From April 1994 the parish bulletin “Voice of Bendur” was published during every month by the editorial board under the leadership Fr Gregory L.DaCruz. Mr Aloysius D’Souza took over as the first editor of the bulletin in August
1994 and edited the same till May 1995. Mr Zozimus Pais took over after that, and subsequently Mr Ignatius Machado, Mrs Grace D’Cruz and Rev. Fr Anil D’Mello edited the bulletin. Presently the editorial board is publishing the bulletin under the guidance of Rev. Fr Antony Serrao.
As a Jubilee souvenir the Platinum Jubilee Auditorium was erected. This is now generating funds for the parish, as till then, the parish was solely dependent on the generosity of the parishioners. Fr DaCruz started a fund to meet the needs of the poor students of the parish. Mr Antony D’Souza was once again elected as the vice president on July 3rd 1994 and Mrs Jane Sequeira as secretary. After serving the parish for 8 years and on completion of 75 years of his life, Fr DaCruz retired from the parish on May 4th 1995.
Rev. Fr Joseph Tauro took over as the fifteenth parish priest on May 24th 1995, and was assisted by Rev. Fr Faustine Lobo from June 4th 1996 to June 14th 1997, Rev. Fr Jerome D’Souza from June 6th 1997 to May 18th 1998, Rev. Fr Ivan D’Mello from May 27th 1997 to May 21st 1998, Rev. Fr Joseph Lobo from May 20th 1998 to May 29th 2000, Rev. Fr Ronald Miranda from May 29th 1998 to May 14th 1999, Rev. Fr Cyril D’Souza from May 16th 1999 to May 20th 2000, Rev. Fr Nelson D’Almeida from May 20th 2000 to May 22nd 2002, Rev. Fr Alponse D’lima from May 22nd 2000 to July 9th 2001, Rev. Fr Wilfred Prakash D’Souza from May 13th 2001 to May 27th 2002, Rev. Fr Sunil C. D’Silva from May 23rd 2002 to May 18th 2004, and Rev. Fr Robert Pinto from October 19th 2002 to May 18th 2003. Mr Henry Norohna was elected as vice – president on August 31st 1997 and Mr Harold Monteiro was elected as secretary. Mr Rudolph D’Silva was elected as vice – president on May 27th 2001 and Mrs Irene Pinto was elected as secretary.
Fr Tauro liked to work with the poor and for the poor, and consequently devoted his time and energy for their betterment. In spite of his poor health he used to visit the poor the sick and the elderly regularly. He was approachable by all parishioners, especially by those with problems. He was a good writer and also started a matrimonial column in the parish bulletin. Realising the need for a modern parochial house a new house was built in the place of the old one. He was very generous to the Society of St Vincent de Paul and supported them in helping the poor in the parish. He got wash-rooms built adjacent to the church for the needs of those attending the church services. He started the English Medium School and the P.U. College with suitable amenities at Padua. He started the Bendur unit of the Catholic Sabha. He got new hymn books printed in Konkani and English for the parish. He started the Mass in English at 8.00 a.m. on Sundays as it was observed that many parishioners were attending Mass in English in other parishes, and changed the Sunday Konkani Mass timings to: first Mass at 5.30 a.m as usual, Second Mass at 6.45 a.m. and after the Mass in English, a Mass in Konkani for children attending catechism classes at 9.15 a.m. without changing the obligatory Mass timings on Saturday & Sunday evenings. On completion of seven years service in the parish he was transferred to Bejai Parish on May 24th 2003.
