Description: The Diocese of Mangalore embraces the entire Districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kasargod Taluk. It is bounded on the north by the diocese of Karwar, on the south by the Diocese of Kannur, on the east by the Diocese of Chikmagalur, Shimoga and Mysore, and on the west by the Arabian Sea. It is 241 km in length, about 40 km. broad in its narrowest and 80.3 km its widest part. It lies between 12°4'15" and 13°58'30" north latitude, and 74°43'26" and 75°44' 31" east longitude.

History: The earliest record of the introduction of Christianity into this region refers to the close of the XV century, Whether Christianity was introduced here prior to that period, we are without date to go by. If conjectures and inferences may avail aught, it may not be improbable that some knowledge of Christianity was brought to this region as early as the first century of the Christian Era. The Syro-Malabar Christians maintain that Christianity was preached to them in the first century, and it is probable that this knowledge was not restricted exclusively to their own coast, but that it did penetrate into the northern sea-board as well. However that may be, it is certain that Christianity was preached on this coast towards the end of the XV century. For evidence is not wanting to show that between the years 1498 and 1505 several priests, Fransciscans and of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy, worked in Cannanore and Calicut, at which latter place not a few even laid down their lives for Christ and His religion, at the hands of the pagan inhabitants.

By the beginning of the XVI century the Portuguese succeeded in opening settlements in Kanara, and with these settlements there came also Missionaries into the country. In 1510 Albuquerque conquered Goa, and this made it easy for the Portuguese to send reinforcements of Missionaries to the existing stations in Kanara, and also to advance the work of evangelization. To these settlements, several local Christians from Goa migrated. The local rulers were only too glad to welcome them as permanent settlers, as they were known to be good and industrious cultivators. By the middle of the XVI century we already find a sufficiently large community of Christians from Goa at a place known as Barcelore, four miles from Coondapoor. In 1526 a band of Fransciscan Missionaries opened a mission in Mangalore, and in 1570 Fr Vincent, who was at the time the Provincial of the Jesuits in Goa, sent thither a fresh batch of Missionaries.

The Archbishop of Goa exercised his jurisdiction over the coast at this time. On December 3rd, 1609, Pope Paul V extended his jurisdiction along the coast as far as Dharmattam.

The dawn of the XVII century saw the Portuguese influence in India on the wane. The English and the Dutch were engaged in continual strife for supremacy in India. The Marattas, availing themselves of the disturbed conditions, carried on untrammelled and unchecked their policy of plunder and rapine. Life became unsafe, and property insecure. The mission lost the support of the civil power, and several of the Missionaries were recalled to Goa. Deprived of Missionaries the country soon fell into a state of spiritual destitution. To make matters worse the Archiepiscopal See of Goa fell vacant and remained so for nearly twenty years. Father Andrew Gomez, an Indian priest, was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Kanara, but he died before the Bull of his nomination reached him, and things remained as they were.

In 1674 on the representation of the Carmelite Missionaries of Verapoly, the Holy See appointed Father Thomas de Castro, a Theatine Indian Priest, Vicar Apostolic of Kanara and Malabar. In 1681, when Mgr. Thomas de Castro was Vicar Apostolic of Kanara. Blessed Father Joseph Vaz came to Kanara and worked in it for four years with great apostolic zeal and tact. On the 16th July 1684, Bishop de Castro died, leaving his Vicar General to administer the Vicariate. In 1700 on the death of the Vicar General, Kanara was once again placed under Goa.

The period from 1784 to 1799 forms a sad page in the history of the Christians of Kanara. On 30th January 1784, the English Commander surrendered to the forces of Tippu Sultan. Tippu Sultan, enraged as he was against the Christians, gave secret orders to his Commanders to seize every one of the Christians in the country and lead them captive to his capital. It was on the fateful night of Ash Wednesday, February 24th, 1784 that the cruel orders were carried out, and several thousands of the Christians from all over the country, presumably the great majority of them, were led captive to Seringapatam. The history of their captivity is sad and gloomy. It may well be compared to the Egyptian bondage. Large numbers of them succumbed to the hard treatment given them, and larger still to the fell diseases so very common in all ill-kept, ill-fed and ill-cared for camps of prisoners. The survivors were driven at the point of the sword forcibly to undergo the Islamic rite. In 1799 Seringapatam capitulated to the English; and with this ended the captivity of our Christians.

Portugal was now distracted by internal troubles which produced a state of confusion also in the Missions of Kanara. This state of affairs lasted till 1838, when Pope Gregory XVI authorised the Vicar Apostolic of Verapoly to exercise jurisdiction over Kanara. This arrangement, however, did not fully meet with the desired effect, and factions continued still.

