History of Derebail Church
Rev Fr Lawrence D'Souza (Fr. Laws)
09-04-1939 - 08-12-1952
Rev Fr Raphael D'Souza
08-12-1952 - 07-06-1953
Rev Fr Salvadore Rodrigues
07-06-1953 - 16-05-1954
Rev Fr Paul Farais
16-05-1954 - 15-11-1964
Rev Fr Robert Pinto
15-11-1964 - 10-06-1973
Rev Fr Aveline D'Silva
10-06-1973 - 27-04-1977
Rev Fr Francis Serrao
27-04-1977 - 06-04-1983
Rev Fr Peter T D'Souza
06-04-1983 - 30-05-1987
Rev Fr J B Alvares
30-05-1987 - 02-06-1990
Rev Fr Herold Menezes
02-06-1990 - 20-05-1995
Rev Fr Mark Castelino
20-05-1995 - 30-05-2002
Rev Fr Godfrey L A Saldanha
30-05-2002 - 23-05-2009
Rev Fr Peter D'Souza
23-05-2009 - 09-06-2015
Rev Fr Joseph Lobo
08-06-2015 - 06-10-2015
Rev Fr Vincent V Menezes
25-10-2015 - 03-06-2016
Rev Fr Austin Peter Peres
03-06-2016 - Current
Assistant Parish Priests
Rev Fr Santhosh Edwin Monis
06-06-2012 - 01-06-2014
Rev Fr Vinod Lobo
03-06-2014 - 26-05-2015
Rev Fr Anil Roshan Lobo
28-05-2015 - 26-05-2016
Rev Fr Gratian Alvares (Res)
08-06-2016 - Current
Around seventy years ago there existed only a few Parishes in the city of Mangalore. From the time of Tippu Sultan’s regime those Catholics who survived after the incarceration returned to Mangalore and started living in and around the city and its suburbs. Further after a passage of time the people around the present Parish used to gather in a small chapel built by Mr. Peter Rego, which was approximately 3 Kms. , to the North-East of Mangalore. During which period a Priest from Tallicherry by name Rev. Fr. Joseph Mendes used to look after the spiritual needs of the laity here, together with Rev. Fr. Messiah and Rev. Fr. Cosmas Camillus. These 3 Priests were instrumental in strengthening the Christian spiritual needs and concentrating in the missionary work. One Mr. Luke Fakheyas was supporting these 3 Priests. At this time a secret agent, by name Mr. Antony prompted the then Government authorities regarding the happenings of the Sacred Mission. The authorities wasted no time to arrest Rev. Fr. Joseph Mendes and sent him to Jalalabad and kept him in captivity. But in 1799 the British who ruled India, captured the Jalalabad castle and after a short while of time Rev. Fr. Joseph Mendes breathed his last. In other words this holy priest who had a burning desire for the love of Christ sacrifice his life for Christ. Prior to the inception of Urwa Parish, Derebail Parish was affiliated to Rosario Cathedral, and hence for about 6 years it remained attached to Urwa Parish, at which time a small Chapel as well as a cemetery exclusively for the Parishioners of Derebail was under control of the Urwa Parish, but then (in1948) no traces of evidence could be found in support of this. During those days in the absence of not many Churches present in Mangalore, some 3-4 Altar boys from Derebail used to rise early in the mornings at around 5.30a.m., and walk upto Urwa from Konchady to serve Mass. May be Christ only blessed and inspired them as they had to return all the way back after the 6.15a.m. Mass and attend school at 9.00a.m. again at Urwa. Unfortunately during those days there were only 3 parishes in the vicinity i.e., Bondel, Bejai and Urwa; and most of the laity were attending the church which they found closer. As buses too were not operating like now, most of them had to depend by walking over the distances for the sick and aged persons attending Mass and receiving Communion was only a dream. Such was the situation for the people who were dwelling in Konchady, Parapade & Gollachil, as any one of the afore mentioned Churches were a question of distance. Setting up a church in any convenient location was the need of the hour. Besides Derebail was a forest like place in which wild animals were dwelling. It was dangerous to walk alone after dark as one had to confront even the presence of tiger at times. In emergency cases people used to carry a torch made of straw and also a strong stick in company of others. The main occupancy was farming and flower business. The scenario was primitive with narrow mud terrain, straw roofed houses with attached stables for cattle, Kerosine oil lamps, Dens for chicken and pigs, mostly uneducated people though, very cooperative amongst one another, with greenery, clean air etc. The people working in their farms and gardens and one could hear hymns after angelus & rosary which was a daily system before retiring to bed. As it was difficult to make both ends meet for their daily bread the building of a Church was also an equally difficult task. Despite all the difficulties the enthusiasm of building an own parish was increasing. Hence a proposal in this direction was put forth on 23-02-1936 with Rt. Rev. Victor Rosario Fernandes. But due to momentary constraints also of place to build one this proposal had to be put on hold. During which time Mr. Sylvester E. Rego came up with an idea of combining two plots on Mulageni and also by his own personal finance built a small Church. Subsequently completing registration formalities Mr. Rego handed over the Church to the then Bishop who accepted his offer and segregated little portions of Bejai, Bondel and Urwa and formed