A new parish in Mangaluru diocese will come into existence on June 7, 2015. The station hitherto known as Saverapura which was part of present Paladka parish with two villages called Murkothpalke and Henbettu will become a new parish. It will be 116th parish in Mangalore Diocese. This SAVERAPURA CHURCH will be called as St. Francis Xavier Church, Saverapura.
Moodbidri is a famous town which is situated at a distance of 35 kilometers from Mangalour towards the western Ghats. SAVERAPURA the sub-station of Paladka Parish is at a further distance of 12km from this town to its north-west direction. Though it is a part of Paladka parish it is at equidistant from the four churches namely Paladka, Belvai, Alangar and Moodbidri.
Fr Francis Xavier D’ Souza known as ‘Poki Padryab’ in Konkani (Padryab means the priest), the then parish priest of Belvai parish who realised the need for a church nearby, bought a five acres wide deserted area in between the two villages near Henbettu in 1973. The name Henbettu comes from the word Henagala bettu, a land of dead bodies, as the dead bodies of Dalits were being buried in the nearby hills.
‘Poki Padryab’ who had the experience of constructing churches like Belvai and Moodbidri, had an intention to build a new church over here. The land bought by him was closer to Belvai church than Paladka church. As the area was coming under Paladka Church, he could not raise the church due to technical reasons.
Fr. Emmanuel DSouza also known as ‘Monnu Padryab’ who became the Parish Priest of Belvai church later, visited the houses in the area and expressed his desire to build a church. With the enthusiasm of Monnu father, the local people started to take turns to dig a well in this land. However the work stopped once again for technical reasons.
Soon after Fr Mathias Pereira became the Parish Priest of Paladka in 1985, all the dark clouds got cleared. As the priest himself used to mingle with parishioners to do the hard work, the parishioners of both the villages joined together like one family filled with enthusiasm. They developed the area by taking turns with the priest. They cut the forest. Dug the well. Raised the boundary wall. They also planted coconut saplings and plants with the intention of getting some yield.
The 42 families of both the villages during the 75th anniversary of Paladka church in 1988 got determined to build the Church under the guidance of Fr Mathias. Dr Basil D’ Souza, the then Bishop of Mangaluru, laid the foundation stone for the Church dedicated to St Francis Xavier. As the area is away from both the villages, Fr Mathias Pereira named the area as Saverapura.
The work of building the church progressed quickly under the guidance of Fr Mathias Pereira. People worked in turns to complete most of the work of constructing a church. Though the people were not financially sound, they ventured in completing it within three years. On December 3, 1991, the then bishop Dr Basil D’Souza inaugurated the church. From that day onwards a practice was being started to register the names of the parishioners of these two villages of Paladka Parish at this sub-station itself. All sacraments including last rites are given here. A portion of the land was reserved for the cemetery and the burials too are done here.
When Fr Mathias was transferred to Bidar in 1994, the people here honoured him with the title ‘Saverapuracho Shilpi’ which means ‘Architect of Saverapura’.
After raising the church, the people were able to fulfil their spiritual needs in the area. The nuns from Alangar Mount Rosary convent started to come here every week and offer their services. Fr Edwin Pinto who is the director of Mount Rosary Charitable Institutions, undertook farming and other programmes through his team of social workers. The progress was swift.
Even though the church was built, the parish priest from Paladka found it difficult to come here for the spiritual needs of the people. Fr Norbert Lobo, who came as parish priest of Paladka in 2001 tried for a permanent solution for the problem. His desire was to have a convent nearby and handover the responsibility of the area to some religious priests.
As a result of the efforts of Fr Norbert Lobo, a decision was taken in the parish council meeting of Paladka on February 24, 2008 to hand over the this sub-station to the administration of Redemptorist religious priests. Dr Aloysius Paul D’ Souza bishop of Mangaluru gave his permission in April, 2008. Similarly Fr Eugene D’ Silva, Redemptorist religious priest was appointed the first in-charge of this sub-station.
Later Fr Prem Prakash D’ Souza and the present Fr Rakesh Mathias have served as the in-charge of this sub-station.
As the area came under the supervision of Redemptorist priests, it has seen drastic developments. Different activities were initiated. Play ground was built. A grotto was constructed for Mother Mary with the help of donors. A podium was prepared for the programmes. Religiouls life of the Peoples of this area has been rejuvenated through various programmes.
At present there are 53 families belonging to both these villages. There is a committee to administer the development of this sub-station. Mr Vincent DSouza is the Vice President. Mrs Severine Crasta is the secretary. Mr Herald DSouza and Mrs Clara Fernandes are the gurkars of two wards. Other committee members too work hand in hand under the guidance of newly appointed parish priest Fr Rakesh Mathias. Musician Wilson D’Souza is leading the Choir and other such programmes for the last several years. Paladka parish priest Fr Ivan Rodrigues has been cooperating in the church activities.
Bishop of Mangalaore Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza will announce Saverapura as a parish at the Eucharistic Celebration on 7th June, at 4 pm, on the feast of Corpus Christi. All the faithful are cordially invited.
The priests who have served in Saverapura since it is a sub-station of Paladka Parish:
1991-1994 Fr Mathias Pereira
1994-2001 Fr. Benjamin Pinto
2001-2008 Fr. Norbert Lobo
2008-2009 Fr. Eugene DSilva (Redemptorist)
2009-2015 Fr. Prem Prakash DSouza (Redemptorist)
2015 – Fr. Rakesh Mathias (Redemptorist)
The preists of Paladka church after Saverapura Substation came to the administration of Redemptorist religious priests
2008-2010 Fr. Stany Rodrigues
2010-2010 Fr. Dolphy Monteiro
2010-2011 Fr. Herald Pereira
2011-2013 Fr. Gilbert DSouza
2013 – Fr. Ivan Rodrigues
May the new parish shine like a diamond in the Mangaluru diocese.
St. Francis Xavier Church,
Saverapura, Belvai Post – 574213,
– News By Ancy DSouza Paladka, pics by Wilson DSouza, Saverapura