A brief history of our Church
HOLY CROSS CHURCH, Taccode, Estd.1837
Birth of Taccode Church: Though it is unbelievable, the history remains true that Holy Cross Church, Taccode, was founded by a few enthusiastic lay people who remained faithful to the Catholic Church in the Propaganda - Padrovado misunderstanding in Rome, Portugal and Goa; and due to the hard efforts of those self sacrificing lay people of Taccode who wanted to have their own Church at Taccode. Hence the Holy Cross Church at Taccode was born in 1837.
Geographical boundaries of Taccode: The geographical boundaries of this parish had spread up to Hospet, Bantwal, Attur and beyond Belthangady to the east; and the next Church to the west was Milagres-Mangalore. The spiritual and the social needs of Catholics at Moodbidri, Alangar, Paladka, Venur, Shirtady, Siddakatte and the surrounding Catholics were also looked after by the Parish Priest of Holy Cross Church, Taccode, when this Church was born in 1837. This Church has the written documents (Baptism register etc.) beginning from 1850 onwards. While going through the history of Holy Cross Church, Taccode, one notices that all the Parish Priests of Taccode have followed the words of Jesus “first seek the Kingdom of God and everything else would follow” (Lk.12:31) has become a reality at Taccode and wherever new Churches were founded, the whole area began to grow in everything.
The far sighted plan and the generosity of Taccode parish under the spiritual guidance of various Parish Priests in those years of 19th and 20th century, Taccode gave birth to three independent parishes: Shirtady (1928), Venur (1937) and Gantalkatte (1988). By establishing three independent Parishes in those areas the then Parish Priests from Taccode, exhibited an exorbitant missionary zeal not only to spread Faith but also the growth of Catholic communities and subsequently growth of the society in general in the field of Faith, education, culture, better standard of living, better job opportunities etc. The simple reason is that when the seeds of Faith were sown, everything began to grow. Unfortunately the names of the Parish Priests who served Taccode from 1837 to 1850 is not available. It may be available at the Archdiocese of Goa or at Portugal. But the remaining list of Parish Priests who served the people of Taccode and surrounding area are as follows:
1. Rev. Fr. J.M.Rebello 1850-1854
2. Rev. Fr. Manuel Salvadore Vas 1854-1857
3. Rev. Fr. S.A. Mascarenhas 1857-1858
4. Rev. Fr. John Coelho 1858-1860
5. Rev. Fr. P. L. Pachico 1860-1862
6. Rev. Fr. I.A. Fernandes 1862-1865
7. Rev. Fr. D.B. Tellis 1865-1867
8. Rev. Fr. Javos De Cruz 1867-1868
9. Rev. Fr. I.Baptista 1868-1870
10. Rev. Fr. Pontiano Theodore Andrade 1870 -1874
11. Rev. Fr. Javos De Cruz (June - Nov) 1874 - 1874
12. Rev. Fr. Augustine Rebello 1874-1877
13. Rev. Fr. Lawrence Fernandes 1877-1878
14. Rev. Fr. Lawrence D’Souza 1878 - 1882
15. Rev. Fr. Paschal A. Pinto 1882-1883
16. Rev. Fr. Peter Mascharenhas 1883-1888
17. Rev. Fr. Alex Pinto 1888-1904
18. Rev. Fr. Faustine Corti Oct.1904- Feb.1905
19. Rev. Fr. M.G. Leons March 1905 - Feb.1906
20. Rev. Fr. X. Aranha 1906-1908
21. Rev. Fr. Joseph L Pais 1908-1916
22. Rev. Fr. Gregory Lobo 1916-1921
23. Rev. Fr. Cajetan D’Silva 1921-1924
24. Rev. Fr. A.F. D’Silva 1924-1928
25. Rev. Fr. A. Piedade D’Souza 1928-1938
26. Rev. Fr. Leo Carvalho 1938-1941
27. Rev. Fr. P.V. Gonsalves 1941-1942
28. Rev. Fr. Andrew Pinto 1942-1948
29. Rev. Fr. Albert G. Nazareth 1948-1950
30. Rev. Fr. Fredrick Moniz 1950-1952
31. Rev. Fr. Alphonso Castelino 1952-53
32. Rev. Fr. John Baptist Alvares 1953-1957
33. Rev. Fr. J. L. Fernandes 1957-1959
34. Rev. Fr. Charles Pais 1959-1962
35. Rev. Fr. Aloysius Serra 1962-1970
36. Rev. Fr. Clifford D’Souza 1970-1977
37. Rev. Fr. Stany B. Lobo 1977-1986
38. Rev. Fr. Henry Sequeira 1986-1988
39. Rev. Fr. Lawrence D’Souza 1988-1995
40. Rev. Fr. Jerald D’Souza 1995-2002
41. Rev. Fr. Hilary Lobo 2002-2009
42. Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino 2009-
As every where, Taccode Church had also begun with a thatched roof of Church in the beginning till 1880. Rev. Fr. Lawrence D’Souza, the Parish Priest of Holy Cross Church, Taccode, had constructed the first tiled roof of Holy Cross Church, Taccode in 1880 A.D. The much needed huge trees as wooden beams for the construction of the new tiled roof for Taccode Church were cut at Naravi forest. When the problem of transporting the huge trees to Taccode began to worry the people, the newly cut trees were floated through Naravi river flood and they were captured at Taccode river since the same river was flowing through Taccode. A lot of parishioners rendered their service in capturing the floating wooden logs in the river at Taccode.
