It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. When Rev.Fr. Basil Baretto, Vicar Forane and Parish Priest of Pezar,{mosimage} took this small step more than a hundred years ago, perhaps he too would not have envisaged the extent to which the Sacred Heart Church in Surathkal would grow to. Thanks to the foresight and ingenuity shown by him, Surathkal today is blessed with a Church that is counted among the most prominent in the region. 

Land measuring an acre and ninety cents was acquired way back in the year 1899 and the foundation stone for the first building was laid soon thereafter.

January 14 1917 is a red-letter day in the annals of Surathkal, for it was on this day the Church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus made a humble beginning. An edict promulgated by His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul Periri S. J. Bishop of Mangalore said, “For the glory of God and in order to meet the spiritual needs of the people around, we have resolved to detach Surathkal from the Pezar Parish to form a new Parish consisting of the surrounding villages such as Kankulai, Katla, Posody, Krishnapur, Mukka, Telar and Bollagi.” This promulgation subsequently led to the birth of the Sacred Heart Church on Sunday 14 January 1917.

The parishioners of Surathkal today enjoy the fruits of the sapling – which has indeed blossomed into a gigantic tree -planted by Rev. Fr. Basil Baretto. Fr. Baretto himself began to offer Holy mass on Sundays till the year 1900. In the year 1900, the then Bishop of Mangalore, Rt. Rev. Dr. Abundius Cavadini S.J. sent Rev. Fr. Denis D. F. Coelho S. J. to Surathkal as pioneer missionary for the conversion of infidels in the locality. Fr. Baretto extended the presbytery to accommodate the missionary and most of the requirements of the infant parish were attended to.

Fr. Baretto won his laurels for the splendid manner in which he catered to the spiritual needs of the people. He was supported and sustained by the generosity of Pezar
confraternity,who opened their hearts and minds to the cause of this new Parish.

As we delve into the annals of the Sacred Heart Church, we recall, with gratitude, the sacrifices and service successive priests have rendered over the years.

Rev. Fr. Denis D . F. Coelho S. J.

He carried forward the missionary work from 1900 till the close of the year 1917. He was appointed the first ‘ad interim vicar’ by the very decree of erection dated 09-01-1917 with effect from 14th January 1917. He gave a good account of himself as an able administrator. Fr. Denis Coelho strained every nerve for the development of the Surathkal Parish having also spent the cream of his life here. He was the benefactor of not only the Catholics of Surathkal but also the Hindus in whom he injected the desire for education, extending them opportunities to study in the six schools that he opened. Fr. Coelho added one more feather to his glittering cap when, following his relentless efforts, the Post Office was opened in Surathkal. He was also instrumental in opening the Co-operative Credit Society which he himself guided during its formative years. 
Fr. Coelho proved his mettle through the manifold activities he engaged in such as improving the Chapel, acquiring the land, building houses and above all raising a huge building for the Higher Elementary School. He was not the sort of person to let the grass grow under his feet and it was he who imparted a lot of importance to plantation. The shade the trees provide in the Church premises to this day is eloquent testimony to the toil and arduous labour Fr. Coelho put in.
multifaceted illustrious pastor who relentlessly toiled for both the spiritual and material building of the people from all walks of life, Fr. Coelho left an indelible mark in the history of the Sacred Heart Parish. The yeoman’s service that he rendered to this Parish came to an end with his transfer on 23rd January 1918 and soon thereafter, Fr. Coelho left for his heavenly abode on 23 October the same year. A passionate missionary, Fr. Denis Coelho set a fine example for the other priests to emulate.

Rev. Fr. James S. Sequeira (23 June 1918 - 28 November 1919)

Fr. Coelho was succeeded by Rev Fr. J. Sequeira who was a teacher by profession. It, therefore, came as no surprise that he had to shoulder the added responsibility of managing the Higher Elementary School in addition to discharging his duties as the Parish Priest. However, his term was short-lived as he was associated with this Parish only till 28 November 1919.

