Bellary Diocese

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Renovated 200-Year Church Rededicated In Bellary

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BELLARY, JUNE 18 (Sagaya): Large number of priests, religious, lay faithful and well-wishers joyfully witnessed the bicentenary celebrations and blessing of the renovated Christ the King Parish Church in Bellary on June 18.

Two hundred years of Christian worship rooted in deep faith in God was celebrated meaningfully while praising God.

Built and blessed as an Anglican church in 1816 at a cost of Rs. 4,000 and handed over to Bishop J.F. Hogan, the first Bishop of Bellary, the beautifully renovated church was blessed by Bishop. The historic event was attended by Sri N.Y. Gopalkrishna, Bellary Rural MLA, Shri. J. R. Lobo, MLA & Chairman, BCM Commission, Sri Venkatramana, Mayor, Smt. Deena Manjunath, Chairperson, Zilla Panchayat, Smt. Matilda D’Souza, Minority Commission and many other dignitaries.  Bishop particularly thanked Sri JR Lobo and the Govt. of Karnataka for the much needed grant. He also lauded the services of Fr. Y.S. Peter, Parish Priest Dean for his leadership in the renovation work, ably assisted by the Parish Pastoral Council and parishioners.

When the British made Bellary a Military Station with a Cantonment in 1801, Christ Church (Christ the King Church) was constructed for worship purpose for the army personnel, their families and auxiliary workers.

Christ the King Church is just across Cantonment Railway station beside VIMS Medical college, Bellary and old Garrison buildings.

Christ Church was under the control of Anglican   Church till 1939. It was transferred to Bellary Roman Catholic Mission in 1939.

It is to be noted that the consecration of Bishop Ambrose Yeddanappalli ofm, the second Bishop of Bellary took place in this historical church.

The magnificent church Alter was used during the consecration of Bishop Henry D’Souza, fourth Bishop of Bellary.

A grand felicitation program followed the Eucharistic celebration.

Guests Shri N.Y. Gopala Krishna, MLA Bellary Rural, Shri. J.R. Lobo,MLA Mangalore, Shri Venketaramana, City Major, Smt. Deena Manjunath, Chairman Bellary Zilla Panchayat, Christian Development Council committee members represented by Smt. Matilda D’Souza, Shri. Wiljit Singh, Shri. Mahendra Jain, Rev. Fr. Paulraj, Vicar General, Shri. T.H.M. Basavaraj, Member, State History Academy and Fr. Sam Nalan, Diocesan Finance Officer, Fr. Devanesan, Diocesan Estate Manager and large numbers of priests and people were present at the occasion.

Bishop Henry D’Souza lauded the services of Shri J.R. Lobo in facilitating to get funds from Govt. of Karnataka.

Bishop appreciated and thanked the efforts of Fr. Y. S. Peter, Parish Priest, Parish Council members and all those assisted him to renovate the church. He also gratefully recalled the pastoral works done by formers priests, who served this parish since its inception.

At that occasion the Bishop appealed to everyone particularly parents to build solid families nurtured in faith and word of God.   He also said that parents and elders are duty bound to live in harmony, respect with the people of other faith and to teach their children to live accordingly.

While addressing Shri J.R. Lobo said, every worship place is sacred and must be honored  with due respect and particularly  each Christian must reflect Christ in our daily live. The society and the people whom we live with must recognize Christ in us.

Golden Couples and Sr. Patricia, Miss Sugantha, Mr. Xavier, Mrs. Fatima of the Parish were honored for their extraordinary services to society were  honoured.

There are number of Religious & Diocesan Charitable, Social and Educational institutions are in this parish.

Saint Mother Teresa visited this place/parish thrice and founded a home for the destitute in 1967.

The Parish Youth and children presented a meaningful cultural program. Fr. Gnanapragasam T. and Miss Evelyn anchored the program.

Fr. Peter, Parish Priest of Cantonment Parish thanked one and all.

Festive dinner was served  for everybody at the conclusion of the program.