St. Joseph Hr. Pry. School, Taccode, was founded around 1880 A.D. and ever since then this school has imparted education to thousands of people for more than 133 years. It is reported that students from Hosabettu were walking up to Taccode to attend the school. In the beginning of the 20th century Taccode Church was known as ‘Moodbidri Church at Taccode’ (‘Bidryanchi igarz Taccode’) since no churches had existed then at Moodbidri area. Since Shirtady mission station was looked after by Taccode Parish Priest most of the people lived at Shirtady were baptised at Taccode since 1837.
The Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Cajetan D’Silva named the Karinje hill at Taccode as ‘Cross Hill’ (Kursa Gudo) and a huge wooden Cross was erected in 1921. This Cross is seen from all four sides, and as and when this wooden Cross got old then it was replaced. The custom of making the ‘Way of the Cross’ on this ‘Cross Hill’ began in 1970 A.D. In 2002 A.D. this Cross was replaced with 60 feet height concrete Cross and every year on Palm Sunday afternoon at 4.00 p.m. ‘Way of the Cross’ is conducted under the guidance of the Parish Priest and for the past six years this ‘Way of the Cross’ devotion is being telecasted in some of the TV channels in Mangalore.
Birth of Shirtady Church: Shirtady mission station was served from Taccode from 1837 to 1938. When Naravi Mission began to work independently in 1905, Shirtady was served from Naravi and from Taccode also. Finally Shirtady was made an independent parish in 1928. Even after Shirtady was made an independent parish, no resident Parish Priest was appointed till 1938. Hence again the Parish Priests from Taccode had rendered their service to Shirtady till 1938.
Birth of Venur Church: Since the people from Venur were finding it very difficult to practice Christian life and to fulfil their spiritual obligation due to far distance from Taccode, they were also requesting for an independent Parish from Taccode. The Parish Priest Rev. Fr. A. Piedade D’Souza began to focus on working on this project of making Venur an independent Parish. He began to travel to Venur with the help of bullock cart along with the Taccode leaders for the construction of Venur Church. He toiled for eleven years to make Venur an independent parish and it was opened in 1937. Since Venur parish was economically backward area, even after the inauguration of Venur parish, Rev. Fr. A. Piedade D’Souza supported Venur parish by donating Congrua to Venur Parish Priest.
Taccode: Mother of three daughters: The far sighted plan and the generosity of Taccode parish under the spiritual and social guidance of various Parish Priests in those years of 19th and 20th century, Taccode gave birth to three independent parishes: Shirtady (1928), Venur (1937) and Gantalkatte (1988). By establishing three independent Parishes in those areas the then Parish Priests from Taccode had shown far sighted vision of social development through the spread of Faith. As a result the society in thoses various areas began to grow spiritually and also in the field of education, culture, better standard of living due to better job opportunities etc.
As the Taccode Church building was getting old the succeeding Parish Priests began to make new plans to construct a new Church at Taccode. When Rev. Fr. Aloysius Serra was the Parish Priest at Taccode the foundation stone for the new Church building was laid on 14 Sept.1964. The people were requested to donate generously for the construction of a new Church building. Finally after toiling for five years the new Church building was inaugurated on 06 May 1969.
