St. Ann’s Church, Thottam
When Traveling to Malpe fort from Udupi, the progress and development took place over the years in the surrounding areas makes everybody happy and Locals feel proud on the developments took place over the years.Since fishing is the main source of Income majority of the locals are depends on the fishing boats numbering to more than 500 which are stationed at Malpe Fort. From Malpe around 1 K M further the famous Vadanbandeshwara Beach is star of attraction for tourist.Government has taken full interest in developing this Beach.The lately attraction is a Colourful Dancing fountain.Then who can forget the St Marys Island.A beautiful sight to watch from the Shores of Arabian Sea.Since its managed by Tourism Department of Govt of Karnataka ,tourist boats are available with nominal costs.It will take the tourists from Malpe Fort and brings back in the evening.A perfect place for day long picnic.Tousists not only from India but international tourists are also visiting this beautiful place.Lots of Hindi , Kannada , Tulu and Konkani movies are shooted in the surrounding locations of this part.
With the surrounding of this beautiful history a small village is shining like a bright star is called THOTTAM .The beautiful Roaring Sound of Arabian sea gives a Melodious Musical Experince to Thottam for 24 Hours .St Anness Church one of the oldest Parish in Diocese of Mangalore is taking care of more than 300 Catholic families spiritual needs.St Annes Church or Fondly Called as AJJAMMANA IGARJI by our Hindu brethren is completing its 75 Years of existence and all Thottamites are in a festive mood of PLATINUM JUBILEE of their Church.
If we recollect from the history of Last 75 Years, catholics were going to Milagres Church Kallianpur by walk for their religious activities.Some Elder leaders of Thottam are joined together and understood the need of a Church in Thottam.and on 14.04.1932 they built a hut at the same place where the present church is situated for their daily religious activities and to give further strength to the religious activities of faithful devotees , Rev Fr J L D Souza then Vicar Vaar of Kallianpur deputed Fr Mathew Menezes, Asst Priest of Milagres Church Kallianpur as a chaplain to Thottam .
Under able leadership and guidance of Fr Mathew Menezes first Sunday Holy mass was offered on 24.04.1932 .This became a example for the UNITY of Thottimites and this Day was written in GOLDEN WORDS in the history of Thottam.Thus this Hut became a religious centre to nearly 250 Families of Thottam.A dream of so many years has been realized , A Hut became a House of Prayers.Thottamites Got their own church and today Thottam Church has became 75 Years Old and celebrating the Platinum Jubilee.
Fr Mathew Menezes was coming to thottam only on Sunday to offer the Sunday mass. The faithfull Devotees were enjoying the happiness of attending the religious activities in Thottam itself , then Bishop of Mangalore Late Victor Rosario Fernandes on 17.03.1933 officially declared Thottam Church as independent Church and dedicated to St Anness.Fr Mathew appointed as complete in charge of St Anness Church Thottam.Since Fr Mathew has to come from Milagres Church Kallianpur no resident priest has been appointed.in 1935 Fr Mathew Minezes has been transferred from Kallianpur.
Hut to Church :
Vicar Vaar of Milagres Church Kallianpur Rev Fr D J Douza has apointed a dynamic priest Rev Edwin E Castelino as Parish Priest of St Annes Church Thottam and decided that Fr Castelino will stay in Thottam as resident Priest.In a span of only one year ie on 26.07.1936 foundation stone has been laid to new church and the New Church has been inaugurated on 10.05.1938 by Late Bishop of Mangalore Diocese Most Rev Dr V R Fernandes.
On 12.05.1949 Fr Rev Edwin E Castelino has been transferred and on 13.05.1949, Fr Joseph D Souza has took incharge of St Annes Church.He has done lot of Improvement to the church with the help of Kind hearted parishioners .There was no proper Road to Thottam.He took charge of this task and made a road starting from Vadabhandeshwara till Church.He has served Thottam Church for 7 Years and transferred on 01.04.1956.
On April 2 1956 Fr Felix E Concessao took over as parish priest of Thottam .He has continued the Development work done by Fr Joseph D Souza.He has completed the task of building the boundary wall of the Church.He has given a new shape to the Grotto which was opposite to Priest House.Church has got Electricity Connection during his tenure.He has served the Parish for 10 Long years and transferred on 29.05.1966.