In 1840 the Catholics of Mangalore sent up a Memorial to the Holy See, in which they urged that Kanara should be constituted into a separate and independent Vicariate, as that was the only way of bringing peace to Kanara. After a lapse of five years, On 12th May 1845, the Holy See in answer to the Memorial appointed Bishop Bernardine of St. Agnes, a Carmelite, Pro-Vicar Apostolic of Mangalore, with jurisdiction over Kanara and North Malabar as far as the Ponnani river, and also over Coorg and that portion of the Nagar Division lying west of the Tungabadra river. Though constituted into a Pro-Vicariate, was still continued to be part of the Vicariate of Verapoly.

In 1850 Coorg and the part of the Nagar division were ceded to the Fathers of the Society of foreign Missions, Paris.

In 1852 Bishop Bernardine left Mangalore for Rome, and on 15th March 1853 Kanara was entirely separated from Verapoly and formed into a Vicariate with Bishop Michael Antony of St. Louis, a Carmelite, as Vicar Apostolic.

In 1863 an attempt was made at a settlement between the jurisdictions of the Archbishop of Goa and of the Vicar Apostolic of Kanara. A Commission composed of representatives of the Holy See and the King of Portugal settled the question of boundaries between Goa and Kanara. By this arrangement the whole of North Kanara with the exception of a few parishes was given to the Vicariate of Mangalore, and to Goa were assigned a few parishes in South Kanara.

In 1870 Bishop Michael Antony resigned his charge and was succeeded On 3rd January of the same year by Bishop Mary Ephrem who governed the Vicariate up to 10th April 1873. On his death, Father Paul Joseph Vidal of the Sacred Heart of Jesus became Pro-Administrator of the Vicariate.

On 24th March 1876, the Vicariate 'was placed once again under Verapoly and Father Victor of St. Antony was appointed Pro-Administrator Apostolic.

The unsettled condition which had seriously hampered the spiritual and temporal well-being of the region happily ended on 27th September 1879 when the Holy See freed Kanara from inter-dependence on the neighbouring rule and assigned it to the care of the Jesuit Province of Venice. Father Nicholas Maria Pagani, S. J. was appointed Pro-Vicar Apostolic of Kanara. On 21st February 1885, Kanara was erected into a Vicariate and its Pro-Vicar raised to the dignity of Bishop of Tricomium and Vicar Apostolic of Kanara. Bishop Nicholas Pagani was consecrated in Mangalore on 25th October 1885.
A year later, on 23rd June 1886, the settlement of boundaries between Goa and Mangalore arrived at in the Commission of March 5th 1863 was revised, Mangalore parting with the whole of North Kanara in favour of Goa, and the latter ceding to Mangalore its eleven parishes in South Kanara. By this arrangement the Mangalore Mission was freed from the evils of double jurisdiction and became a compact homogeneous unit.

On 1st September 1886, Pope Leo XIII established the Indian Hierarchy, and it was officially proclaimed in a Council of the Bishops of Southern India, held in Bangalore on 25th January 1887. In virtue of this Hierarchy, Mangalore ceased to be a Vicariate and took its place on the Indian Hierarchy as the Diocese of Mangalore, and its Vicar Apostolic became Bishop of Mangalore.

Bishop Pagani died On April 30th 1895, after a strenuous life of seventeen years spent for the Diocese. It was in his time and under his care that the foundation was laid of the great Institutions: St. Aloysius' College,
St. Joseph's Asylum at Jeppoo, Father Muller's Charitable Institutions at Kankanady, the Printing Press and the Roman Catholic Provident Fund.

On 2nd December 1895 Mgr. Abundius Cavadini, S. J., succeeded to the See of Mangalore. He was consecrated on June 28, 1896 at Bergamo, in Italy. He administered the Diocese for weIl-nigh fifteen years during which time the progress set on foot grew apace. He died on 26th March 1910, and on 17th August of the same year Mgr. Paul Perini, S. J., was appointed his successor.

Mgr. Paul Perini, S. J., was consecrated in Mangalore on December 4, 1910. Thirteen years of his government saw many developments. The Seminary which so far had been engaged principally in training clerics for the Diocese now threw open its doors to other Dioceses, with the result that to-day there are in it over a two hundred students hailing from more than a 30 Dioceses and Religious Congregations. Several Missionary Stations with resident priests were opened with a view to lead back the erring schismatics to the bosom of the Church and to preach the Gospel to the heathen. Extensive parishes were divided and new ones created, thus giving Catholics greater facilities. Elementary education was much encouraged and supported and, not the least of all, an Association was formed for the benefit of the laity in order to train them to social work among their own. It is not too much to say hat there never was an enterprise, whether lay or clerical, public or private, but was sincerely encouraged and heartily supported by him. His services to the Diocese were graciously acknowledged by the Holy Father Pope Pius XI who was pleased to confer upon him the title of Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, Domestic Prelate and Count of the Holy Roman Church.

