher Primary School in 1923. He also built a school building at Perampalli in 1920. In 1921 Kolalgiri mission was removed from the jurisdiction of Kallianpur and Fr Sebastian Fernandes became its first chaplain. He constructed the Sacred Heart Church building in 1925 and a parochial house in 1930. He converted a large number of schismatic families of Catholic faith. He was transferred to Brahmavar in 1935.
Bishop Victor R. Fernandes declared Kolalgiri as an independent parish on 16 May 1935 with Fr Albert V. D’Souza, who later became the Archbishop of Calcutta, as its first parish priest. Fr Albert V. D’Souza started two elementary schools at Ammunje and Belmar. Fr Harold D’Souza became the parish priest in 1953 and constructed the belfry and the Lourdes Grotto. It was during his tenure as the parish priest of Kolalgiri, on 7 October 1958, Perampalli was delimited from Kolalgiri and a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima was built there. Fr Isidore Noronha (1974-1982) provided benches and electrified the church at Kolalgiri. He also added two more classrooms to the existing school building at Ammunje and invited the nuns of the Queen of Apostles who opened their convent here.
Fr. William Menezes took charge as the parish priest of Kolalgiri on 29 May 1996. He started the Small Christian Communities (SCC) in parish wards in 1997. The parish bulletin-‘Kalzachi Kirna’ was published on 3 February 1999. As there was a need for a spacious hall, Fr. William Menezes constructed the Sauharda Community Hall that was inaugurated on 22 May 2000.
Following the transfer of Fr. William Menezes to Fr. Muller’s Hospital, Mangalore on 29 May 2000, Fr. Joseph Lobo took charge as the parish priest of Kolalgiri.
During the tenure of Fr. Joseph Lobo, the Secular Franciscan Order was started on 27 February 2002. A booklet on the life of Late Msgr Sebastian (Sabas) Fernandes was released on 25 May 2002.
On the transfer of Fr. Joseph Lobo to the Bishop’s House, Mangalore, Fr. Jerome Monteiro was appointed as the next parish priest of Kolalgiri on 31 May 2002. Fr. Jerome Monteiro provided benches in the church for the convenience of the people in July 2002. He also opened the Sacred Heart Play School and LKG English Medium School on 1 June 2005. Fr. Jerome Monteiro got the church building renovated as the Platinum Jubilee Memorial of the first chapel built in Kolalgiri. The renovated church was inaugurated and blessed by Bishop Aloysius P. D’Souza of Mangalore on 16 April 2008. The ICYM Unit of Kolalgiri celebrated its Silver Jubilee on 5 July 2009.
The Grotto constructed at the entrance of the church in honour of St. Antony and sponsored by Mrs. Clotilda Rodrigues and Mrs. Nirmala D’Souza was inaugurated and blessed on 8 September 2009. The Platinum Jubilee of the first chapel at Kolalgiri was celebrated on 13 April 2010 in the presence of Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius P. D’Souza.
As Fr. Jerome Monteiro was transferred to Kuntalnagar Parish on 25 May 2010, Fr. Sylvester D’Costa was appointed as the next parish priest of Kolalgiri.
On 23 April 2011, the open air stage built by the ICYM Unit in memory of its Silver Jubilee was inaugurated by Raghupati Bhat, MLA of Udupi.
Fr Edwin D’Souza was appointed as the parish priest of Kolalgiri on 8 June 2011 as Fr Sylvester D’Costa was transferred to Vamadapadavu.
Kolalgiri Parish became a part of the Udupi Diocese on 15 October 2012 with the bifurcation of the then Mangalore Diocese. Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo became the first Bishop of the Udupi Diocese.
Cashew and mango plantation was done to increase the greenery in the church campus and also to improve the economy of the parish.
On 8 May 2013, Fr. Wilfred Sylvester Frank, OCD was appointed as the parish priest of Kolalgiri. Fr Edwin D’Souza was transferred to Kuntalnagar. The Kolalgiri Parish was placed under the Carmelite Priests for the spiritual and pastoral care.