Derebail Church and made the dream came true for the laity of Derebail. The news of establishing Derebail Parish was announced in the neighboring Parishes in 1939 and issued a Decree in order that this parish would start functioning on Easter Sunday of 1939, but the Bishop blessed it on Holy Saturday that year. The day was a jubilation & celebration day for the parishioners of Derebail. During the Holy Mass at 4.30p.m. with bursting of crackers and a lot of decorations around the Church building and its surroundings. The announcement of this was done in all Churches of the Varado. After the inaugural Mass the faithful of Derebail parish greeted each other by reciting Angelus and chanting praises to our Patron Holy Redeemer remain with us, Alleluea, Alleluea etc. This ceremony was attended by the then Vicar of Urwa Parish Rev. Fr. P.S. D’Souza, Vicar of Bondel Rev. Fr. John D’Sa, Vicar of Bejai Rev. Fr. L. Saldanha, Vicar of Rosario Cathedral Rev. Fr. V.L. Mathias, Vicar of Milagres Church Rev. Fr. Julian D’Souza, and Director of Fr. Muller’s Hospital, Kankanady Rev. Fr. Reginald Pinto. Added to this the faithful of neighboring Parishes also attended the function. In addition Mr. Sylvester E. Rego also donated, benches, chairs, cots and the Altar. On behalf of the Parishioners Mr. Cajitan Lobo (Parishioner himself) thanked profusely Mr. Sylvester E. Rego the donor. After clicking a few photographs of the people attended prior to dispersal. The Then Bishop nominated Rev. Fr. L.S. D’Souza (Laus) as founder Vicar of Derebail Parish effective 09-04-1939. The next day being Easter Sunday the first Holy Mass was offered by new Vicar Rev. Fr. Laus with much celebration, choir etc. following which there was Benediction and singing of Tridium. So from the very infancy of Derebail Parish there started many associations such as Altar Boys Sodality, St. Vincent De Paul Society, Legion of Mary and so on. As the Parish grew on it nourished and flourished abundantly. Furthermore with donations received from His Lordship the Bishop, the Belfry and vestments were possible, and with donations given by the Parishioners and well-wishers statues were erected in the Church premises. Mr. Denis Nazareth was the first Administrator of the Parish. The boundaries of the Church/Parish were set by Mr. Casmir Nazareth, the Head Clerk of the Bishop’s House, and eight wards were formed. Gurkars were nominated to each ward, namely Mr. Alexander (Acchu) Rego for church ward Mr. Casmir D’Costa for Derebail ward, Mr. Baptist Cornelio for Konchady ward, Mr. Benjamin Vaz for Kapikad Ward; Mr. Mark Pais for Kuntikan Ward, Mr. Paul D’Sa for Bejai Ward, Mr. Hilary Lobo for Barebail Ward and Mr. David Pinto for Kavoor, Ward. During this time the Holy Family School, Managed by Catholic Board of education; and St. Peters School at Kottara was taken over from Mr. Salvadore Goveas by the Bishop for a meager amount of Rs. 1,500/- likewise both the schools progressed with number of students and with respect to good standard of education as well.
The very first Parish feast of Derebail was celebrated on 09-11-1939 with great pomp and gaiety; But on the following day i.e. 10-11-1939 Mr. Sylvester E. Rego whilst reciting the Angelus breathed his last due to cardiac arrest. The next day funeral rites were observed by the parishioners; and the mortal remains was laid to rest inside the Church next to the Altar by His Lordship the Bishop. A full size photograph was hanged in the Church Parlor at the expenses borne by the Parish. The Church bell was procured by His Lordship at a meager cost of Rs.325/-; and also a Post Office was opened attached to the Church. On 23-05-1941 Rev. Fr. Aloysius Rosario arrived here as the 1st Asst. Parish Priest, during the end of this year the work of building of compound wall around the cemetery was completed.
From the very inception of this Parish there started Vocations Rev. Fr. Hilary Miranda (Diocese of Calicut) Rev. Fr. Joseph Fernandes (Diocese of Bangalore ) Rev. Fr. J. Nazareth (Diocese of Ajmeer) the newly Ordained Priests offered their first Mass at Derebail Church. Amongst the laity leaders Mr. Mark Pais became the President of St. Vincent De Paul Society. From the enthusiastic youngsters there emerged catechists and persons ………… in the up keep of the Church. And this time around (1947) C.Y.M. was established. So spiritual as well as cultural activities began to take place.
On 29-09-1947 the completion of 25th (Silver Jubilee) year of Ordination of Priesthood of Rev. Fr. Laus was celebrated with much grandeur. Together with 75 priests many Catholics and non-Catholics alike participated in the celebration during morning & evening felicitations programs. At which time under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Aloysius Rosario founded the choir group. Rev. Fr. Rosario was not only the Asst. Parish Priest but also the Headmaster of the school, but was transferred and left Derebail. Meanwhile Rev. Fr. Charles Saldanha replaced him as Asst. Parish Priest for 4 months (26-5-1948 – 28-09-1948); after which Rev. Fr. John Cornelio (01-10-1948) took over as Asst. Parish Priest.