By an Apostolic Brief "Cum auctus fidelium grex" of 12th June 1923, the Diocese of Mangalore was divided by separating from it the District of Malabar which was formed into a new Diocese called the Diocese of Calicut, and
Mgr. Paul Perini, S. J., was appointed its first Bishop.

By this arrangement the now restricted Diocese of Mangalore was entrusted to its own Clergy, and Fr. Joseph Pais, was nominated Titular Bishop of Isaura and Administrator Apostolic of Mangalore. Fr. Joseph Pais, however, declined to accept the appointment, and consequently the See remained vacant, On 13th October 1923 the Holy See appointed Mgr. Paul Perini, S. J., Bishop of Calicut, Administrator Apostolic of the Diocese of Mangalore.

In 14th January 1928 the Holy See nominated the Rev. Fr. Valerian J. D'Souza, a member of the local clergy, Bishop of Mangalore. He took charge of the diocese on 11th March 1928.

Mgr. D'Souza was consecrated on 15th April, 1928 in the Cathedral Church of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, by Mgr. Paul Perini, S.J., Bishop of Calicut assisted by Mgr. J. Faisandier, S. J., Bishop of Trichinopoly and Mgr. F. T. Roche, S. J., Bishop of Tuticorin.

Bishop Valerian J. D’Souza (1928-30)

He was elected Bishop when he was the Chancellor & the Secretary to Bishop Paul Perini S.J. He was the first, Diocesan Indian Bishop. He was ordained Bishop at Rosario Cathedral on 15.4.1928, by Bishop Paul Perini S.J. He went to Ireland to his sister's place at Waterford where he underwent a surgery, during which he died, on 14th August 1930. His mortal remains are interred in Rosario Cathedral on 29th Sept. 1930. He was 46 when he died.

Bishop Victor Rosario Fernandes (1931-1955)

He was the Vicar Capituler & Procurator of the Diocese when he was elected Bishop. In his 24 years of tenure, he brought about many changes and many translations of devotional books, Catechism books, all church registers records were printed. He brought about uniformity in the administration of parishes, created 40 new parishes and he brought about lot of discipline among the clergy and the faithful. He died on 4.1.1955. His mortal remains laid to rest in Rosario Cathedral.

Bishop Basil S. T. Peres (1955-1958)

When he was a Parish Priest of Bendur, he was elected as Condjutor Bishop of Mangalore. He was ordained Bishop by Bishop Victor Fernandes in Rosario Cathedral. He succeeded Bishop Victor Fernandes. On his journey to Rome by Ship, he died on 28.4.1958. His remains were buried in Rosario Cathedral. He was known for his humane qualities.

Bishop Raymond D'Mello (1959-1964)

He was born in Kirem Parish. Ordained Priest for Allahabad Diocese. When he was a Vicar General, he was chosen Bishop of Mangalore. He was filled with missionary zeal as he was a missionary in North India. He was transferred to Allahabad in 1964. He passed away on 24.11.1971.

Bishop Basil S. D'Souza (1965-1996)

He was a native of Bondel. He was the Manager of Schools & Kodialbail Press when he was elected Bishop. He was ordained Bishop by Archbishop James Knox, Nuncio to India. He governed this Diocese for 31 years. He implemented the Renewal as per Vatican II Council.
He brought about a total change in the life of the Diocese. Vernacular was introduced in Liturgy, N. T. was printed in Konkany. All the liturgical books were translated in Konkany. The Churches, Convents, Schools, Institutions increased in number and quality. He ordained Bishop Aloysius Paul D'souza as his auxiliary as a crowning act of his episcopacy. His end came all of a sudden on 5.9.1996. Burial took place in Rosario Cathedral on 9.9.1996.

Bishop Aloysius Paul D'Souza (1996 - )

He was the first Diocesan Rector of St. Joseph's Seminary when he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Mangalore. He has qualities of head and heart. He encourages every venture that has orientation to the total progress of people. He has campaigned to help poor people to have a shelter, education, employment and good health. Due to his efforts there are 2 medical colleges, one Engineering College, many educational centres and new parishes and religious communities. He brought out first Konkanni Bible under the diocesan propriety and so also a NT in pocket edition.

on 16.07.2012 the Holy Father decreed erection of the new Diocese Udupi and appointed Most Rev Gerald Isaac Lobo as the First Bishop of Udupi Diocese.  Thanks to Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza for his continued efforts in the erection of the new Diocese, which is carved out from the Diocese of Mangalore.  It comprises of the entire civil district of Udupi.  It has 48 parishes and three shrines  namely, St Lawrence, Karkal Attur, St. Antony, Kerekatte and Stella Maris, Kalmady.  Our Lady of Miracles Church, Kallianpur is declared as the Cathedral and Bishop Gerald will take canonical

Comments   

0 #1 Yashwanth 2012-11-06 18:07
Mangalore Diocese has great history, its interesting.
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