Kundapur Church celebrates 450 Years
Till I came in the picture with my research in the early 1980s, everyone believed and officially recorded that Kundapur Church was built by Fr. José Vaz (now saint) in 1681. I submitted my basic research paper to Mangalore Bishop Basil D’Souza and PP of Kundapur. Directory of Mangalore Diocese corrected the year of Kundapur Church as 1570.
Kundapur was conquered from Tolar king by the Portuguese in 1570 and a chapel was erected and dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary. Three Jesuits who accompanied the Portuguese army, one of them was Fr Juão Francisco Estaphanio who was always marching ahead with a crucifix aloft encouraging the soldiers to fight. Jesuits were appointed as PP and assistant, while one died during the battle. The Jesuits dedicated the then chapel in the Fort, to Our Lady of Rosary and began their missionary activity as per their Provincial’s order from Goa. A hospital was also started. The location of this chapel was near Halle Kotte in Kundapur.
In 1572, from Goa, 12 Augustinians priests came to Kundapur and founded their convent. From Kundapur two youngmen joined the Augustinians. I have brief information about them. In 1574, many Catholic families from Goa settled down in Kundapur. Those days it was called Lower Barcelor. Later, I submitted whatever information I had with documents to my second cousin Mr Roque Carvalho, who resides now at Tallur. He studied the documents and did further study and wrote a detailed article in English. It is an excellent article with a lot of historical information. For reasons unknown to me, Kundapur Church authorities did not publish it???. I hope and pray that now the church celebrates 450 years of its presence, will take the initiative to publish his article as a historical document for posterity.
Carvalho family members must write or approach the present PP Fr Stany Tauro and request him to publish it in English and if need be the Konknni translation too. Those who are interested to know the history of Kundapur Church can approach Roque Carvalho. I am the first Jesuit from Kundapur. My daddy’s first cousin Mr Valerian Carvalho had joined the Jesuits but left after philosophy studies. I am glad and proud that I was born in Kundapur and baptised in Kundapur church. Moreover, I am proud that from the parish, which Jesuits started, I am the first Jesuit from it. I am proud that our Carvalho household served Kundapur Church for five generations as Sacristans and Choir members. May Our Lady of Rosary bless✝️ us all. A Happy Feast of Our Lady of Rosary.