On 30.05.1966 Fr Arthur D Souza came as a new priest to Thottam.He has given the more importance to keep church surrounding very clean.In 1967 foundation stone has been laid to Vidhyadayini Hall .On 15.05.1976 New convent has been inaugurated .Fr Arthur D Souza has served the church for 10 years and transferred on 29.05.1676 to Bellur Parish.
Fr V G F Rego has been arrived from Mood Belle Parish as parish priest of Thottam.The Big New Bell and Bell tower has been built during his tenure.He has built the new compound wall infront of church.St Vincent De Paul association has been introduced during his tenure.He has completed the work of Vidhyadayini Hall and inaugurated on 24.12.1979.After serving for 7 years on 19.05.1983 Fr V G F rego has been transferred to Pernal Church.
On 20.05.1983 Fr J J Martis took in charge of Parish but after serving only one year and on 07.04.1984 Fr Simon D Souza came as a new priest to the Church.he has served the church till 20.05.1986.
On 21.05.1986 A New Era has been started in the Parish.A Young and Dynamic Priest Fr Louis Cutinha has took Charge of St Anness Church.He understood the need of a new church building since old church building was in very bad condition.With the Help of Parish Counsil he has immediately started the Work of new church.With the help of kind hearted parishioners he has completed the work in a record time of only one year the new church has been inaugurated on 12.12.1988 by Bishop of Mangalore Diocese Most Rev Basil S D Souza. In 1989 the timely need of Thottam a Catholic School has been started .On 21.05.1989 Fr Louis Cutinha has been transferred to Agrar Parish in Bantwal since Agrar Church School was requiring his services very badly.
On 22.05.1989 Fr Maxim Furtado took in charge of Thottam Parish.He also took charge of Thottam Church School.He made a special place in the hearts of parishioners for his soft spoken and kind hearted nature.He has given more importence to Spiritual Development of parishioners.He has instrumental in starting the Charismatic Prayer service in the Church which benefited lot of Parishioners.He has served the Church for 6 Years and transferred on 19.05.1995 to Nellikar Parish.
Fr Jerome Monteiro has arrived to Thottam Parish on 20.05.1995 as parish priest.During his tenure He has built a New Parish Home with the help of Parish Counsil, Kind Hearted parishioners and Other Kind hearted people and inaugurated on 30.05.2000 by present Bishop of Mangalore Most Rev Alosious Paul D Souza.He has served the church for Seven years and transferred to Kolalgiri Church on 29.05.2002.
Present Parish Priest Fr Louis Francis DSa :
From Ajekar Parish ,Fr Louis Francis DSa took over the charges of St Annes Church Thottam on 30.05.2002 as 11th Priest of thottam Parish.A Dynamic and true Leader Fr Louis DSa is instrumental in Platinum jubilee celebration and other development activities of Church.
From last Five years the service extended by him to parish is aplaudable and tremendous.He has take care of the Comfortability of parishioners during religious activities .With a budget of more than One Lac he has put new benches in Church..In 2003 He has built Holy Shrines for Sacred Heart and Mother of Lourdes on the main entrance facing to main road to enabling the Devotees to offer their prayers.The Holy Shrine of St Annes which was inside the church was brought out side the church to enabling all her devotees to offer their prayers.He made it as Pilgrim Centre and same as been inaugurated by Bishop Alosius Paul D Souza.
The Stage which was infront of Parish House was transferred to other side of the ground with the help of Non Christian Devotee who had donated Rs 50,000.00 towards this project.New stage wan inaugurated on 10.05.2004 for Culctural Activities of Church.He had renovated the Churchs Vidhyadayini Hall and restrrucured it with more sitting capacity with a estimated cost of 4 Lacs Rupees.The hall was opened on 25.12.2005 to social and cultural activities of the church.
During this Platinum Jubilee celebrations the leadership and guidance executed by Fr D Sa was aplaudable.Specially the Interest he has shown in to bring out the Platinum Jubilee Souvenier THOTTAMCHO SUVALLO .
At present Thottam church consists of 12 Wards .And all the wards are completely active and All families with the able leadership from Luwaads of their respective wards are actively participating in the religious activities and other related development activities of the Church.Beside this there are other 9 Active associations which represents and works towards other services of the Church.The Novena prayer of St Annes Which is on Every Monday after the daily mass is attracting large number of Devotees including the Brethern from other Communities too