Fr. Mark Gonsalves – Great Friend Of The Poor And Able Administrator Passes Away

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BELLARY, MAR. 19: Fr. Mark Gonsalves, former Vicar General, Chancellor and Diocesan Finance Officer of Bellary passed away at 4.15 pm on March 19, in Udupi. He was 63.

He was at his Sister’s place at the time of death. He collapsed all of a sudden while having tea.

Diocese of Bellary is grateful to Fr. Mark Gonsalves for his dedicated pastoral ministry over the last 36 years.

He was the Vicar General and Chancellor of the Diocese in the year 2005-09 and Financial Administrator for over 20 years and member of College of Consulters for 5 terms.

Fr. Mark was a good writer and an excellent orator. During his tenure as the Procurator of the Diocese he started the Diocesan Magazine “Bala Spoorty”.

As a priest filled with compassion, he promoted the Prison Ministry in the Diocese.

He also initiated the “Inter-religious Dialogue, Ecumenical Forum through which the diocese was able to address different issues.

His other pastoral assignments were at Cathedral (1981), Fort (1982-83), CCFT Center Jawalgera (1983-86), Sirwar (1986-89), Asst. Finance Officer (1989-90), Diocesan Finance Officer (1990-2009), Sindhanur (2009- 12) and finally Kurugodu (2012-15).

He had served the Lord like the wise steward of the Gospel whole heartedly and worked hard despite many difficulties and challenges.

He retired from active pastoral ministry in April, 2015 due to ill health. Thereafter he took residence in the Senior Priests’ Home, Bellary.

He had been suffering from acute diabetic for many years. And he had kidney transplantation in June, 2016 at St. John’s Medical College Hospital, Bangalore.

However, his health condition did not improve. He was hospitalized for many months.

Fr. Mark Gonslaves was born on 21st June 1953 on the feast day of St. Aloysius Gonzaga and died on 19th March of the feast day of St. Joseph, the patron of happy death.

He was born at Barkur, Udupi District to Ignatius Gonsalves and Mary Gonsalves.

He had his primary education at Maryknoll Primary School and Secondary School in National High School, Barkur. He graduated from St. Philomena’s College, Mysore.

He was ordained for the Diocese of Bellary on 04 February 1981. His other priest companions are Frs. Gnanapragasam T, Antonyraj P., and Lourdu Marianna.

He was a great lover and protector of the poor and needy. He went out to meet the poor, needy and the sick and was generous in helping them.  He knew the “smell of his sheep”.

May his soul rest in peace!


Gentle Fr. Inniah Kondavity Dies After Prolonged Illness

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BELLARY, MAR.14. 2017: Fr. Inniah Kondavity passed away at 2.15 pm, March 14 in St. Mary’s Hospital at Bellary. He was 71.

His funeral will be held at 10 am tomorrow with a funeral Mass in St. Anthony’s Cathedral followed by burial in Cowl Bazaar cemetery.

Fr. Inniah was ordained for the in the diocese of Bellary 21 December 1971. He served the diocese of Bellary for 46 long years. His first appointment was Assistant priest at St. Antony’s Cathedral.

Fr Inniah was born in Kilacheery, Chengalpet District Tamil Nadu to late Joseph and Clara Kondavity. He was the eldest of the two children. He is survived by his sister Mrs. Fatima Kondavity.

He was the pioneer in establishing Siruguppa Mission. The church and presbytery work was initiated by Fr. Inniah in 1977.

He was entrusted with the work of vocation promotion by late Bishop Ambrose P. Yeddanapalli. He was instrumental in bringing some of the candidates to priesthood from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Fr. Inniah while he was parish priest of Jawalgera in 1978, took care of the Christian flock in Burma rehabilitation Camp near Sindhanur which later became a parish.  He was instrumental in building the drinking water tank for the people of Jawalgera.

Fr. Inniah served as a chaplin, St. John’s Medical College Hospital, Bangalore for five years (1986-91).

He was also the Diocesan Director of Pontifical Mission Societies and Secretary, Karnataka Regional Commission for Family and Laity.

Later, he took up pastoral responsibility in Sacred Heart Church, Brockton, Massachusetts, Boston Archdiocese, USA (1991-96).