At the time the Parishioners were involved with flower business, cultivation, salesmen in cloth shops, printing press and daily wages coolies. Few were away from home in places like western ghats and Bombay. The timings of daily Masses during the week were at 05.45a.m. and 6.30 a.m.; and on Sundays at 5.45a.m. and 8.00a.m. There used to be devotions during the month of May and other part of the year there used to observance and Novenas in honour of other saints as well.
Year 1952 onwards the observance of Catechism day came into effect. During this year (15-07-1952) Rev. Fr. Cornelio was transferred and Rev. Fr. Edward Saldanha replaced him (15-07-1952) as Asst. Parish Priest. During this time on the Parish Priest (Vicar) fell ill and the entire responsibility of visiting Vicar at Moodbidri Hospital to attend on him looking after the welfare hard to be shouldered. Besides the parishioners too were paying a visit to the hospital as well. Until Fr. Laus (Vicar) recovered and returned the services offered by Fr. Saldanha were greatly appreciated by the parishioners. At the time of his transfer (8-12-1952) the entire catholic community of Derebail bid a heartfelt goodbye to Fr. Saldanha. As Vicar Rev. Fr. Laus though returned but was still unwell Rev. Fr, Raphael D’Souza came in to assist for about 6 months (8-12-1952). Following this (7-6-1953) Rev. Fr. S.C.A. Rodrigues came in replacement of Fr. Raphael D’Souza to assists the Vicar though as Fr. Laus was weak and inactive the parishioners felt not so interested towards devotion. On 16-05-1954 Rev. Fr. Paul Farias came in as Vicar to replace Fr. Laus; and on first day itself addressed to the faithful of Derebail Parish. “I have been sent here as your elder brother, our main intention is Jesus Christ and salvation of our soul. As in human nature we may have certain weaknesses & differences, but we will all work together with like mindedness and as one people”.
With this the faith of the people began to be rejuvenated, the young and old participated and sang praises to Lord in full swing and made the liturgy more attractive. The Altar boys Sodality became much stronger, their Patrons Feast was celebrated on 14-08-1954 for the 1st time and members were conferred with ribbons. Also during the Nativity Feast the ceremony of blessing the corn and procession of the Statue of Bambino Mary with children strewing the flowers from Kuntikan (3rd mile) up to the church was started. The tradition of distributing Sugar cane to the children who participated in the Novenas also came into practice. Mr. Francis D’Sa of Barebail Ward was the sponsor for Sugar cane. The immediate previous Sunday prior to the Parish Feast (Confraternity) was an attraction by itself and also the procession came into practice during this time. Everyone joined in this ritual sang laud and clear the hymns and also recitation of prayers. Decorating the entire way of procession was the responsibility of the members of C.Y.M. group. In 1954 during Christmas a drama, namely “APOVNE” (meaning Invitation) was enacted by the artists of our own church. A pathway to facilitate for the ones who came for Mass from Bejai and Kottara was main from behind the church. But as this pathway was being used for illegal purposes by certain miscreants which hindered the holy rituals taking place in the church and also because of some movement of vehicles the parishioners appealed to the Vicar and put an end and displayed a board reading “ this pathway is not for use to public.” On 13-01-1955 and after litigation, was declared that church property exclusively for the use of church goers.
On 12/13th February His Lordship Bishop Peres made his 1st Pastoral visit, during which time the sacrament of confirmation was given to children. A donation of Rs.50/- was given to the Church as well. As a result of his pastoral visit an Asst. Parish Priest by name Rev. Fr. Cyprian Lasrado came on 09-04-1956. As per permission granted by the Holy see that 2 Masses a day be performed by Priests, on Saturday & Sunday and 1st Friday of the month (Diocesan permission granted by His Lordship the Bishop) this practice began to be exercised. On the occasion of centenary celebration of sighting of our Lady of Lourds was yet another grand celebration observed by our Parish. After reciting the Rosary a Tabloid of our Lady of Lourdes with a statue was taken to Haripadav in procession; followed by a Homily upon returning to Church after lighting of candles there was Benediction before going home. On 22-03-1958 Rev. Fr. Cyprian Lasrado was transferred to the Milagres Parish, and as replacement Rev. Fr. Harold Menezes took over on the same day, as Asst. Parish Priest, who was transferred to Milagres Parish on 22-10-1959. On 23-10-1959 Rev. Fr. Stanley Pereira took over as Asst. Parish Priest, who in turn was transferred to the Diocese of Mysore to serve there.
