Udupi: Holy Cross Parish, Pamboor at threshold of golden jubilee celebration

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By Lucas D’Souza, Pamboor
Bellevision Media Network

Udupi, 11 Dec 2017: Any seed will not bear fruit unless it’s sown in the soil.  Meanwhile, one who sows the seed in the hearts of god-fearing and devout men and women nurtures it to bear fruit. The faithful who were so devout and living in the neighbourhood of Pamboor and Bantakal, near here, had to depend on churches in far-flung Moodubelle or Shirva to fulfil their spiritual needs. The persistent prayers for a church nearby of poor hardworking farmers who formed the Christian community were finally realized. He chooses right men to put action into plans and a church building was built with local building materials in a plot and a resident parish priest takes charge to lead his flock. The church was dedicated to Holy Cross and it becomes Pamboor parish. As years pass by; more needs arose. The parish community began prospering, fresh thinking emerged.  Several clergies and parishioners toiled for its progress over the years. The church is now at the threshold of completing 50 years. 


Pamboor church dedicated to Holy Cross is located 600 meters on Pangala – Bantakal - Belle Cross Road (B C Road) that bifurcates at Katapady on National Highway 66. It lies about 6 kilometres away from churches at Shirva, Moodubelle and Pangala. The parish community flourished along with spiritual bliss.


The boundaries of Shirva and Moodubelle are so vast, besides there lies a rivulet between Moodubelle and Padubelle that was a major obstacle for the faithful to attend masses. The faithful living in Bantakal and Manipady who wanted to attend masses in Shirva church, had to walk nearly 5 kilometres. There were no proper roads and transport facilities at that time. 


Under these circumstances, the veterans of community convened a meeting in 1958 to plead Mangaluru diocesan authorities on the need to construct a church building. However, it did not yield any result. They prepared a letter and send it to the then Mangaluru Bishop Basil Salvador D’Souza in 1965. The bishop visited them and convinced of their need for a worship centre. He assigned the neighbouring parish priests to identify a plot and pool the essential materials. The plot of land that the existing church built on 1.5 acres was bought and began to build a temporary shelter to hold gather in offering Eucharistic Celebration. A chapel was built with the collective efforts of Shirva deanery vicar and shirva parish priest Fr Hilary Gonsalves and assistant parish priest, Moodubelle parish priest Fr Abundius F D’Souza and assistant parish priest in November 1966.  


The parish priest of Shirva began offering Sunday Masses at the chapel since December 1966.  Pamboor parish was carved out of 3 wards of Moodubelle parish and one ward of Shirva parish, where 217 families lived numbering total of 1500 faithful. The Bishop instructed to build a presbytery in 1968 that was taken up by Pamboor’s first parish priest Fr Denis D’Souza. He rechristened the locality as Shantipura from Shanikumer.  

The church became the second church in Mangaluru diocese to be dedicated to Holy Cross. The young priest Fr Denis focused on developing basic needs and a cemetery. In order to substitute the income, palms and plantains saplings were planted in church compound. The church school was repaired along with new access road, a post office for the benefit of parish community. He laid emphasis on spiritual needs of parishioners along with other parish duties.  The parish community saved handful of rice daily to meet the expenses of building a new church.  They also contributed voluntary service in this regard.  


The new church building was ready with their relentless labour and was consecrated by Bishop Basil S D’Souza on May 18, 1971. The first parish priest Fr Denis D’Souza became the architect of Pamboor who laboured his prime youth in building presbytery, building compound wall for the church and cemetery, besides fulfilling his spiritual duties towards his flock from 1968-1977. Fr Denis who was much revered by the parish community is spending his retirement at Bishop’s House in Mangaluru.    


Fr Joseph Piad Sequeira succeeded Fr Denis and served the parish from 1977 to1984. Despite his old age and failing health, he devoutly served the spiritual needs of parishioners. He repaired the parish-run primary school and upgraded the same to higher primary school. He founded ICYM unit at the parish.   


Fr Maurice D’Paula served the parish from 1984 to1988.  He was a genius, powerful preacher, authored spiritual books, always soft spoken. He rejuvenated the different associations of parish. He installed new furniture and ceiling fans, erected grotto in front of the church and statue of Lord Jesus in the church premises. 


Fr Jerome Monteiro served the parish form 1988 to 1995. He was thirty-three-years old when he took charge as parish priest who was an ace musician. He developed a choir who would render melodious music during Sunday Masses and other festal occasions. The new bell tower was built during his term. He also erected Vailankanni Shrine in the church premises to seek divine graces form Mother Mary and to instil devotion among the parishioners. The silver jubilee was celebrated with much fanfare. A parish hall was built to commemorate the silver jubilee of the parish. Fr Jerome is now serving as parish priest of Miyar in Karkala.


Fr Herald Menezes served the parish from 1997 to 2003. He was the dear of Pamboor parishioner because his term was the golden era in history of Pamboor. He was an ace preacher, revived the spirituality of parish community to be vibrant. The different associations that were set up at the parish became active. He organized many workshops and camps in the parish, such as leadership camp, farming camp, legal and political awareness camp etc. He began the parish monthly bulletin, ‘Kursacho Thallo’, and set up a fund to continue its uninterrupted publication.  He was credited with distributing liturgy among different wards of parish.  He also launched 25 plans to commemorate the silver jubilee of ICYM parish unit and accomplished at his term. The parish unit of Stree Sangaton was begun at his term.


Fr Joseph Machado served the parish from 2003 to 2010. He was instrumental in celebrating silver jubilee of ICYM parish unit and diamond jubilee of Pamboor Higher Primary School. He was a preacher and accomplished musician. The choir group presented melodious music during Sunday Masses and other festal occasions. He encouraged the associations functioning at the parish. 


Fr Charles Lewis served the parish from 2010 to 2013. He was simple and soft spoken, devout priest. He gave significance to spirituality by building a new grotto at the church campus to revive devotion to Mother Mary.


Fr Paul Rego has taken over the charge as parish priest in 2013. He is hailing form an agrarian family, laid plantation of plantains, papaya and areca in vacant space at the church premises.  He organizes weekly programmes through 18 Commissions at the parish to make it vibrant. The Small Christian Community (SCC) that is thriving in the parish because of Fr Paul in uniting the faithful in different wards.       


Fr Paul has initiated several development works and also spirituality with the help of parishioners and overseas parishioners to commemorate golden jubilee celebration. Many of such works are already completed restructuring of presbytery, building a mini hall above it that was inaugurated in 2015. The projects to improve the basic amenities of parishioners, fund has been created for educational and medical needs. The church building has been reconstructed in new style that is ready for inaugural to commemorate golden jubilee celebration.


The key profession of parishioners is agriculture and jasmine farming. The jasmine farming has become more profitable in the recent past. The children of improvised parishioners are educated and employed overseas and other cities and towns across the nation. The income level of each family has increased over the years. Its because of the divine graces of Holy Cross the families have prospered. There are 400 families with a total of 1200 parishioners in Pamboor parish.


The golden jubilee celebration will be held from December 16 to December 23 with much fanfare. Many religious, political leaders and laity leaders will take part in the celebrations.   

Vice presidents who served the parish

Marcel Martis

Philip Monis

Peter D’Almeida

Xavier Martis

Maurice Noronha

Basil Monis

Cyril Quodras

Lucas D’Souza

Vincent Alva

Gerald Machado

Fredrick Menezes

Prakash Noronha



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