Rev. Fr. Raphael Pinto (28 November 1919 – 5 February  1930)     

Fr. Raphael Pinto took charge of the Parish on 28 November 1919 and went on to offer his services for a long span of 10 years. He did a lot of
material work and spiritual good during his long stay in Surathkal.
Fr. Pinto built the presbytery comprising three rooms in 1920, renovated the kitchen and extended the old Chapel, helping it give the resemblance of a Church. Besides the building work and repairs, Fr. Pinto also tried his hand in plantation work.
He also procured many new items for the Church such as: Tabernacle, a new bell, the small statues of the Sacred Heart and St. Sebastian.

Fr. Pinto underwent a lot of hardships and in the process was forced to make innumerable personal sacrifices. Yet his tenacity helped him sail through all the trials and tribulations and he proved his worth by rising to the occasion. Fr. Raphael’s contribution towards the prosperity of the Surathkal Parish sustained by his hard work and sacrifices proved to be the guiding spirit for the priests who succeeded him.

Rev. Fr. Sylvester Menezes (February 5 1930 - October 30 1938)

Rev. Fr. Menezes  took over the reins of the Parish from Fr. Pinto on 5  Feb 1930. He bought the Surathkal property with money from the endowment fund of the Church. The tenants’ houses in the Church compound were also repaired. In the year 1934, with the help of the Catholic Revenue Inspector, Fr. Menezes, a Trojan for work, procured from the Government a plot in Iddya for burial purposes. Fr. Menezes left no stone unturned for the spiritual improvement of the Parish. He erected the Altar Boys’ Sodality and Sodality of Mary for girls
connonically on 15 August 1932 and 23 June 1932 respectively. The confraternity of Christian Doctrine was also canonically erected.
He formally established the association of Apostleship of prayer by decree of the Diocese on 26 October 1932. He directed his attention towards the improvement of the school and during his tenure, the school registered a healthy rise both in strength and efficiency. During the vicarship of Fr. Menezes some more items required for various purposes in the Church were provided. In a nutshell,
Fr Menezes, who was held in high esteem by the parishioners, moved heaven and earth to transform the Church into a full fledged Parish and also succeeded in running the school in an efficient manner. .

Rev Fr. Piedade Saldanha (30 October 1938 - May 12 1944 )

Fr. P. Saldanha took charge of the Parish on 30 October 1938. He accorded top priority to catechism which he himself taught the children. He got the Tabernacle fixed to the high altar. The pillar opposite the cemetery as well as the Cross overseeing the cemetery were erected in November 1940.
His aesthetic sense was manifested in the modification of the church surroundings which put on a decent appearance. In fact, following the various changes made by him, the Church and the presbytery were discernible even from a distance. The garden in front of the presbytery enhanced the beauty of the premises. The school building was extended with a permanent tiled roofing. Besides, a lot of other repair works were also carried out in the school.
Regular catechism classes were held for non-school going children and the Catechism Day was celebrated every year. The iron safe Tabernacle was bought. Records were maintained for collection of annual dues
. For the greater glory of

God, to obtain a filial devotion to our Lady, the Virgin Mary of God and for the sanctification of the Catholic mothers of the parish, the sodality of the Christian Mothers was started. Fr. Saldanha worked tirelessly to collect the Baptismal, Marriage and Confirmation records of families from the Pezar Church.
The Silver Jubilee of the Surathkal Parish was celebrated on 14 January 1942 with a day of prayer, thanksgiving and rejoicing. A High mass on the day was celebrated by Rev .Fr. Sabas J. Fernandes, Parish Preist and Vicar Folare of Pezar. 
Fr. Saldanha was indeed a good pastor
and heart with an unquenchable thirst for souls. He accorded top priority to the dissemination of the Christian faith the several assignments he took up notwithstanding. This generation is highly indebted to Fr. Saldanha, for had he not taken the initiative of maintaining the historical records of the Parish, perhaps, this piece on the history of the Sacred Heart Church would not have seen the light of day.

