OUR LADY OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH
The Urwa Church originally was situated at Derebail. The Catholics were caught during a Sunday Mass here and led into the captivity to Srirangapattana by Tippu Sultan. The Church was completely destroyed and all records were burnt and the parish families got scattered. After the death of Tippu Sultan in 1799 many captives returned back but found all their lands were occupied by others. In 1864, Fr Lawrence D’Souza lived in a hut and offered Mass in a small building. The people united together to built a small chapel near the present Church. It was served from the Cathedral. In 1865, Fr Emmanuel Salvadore Vas was put in charge of the chapel. Urwa was formed into a Parish in 1886 with Fr Salvadore Vas as the first Parish Priest. The Parish was dedicated to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Rt Rev. Michael Antony ocd, the Vicar Apostolic, paid the first pastoral visit on May 5, 1870.
In 1889, Fr Balthazar Rebello received Rs 1,000 from the Bishop and some loan from Mr B S Saldanha of Bolar Coffee Works and the local Catholics bought the present site. Fr J.B. Rossi, the Vicar General, laid the foundation stone for the present Church on October 7, 1890. To construct the Church building, Fr. Rebello sold his ancestoral property. By facing great difficulties and with his sustained hard work of three years, the Urwa Church was blessed and inaugurated in 1893. Fr Camillus Rego added the portico in 1901. Fr A.J. D’Souza (1915-1930) started the devotion to Our Lady of Pompei and the altar was declared a Privileged Altar by Pope Pius X on December 6, 1904. Fr A.J. D’Souza also started a monthly magazine, “The Trumpet Call”.
Fr T.A Lobo (1951-1971) added new wings to the Church. The entire western wing of the Church building was donated by Mr G.A. Rodrigues. He built the Centenary Hall in 1964. Fr Valerian D’Souza (1971-1978) constructed an open air stage, built the belfry. Fr John D’Souza constructed the present new Church building and it was inaugurated on May 1, 1991.
Rev Fr. Fred Pereira and Rev Fr. Dennis Prabhu also served the community as Parish Priests and guided the parishioners.
Mr H.E.W. Fernandes donated the High School building. Fr Valerian D’Souza started an English Medium Nursery School.
Rev Fr Andrew Lewis who was the Parish Priest from 2001 to 2008 gave a new shape to the Church campus. He extended the English Medium School Building. He also did renovation of the Centenary Hall, built the present Presbytery and above all did a lot for the spiritual growth of the Community. Since November 2008 Fr Victor D’Mello is the Parish Priest of this Parish. Being young and energetic he is fully involved in the Parish activity and continues the ministry of guiding the Community.
This Church is situated in Urwa, Mangalore and is surrounded by Ashoknagar, Bejai, Thannirbavi and Milagres Parishes.
The image of Our Lady of Pompei represents Our Lady with Her Son Jesus Christ, handing out Rosaries to St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena.
The present devotion to Our Lady of Pompei owes much to Bartolo Longo, a lawyer, one of Her most zealous apostles. Bartolo Longo was born in 1841 in Brinddisi, Italy. His mother ensured from an early age that Bartolo developed a great love for Our Lady through praying the Rosary. During his student days, however, his friends drew him towards the occult. Eventually he became a Satanic priest and condemned the Catholic Church, deriding the hierarchy and the established Catholic system. A saintly priest with a deep devotion to the Rosary brought Bartolo back to the faith. With renewed zeal Bartolo vowed to work for the poor and needy and endeavoured to spread devotion to Mary through the Rosary.On visiting Valley De Pompei in 1872 he aimed to evangelize the people who were leading a worldly life. What he needed was a suitable image of the Blessed Mother to aid his mission. Fortunately a Dominican Sister supplied him with a painting of Our Lady of the Rosary, and after restoration, this painting was exposed for public veneration.In 1883 a sanctuary was built at the valley of Pompei for the image and consecrated in 1891. Miracles were reported and pilgrims began to frequent the place. The devotion started spreading far and wide.
In Urwa Parish, Rev.Fr. A.J.D’Souza, who served as the Vicar from 1915 to 1930 was instrumental in introducing the devotion to Our Lady of Pompei. He brought a copy of this picture from Pompei and it was enshrined on a side altar. Thus Urwa became a place of pilgrimage for a large number of devotees from every nook and corner of Mangalore.
In 1995 Rev. Msgr.Fred Pereira , who himself was inspired by the devotion, took the lead with the help of the devotees and built a shrine to Our Lady of Pompei. Priests coming to the Parish from time to time have given an impetus to the devotion.
Hundreds of people belonging to different castes and religions visit the shrine every day to pour out their problems and petitions at the feet of Mother Mary. Countless people are witnesses to various favors received through the intercession of Our Lady of Pompei.
Novena is held on every Wednesday with Mass at 5.30 p.m., during which special prayers are offered for the devotees and for the sick.
Every year on the second Sunday of December the feast of Our Lady of Pompei is celebrated at Urwa with devotion. On that day open air Mass is celebrated, followed by Eucharistic procession and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Thousands of devotees visit the shrine that day and take part in the liturgy. Fireworks are held to conclude the celebration of the feast. Thus the shrine has become a centre for the warmth and blessings of Our Lady of Pompei to all.
SUNDAY MASS TIMINGS:
05.45 am, 07.00 am (Konkani Masses),
08.15 am (English Mass),
09.30 am (Children’s Mass) & 05.00 pm (Konkani Mass)
05.00 pm (Sunday Vigil Mass)
WEEKDAYS MASS TIMINGS:
06.30 am & 05.30 pm( Both in Konkani)
Every Wednesday at 05.15 pm
ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT:
Every Friday 05.00 pm, followed by Mass at 6:00 pm
CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Urwa, Lady Hill,
PIN – 575006