In 1961 a proposal to build a new Church was thought of; the board members together with the Vicar went to His Lordship the Bishop. His Lordship replied that the plot and the bungalow gifted to me is free to construct a church, But a tenant who occupied in that plot was reluctant to vacate, the trouble taken by the Board members in this respect did not bear fruit. The church was not electrified. Mr. Paul D’Sa, Bejai Ward donated electricity in remembrance of Golden Jubilee of his wedding; and Mr. Peter Rego of Kapikad Ward gifted Electricity to Priests’ residence. Mr. Dumingo Concessao donated 3 fans; and Mr. Sebastian Sequeira donated a fan, Missal and adoration cope. The Parishioners prepared to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Parish with a drama and collected Rs.101/- and the lucky dip fetched them Rs. 937/-. About 200 appeal letters were sent out to the parishioners who were away from home but only 28 individuals responded with their mite. House to house collection was made and on 23-04-1964 the Jubilee was celebrated. Mr. Charles Lobo was the Vice-President of the Jubilee Committee following the 7.00a.m. Mass, a photo was clicked along with His Lordship the Bishop and Parishioners. The past Asst. Parish Priests namely Rev. Fr. Harold Menezes, Rev. Fr. J. Cornelio and Rev. Fr. Aloysius Rosario concelebrated the Mass with choir in attendance.
About 1200people attending the Mass were served with breakfast. His Lordship the Bishop fully appreciated this arrangement. Likewise at 6.30p.m. the same day during cultural programme a drama “Awoicho Ghut” (meaning: “Mother’s secret”) written by Mr. Ignatius Lobo was played. During this lucky dip was drawn and prizes to winners of sports were distributed. The programme ended at 10.30p.m. and His Lordship the Bishop was present until then.
As the financial condition was totally weak His Lordship suggessted to raise the Annual collection to Rs.3/- from Rs.1/-. Although most parishioners didn’t object to this, a few critics opposing this started collecting forgery signatures from innocent/ignorant parishioners and appealed to His Lordship regarding their inability to contribute. Doubting the controversy His Lordship informed the Vicar to do away with this rule to only those families who really face economic difficulty.
On 15-11-1964 Rev. Fr. Paul Farais who retired and left the Parish due to health problems, Rev. Fr. Robert M.Pinto took over as Vicar. Right from that year the Christmas celebrations took a new turn with full of grandeur. Christmas Tree programme came into effect with distribution of prizes to children in the evening with arrival of Santa Claus. In order to boost up devotion and unity amongst the Parishioners the vicar brought out some projects; such as showing of religious films etc. Meanwhile the dire need for a Harmonium was felt, for which a drama by name “ASHESO FOLE” (meaning –“The fruit of desire”) written by Mr. Pascal Lobo was enacted through the members of C.Y.M. group. A sum of Rs.650/- was collected with donations given by the kind hearted Parishioners and a “HARMONIUM FUND” was started.
On 11-05-1965 Rt. Rev. Dr. Basil S. D’Souza was consecrated as Bishop of Mangalore Diocese. During that year he paid a visit to our Parish; and the Parishioners felicitated him. During the same year Lady of Sorrows Salve was organized through (by way of a) retreat. Our Vicar himself gave the homily on the last day of retreat Mr. Francis D’Sa of Barebail ward gifted vestments for Mass costing Rs. 428/- Besides from monies collected from parishioners Rs.180/- a ceiling fan was installed in the Vicar’s room. Meanwhile the need for Sound System was felt utterly important. Towards this a play, namely “APRAAD” (meaning – allegation) written by Mr. Pascal Lobo, and another play namely “MAI MAKA ADAINAKA’ (meaning MOTHER DON’T HINDER ME’) written by Mr. Wilfred Rebimbus were enacted and sums of Rs.213.45 and Rs.553.35 successively were collected, With Easter Sunday collection and personal donations by the Parishioners totaling to Rs.1,500/- a new sound system was purchased/installed and on Sunday 03-07-1966 during 5.45 Mass was inaugurated by the Vicar His Lordship, Bishop Rt. Rev. Basil S. D’Souza during his first Pastoral visit to the parish on 6-8-1966 expressedly told the Vicar and the faithful there . Now in this Parish one could see the devotion, interest and togetherness.
An extremely sad news spread over the parish and to the people lining around the church that the government is going to take over this area for the development/expansion project of Harbor and Industrial sector. At this time all people in and around the environs of the parish irrespective of cast and creed gathered in the church school with the Vicar and other leaders to plead with the government to alter/give up this idea and collectively sent an appeal in this respect. The Parishioners placed all their trust and confidence on the Lady of Perpetual Succor; and from the evening of Saturday 14-08-1966 commenced a Novena. An encouraging number of about 900 people were present on this day. The main intention being to keep away the project from this proposed area so that a new/modern church can be built in place.
The Vicar spoke positively “ let us all faithfully and with confidence go to our Holy Redeemer through Mary”, “Have courage the success will be ours”.
Peoples prayers reached Mother Mary and just within 6 months period the Government changed its mind and kept away the 6 areas away from this project in which Derebail was one. The message regarding this was published in Govt. Gazette in March 1968 and this was informed in the Church.