Rev .Fr. Alphonsus I. Castelino (12 May 1944 - 26 January 1951)

One of the first jobs Fr. Castelino took up on being appointed the Parish Priest of the Church was to deepen the existing well as the crying need of the hour was to provide water to the school. Fr. Charles collected the subscriptions from each family of the Parish for the new Church Building. The road leading to the Church was repaired, With the introduction of the Compulsory Education by the government in the year 1945, the Church school building was extended to accommodate the inflow of students.
Fr. Castelino was instrumental in providing free and smooth access to the Church by virtue of the repair work he carried out to the road. In order to keep pace with the growing needs of the school, Fr. Castelino, a zealous educator, extended the Church school building.  He may now have passed on into eternal life but the legacy he left behind in the form of having provided the impetus to education may not be easy to emulate.

Rev. Fr. S. M. Rasquinha (21 February 1951 - 28 January 1961)

Fr. Rasquinha took charge of the Parish on 21 February 1951 from Rev Fr. C. Mathias who was sent ad interim to act for 22 days. Fr. Rasquinha got into the act straightaway and had the Church pavement replastered before the end of February 1951, The well in the hospital compound was built up. 
20 May 1951 was another red-letter day in the history of the Parish. A plaster of paris statue with a golden crown that was donated by the benefactors was carried in a procession through the main streets.

In November 1953, a new Church building fund was floated for voluntary contributions. Donations started flowing thick and fast. In early January 1954 when the old foundation was excavated, parishioners voluntarily came forward to extend their services. On 7 February
xxxxxx, Rev. Fr. Msgr J.l.A. D’Souza Vicar general of Mangalore Diocese blessed and laid the foundation stone for the new Church. Thanks to the generous contribution from the Bishop of the diocese Rev. Dr. Victor R. Fernandes, Pezar church and the benefactors, the dream of having a new Church in Surathkal became a reality. The new Church was blessed on 21-01-1958 by Bishop Peris. The following day was feast day. The roof connecting the Church with the presbytery was completed in December 1960. 
Fr. Rasquinha’s term was an eventful one although he had to contend with a few unsavoury incidents. It saw the foundation and building of the new Church, the installation of the imposing statue of the Sacred Heart with its golden crown and the extention of the school building. The possession of land that was the bone of contention between the Church and a school in the vicinity was sorted out with the former regaining possession of the land. At a time when the parishioners looked up to a Catholic M.L.A. to take up the cudgels for the Church, it was disheartening to see this Jeckyl and Hyde work against its interests. This outlandish and unexpected development put Fr. Rasquinha on his mettle and he exhibited exemplary audacity in pulling out all stops to turn the tables on the encroachers. It was indeed a proud moment for all Catholics to see him safeguard the interests of the Church under his care. This was truly of a piece with his admirable character. Always one to put his heart and soul in whatever he did, without an iota of doubt, Fr. Rasquinha was the apple of the parishioners’ eyes. Old timers recall to this day Fr. Rasquinha’s contribution to this Parish. Rev Fr. S. M. Rasquinha handed over the charge to Rev. Fr. G. L. R. Miranda on 28-01-1961.

Rev. Fr. G. L. R. Miranda (28 January 1961 – 7 May 1965)

The erudite Fr. Miranda’s short stay at the Sacred Heart Church went a long way in sweetening the lives of the parishioners. His thoughts were always with the elderly and the sick for whom he provided seating arrangements in the Church. He was particularly fond of children and like Jesus Christ, they were always close to his heart. Fr. G .L. R. Miranda who handed over the charge to Rev. Fr. Charles Nazareth was far and away one of the finest priests this Church has been blessed with.

