Sr Irine Crasta BS





Sr M Brigitha BS

Members of the Community

Convent building

Summer camp for Children

Pastroral apostolate

Tree plantation

Social apostolate

Medical apostolate

Hostel ministry


The Founder of the Kannada mission in Belgaum was Rev. Fr Peter De Rosario S.J. He was a native of Singapore and was the rector at St Paul as well as the parish priest of St. Antony Church in Belgaum. He voluntarily took up the mission to work among Kannada speaking people at Chechadi in 1936 with the help of a person who could translate his preaching in Kannada. He built a big prayer hall with granite stone and zinc sheets and started conducting literacy classes for Harijan children appointing a regular teacher. During the construction work Fr Rosario came in contact with the local people of Madanbhavi. They welcomed him to the village to continue his charitable works. Fr Rozario approached the local leader Shri Basavanagouda Doddagoudar. Then Madanbhavi was a small village with a population of 1200. There was no school in the village; hence Fr Rosario opened literacy classes for the children who were deprived of admission in the schools in the neighboring village Nesargi. He appointed a regular teacher to run the classes in the existing temple. Soon he acquired a plot with the help of Shri Basavanagoudar on sale deed where the present Sacred Heart Church exists, along with Sacred Heart Dispensary and Fatima Convent and the orphanage for Boys and girls. He served the people till 1939.

Late Fr Armando Alvares S.J. continued this mission from Santibastwad. In October 1944 his younger brother Fr Manu Alvares came to help him in the mission. People called them Doddaswami and Sannaswami. They had to move from place to place viz Bale Kundri, Chechadi, Madanbhavi, Santibastwad. They felt the need of religious sisters to take care of Madanbhavi Mission, so Fr Manu approached Rev Fr R.F.C. Mascarenhas, the Founder of Bethany Congregation, and succeeded in getting the sisters to all these Centers one by one. The sisters willingly undertook the task of visiting the villages two by two attending the sick with Dechane medicines, instructing them on health and hygiene, religion and literacy. They covered Chechadi, Harogoppa, Inchal and Muthuwad villages in Saudatti Taluka, Madanbhavi, Vannur, and Makalmarady villages of Bailhongal Taluka for their service. It was thus a Convent was opened on Aug 13, 1946.

Later Doddaswami started evangelization among the Lingayats by living among them. After the Swamiji left Madanbhavi, Fr Gabriel Lobo took charge of this mission. He was called Lobo Swami. He felt the need of a High School and soon the school was started in Nesargi in 1952. Fr. Valentine Dā€™ Cunha S.J continued to serve in the High School. Soon they found a residential Priest for Madanbhavi, Fr Thomas Kottaram S.J who willingly accepted the mission work and came to Madanbhavi in 1960. Sr Prudence suggested to him to open an orphanage for the local village children to pursue education. Fr Kottaram with the help of his German- Swiss friends opened an orphanage and the strength increased day by day, which is 230 today. He applied for Government grant. In 1964-65 about 58 Children were approved for grant. He built the Church and the old building was given for sisters for their use. In 1971 he put up the first floor above the school building, which was a dormitory for boys and opened a dispensary for the treatment of local poor. Though the Government aid supported only 85, Fr. Kottaram was maintaining 120 children with the help of his well-wishers. He raised the classes up to Higher Primary School with four teachers. As his health was deteriorating he was hospitalized and in his place Fr L. J. Rego S.J was appointed the first Parish Priest. On October 1, 1977 Fr Joe Chanakala S.J. came to serve in this mission. Bethany sisters took charge of the School, orphanage, dispensary, the church building and the fields.

There was lot of discrimination among the people because of the caste system. The Lingayats and the Goudas never mixed with each other. The dalit converts had to marry in their own caste. Hence they found it very difficult to get suitable proposals among Catholics. There was also unemployment, drunkenness, poverty, divorce etc. Yet the Bethany sisters tried their level best to help the youth to go for professional training courses. Besides serving in the school, dispensary and orphanage, Sisters today tour the villages and carry on systematic Socio-Medical Services.

Year of establishment: 13.08.1946

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