Bantwal Church was established in the year 1702 and is located in Modankap, Bantwal Taluk. Being touted as one of the oldest churches in the Coastal Karnataka, this historic church is also considered as the head of all the other churches in the Bantwal Taluk. Bantwal Church covers over 650 Roman Catholic families.
Bantwal Church History
A Short Summary of the Tricentenary Journey of this historic Church!
“Bantwal Church” is one of the oldest parishes of Mangalore Diocese and has been the seat of Vicar Vara since 1888. In 1702, Fr Minguel D’Mello built the first church which was stripped of its roof by Tipu’s soldiers. After the return of the Christians from the captivity, the roof of the church was renewed. It was once again renewed in 1857 and again in 1903. In 1801 Fr Piedad Baretto of Goa became the parish priest.
Fr Balthazar Aranha built the present Church of Bantwal, which was blessed on January 19, 1943. He was in charge of the parish for 42 years (1902-1944). He also helped in the establishment of Bellore and Loretto parishes. Moreover, he even erected a 40 feet Cross near the Bantwal Church.
The Altar and the Presbytery were built by Fr Albert V. D’Souza (1944-1954), his successor, who later became the Archbishop of Calcutta (now Kolkata). Fr Edwin Castelino built the belfry and got the bells installed. Fr Basil A. D’Souza built the chapel at Bambil in 1974.
Fr Peter S. Noronha (1995-2003) constructed the new church at Bambil, which was blessed on January 31, 1999 and the new parish was erected. He also built a 50 feet Cross on the Bantwal Bypass Road (near the church). He later renovated the Presbytry and added more spacious rooms and a Hall.
Fr Balthazar Aranha started the Sacred Heart Higher Primary School at Thodambila in 1928. Fr Peter Salvadore Noronha built the new building for this school. In 1948, Fr Albert V. D’Souza constructed a building for the Infant Jesus Higher Primary School. In 1963, Fr Edwin Castelino started the Deepika Boys High School, and Fr Lawrence Fernandes constructed the new school building. In 1997, Fr Peter S. Noronha started the Infant Jesus English Medium Higher Primary School and its building.
Bishops Albert V. D’Souza, and Basil S. D’Souza were respectively the parish priest and the assistant parish priest of this historic Church of Bantwal before they were ordained Bishops. The former Bishop of Mangalore Most Rev. Aloysius Paul D’Souza had worked here as the Parochial Administrator. Also, the Archbishop of Bangalore, Ignatius Pinto, hails from this parish.