Rev. Fr. Charles Nazareth (7 May 1965 – 11 May 1972 )

Following the new harbour project at Panambur near Mangalore, the nearly 100  Catholic  families displaced from the harbour area were rehabilitated at Katipalla and it was in no small measure due to the active role played by Rev. Fr. Nazareth.
The Katipalla Chaplianry was formed to which greater part bollagi ward was dismembered from Surathkal in 1968.as per the decree of bishop Rev. Fr. Basil.D’Souza.
On 15 th 1969, surathkal parish was carved out to form chaliancy at Mukka with a territorias independent jurisdiction.
Under the auspices of Bishop of Mangalore Rev. Dr. B. S. D’Souza parish council was formed with four committees 
Spiritual Committee
Finance Committee
Youth Committee
Socio-Cultural Committee
In the year 1971, a new gate on the northern side of the church was constructed. He also extended the school building.
A stickler for rules, Fr. Narazeth successfully completed the seven years of his service to the Sacred Heart Church transforming it into a full fledged Parish.  The great managerial skills he possessed stood him in good stead and went a long way in garnering everybody’s co-operation.

Rev. Fr. William E. Veigas (11 Mar 1972 – 1 June 1976)

Fr. William Veigas took over the charge on 11 May 1972. He worked tirelessly for the betterment of the school. The Church underwent a sea change as seating arrangements were made for all parishioners. Extensive repairs to the Church were carried out in the year 1972. The school betterment committee was formed in 1974.
Although Fr. William’s term lasted only four years, his contribution to the Sacred Heart Church has stood the test of time. The commendable rapport he enjoyed with the newly formed School Betterment Committee resulted in the growth of the school by leaps and bounds.  However, Fr. Veigas had a millstone around his neck in the form of a hostile neighbor who endeavoured to encroach on the eastern side of the church property but thanks to the pastor’s intervention at the nick of time, the intruder was forced to beat a hasty retreat. The parishioners raise their hats as a mark of gratitude to this tireless benefactor of their Parish.

Fr. Charles Saldanha (1 June 1976 – 11 April 1984)

Fr. Charles Saldanha succeeded Fr. William E. Veigas as the Parish Priest of the Church. The belfry that was planned to be built in 1976, was completed the following year. One of the parishioners, Mr. Michael Alwyn Pinto came forward to sponsor the cost of replacing the old alter with the current one.
A funeral vehicle was bought by the Church in 1978. The same year, the first ever convent of the Dominican Sisters in the Parish was also opened. On 4th May 1980 a newly ordained priest Fr. Jerome D’Souza from Surathkal celebrated his first mass.
In 1982 it was decided to build the new school building along with the school office and a stage. The foundation stone was laid on 18th June 1982 and Bishop Rev Dr. Basil S. D’Souza inaugurated the new building on 22 December 1983.
Fr. Saldanha’s term as the Parish Priest stands out in the history of the Surathkal Parish for the manner in which he introduced new ideas and thoughts. He was very young at heart and relished the company of youngsters never losing an opportunity to encourage and spur them to perform well in life.  Fr Saldanha is fondly remembered and revered for the new life, zest and vigour he brought to the Sacred Heart Church.

Rev. Fr. J. J. Martis (11 April 1984 – 23 May 1991)