On 09 Aug.1970 parish council (salaha mandali) came into existence at Taccode. At this time a new sound system to the Church was installed. Mr. Basil Mendes and Mr. Philip Lobo donated the belfrey to Taccode Church and it was inaugurated on 11 May 1975. The electricity supply came to Taccode Church and to the school on 18 October 1978 and water pump-set, fans and lights to the Church were also installed.
Birth of Gantalkatte Church: The foundation stone for the construction of a new Church at Gantalkatte, under the leadership of Parish Priest of Taccode Church Rev. Fr. Stany Lobo, took place on 25 November 1980 at Gantalkatte and this foundation stone was laid by Bishop Basil S.D’Souza. Afterwards on the occasion of the centenary remembrance of the old Church building (1880) of Taccode a memorial building (consisting of a huge crucifix and the statues of Mary and St.John) was inaugurated by the Bishop at Taccode Kaikamba junction and the people came in procession to the Church to celebrate the centenery celebration of old Church building. The bishop celebrated solemn Mass along with many concelebrants and meals were served to all.
Birth of Adarsh High School: The much needed high school education to Taccode people was worked out by Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Stany B. Lobo and the parishioners of Taccode and ‘Adarsh High School’ was inaugurated at Taccode on 09 June 1981. Due to lack of building structure the classes of VIII Std. were held in the Church portico and sacristy of Taccode Church. A new building to ‘Adarsh High School’ was later on constructed under the leadership of Rev.Fr.Stany B.Lobo and it was inaugurated on 14.05.1983. After three years of hard work under the guidance of Rev. Fr. Stany B.Lobo, Gantalkatte Church was inaugurated on 02 May 1983. But it became an independent parish only after five years in 1988. In these five years time, the Parish Priests from Taccode continued to take care of Gantalkatte Church and the parishioners.
On 19.05.2002 fourteen stations of the Cross were erected by Mr. Stephen Mendes on the way to ‘Cross Hill’ (kursa gudo) and a 60 feet height concrete cross was also erected by him on the hill. Mr. J.B. Dias and Mrs Hilda Dias constructed a cultural stage to the Church and school purpose and it was inaugurated on 24.12.2004. Mr. Brian Rego from Rambail constructed a beautiful Marian Grotto at the main entrance to the Church compound on behalf of his parents and it was inaugurated on 08.09.2005.
Mr.Gregory Mendes & Family constructed a ‘dwara’ at the main entrance of Taccode Church compound on 30.12.2004. The family of Mr. Basil Mendes and the family of Mr.Cyril Cardoza constructed a ‘dwara’ on 12.11.2006 at Taccode kaikamba junction on 12.11.2006. On 17.11.2006 Adarsh High School celebrated its silver jubilee.
International ‘Year of Priests’ at Taccode: On the occasion of the 150th death anniversary of St.John Marie Vianney the ‘Patron of Priests’, the year 2010 was declared as the ‘Year of Priests’ by Pope Benedict XVI. It is on this occasion 100 actors from Taccode staged a Konkani Mega Play ‘Kumsaracho Apostle San Juvaavn Marie Vianney’ on three drama stages written and directed by Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino at Taccode on Easter Sunday 04.04.2010. Many elders in the Catholic community say that such a Konknai Mega Play has not been staged in the 175 years of the history of Taccode. The same Konkani Mega Play was again staged on 09.05.2010 at Ajekar Church ground by 100 artists from Taccode.
It is for the first time in 30 years of its existence, Adarsh High School, Taccode, secured 100% result in the SSLC public exam held in April 2011 and the credit goes to the Correspondent Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino for his timely guidance and the self sacrificing dedicated staff led by Headmistress Mrs. Zita Dias. Again, Adarsh High School secured 100% result for the second time in SSLC exam held in April 2012 due to the timely guidance of the Correspondent and the dedicated staff led by the Headmistress.
Post Centenary Platinum Jubilee of Holy Cross Church,Taccode:
Taccode 23.12.2012: The Post Centenary Platinum Jubilee of Holy Cross Church, Taccode began with the solemn Eucharistic celebration on 23.12.2012 at. 04.00 p.m. The Bishop of Mangalore Most Rev.A.P. D’Souza celebrated the Jubilee Mass. There were altogether 17 priests for the jubilee celebration. In his preaching the bishop said that the faith received from the forefathers has to be handed over to the next generation. The former Parish Priests Rev. Fr. Clifford D’Souza, Rev. Fr. Stany B. Lobo, Rev. Fr. Lawrence D’Souza, Rev. Fr. Jerald D’Souza, and Rev. Fr. Hilary Lobo along with the present Parish Priest Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino and varado priests and guest priests participated in the liturgical celebration. The Taccode Church choir, led by Mr. Victor Pinto, sang melodious hymns for the celebration.