On 16-04-1967 our St. Vincent De Paul Society celebrated their Silver Jubilee. Another joyful news also awaited by our Parishioners was that two of our members namely Mr. Francis D’Sa of Konchady Ward and Mrs. Martha Miranda (Madtha Bai) were conferred with benemerenthi Honour citation and a Gold Medal by the Holy see (the Pope) for their social work, Kindness, faith. Ideal life and model to others. His Lordship the Bishop in the presence of the Parishioners handed over this Honour, who applauded whole heartedly. Late Silvester Rego’s mortal remains though buried inside the church was not covered with a marble stone. After 30 years of his death and burial the parishioners pooled some money and marble stone was laid on his grave. This costed Rs.300/-.
The school at Kottara which was under the care of Derebail Parish had only up to 5th Standard. This was raised up to 6th standard after obtaining required permission from the government. In the year 1969 a new school building was constructed with the donation of Parishioners, the expense for which was Rs.4500/-. This time around, there was discussion on whether or not the Parish feast be celebrated. After due discussion, our parishioners decided to celebrate the feast in a simple manner. So from the year 1968 celebration of the Holy Redeemers Feast came into effect.
In the year 1969 renewal in the liturgy was thought of discussion camps were in vogue. Our parishioners also participated in this whole heartedly.
On 21-04-1969 Rev. Jerome D’Souza was Ordained as priest for the Diocese of Allahabad. The ordination was officiated by our Bishop. On the same day his brother Mr. Lawrence D’Souza and Miss Felcy D’Silva”s nuptials was performed. In honour of the newly ordained priest the parishioners played a Drama by name “MODERN NOVRO” (meaning “Modern Bridegroom”) by the members of C.Y.M.
PROPOSAL OF A NEW CHURCH:
The notion of building a bigger church in place of the then small church was there in the minds of parishioners from 1958 itself. Rev. Fr. Robert Pinto put forth the proposal of a new church openly in presence front of the people and started a church fund with a symbolic donation of Rs.100/-. He placed a Dumb Box in respect of the fund and requested them to contribute, for which he obtained permission of His Lordship. Mr. Ronald D’Souza drew a plan of church as well as Priests’ residence. Enthusiastic parishioners filled the Vicar with all support & confidence. In 1970 Mr. J.M. D’Souza contributed Rs.1,000/-. Gradually the fund began to swell. On 26-7-1970 His Lordship gave permission for construction. It was estimated that the cost of construction would be Rs. One and a half lakhs. Parishioners arranged small meetings in this respect. Mr. Charles Lobo the Administrator of the parish donated Rs.1000/-. The Vicar added another Rs.1, 000/- and others also promised their support. Mr. Cyprian Correa gave Rs.100/- and some of them promised there will be contribute, as a result fees the amount soared to Rs.10,000/- on the same day. With the enthusiasm and happiness the project picked up momentum. On 30-08-1970 (Sunday) in the presence of 1,500 parishioners the foundation stone was blessed by His Lordship. Our own Parishioners Mr. Francis D’Sa of Konchady Ward was nominated as contractor and Mr. Ronald D’Souza was given the responsibility as all-round supervisor. The work commenced on 14-09-1970, the feast of the triumphant Holy Cross. A request was made to all earning members to donate a month’s wages to this fund. Even the little children sacrificed their pleasures and donated their mite to the fund. In the month of October the Vicar himself visited east and every house and collected Rs.12, 000/-. Some of the Parishioners voluntarily supported the fund on their happy occasions. Mithr Mandali, Derebail collected a sum of Rs.1,000/- by planning a show titled “PAHILWAN PANDITH” (meaning mighty doctor). During this occasion a plea made to His Lordship fetched Rs.10,000/- towards the construction of Church and Rs.2000/- for the priests residence. Before the end of the year a subsidy of Rs.22,500 was received from Rome as Propagation of Faith through His Lordship. At the end of 1971 the plastering work was completed. In the beginning of 1972 flooring and electricity jobs were finished.
On 7-4-1972 Vicar Rev. Fr. Robert Pinto’s Silver Jubilee year of Priesthood and plans were underway for the inaugural function of the newly built church, due to inconvenience/inability for His Lordship to attend, 24-4-1972 was earmarked for the Inaugural. Archbishop Dr. A.V. D’Souza cut the ribbon and declared the Church open for worship; and His Lordship blessed the new church and its premises. 12 priests joined the Jubilarian and concelebrated the Holy Mass. The Homily was by Rev. Fr. Aloysius M. Rosario who served as an Asst. Parish Priest in this church for 7 years. The felicitation programme was arranged inside the Church itself. There were 100 priests, 45 Rev. Sisters, 50 close relatives of the Vicar and 2,500 parishioners and their relatives were present. A costly Refrigerator was presented to the Vicar. Coffee and refreshments were served to all attended. Certainly the day could be written with Golden letters. The same evening C.Y.M. celebrated their Silver Jubilee, and on this occasion cultural programme was held.