The first of his achievements was the peaceful settlement of a long standing dispute over the tenanted property of 8 cents which was sold to the tenants vide a sale deed.
With a view to popularizing and nurturing the Marian devotion, Fr. Martis introduced Novena to our Lady of Perpetual Succour. With the intention of boosting the cultural activities in the Parish, a drama enacted by Jolly Friends Pangad, Kuwait was staged on Easter Sunday 1985. Fr. Martis took up various development projects too.
The front portion of the façade of the Church and the side steps were renovated with cement in 1985. On 6 Feb 1986, His Holiness Pope Paul II visited Bajpe, and every family of the Parish contributed towards the Papal visit fund. In 1986, 12 ceiling fans were installed thereby fulfilling one of the parishioners’ long aspirations. In order to fulfill yet another requirement, three small rooms of the presbytery were superseded in 1986 and were converted to a Parish hall that was to be used for conducting meetings A newly ordained priest, Fr. Valley Deepak S.J. hailing from the Surathkal Parish was accorded the privilege of celebrating his first mass. In 1986, the parishioners participated in the protest rally at Bajpe in connection with the demolition of podium of the Papal visit. The same year, a telephone was installed in the church.
In 1987, Cutting classes (tailoring) were introduced in the Parish for the benefit of girls who wanted to be self-employed. Some miscreants tried to over reach the elevated plot of the cemetery due to which the necessary safety measures had to be put in place. The tent made way for a wire fencing and the leveling work that followed was blessed by the Bishop in 1988.
The work on the first floor of the new school building was undertaken and every family in the Parish was asked to contribute for this cause.
However, although around 75% of the work was completed in 1989, only two class rooms were made available. The Parish witnessed the celebration of ordination to Priesthood of Fr. Francis Almeida S.J., one of its parishioners. The Parish was privileged to have the services of Fr. Leo Cutinho, retired priest who arrived in Surathkal on 1 July 1989. On 3 Feb 1991, there was a memorable celebration of the sacerdotal silver jubilee of the Parish priest Fr. J. Joseph Martis, The Parish priest was assisted by Bro Ronald D’Souza, Bro. Roque D’sa, Bro. Walter Mendonca from the Jeppu Seminary for the Sunday ministry.
Fr Martis seven years’ reign proved to be an era of developmental activities of every kind culminating in the construction of the new school building. Always accessible and affable, the ever obliging Fr. Martis worked tirelessly to keep pace with the other parishes, raising it to the status of fully developed parish with its infrastructure. A true son of Mother Mary, Fr. Martis propagated the Marian Devotion in the Parish. It would be no exaggeration to say that the Sacred Heart Parish found in Fr. Martis a true pastor, father and guide and he continues to live in the midst of the parishioners in the form of the great service he rendered to the Parish and its people.

Fr. Victor Pinto (23  May 1991 – 22 May  1998)

Fr. Pinto, who was given a rousing welcome to Surathkal by the parishioners of the Sacred Heart Chuch and a few priests in the presence of the Bishop’s delegate, Rev. Fr. Maurice D’souza, brought with him a wealth of experience he had gained while serving the other parishes. Almost immediately, the new Parish Priest identified the areas where development and modernization were required and got down to the business of addressing the deficiencies.

In order to enhance the revenue, the annual subscription was fixed as equivalent to a day’s gross income of the family. With the intention of springing to the aid of the needy and the down trodden, Fr. Pinto had the foresight to start the Vincent de Paul Society with an initial strength of 10 members. This Society has over the years rendered yeoman service to a large number of parishioners and whenever the need arises, the members of this Society leave no stone unturned to alleviate the sufferings of the needy. With an eye on development, a new account titled “Sacred Heart Church Parish Development Fund’ was opened. One of the first development works Fr. Pinto undertook was to expedite the completion of the school building which was successfully accomplished. He was instrumental in renovating the presbytery which was given a totally new look.

He then directed his attention to the daunting task of providing sufficient drinking water to the school children. Fr. Pinto - a great hand at overcoming impediments - rose to the occasion and put this problem behind him. A new church bell was installed replacing the old bell that had served the Church for 75 years.

It was during Fr. Victor Pinto’s stint as the Parish Priest the old church was superseded and a new church constructed at a considerable cost. In order to accommodate the burgeoning number of devotees, this was a crying need and Fr. Pinto took it upon himself to accomplish this arduous task. Moving heaven and earth to overcome staggering challenges, with the active co-operation of the parishioners, he proved his worth, yet again, in the process adding one more feather to his glittering cap by accomplishing this feat. This church which today caters to the spiritual needs of more than 600 families, bears testimony to the efforts and toil put in by Fr. Pinto.

