Udupi: New building of Perampalli church all set for inauguration

Pics: Kevin Rodrigues
Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi (JD/KR)

Udupi, Nov 22: The newly built church of Our Lady of Fatima at Perampalli is all set to be inaugurated on Thursday November 23.

Perampalli is located at Shivalli, nearly 5 km away from the Udupi city and nearly 2 km from education hub Manipal. Perampalli was once a remote village completed surrounded by forest area and the River Swarna. During the year 1914, hardly 50 Catholics used to live here and the main source of income was agriculture. Wild animals roamed even in the broad daylight. Women used to come to sell their agriculture products to Udupi by foot. Families used to generate jaggery from the sugarcane grown on their fields. People were very poor financially, but were hard working.

Perampalli was one ward among Milagres Cathedral of the diocese of Udupi in 1921. For all religious needs, devotees would have to reach Milagres Church. Under the leadership of Fr Francis McLeons, an acre of land was bought and a small school started where priests used to cater to the needs of the devotees.

The then priest Fr Sabha Joachim Fernandes began to stay in Giri and he was the one instrumental in joining the Perampalli ward to Giri on January 1, 1920. Education was provided till class 3 to 45 students.



Old church building


In 1928, the school was recognized by the government. As the number of students increased in 1937, the government gave permission to start classes 4 and 5. There were five teachers and Mathew D’Souza was the headmaster.

Fr Herald D’Souza was appointed as correspondent of the Perampalli school. He came to know the difficulties faced by devotees to attend the Eucharistic celebrations as they had to cross the Swarna river, which was especially difficult during the raining season.

The devotees and Fr Herald appealed to the then bishop Dr U B Peres in 1954 to create an independent parish for Perampalli. After getting the necessary permission from the bishop, the priest convened a meeting with devotees to start the work for the chapel. Though the devotees were not strong financially, they were resourceful. Soon after the construction work was completed, bishop U B Peres declared it as an independent church on October 7, 1958 and renamed it as Our Lady of Fatima Church.

Fr Fredrick Pinto was the first priest appointed in 1961. Under his initiative, villagers constructed a mud road from Ambagilu to Manipal. He took special interest to have an own land for the parish and made all efforts to get the approval from the government for future use. At the same time, he was able get a land for the graveyard of the church with the help of donors. By this time, the number of families had risen 135.

Fr James Herbert Andrade who took charge in 1961 put in efforts to construct a new church on the land and a house for priests.

In the year 1969, Ursuline sisters were appointed by bishop Basil D’Souza to impart education. He also permitted construction of a new convent.

Fr Norbert Fernandes started St Vincent De Paul Association in the church. He gave special attention to the development of the school. Class 7 started in 1977.

Fr Grogre Immanuel D’Souza was the priest during 1979–80. Fr Victor Castelino and Fr Patrick Rodrigues served as the in-charge priests in 1980, Fr Wilfred Gonsalves from 1981-83, Fr Gilbert Pinto from 1983–85, Fr Lawrence D’Souza from 1985–88 and Fr Harry Tauro from 1988–89.

Fr Antony J D’Souza was appointed to Perampalli in 1989 and he served for a long period of 7 years till 1996. He completed the pending work on Fatima hall. He brought in electricity and nearly 50 chairs for the church.

Fr Vernon Vas who served for a year from 1996 to 1997 was a young and energetic priest. He realized the need of all-round development and hence gave special attention towards Sunday Catechism and spiritual life of the people. With the help of CODP, he started the women’s association.

Fr James D’Souza who took charge in the year 1997 put in efforts to bring a few things under control. He met people and started new associations in the church. He started different mass for children, yearly retreat, charismatic prayers, had trained parishioners conduct ward meetings and took many more steps for the spiritual development of the parish. On May 26, 1999, the foundation stone for the construction for a new school building was laid by Bishop Lewis D’Souza. The school was inaugurated on December 3, 2000. Manipal Hills Rotary donated bench, desk and lab equipment to the school. KCWA also donated Rs 44,000 for the school. In 2002, a new house for the parish priest was constructed.

Fr James D’Souza kept the parish active in all aspects till 2007.

Fr Romeo Lewis took charge on June 1, 2007. He was a person who was recognized for his simplicity and talents. He worked day and night for the development of the church and brought in many changes in Perampalli church premises. He was a multi-talented person with a kind heart. He was a good administrator, good in preaching, singing, and a prayerful person, simple and humble. Renovation of cemetery, new grotto, hall, church entrance gate, children’s play area and many more development works took place in a short span of time. Golden jubilee was celebrated in a grand manner during his tenure.

New church building

The new church building is 190 ft in length and 90 ft in width. The front tower is 170 ft tall. The unique structure is designed in Gothic style in accordance with Biblical architecture.

The tower is nearly 170 ft in height and 83 ft in width and has two crosses installed on the top. Various images from the Bible have been carved in the recess. Five angels and mother Mary’s major three miracles are also included. Holy Catholic Church’s strong pillars St Peter and St Paul’s statues are installed on the two sides. On the walls of the church, the numbers 7 and 13 are engraved in an artistic manner.