On 10-3-1973 Rev. Fr. Robert Pinto was transferred to Bejai Parish; and the parishioners reached him there by foot. On the same day Rev. Fr. Aveline D’Silva took over as new Vicar; who strived hard to strengthen improve the spiritual life of the faithful. But on grounds of his ill health he requested His Lordship that he be given charge of a smaller Parish, in response he was transferred to Sastan Pairsh on 27-04-1977. Rev. Fr. Francis Serrao came in his place on 27-04-1977 to Derebail. Rev. Thomas Quadros, son of Mr. J.B. Quadros was ordained as Priest at Milagres Parish on 5-5-1977 and offered his first Mass at Derebail on 08-05-1977. The Parishioners felicitated him.
The Catechism classes which were conducted in the mornings after the Mass was changed to evenings; after catechism the children were given instructions following which the Mass. Until then Boys & Girls of CYM. Used to conduct Catechism Classes. At this juncture our school teachers were called to replace the system and about 16 teachers came forward to take over this task. Ever since school teachers began to teach Catechism. On 21-08-1977 the 30th Annual Conference of C.Y.M. was held at Derebail. Family Welfare project was also conducted in our Parish. In 1977 there started contribution system of receiving contributions (Murdum) towards the celebration of Annual Parish feast. The monies received thus were also utilized for betterment of the Church.
On 02-07-1978 Mr. Francis D’Sa, the contractor who handled the construction work of our Church passed away. The person who became popular by discounting 50% of his profit and also by his personal donation of Rs.5000/- to the Church. His funeral was attended by the parishioners despite heavy showers and paid homage. As a mark of utmost respect and thankfulness a permanent monument was built over his grave in the cemetery at the cost of our Parish.
In May 1978 the Vicar with the help of Parish Council members took a decision that all Parishioners contribute a day’s salary of a year towards Annual Contribution as there was no other income generated by the Parish.
It was a matter of great pride and happiness that Alcoholic Anonymous Association was established in our Parish with strength of 35 members on 28-02-1978.
On 1-6-1980 was yet another day to remember a dream came true to all our Parishioners which was awaited for a long time. A Convent was established of St. Ann’s Order at the 3rd mile stone of Kuntikan. These Rev. Sisters took over the responsibility of running the Church School. With regard to the response and influence of this Miss. Merlyn Jane D’Souza joined the Bethany order to serve God.
As our cemetery was small in size and also of with the practice of building permanent monuments, it was decided by the Parish Governing Council that idea of building vaults was thought of. His Lord ship approved of this project and in December 1979 – 6 vaults were being built.
On 22-4-1981 Rev. Fr. Archibald Albuquerque was ordained, who offered his first Mass in our Church on 23-04-1981. On 26-4-1981 (Catechism Day) the felicitation was held. On 16-5-1981 Rev. Fr. Clement Mascarenhas came in as new Asst. Parish Priest who filled in this post after a long gap. In October the same year a Charismatic Retreat was arranged. Rev. Fr. A.J. Menezes (OFM. Cap.) preached the Homily.
Although there was no dearth of talents in our Church, in 1982 the youth took active part in art, games & sports and brought in several prizes and trophies. On 2-8-1982 Asst. Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Clement Mascarenhas was transferred from here and in replacement Rev. Fr. Gerry Pinto came in.
On 19-4-1983 Our Parishioner Rev. Fr. Richard Francis Lasrado was ordained who offered his first Mass here on 24-4-1983, the same day our parishioners felicitated him. After serving for 6 years our Vicar Rev. Fr. Francis Serrao was transferred to Milagres Parish; and Rev. Fr. Peter Theodor D’Souza came in as Vicar on 30-04-1983. The new Vicar gave more importance prominence in changing the liturgical norms. During week days and on Sundays the liturgy was distributed to various groups congregation singing was encouraged, hence choir group taking leadership started singing with the worshipers. Two of our parishioners presented about 200 hymnals (Konkani devotional Hymns Vol.1) due to which more and more people were encouraged took part in the liturgy. Because of this additional sound system had to be brought in 15 new vestments were purchased; additionally 11 vestments came in from America as donation. People presented Decorative lightings; Mr. Denis Barboza of Konchady ward donated 25 steel chairs. Rev. Fr. Felix Noronha who was newly ordained offered his first Mass on 17-4-1985 likewise Rev. Fr. Lancy Monteiro of Barebail Ward offered his first Mass on 18-4-1985 Rev. Fr. Lancy Monteiro was ordained by the Bishop of Silchar Diocese in Derebail Church. Both the priests were being felicitated in our Parish.
On February 6th 1986 during Pope John Paul II visit to Mangalore at Bajpe Airport a real good spiritual as well as ecclesiastical preparations were made. Our Parishioners collected a sum of Rs. 8,000/- in this respect.