The Holy Family English Medium School that stands tall in the Church compound is the brain child of the suave, Fr. Pinto. One who laid a lot of emphasis on the English language, he understood the growing necessity of educating the students in an internationally acclaimed language and took this giant leap. This school which has over the years grown by leaps and bounds has imparted education to hundreds of students and helped them mould their future.

Fr. Victor Pinto won the hearts of the parishioners by re-introducing the celeberation of the Annual Parish Feast after a long gap of nearly six years. In addition to being held in high esteem by the Catholics, he commanded respect from the people of other faiths too. He aspired to inculcate a sense of modern thinking in the impressionable minds of the children. In fact, he was instrumental in bringing about a sea change in the mindset of the parishioners.

Fr. Robert Pinto (22 May 1998 to 23 March 2002)

Fr. Robert Pinto who took over the reins of the Sacred Heart Church from Fr. Victor Pinto lost no time in continuing the splendid work done by his predecessors. Although he spent a relatively fewer number of years as the Parish Priest, the contribution Fr. Robert Pinto made towards the development of the Church was monumental. One of the first works he undertook was to level the Church ground and widen the entrance approach road leading to the Church. He gave a totally new look to the front portion of the Church following which the Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was erected in a newly made Altar. A permanent Tabernacle was also erected for worship by the general public. A new sound system was installed in the Church and this was made possible from donations from the parishioners.

When one takes a look at the greenery in front of the Church, the thought of Fr. Robert Pinto springs to mind. The coconut, arecanut, banana and other trees that embellish the garden – a rarity these days – were planted by Fr. Robert Pinto. The drip irrigation system that he introduced to water the plants has stood that in good stead and is indeed is a commendable act for others to emulate.

The Sacred Heart Yuvak Sangh and the parishioners, under the leadership of Fr. Robert Pinto played a pivotal role in constructing the Church Meeting Hall. A garage and a utility room were also constructed in the vicinity. With a view to inculcating leadership qualities in students, the Youth Catholic Students Wing was introduced in the Parish. The cemetery too was given a face lift during his tenure as the Parish Priest. Due to the errant supply of electricity, a generator was installed in the Church the benefits of which are being enjoyed by all those attending the services. A lot of repair work was carried out at the Holy Family School and to meet the requirement of the growing number of students following the up gradation of the classes, new furniture was purchased.

Even at a time when Fr. Robert Pinto was toying with new developmental ideas, he had to abruptly leave on health grounds after which Fr. Denis Moras Prabhu had to step in as the Parochial Administrator for a brief period of about three months.

Fr. Denis D’souza (30 June 2002 to 23 May 2005)

Fr. Denis D’souza was transferred from Cascia Church to the Sacred Heart Church. Surathkal at a time when the region was in the grip of communal disturbances. Naturally, therefore, he had to tread on eggshells. The new Parish Priest played a major role in dousing the fires of disdain. He was instrumental in mobilizing a large number of people of all faiths from Surathkal to take part in the Sarva Dharma Sammelana in December 2002 following which, a semblance of normalcy returned to the place.

The Sacred Heart Higher Primary School had its Centernary Celebrations in November 2003. Various persons who had put their heart and soul in imparting education to thousands of students over the years were honoured. Many dignitaries graced the occasion which was attended by nearly 2500 people.

After delineating the property owned by the Church, a boundary wall to cover the entire area was constructed. In order to accommodate the growing needs of the English Medium School which required a library, a laboratory and a computer room, a floor was added to the existing office. The bed room of the presbytery was extended. Fr. D’souza also had the altar background renovated with granite stones and with funds donated by a parishioner, the altar platform was also erected. A new and bigger grotto was installed in place of the 25 year old grotto. During his brief tenure as the Parish Priest, Fr. Denis D’souza worked tirelessly towards the development of the Church and the school.