Rev. Fr Peter S. Noronha took charge as the sixteenth parish priest on May 23rd 2003. Being a dynamic personality he came with a vast knowledge and experience having worked in various parishes and institutions. Besides working for the spiritual development of the parishioners, he also beautified the church, the church compound, especially by growing and maintaining a beautiful garden and planted trees for shade all round the church and the auditorium. A man with green fingers he could make anything green with his touch. He even beautified the cemetery by building a beautiful arch and gate as well as by planting trees for shade and laid interlock tiles to the passage in the cemetery and fixed water taps and got some parts of the slopes in the cemetery levelled. He also gave a facelift to the interior of the church building by fixing marble slabs to the base of the walls and pillars. The floor of the sanctuary was beautified with vitrified tiles and illuminated with beautiful chandeliers to brighten up the entire altar. He renovated the steps and built ramps with banisters to enable the elderly and the
sick to enter the church easily. He set up a beautiful altar for Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and got a new and modern sound system for the church. He beautified the grotto with a water fountain and a Crucifix was erected by its side. This Crucifix used to be venerated on Good Friday services during the Holy week. He renovated the Platinum Jubilee Auditorium by adding dressing rooms for the bride and the groom, and renovated the entire ceiling. A canopy was constructed, and a standby kitchen behind the auditorium for the caterers to warm up food was also constructed. He also added bath and wash- rooms to the parish hall. A new heavy duty noiseless generator was purchased during his time to simultaneously serve the needs of the church, the parish hall and the platinum jubilee auditorium during power failure.
Mr Rudolph D’Silva was re-elected as vice – president and Mrs Irene Pinto was re-elected as secretary of the Parish Pastoral Parishad on May 9th 2004. Fr Noronha was assisted in the parish work by Rev. Fr Rudolph Ravi D’Sa from May 20th 2004 to May 17th 2007, Rev. Fr Santhosh Rodrigues from July 20th 2004 to May 17th 2006, Rev. Fr Melwyn Rajesh Rosario from May 18th 2006 to May 16th 2008. Prof. Eric Patrao was elected as vice – president on May 13th 2007 and Mrs Jane Sequeira as secretary. Rev. Fr Vincent Lobo served as assistant parish priest from May 18th 2007 to May 23rd 2009, Rev. Fr Naveen Prakash Pinto from May 15th 2008 to May 25th 2009, Rev. Fr Sylvester Vincent Pinto from May 22nd 2009 to May 31st 2011, Rev. Fr Rocky Fernandes from May 30th 2009 to May 17th 2010. And Rev. Fr Anil Canute D’Mello, from May 14th 2010 to June 4th 2012. Mr Ronald Walder was elected as vice – president and Mrs Laveena John as secretary of the Parish Pastoral Parishad on January 2nd 2011.
With the influx of a lot of new families to the parish as well as to the parochial wards, the wards were further divided during the time of Fr Noronha and the number of wards has grown to 32 from the previous 21. Additional Gurkars have been elected from each ward to take charge of the same. Along with Rev Fr Michael Santhumayor the principal of the Padua P.U. College Fr Noronha worked hard to open a Degree College at Padua, and started the work of the required building for this college.
Fr Peter Norohna’s Platinum Jubilee was auspiously celebrated by the parishioners on January 31st 2011, with a Solemn High Mass which was concelebrated by two Bishops and almost 150 priests. A special souvenir was released on the occasion at the public function after the mass and a special “Fr Peter S. Noronha Jubilee Education Trust’’ was launched to benefit the needy and deserving parish youth aspiring for higher education. He retired on June 3rd 2011.
Rev. Fr Antony Michael Serrao took over as the seventeenth parish priest on June 3rd 2011. Rev. Fr Paul Crasta came on June 2nd 2012 and Rev. Fr John Baptist Moras came on June 6th 2012 as assistant parish priests. The Padua Degree College with B.Com and BBM courses has been started after he came, with Rev Fr Michael Santhumayor as its first Principal. In Bendur Fr Serrao has already proved to be a good organizer and administrator. He has given impetus to the growth and development of the Padua Educational Institutions. Being a spiritual person himself he works for the spiritual development of the parish. Though a man of few words he is very sensitive and generous to the needs of the parishioners. Fr Serrao has renovated the parish office and made it spacious and bright. He has also added a mini hall to the parish house exclusively for meetings of the parish associations and the parish pastoral parishad and has already started the preparatory work of the Centenary Celebrations of the Parish.
We place on record the yeoman services rendered by the Assistant Parish Priests beginning from the first Assistant Parish Priest Rev. Fr Sylvester Menezes to the present 61st Assistant Parish Priest Rev. Fr.John Baptist Moras Besides assisting in all the parish activities and working for the spiritual development of the youth. They have taken great pains to teach catechism to the children, have served the sick and elderly in their homes by taking communion to them every month and attending to their spiritual needs. Most of them by their example have inspired quite a few of our parishioners to take up religious life.