The main entrance of the church is designed in Gothic style in teak wood. There are three entrance doors. On the right and left doors, incidents from the Old Testament are carved and on the middle door, incidents from New Testament and mission of Jesus Christ and his life are carved. Above these doors, glasses with seven sacraments are installed.

The altar

The altar of the church said to be the biggest in the world. The whole alter is made up of wood. Important events from Christ's birth to death are depicted in an attractive manner. The crucifix is 20 ft tall and weighs 2,000 kg and is made up of single wood. Above the cross, heaven and world is carved. We can see God, Son and Holy Spirit along with 12 apostles and angels. Along with the altar, the special attraction is the dome which is nearly 70 ft in height. Various instances from the Bible are carved.

Altar for Eucharist celebration is designed in the shape of a chalice. On the reading stand, four prophets' pictures have been carved. One can see 7 colours on the glass. The images of 12 disciples have been carved on the eight doors of the church.

Various saints' statues have been placed inside the church. A 12 ft colorful glass with mosaic art ‘Jesus-Good Shepard’ adorns inside the church. Statues of Infant Jesus and Our Lady of Fatima made of wood are also placed.

Unique belfry tower

Another uniqueness of the church is its belfry tower. It looks like a replica of leaning tower of Pisa. It has seven storeys and is 135 feet in height, also involved 178 steps in it. The bell can be controlled by GIS satellite technology. This technology is used for the first time in India and second time in the world. The weight of the bell itself comes to nearly 360 kg.

Children’s theatre

For spreading the knowledge of Jesus Christ and saints among children, a children’s theatre is constructed. Besides, a mini hall is also constructed for conducting meetings.

Sound system: High quality Bosch audio systems have been installed.


The sacristy is well equipped. Each religious item is seven in numbers. There are 100 vestments of light blue to be used on special occasions. As many as 25 chairs at the altar are designed in Gothic style.


The main celebrant of the Mass will preside on the main sanctuary. There are 24 seats for concelebrants. Specially designed fans are also installed. Designed lights have been installed. One can see the special grotto of Mother Mary giving vision to three special children on the main door.


Jerry Vincent and Molly Dias of Mandavi Developers will be inaugurating the belfry tower, while Dr Peter Machado, bishop, diocese of Belagavi will be blessing it. Martina J and Philomena Aranaha, Dubai will inaugurate the new church. While Dr Gerald Issac Lobo will bless and preside over the Holy Eucaristic Mass. Dr Francis Serrao will bless the Bible and deliver the homily.

Pramod Madhwaraj, Udupi district in-charge minister, K Ragupathi Bhat, former MLA, Manohar S Shetty of Radha Developers, Pascal Veronica Mathias, Dubai, and Ronald Sequiera, Dubai will be present on the occasion.

Daijiworld.com will bring live web streaming of the event from 8.45 am on November 23.


Comment on this article

  • Dominic Leena, Karwar/ Dubai

    Thu, Nov 23 2017

    Hearty congratulations to Fr. Romeo Lewis, the parish priest. Great success upon completing the Church. It is wonderful.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Bengaluru/Katapadi

    Thu, Nov 23 2017

    Praise the Lord for His mercy to have a beautiful church in this place

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • S.M. Nawaz Kukkikatte, Dubai

    Thu, Nov 23 2017

    very beautiful architecture

    DisAgree Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mahathma, Mangalore

    Thu, Nov 23 2017

    Praise the lord! gorgeous...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Nov 23 2017


    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Nov 23 2017

    Majestic Splendor ...

    DisAgree [5] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gabriel, sagar

    Thu, Nov 23 2017

    Something Beautiful for God. A Place of Worship, Temple of God and Gate to Heaven. All the Best for the Dedication Ceremony of the Church to God.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Wilfred J. Lewis, Matpady-Brahmavar/ New York, USA

    Thu, Nov 23 2017

    This Newly constructed Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church at Perampalli reflects dedicated century old hard work of devoted Parishioners of Perampalli. World's largest Altar, Second tallest Belfry in the world, Gothic Style construction are added attraction to; otherwise a traditional worship place for Catholics and Devotees.
    DW media persons and Kevin Rodrigues have rightfully compiled an article which recalls exemplary work of parish administrators, school administrators, financial contributors. pastors etc.. New Church will attract huge number of visitors...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fr. J. B. Sequeira, Capuchin, Venafro, Italy

    Thu, Nov 23 2017

    Hearty congratulations to Fr. Romeo Lewis, the parish priest, the Religious brothers, sisters and the Parishoners of Perampally; on this occasion of the inauguration of their new Church. I was among them for an year and a half, as the Superior of our Trinity Central School, and I know the sacrifice - with sweat and blood - of Fr. Romeo and the Catholic people of Permapally. I admire them. Now a magnificent piece of art, the Church for the glory of God. Great! God bless you all.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse


Title : Udupi: New building of Perampalli church all set for inauguration


You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.

Security Validation

Enter the characters in the image