Fr. J.B D’souza (23 May 2002 to 31 May 2008)

The erudite Fr. J.B. D’souza who took over as the new Parish Priest from Fr. Denis D’souza was a very affable person who endeared to all the parishioners. The magnificent arch that stands on the road to the right of the Church was built when Fr. J.B. D’souza was the Parish Priest. The presbytery was renovated and a couple of rooms were built on the first floor. Thanks to the efforts of some parishioners, the website of the Church was launched. A lot of renovation work was carried out to the school building. The topic of education was close to his heart. Although ambitious plans to construct a Parish Hall germinated in his mind, his intent could not be translated into action as Fr. D’souza was transferred.  

To keep pace with the development of the Church, Fr. Frederick Monteiro was appointed as the Assistant Parish Priest who rendered his whole hearted support to Fr. D’souza. However, his association with the Sacred Heart Church was short lived as Fr. Monteiro was transferred after serving for about a year.

Fr. Anthony Lobo (1 June 2008)

With the arrival of Fr. Anthony Lobo, the development work in the Church and the schools received a shot in the arm. Drawing on the experience he had assiduously gained while serving other parishes, Fr. Lobo put that into practice in Surathkal. A flurry of activity was suddenly conspicuous. There was a sea change in the body language of the parishioners and this was brought about by the actions of the intrepid Parish Priest. Activities that had fallen by the way side gathered momentum.

Within a couple of months of taking charge of the Sacred Heart Church, Fr. Anthony Lobo started firing on all cylinders. He installed a water purifying system to provide cold drinking water to the students and with the intention of supplying uninterrupted supply of power, a new generator was installed in the school. Close on the heels of this, additional class rooms were also constructed in the Holy Family School.

With the help of the parishioners working abroad, a new sound system was installed in the Church. In what was to become an annual event, he started the devotion to our Lady of Lourdes in front of the grotto dedicated in her honour. He introduced the Way of the Cross in the open ground and this has also been carried forward. Fr. Lobo, blessed with the gift of the gab, appraised the people about the political developments and urged them to take active part in political activities.

He took up the task of completing the cemetery compound wall. Interlocks were installed around the path leading to the cemetery and an arch was erected at its entrance. He exhorted the parishioners to avail of the various schemes introduced by the government for the benefit of the minorities thanks to which several parishioners benefited from his timely advice.

A grotto dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was erected. Railings were installed at the entrance of the Church in order to help the elderly. Due to the relentless efforts of the Parish Priest, an electronic transformer was installed in the Church premises. A computer lab was introduced in the School. The School today boasts of having 42 computers.

As a gesture of gratitude and goodwill, Fr. Anthony Lobo’s predecessors who had served the Sacred Heart Church, Surathkal were honoured.

In order to provide shelter to the security personnel, a cabin was built in front of the Church. For the benefit of the parishioners, the asphalting work in the premises was completed.

Fr. Lobo was the first priest who introduced the celebration of the Christmas Mass in front of the Church. With colourful lightings, the Church and its vicinity always wears a festive look during the Christmas season where the services are held at the newly constructed Bandavya Hall by the tireless current Parish Priest.

In order to house the staff, the staff quarters were constructed. A directory containing certain vital information about the parishioners and other helpful details was released by the Church. With the intention of bringing the parishioners close to each other, Fr. Lobo conducted picnics for them. White Doves was invited to Surathkal for the first time and their performance left an indelible impression on the audience. Teachers imparting catechism were honoured. The new Mahima Hall was built and this has indeed gone a long way in helping several parishioners conduct their private functions.

He impressed upon the parishioners about the need to lead a healthy life and in this direction, Health Cards from well known hospitals were made available to them. Eminent doctors from leading hospitals have been invited to the Church to deliver lectures on important topics and the Parish Priest has lost no opportunity to hold various health camps for the benefit of the parishioners.

