Bellary Diocese

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Parishes & Convents » Parishes and Convents » Parishes & Convents

BELLARY FORT: Sacred Heart Church [1902]

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: Sacred Heart Church

: 1902

: Sacred Heart Church

: 315

: 84

: Sacred Heart Church, Fort, Ballari– 583104

: 08392 -268768

: Ballari

: Fr. Charles D’Souza

: 9449558440

: Mr. D. Arogya Dass Sundar

: Mrs. Rufina Bragnza

: Altar Servers &Youth Association

: 7:30 am & 5:30 pm on Sundays

: 6:30 am on Mon, Tue,& Wed

:5:30 pm on Thu, Fri. &Sat



A brief history of the parish:

The Church building (Garrison Chapel) was built in 1807 by the Madras Govt.The earliest documents in the parish show that this parish seems to have been established in 1837 by Mill Hill Fathers. There was a small Catholic community, comprising mostly of Europeans, Eurasians and others at the beginning of eighteenth century in Fort area the Garrison in Bellary. Later it was handed over to Fr. Patrick Doyle for the purpose of worship on 26 Feb. 1877.

The present St. John’s School in Fort, then St. Pancras European School was started in Cantonment in the year 1860. Unfortunately, due to lack of priests and the religious St. Pancras European School was closed down. The old St. John’s building was opened on 26 Feb. 1913. It was designed by Mr. J. Ingle and the boarding was erected on 28 June 1913. It was shifted to the present location on 25 July 1913 as per the slab on the wall of the building.

After the Mill Hill Fathers, the Bellary Mission was entrusted to the Franciscan Friars in 1928.  Fr. John Forest Hogan, later gave independent charge of the institution to Msgr. Joseph Pinto. His tenure as the Principal of the only High School in Rayalseema then, said to be the golden era in the annuls of St. John’s. Great leaders like late Mr. Rajashekar Reddy, the CM of Andhra Pradesh was the alumni of St. John’s. Msgr. Pinto was the principal upto 1962. During his time, a hostel building was put up, on which Fr. Anthony Kuttiany built the first floor in 1980. In 1968 the parish and the school were entrusted to the Jesuits for the period of 10 years.  In 1978, the parish and the school was taken by the diocesan priests, Fr. Anthony Kutiany was the first diocesan priest to serve there.  During his time, St. John’s was raised to the status of Composite Junior College.

As per the church records, the beautiful background and the altar were imported from Germany, which was renovated by Msgr. J. Pinto in 1962 and again by Fr. Philip C. in 1997.  A new church was planned by late Fr. John Y. S.  After his sudden demise, Fr. Vincent O. continued the construction of the new church, school building and the boarding in 2004, which was blessed by late Bishop Joseph D’ Silva. For better administration, the parish and school were separated in June 2009. As the old college building was in a dilapidated condition, it was demolished and a new structure was built when Fr. Thomas Michaelwas the Manager. Ihe new buildings were blessed by Bishop Henry D’ Souzain 2013. The present presbytery was builtwhile Fr. Anthiah was parish priest in 2013. At present, construction of Parish Community Hall with the grant from the Christian Development Council, Govt. of Karnataka is taken up by Fr.Charles D’Souza ,present Parish Priest.


Priests and Religious from the parish:

Fr.Mendan Joseph (late)& Sr. Lily Mary FS


St. John’s Higher Primary School (Kannada & English Medium)

St. John’s High School (Kannada & English Medium)

St. John’s Composite Pre-University College

St. John’s Boarding and Hostel for boys

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Loss of life : 72
Villages affected : 1,296
Houses destroyed/damaged : 118,833
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No. Catholic houses lost: 560
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