St. Sebastian’s Church Badagara
Christianity claims its presence in Kerala since the 1st century itself. Its inception was supposed to be by 52 AD with the arrival of St. Thomas, the Apostle, in this land. However, a historical study of Christian community in Kerala forgetting the services of foreign missionaries, who sacrificed their lives to promote social justice among the people of this land, who were suppressed and depressed under the then prevailing untouchability and colour discriminations, may perhaps be incomplete. The present Latin Church in India had its origin from the missionary work of the Western missionaries.
Calicut diocese came into existence on 12th June 1923 and was established by Holy Father Pope Pius XI of happy memory separating Malabar from the Diocese of Mangalore and Wayanas from the Diocese of Mangalore and Wayanad from the Diocese of Mysore, it was spread out into the six Districts of North Kerala extending from Shoranur to Kasargode. It is one of the biggest diocese of Kerala having a Catholic population of nearly 400 people. The first Bishop appointed was Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul Perini S.J.. The prime Catholic centers then were Calicut, Tellichery, Kannur, Vythiri and Mananthavady. Besides these there were chapels in Shoranur, Malappuram, West Hill, Chalil, Dharmadam, Thayyil, Pallikunnu and Kolayad.
This community as a whole is impoverished and is classified by the Government itself as one of the backward communities. These people may be poor in material resources, but they are rich in faith. 450 years ago, St. Francis Xavier was walking along this sea-coast preaching the Gospel. In one of his letters addressed to St. Ignatious, St. Francis Xavier writes about this people as follows: “This region is utterly barren and poverty – stricken. Since I came here, I have had no rest. I have been going from village to village. The children would not let me stay at my office or eat or rest till I had taught them some prayer. It was then that I really began to feel that such is the kingdom of heaven. I started to teach them catechism and I saw immediately that they were very intelligent.”
The church of Badagara is the fruit of the missionary zeal of Fr. M.F. Barboza, S.J. In the year 1929 he bought 75 cents of land and built a small church there. There were only two catholic families, and for their sake Fr. Barboza used to go there and give them Mass. As there was no parish house the priest stayed in the travellers Bungalow, for the night and offered Mass the following morning.
The parish house was built by Fr. Abraham Makil, S.J., the then Parish Priest of Badagara in 1935. The Apostolic Carmel was the only religious congregation for women in the Diocese and they came to Badagara on 2nd July 1938 and built a convent and School and named as St. Antony’s School. The sisters extended their service to the church liturgy also.
In 1941 Fr. Peediyackel was appointed as Vicar of Badagara and the colonies of the newly immigrated Syrian Christians of Maruthonkara, Padathukadavu, Kulathuvayal, etc. Fr. B. D’Costa assisted him for a while. For controlling the wide spread of Cholera, Measles, etc. he decided to celebrate the feast of St. Sebastian and the local people made them a grant success. At that time a deep devotion has grown towards St. Sebastian.
Frs. Gregory D’Souza, J.A. Fernandez, A. Zearo, S.J., Lombardini S.J. and RoqueRebello followed him one after another. Fr. Corneiro was there for a short while after Fr. Rebello and was followed by the present incumbent Fr. Gregory T. Fr. Gregory built a neat and convenient parochial house, extended the church by 18 feet, and built a beautiful façade to the church. He completely remodeled the sanctuary according to new liturgical needs, furnished the church with pews and other necessary things. He was cultivated fruit trees and pepper vines in the church compound in order to augment the meagre income of the parish. The Catholic population was 132.
Fr. Thomas Kattunilath took charge as Parish Priest on 1979 and decided to construct a cross church on the road side. On 3rdFebrury 1980 Msgr. Maxwell Norohna laid the foundation stone for the Cross church and was blessed on 21stFebruray 1981 by the newly appointed Bishop Maxwell Norohna. By 1989 the catholic population of the church becomes a huge from 132 and on 8th April, the Most Rev. Bishop Maxwell Norohna laid the foundation stone for the new church in the presence of Rt. Rev. Fr. George Pathiyilil, the Parish Priest at that time. The construction works were lead by Mr. Xavier Kannadiyil, a member of the Parish. On 12th September 1950, the Bishop itself blessed the new church.
The present St. Sebastian’s Church, Badagara is the result of the unending service of the Parish Priests. Fr. M.F. Barboza SJ (1929-1935) was followed by Fr. Abraham Makkil SJ (1937-1938), Fr. A Siyaro SJ (1938-1939), Fr. Francis Rebello (1939-1941), Fr. Athnasious CD (1940), Fr. Thayyil J K (1940), Fr. Joseph Peediyekkal (1941-1945), Fr. LiyoProserppiyo SJ (1944), Fr. D’souza (1944), Fr. Jose Fernandez (1947-1948), Fr. Gregory D’Souza (1948-1953), Fr. Rock Rebellow (1953-1957), Fr. Lambordini SJ (1958-1959), Fr. Karnayre (1959), Fr. Gregory Thengapurayckal (1960 – 1974), Fr. Joseph Kuthoor (1975-1978), Fr. Thomas Kattunilath (1979-1982), Fr. Liyo Pottaykkal (1982-1984), Fr. Zachariyas Palakunnel SJ (1984-1985), Fr. Gilbert J Sequara (1985-1986), Fr. Antony Pius Edezhath (1986-988), Fr. Geroge Pathiyil (1988-1994), Fr. Victor Pappali (1994-195), Fr. Tomy Rodriguez (1995-1998), Fr. Liyo Pottackkal (1998-2004), Fr. Vincent Pulickal (2004-2006), Msgr. Joseph Valander (2006-2007), Fr. Alfred Vadakkethundil (2007-2013), Fr. Joseph Nicholas (2013- 2017). Presently Fr. Sajeev Varghese is extending his service as the Parish Priest.
St Sebastian’s Church
Calicut – 673 101
Ph : 0496-2524488
|Sunday||08.30 am Mass|
|Monday||06.30 am Mass|
|Tuesday||05.30 pm Mass& Novena|
|Wednesday||06.30 am Mass|
|Thursday||06.30 am Mass|
|Friday||05.30 pm Mass & Novena|
|Saturday||05.30 pm Mass & Novena|