The stage programme started at 06.00p.m. All the dignitaries and chief guests including the former parish Priests, guest priests, and varado priests were led by the Parish Priest Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino, Vice President Mr. John Rego, Secretary Mr. Valerian Moras, Convener of Social and Cultural Committee of Taccode Mr. Mark Cyril Pinto and parish Council members marched to the stage accompanied by fire works, Brass Music band, Nasik band. The school children of Adarsh High School performed a welcome dance on a separate cultural stage to all the guests.
Afterwards the Parish Priest Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino, Vice President Mr. John Rego and convener of social and Cultural committee Mr. Mark Cyril Pinto, led all the dignitaries to the dais. When all the guests were invited to occupy the honourable seats on the well decorated stage, the Parish Priest Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino welcomed all the guests. All the guests were welcomed with flower bouquets.
The secretary of parish pastoral council Mr. Valerian Moras presented a brief history of 175 years of the existence of the Holy Cross Church and its service to humanity. Then Mr. Abhayachandra Jain, the local MLA and the chief whip of opposition party in Karnataka Government, distributed the individual prizes to the winners of various games and addressed the crowd. He highlighted the selfless and dedicated services of the Churches in various fields especially in health and education in India in general and in Dakshina Kannada district in particular. In this context he highlighted the selfless services of Holy Cross Church to all the people around Taccode, especially in the fields of education by teaching to read and write to the vast mass of humanity at and around Taccode, for more than 130 years.
The prizes for group games of the parishioners were distributed by Mr. Amarnath Shetty, former MLA and Minister of Karnataka Government and said that 175 years of the existence of Taccode Church has established its goodness in the local society by teaching basic human values.
The Post Centenary Platinum Jubilee souvenir of Holy Cross Church, Taccode, was brought to the stage by the Editor Mr. Mark Cyril Pinto and it was released by the Parish Priest Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino in the presence of all the guests.
The past and the present Parish Priests were honoured by the Bishop on this special occasion of Post Centenary Platinum Jubilee Celebration for their selfess service to the Holy Cross Church, Taccode. While speaking on behalf of the honoured parish priests, the senior most existing Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Clifford D’Souza said that the people of Taccode had received faith more than 175 years back and it needs to be continued to be handed over to the next generation and there is an urgency of fostering vocations at Taccode. The vicar forane of Moodbidri Varado Rev.Fr.Austin Peres honoured the past and the present vice presidents and secretaries of parish pastoral council of Taccode and in his address he acclaimed the pastoral and missionary work of 42 Parish Priests at Taccode. He also congratulated the Taccode Church in taking the lead to give birth to new Churches at Shirthady, Venur and Gantalkatte. He also rendered praiseworthy words to the Taccode Parish Priests for spreading the pastoral service up to Moodbidri, Alangar, Siddakatte, Belthangady, Karkal and up to the border of Mangalore-Milagres since no Churches existed between Mangalore-Milagrese and Taccode hundred years back.
All the former Gurkars of Taccode Church were felicitated Mrs. Flavia Mendes, the member of Hosabettu Grama Panchayath; and Mr. Chandrahasa Sanil, the President of Hosabettu Grama Panchayat, honoured the existing Gurkars of Holy Cross Church, Taccode. The overall championship was given by the Bishop.
Mr. John Rego, the vice president of the Parish Pastoral Council gave vote of thanks. Rev. Fr. Stany B. Lobo said the grace before the meals and the Parish Priest Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino invited all to participate in the fellowship meal. A magnanimous fireworks was the centre of attraction starting from the commencement of the programme till the end.
Mr. Lynel Rego, from Rambail, and Miss Jenitha D’Costa, from Arambody, conducted the whole programme as Master of Ceremonies. Mr. Rolson Cardoza, the president of ICYM, displayed various photographs of different competitions held on 18 &25 November 2012 on LCD during the meals. Mr. Praveen Pereira, from Kakkebettu, was the M.C. for the cultural programme, which included magic show, dances, etc. At the end a konkani play ‘Melya Upraanth’ was staged by Mand Sobhan.