He returned to the diocese 1997 and was appointed Parish Priest of Shaktinagar, and Manager of Blessed Alphonsa School.

He served as the Director, St. Martin’s Home, Manager of St. Joseph’s Boys’ School (1998- 2002) and Parish Priest of St. Antony’s Cathedral (2002-2008).

He retired from active pastoral ministry in September 2008 due to his ill health.

He was suffering with acute diabetic mellitus and cardiovascular diseases for many years.

Fr. Inniah was very ill on 09.03.2017, immediately was admitted to the local St. Mary’s Hospital in Bellary and was administered the last sacraments. His condition remained very critical for the last 5 days. He breathed his last peacefully today, surrounded by his sister, friends and priests.

His mortal remains are kept at the senior priests’ home – Bethany for people to pay their last respects.

Fr. Inniah loved the diocese. May his soul rest in peace!


Navajeevana Rehabilitation Centre Turns Silver

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BELLARY, FEB. 28: Silver jubilee celebrations were held at Nava Jeevana Centre for the physically challenged at Bellary on February 28.

A concelebrated thanksgiving Holy Eucharist led by Bishop Henry D’Souza and many priests from the diocese marked the occasion.

In his homily the Bishop stated “Nava Jeevana Centre is one of the precious pearls of the Catholic Diocese of Bellary. God’s merciful love towards the downtrodden and the neglected is explicitly manifested here at Nava Jeevana ”.

Bishop Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary congratulated and thanked Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny for their great humanitarian service to the disabled children, street children and their families.

A felicitation program followed the Holy Eucharist. Sr. Narcisa Seqeuira, Provincial of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny reaffirmed service of the  sisters to the people of Bellary.

The services former Superiors Sisters Theodore Issac, Esther, Carmela, Victoria, and Luciana were gratefully remembered and honoured at he  occasion.

Also all those sisters, co-workers and collaborators Nava Jeevana were recognized for their services and honoured.

A documentary   presentation of the various stages of growth of the centre was presented at the occasion. The inmates presented a colorful program.

Over a thousand children have been rehabilitated in the past 25 years at the centre.

The Diocese of Bellary had invited Cluny Sisters to render their service in this particular mission of uplifting the disabled and the disadvantaged.

The Cluny Sisters came to Bellary in 1987 and started their services in the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, near St. Antony’s Cathedral.

In the year 1991, late Bishop Ambrose, with the help of Missio Aachen, constructed the Nava Jeevana Centre.

It was inaugurated on February 26, 1993.

Nava Jeevana Centre has been breathing New life, energy through its varied  rehabilitation programs ultimately bringing human dignity, freedom, self confidence to many hundreds of lives specifically the disabled children who otherwise would have been abandoned by the society. It is their Home away home.

At the occasion one of senior priests of Bellary recalled the vision of Bishop Ambrose and how he accomplished the mission through the service of the sisters and Doctors from VIMS Medical college hospital, and many generous donars promoting the noble cause of service to the physically challenged children of Bellary, Raichur and Koppal districts.

In the year 2007 a branch for the visually challenged children was opened. In 2012 at the request of Bellary Deputy Commissioner Amalan Aditya Biswas, and at the intervention of Bishop Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary the centre caters the needs of street children. It is noted here that at present more than 45 children have found their home here, at Nava Jeevana.

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Bellary Arogya Mathe Shrine

Bellary-Mathe-small The Shrine of Bellary Arogya Mathe was blessed and dedicated on 8th September 2000 on the feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Mother Mary in memory of the great jubilee 2000 and the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Bellary


Diocesan Diamond Jubilee

This year is Diamond Jubilee of our Bellary Diocese.  It is completing 60 years in the service to God and His people.


Loss of Life and Property due to Flash Floods in Bellary Diocese

 Number of people affected : 151,934
Loss of life : 72
Villages affected : 1,296
Houses destroyed/damaged : 118,833
Relief being distributed to : 3,500 families
No. Catholic houses lost: 560
Number of medical camps held : 22