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Saturday, March 3, 2012

A SHORT HISTORY OF OUR LADY OF VICTORIES CHURCH, CHAMPION REEFS, KGF

Our Lady of Victories Church in Champion Reefs KGF was established in 1890. It was first known as St. Mary's church and was the very first Church to be estblished in KGF. it was renamed as ‘The Church of Our Lady of Victories’ on the 25th of October 1953.

When the John Taylor and Sons Company first started mining operations in the Kolar region in 1880, the place was hardly inhabited. However with the growth of the Mining Company over the years, the population also increased and the Official census of 1891 recorded a return of 7,085 inhabitants in 1981 and 37,965 in 1901. This population included a mix of Hindus, Christians, Muslims, etc.

According to the History of the Catholic Mysore Mission, towards the end of the 19th century there were more than 5000 Christian in KGF of all denominations. The Paris Mission Fathers of St Joseph's College, Bangalore, would to go to KGF by bullock cart, to offer mass for the miners once a month. The Mass was often held in a shed, as there was no Church at that time.

Subsequently, with pressure being exerted by the Christian inhabitants, a new Parish was created in KGF in 1890. The spiritual needs of those early Catholics were now taken care of by the priests of the first Catholic Church of KGF namely St Mary’s Church, in Champion Reefs.

Fr J. Fraysse, (MEP), was sent as the first Parish Priest of the Champion Reefs Parish, and he was instrumental in building the Priest's house and the Church. He was also instrumental in initiating the establishment of the Community of St Joseph’s of Tarbes in the same Church Compound.

However due to a severe Rock Burst on 23rd January 1952, the Church and the School buildings collapsed and were completely destroyed. While the Convent and the community of St Joseph’s of Tarbes were accommodated in the bungalow of Mr. Arthur Taylor, the General Manager of the Mines, the Priests of the Parish were put up in a mining house close by. 

The church was rebuilt into its present shape and completed in 1953. Archbishop Thomas Pothacamury blessed and inaugurated the new Church, and christened it ‘The Church of Our Lady of Victories’ on the 25th of October 1953.


Now this beautiful Church is a little too small for the large Parish population. So to accomodate more parishioners during the Church Services, a new Church has been built just beside the present Church which can accomodate more than 2000 people at any given time.

The New Church of Our Lady of Victories will be consecrated and opened on the 27th Feb 2013.

 

This is a picture of the New Church. may Our Blessed Mother continue to shower her blessings on the people of KGF