As a mark of gratitude for the service rendered by them, Fr. Anthony Lobo introduced Gurkars’ Day where the gurkars were honoured. The indomitable Parish Priest conducted several spiritual retreats for the parishioners as well as the youth.

A play school for the tiny children was started by Fr. Lobo. He provided seating arrangements under the shade for the benefit of their parents too.

The annual Parish Day that is being celebrated with cultural programmes followed by dinner to all parishioners is the brain child of Fr Anthony Lobo.

On important occasions like Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Feat of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and so on, it was becoming increasingly difficult to accommodate all the parishioners inside the Church and to address this problem, Fr. Lobo installed permanent sheet roofing on either side of the Church. Ceiling fans were installed and chairs in excess of 500 were also purchased to seat the parishioners. This idea was a masterstroke thanks to which services are now being conducted in an orderly manner with absolutely no inconvenience to the devotees.

The grotto in honour of the Sacred Heart was erected by Fr. Lobo. So too were the grottos dedicated to our Lady of Vailankanni, Infant Jesus and Divine Mercy. Interlocks were laid in front of the presbytery.

The present choir room from where melodious hymns are rendered was constructed by Fr. Lobo. The icing on the cake came in the form of new benches with kneelers that were provided in the entire church. A projector where hymns are displayed was installed by Fr. Anthony Lobo. This has indeed come as a boon to many a devotee. The Parish Priest has put his heart and soul into transforming this Church into one of the best in the diocese.

To keep pace with the development seen in many Churches, Fr. Lobo constructed the Adoration Room next to the Church. A new belfry that was the crying need was also installed.

Fr. Lobo carried out several changes and developments to both the English as well as the Kannada Medium Schools. He introduced the English Medium Smart Class and renovated both the Schools. Interlocks were provided around the Schools that has resulted in the students doing away with inhaling harmful dust.

Fr. Antony is a shining example of leadership and hard work – a real ball of fire - and this has been proved in no small measure by the progress made in and around the Sacred Heart Church, Surathkal. He pulled out all stops for the development of the Church, the parishioners and the Schools. Nothing matters to him more than the well being of the parishioners.

Not one to rest on his laurels, he has embarked on the construction of a new Auditorium. Although it is still in its embryonic stage, with his dedication and far sightedness, the day is not far when this project will see the light of day.

The Schools managed by the Sacred Heart Church, Surathkal owe of lot to Fr. Anthony Lobo for the giant strides they have taken under him. To overcome the difficulties faced by the children, a borewell was dug which now provides continuous supply of water. He installed wiring fencing around the school compound. With the intention of providing uninterrupted power supply, a solar 15 kw power project was installed. He had toilets constructed on all the floors of the school. Students are provided wholesome and hygienic mid-day meals for the purpose of which Fr. Lobo has constructed a kitchen as well as a dining hall.

Renovations were carried out to the presbytery as well as to the Church office. Toilets have been constructed for the benefit of the parishioners.

In order to alleviate the sufferings of the elderly who arrive to attend services, Fr. Anthony Lobo has provided wheel chairs and a ramp has been constructed for the purpose.

The Church in Surathkal is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and nothing could be more befitting than holding Novenas in His honour. Fr. Lobo had the foresight to do this and Novenas are held in this Church every Friday where parishioners gather to offer prayers.

The tenacious Priest that he is, Fr. Anthony has left no stone unturned in pursuit of the overall development of the Sacred Heart Church and the schools it manages. The zeal that the Parish Priest exudes has rubbed on the parishioners who have stood by him by pulling their weight. Fr. Lobo has displayed lofty and exemplary levels of perseverance and commitment due to which the Church and the schools have progressed by leaps and bounds. In fact, it is not uncommon to find a person visiting this Church after several years to marvel at the scorching pace at which progress has been made. The development experienced speaks volumes for the dedication and toil put in by Fr. Anthony Lobo. It is eloquent testimony to the devotion he has showered on God and the service to the parishioners.