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History: Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Thirthahalli.

In 1830 there was a chapel at Tirthahalli and there were a few Christians. In January, 1851, Fr Coadou (later Bishop) had begun to construct a Church but was transferred. However, the first real church at Tirthahalli dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary was constructed by Rev Fr Bouquet Assistant to Rev Fr Tuffou, Parish priest of Shimoga, between the year 1860 and 1868 (according to some in 1854) when this place was a sub-station of Shimoga. In 1896, Tirthahalli was detached from Shimoga and constituted into a Parish. It comprised tirthahalli, Nagar, Kallurkatte, Sagar, Anandapuram, Sorab, and Shikaripura in the taluk of Shikaripur and perhaps also Koppa , Fr Laurent, the Parish Priest of Shimoga became the First Parish Priest.

Namely in 1901, foundation of a new Church dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes was laid. In 1905, a second Church was completed. In 1926, a Church dedicated to St Michael was built. After that on 11-02-1933, yet another Church was raised. In 1939 these were the substations which were under Thirthahalli: Agumbe, Anandapuram, Anavathi, Balehonnur, Benavalli, Hosanagar, Iduvani, Jog, Kable, Koppa, Mandagadde, Megorchi, Megaravalli, Sagar, Ripponpet, Sedalli, Sivaspur, Shiralkoppa, Solebail, Sorab, Taluguppa, Ulavi, Yedalli. The Catholic population in 1939 was about 1000 and slowly in 1987 it was raised to 2000.

At malur of Shimoga, Tirthahalli road, about an acre of land was acquired and a small chapel built thereon when Fr A Saldanha was the Parish Priest. In the year 1939, there were two cemeteries: one in Tirthahalli town another some 4 miles away in Mannur village.

According to references from 1922 to 1949 approximately 11 priests served in this parish. From 1949 to 1952 Rev Fr P L Saldanha was the parish priest of Thirthahalli and he gave importance much for pastoral development. He had a very good friendship with all the community members and parishioners. From 1953 to 1962 Rev Fr F Lopes was the parish priest and parish got developed much more during his time. On 03rd November 1956 he invited Ursuline Franciscan Sisters to this parish and he started a convent there. From June 1, 1957 these sisters started their missionary work in thirthahalli and they started St Mary’s Kannada School in Thirthahalli. In 1971 Rev. Fr Pedelis Pinto came as a parish priest but due to illness he expired on 30th June 1971. His Burial tomb we can find in front of the Church. As a temporary and for emergency Bishop requested and appointed a Capuchins priest to serve in the the parish from 1971 to 1972. A new modern and fine Church constructed by Fr Andrew Saldanha mostly with funds provided by the Diocese was blessed on 20-05-1982. Later on from 1986 to 1990 Rev Fr C M D’Souza was the parish priest. To raise fund for the parish and for its developmental works he constructed “Maria Sankirna” Shops in the Campus, which was very much useful for the parish. On 9th December 2000 during Rev Fr Paul D’cunha’s time parish celebrated its Centenary Jubilee with a grand Holy Mass followed by Jubilee programme. Later Rev. Fr J B Castalino renovated the Sanctuary, constructed Mother Theresa Hall, Unity hall. In 2003 for the first time Small Christian Communities were made and SCC prayers too held in the Families. Later Rev. Fr Gilbert Lobo started few construction works in the parish like, new shops, renovation of Unity Hall, Compound walls around the Church and Presbytery, A Stage to offer Holy Mass in Cemetery. On 2nd February 2013 he built a new Presbytery “Vishwasa” and inaugurated by Most Rev Ignatius Pinto. On 21 May 2015 Rev. Fr Roman Pinto was appointed as a new Parish Priest of Thirthahalli. At present there are 400 Catholic Families in and around Thirthahalli.

Address:
Our Lady of Lourdes Church
Thirthahalli - 577 432
Shimoga District
Tell: 08181 - 228207
Families: 400.