The priests who resided in the parish Rev. Fr Gratian L. D’Souza from July 1st 1983 to May 19th 1989, Rev. Fr Valerian Frank from May 15th 2002 May 7th 2005, Rev. Fr Boniface Pinto from June 3rd 2003 to May 2011, Rev. Fr Francis Rodrigues from May 19th 2005 to May 2011 and Rev. Fr Michael Santhumayor who is now residing in the parish from May 22nd 2004, while doing diocesan work have served the parish in various ways particularly the Sunday ministry, feasts and functions, as well as in the educational institutions of the parish. The five convents in the parish namely Apostolic Carmel, Bethany, Bridgettine, Little Sisters of the Poor and Dinasevanasabha (Maria Kripa), have also contributed to the all round development and upliftment of the parish.
Our Parish has been blessed with a lot of lay initiative and has seen the emergence of many lay leaders who have served the community and the Parish in various ways. Apart from the founders, benefactors and well wishers notable among them are Messrs Victor M Pinto, Piadade D’Sa, Rao Saheb Xavier Colaco, A. Parameshwar, T. M. Aranha, U. Kanappa, William J D’Souza, A. Noronha, J. B. Machado and A. R. D’Souza who served as the administrators of the Parish till 1970 when the Administrative Board was looking after the affairs of the Parish.
Since 1971 when the Parish Councils were started as per the Church Renewal Programme started after Vatican council II, Messrs Rem Fernandes, Joseph Aranha, Simon Walter Colaco, Antony D’Souza, Zozimus Pais, Henry Noronha, Rudolph D’Silva and Eric Patrao have served as the Vice Presidents of the Parish Council. Presently Mr. Ronald Walder is serving as the Vice President.
The various pious associations of the parish act as its backbone giving a helping hand to all the religious activities of the parish. Presently we have the alter servers helping at mass and at all its religious activities. The church choir – it is not exactly known when the church choir was started but it is on record that Mr John Joseph Rego of Bendur started a small group of youth singing during Mass and liturgical functions about 75 years ago. This group was highly trained and sang Latin hymns in four voices. Later on Mr Wilfred Gratian Pinto took charge of the singing group which was encouraged and even improved by the various priests to serve in the parish. This choir is presently guided by Prof. Alban Castelino and Mr Simon Walter Colaco. The Sodality of our Lady, Legion of Mary and the Third Order Tertiaries (S.F.O.) are working for the piety of its members and in general for the parishioners. The Catholic Action League that was started in the parish by Mr Bernard Martis in 1934 when Fr Francis D’Souza was the Parish Priest is conducting many welfare activities for the all round development of the youth. The Catholic Sabha that was started in Bendur by Fr Joseph P Tauro with Mr Maritto Sequeira as its first president on January 14th 1996 is active in the parish promoting the unity of the community and making the parishioners aware of their duties and rights as well as guiding the families to live a better life. The society of St Vincent de Paul first started in Mangalore in 1926 during the time of Msgr R.F.C. Mascarenhas at Bendur under the leadership of Mr Louis Mascarenhas is continuing the good work among the poor, sick, lonely and the needy parishioners by providing them with foodstuffs weekly, attending to their house repairs, to the education of their children and by giving them medical aid by collecting funds from the generous parishioners as and when necessary. The Young Christian Students (Y.C.S.) movement is helping to build and train our youth to be the leaders of our community.
The unique feature of the Bendur Parish is the close co-operation between the parishioners and the parish priests starting from the founder to date. The parishioners being proud of their parish have been always very generous towards the parish needs.
We thank and praise God for the abundant blessings He has showered on our parish over the years. We pray for His continued blessings in the years to come. We pray for His special blessings on the priests who look after our parish, and we pray that God make them exemplary and zealous priests. We also pray for all the families of the parish that they may live their christian life with fervour and be shining examples to our non-christian bretheren. We offer our youth to the Lord and pray that they may be guided and inspired to lead a true christian life and to become assets to their families and our community. We also ask for His grace on the elders, the sick and the needy of the parish. May Our Lord be their solace. May He also grant our deceased forefathers eternal rest.