During October 1986 Rev. Fr. Gerry Pinto left us on transfer; as a result of which the entire responsibility fell on the shoulders of Vicar (additionally the Vicar had to take duties of a Principal at Madyanthar College w.e.f. 15-6-1984). Knowing this additional load His Lordship sent Rev. Fr. Victor J. D’Souza as Asst. Parish Priest on 7-6-1984. During this time an Inverter costing Rs. 4650/- was purchased with the help of donation from Parishioners. Meanwhile the sound system which went weak had to be rectified and repaired. A new loud speaker had to be bought. The cost Rs.2, 000/- was borne by Mr. George D’Cruz of Kapikad ward. During this year the liturgy during lent was designed differently. Like many years in the past there used to be the system of holding the Way of the C ross at Haripadav, followed by sermon and then return to church for the rest of liturgy. Rev. Fr. Victor J. D’Souza was transferred to Moodbelle Parish and in his place Rev. Fr. Joseph Machado came in as Asst. Parish Priest on 21-5-1986. Mrs. Louisa Rego of Konchady Ward donated a sum of Rs.5000/- which came in handy for repair work of roof over the sacristy. The total cost of which was Rs.12, 000/-. Rev. Fr. Walter Pinto (Diocese of Bombay) of Kavoor Ward offered his first Mass on 27-04-1987 and Rev. Fr. Denis Suares of Kuntikan ward offered his 1st Mass on 2-5-1987. Both these priests were felicitated on 3-5-1987 (Catechism Day) by the parishioners. On 30-05-1987 Rev. Fr. Peter Theodore D’Souza left Derebail on transfer. He was replaced by Rev. Fr. J.B. Alvares on 10-4-1988 Rev. Fr. Joel Pais (Baroda Diocese) of Kuntikan Ward was ordained as priest in our Parish by His Lordship the Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Francis Xavier Fernandes of the Diocese of Baroda. Rev. Fr. Joel Pais was felicitated by the parishioners on 17-4-1988 (Catechism Day). On 21-5-1988 Asst. Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Joseph Machado went on transfer and as replacement Rev. Fr. Lawrence D’Souza. On 1-6-1988 the strayed building of School at Kottara was inaugurated, on 11-6-1988 the Laws & by-Laws of Parish Administration were formed. On 26-6-1988 Sr. Candida and Sr. Clotilda after being trained at the Mangala Jyothi Centre were nominated by His Lordship as unusual ministers to distribute Communion. On 24-7-1988 the members of Parish Governing council were given a training session, for which Rev. Fr. Mark Castelino and Rev. Fr. Mark Veigas were called in. Ever since that time a change was brought in the timing of Sunday Mass 1st at 5.30a.m., 2nd at 7.30a.m. and 3rd at 9.30a.m. (Children’s Mass).
Rev. Fr. Clifford Pinto (Diocese of Bhopal) brother of Rev. Fr. Walter offered his first Mass on 20-11-1988 at Derebail Church. After which the parishioners felicitated the new priest. In the month of December 1988 the church compound ( part) was asphalted which costed Rs.27,000/-. The background of the Crucifix inside the church was newly painted at a cost of Rs.1, 900/- which was borne by Mr. Joseph Crasta & Family.
On 26-4-1990 the Golden Jubilee of ordination of Rev. Fr. J.B. Alvares (Vicar); and on the same day a foundation stone was laid for Derebail Hall. Rev. Fr. J.B. Alvares retired and in his place came Rev. Fr. Harold Menezes on 2-6-1990. A new Parish sports club was inaugurated on 9-9-1990. In order to ease the Pastoral work and with the permission of His Lordship, 5 wards were increased, thus making a total of 13 wards in all. On 3-6-1990 Rev. Fr. Lawrence D’Souza was transferred and in came Rev. Fr. Andrew Leo D’Souza as Asst. Parish Priest.
On 11-9-1991 Vicar Rev. Fr. Robert Pinto who built the new church breathed his last; and as per his intention he was laid to rest in Derebail Cemetary Parishioners paid their last respects and a monument was built on his grave at the expense of the Parish. As frequent electrical failure was occurring during liturgical services, an electrical power generator was purchased at a cost of Rs.58, 747/- the cost of which was borne by the generous donations of Parishioners. Also 1000 hymnals for use during liturgy and Noveena booklets containing prayers of Lady of Perpetual succor and Holy Redeemer were printed. The entire cost of Rs.6,328/- was borne by Mr. Lawrence Rodrigues of Church Ward III. Mr. Adibbe & Fly. and Mr. Austin D’Cunha & Fly each donated 2 mike sets costing Rs.2,200/-.
In February 1992 with the leadership of Asst. Parish Priest Small Christian Community, through liturgical committee was started in the Parish. On 16-08-1992 St. Vincent De Paul Society celebrated its Golden Jubilee, and in this context for people to accommodate during the liturgical proceedings decided to bring in more chairs and lay asphalt to the remaining area of the church compound. The cost for this was Rs.70, 000/-. On 2-6-1994 Asst. Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Andrew Leo D’Souza was transferred and Rev. Fr. Oswald Monteiro replaced him on 3-6-1994.