A new sacristy, a counseling room and a guest room were constructed in the church campus. These facilities were inaugurated by Pramod Madhvaraj, Minister for Fisheries, Youth Affairs and Sports on 27 September 2016. Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo blessed the new building. The project was materialized with the financial aid from the Minority Department, Government of Karnataka. In the same year the Golden Jubilee of St Vincent De Paul Society was celebrated and the Grotto in honour of Our Lady of Velankanni was blessed by Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo. In February 2017, benches with kneelers were added to the church.
The Silver Jubilee of the Catholic Sabha, Kolalgiri Unit was celebrated on 2 February 2017. In memory of the event, a bus stand was constructed near Kolalgiri.
Other projects undertaken during the year 2016-2017 included: Areca nut plantation in the church campus; renovation of the mini hall; construction of toilets near the church; installation of new 10 KVA generator; celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of the Sacred Heart High School; and starting of the Play School in St. Francis Xavier School.
Fr (Dr) Prakash Anil Castelino was appointed as the Parochial Administrator of Kolalgiri on 14 July 2017 as the Carmelite Priests handed over the mission of Kolalgiri back to the Diocese of Udupi. Fr Wilfred Frank, OCD was transferred to Londa in Belgaun.
Ten ceiling fans donated by Francis D’Souza were installed in the church on 21 June 2017. The cemetery renovation work and leveling the ground in front of the hall was started on 22 June 2018. Ground in front of the Sauharda Community Hall was leveled by extracting laterite stones. 15,000 stones were given to the Pastoral Institute at the cost of the excavation and 800 stones were given for the renovation of the cemetery of the Mount Rosary Church, Santhekatte-Kallianpur.
On 1 May 2019, the sound system and sound mixer in the church was upgraded. To save electricity and to increase brightness, LED lights were added in the church.
A new Grotto dedicated to Mother Mary was inaugurated and blessed by Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo on 14 December 2019. This Grotto was constructed by the youth of the parish in memory of the International Year of the Youth (2019).
The renovated cemetery was blessed by Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo on 14 December 2019. The Renovation work was carried out with the help of Government Subsidy obtained through the Department for the Welfare of the Minorities at a cost of Rs. 29.00 lakhs, Rs. 23.00 lakhs being the subsidy from the government. Toilet, water and road facilities were added while renovating the cemetery. On 1 December 2019, Medical Fund was started to cater emergency medical needs of the parishioners.
During March- June of 2020, Covid-19 relief work was carried out to help 200 families. In accordance with the plan of the Udupi Diocese, a house was renovated at Kilanje Farari at an estimated cost of Rs. 4.00 lakhs. Jerry Vincent Dias, donated Rs. 3.00 lakhs. Rest of the amount was raised through donations.
A compound wall was built in May 2020 at an estimated cost of Rs. 16.00 lakhs. Department for the Welfare of the Minorities, Government of Karnataka sanctioned a grant of Rs. 10.00 lakhs. CCTVs were installed in and around the church for security reasons on 1 June 2020 at a cost of Rs. 2 lakhs. St. Francis Xavier School was merged with the Sacred Heart School, Ammunje. On 28 October 2020, the Sacred Heart statue at the main tower of the church was installed.
Dining hall with an area of 4,000 square feet was added to the Sauharda Community Hall which was renovated and opened to the public after the inauguration and blessing on the feast of the Holy Family on 28 December 2020. The renovation was carried out at an estimated cost of Rs. 19.00 lakhs.
The dilapidated house of Peter D’Souza at Narnad, Kolalgiri was renovated at the cost of Rs. 2.17 lakhs and handed over to him on 24 December 2020.
Land Records of the Kolalgiri Parish were set right on 7 January 2021 and the RTC title was allotted to the church as “Sacred Heart Church, Kolalgiri”
A new house was constructed for Mrs. Benna D’Souza and her family at Narnad, Kolalgiri at an estimated cost of Rs. 9.00 lakhs with the help from Sampada, Udupi Diocese, St Vincent De Paul Society, Kolalgiri Unit, ward people and donors. The house was handed over to the beneficiaries on 26 April 2021.
During the months of April, May and June 2021, Covid 19 relief work was carried out during the second wave.
On 1 May 2021, Fr. Prakash Anil Castelino was appointed as the parish priest of the Sacred heart Church, Kolalgiri.