On 20-05-1995 Vicar Rev. Fr. Harold Menezes was transferred and a new Vicar Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino replaced him. At the time of welcoming him by the Parishioners it was hinted that a mega project of “Golden Jubilee Hall” was pending for completion despite the past 5 years. In reply the newly arrived Vicar said thus “I have not come here to build the Hall, but have come to build a strong Christian Community, I will spare no efforts to do so”. In this direction he started renewal in strengthening liturgy and the Small Christian Community. To focus more on this work he set up workshops on Parish level. He formed a central committee on 11-9-1995. With this it was easier for him to carry out Small Christian Community meetings in all wards in an organized manner. Likewise laity leadership was also increased. To induce interest in devotional singing and to make it practical Rev. Fr. Mark Castelino formed a children’s choir under the leadership and training by Mr. Alwyn D’Cunha, a parishioner. Around 50 members’ choir group of children captured the minds and hearts of the Parishioners.
THE GOLDEN JUBILEE HALL OF DEREBAIL:
For the ever increasing population of the Parish although had enough space in the church to carry out liturgical programs with the help of the parishioners, there was no platform for social and cultural events, workshops and programs on large scale. Moreover for marriages etc. the parishioners had to seek such space in other Halls in the city from where it was difficult to find their way back home due to lack of conveyance. Hence the need for having a Hall in our own parish was immensely felt. A committee of constructing a Hall was formed and collection in this respect began. Subsequently a plan was prepared, a place was set and on 26-04-1990 a foundation stone was laid. Eventually although after a period of 6 years there was not much progress could be seen. There were many setbacks and bottle necks experienced; and the idea of a Hall remained a distant dream in the minds of people. Though there was a lot of pressure on the parish Governing council, but due to lack of a suitable leader who would carry on this task confidently, the committee of constructing the hall was dissolved on 24-3-1996 and the entire responsibility was dumped on the shoulders of the Vicar; and Parish Governing Council pledged their full support. Although in the previous instance the Vicar had expressed that “ I have not come here to build the Hall, but build a strong Christian Community. Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino accepted to shoulder the full responsibility of constructing the Hall. By then the finance collected so far in this respect including interest was a meager 2 lakhs rupees. But placing all his faith upon the Holy Redeemer and seeking full support and co-operation from Parishioners, he set his food down and obtained the required License from the Government authority, and after getting the soil tested on 21-7-1996, the project of constructing parish hall commenced on 20-8-1996. He appealed to parishioners as well as outsiders to donate whole heartedly towards this cause the Gurkars and representatives of the words toiled hard to collect funds for this, but when the intended target did not meet, contractor Lancy Mascarenhas shelled out his own money and proceeded with the job; and with spirit and hard work of the Vicar, construction of Hall completed within 7 months. On 30-03-1997 Easter Sunday Vicar inaugurated the Hall and same was blessed by His Lordship the Bishop. The joy & happiness experienced by the parishioners way back about 58 years ago when the church was inaugurated could be seen on every one’s face at this occasion too as consequently both inaugurals taking place on the same day i.e. Easter Sunday.
On 3-6-1997 Rev. Fr. Oswald Monteiro was transferred and in his place Rev. Fr. Stany Fernandes came to Derebail on 26-5-1997 as Asst. Parish Priest. Rev. Dr. Mark Castelino was transferred to Kelarai Parish on 31-5-2002; and Rev. Fr. Godfrey Saldanha, Vicar replaced him on 30-5-2002. Having been Vicar Bejai Parish for 7 long years Rev. Fr. Godfrey Saldanha had a fair idea about Derebail Parish as well. With his deep thinking and wisdom and also with the words of Holy Bible he captured the hearts and minds of the people of Derebail and also gave a new face-lift to the church and its environs, a compound wall in front of the church, beautiful flower garden around the church and school. A beautiful Altar with a picture of last supper at the background, pictures of the Evangelists, a tabernacle and a podium to place the Holy Bible on either side of the Altar. A statue of Infant Jesus and St. Antony added beauty and benevolence. A flag mast embedded on symbolic Ashoka-sthamba in front yard of the church. He also headed the editorial Board of “Derebailchen Phul” a monthly magazine of our Parish and was instrumental for the total success. The centennial issue of magazines publication coincided with Rev. Fr. Godfrey Saldanha’s sixtieth Birthday, which was celebrated in a grand manner.
The Parish day in February 2006 was celebrated with High Mass and lunch thereafter for all attended. One more noticeable change brought to the church building was that the Iron rolling shutters in front and on the sides were replaced with wooden doors and frames which gave an authentic look of a place of worship. The plastering, electrical wiring and painting, gives an entire new look and in no way less whilst compared to other churches in the Diocese of Mangalore. The inauguration after the repairs and renewal of the church was done in the month of March 2008. Mr. Alwyn Pais with his troop of trained children played brass band one hour prior to this occasion.
While looking at the history of Derebail Church or Parish one cannot forget to mention the presence of a beautiful stage “KURPECHO SAGOR” (meaning Ocean of Grace). The parishioners evidence the progress; and are encourage/enthused with the increase of oneness, education and co-operation in the cultural as well as devotional betterment amongst the young and old alike, by proving their ability and uplifted our name in every sphere. The strain, the toil & ideals of Christian faith imbibed within as by our elders has proved by the grace of Holy Redeemer, our Patron. Let us sustain this and pass on the torch to our children. Be it our Prime duty.