Our Lady of Compassion Church - Madugula


Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India


Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh, India

Our Lady of Compassion Church - Madugula

08934 - 224604

The Catholic History of Madugula Mission star ted in 1923 when Fr. Manioulex became very sad about the lapse of faith among Kothavalasa people who were going back to their rigional religions after receiving baptism. He then thought of changing the mission in Kothavalasa to a more prospective place. In this venture Father sent two catechists Polamarasetty Chellamaiah and P Raju to Chodavaram to explore the possibilities of opening a new mission there. The catechists were informed of a catholic forest officer at Madugula. As there were no bus services, the two catechists had to walk 11 miles through the road and find the forest officer, Mr. W Thomas Field; who appeared to be helpless believer with Church to worship and no priest to say the Mass. In response to this Fr Manioloux promised him that he would see to it.

With the help of the Forest Officer Father could manage to buy the bungalow and the garden of the Madugula Zamindar (two and a half acres of land with two wells at entrance of the town) for Rs. 1500/- at the time of the Most Rev. Bishop Rossillon. Fr. Dias who succeeded Fr. Maniolux contacted harizans through a teacher who married Anna Mary an orphan girl brought up by the sisters. The harijans were very much alienated by the caste people and the caste feeling was very strong. Fr Dias got the permission for the harijans to enter into the forest and cut firewood to be sold for their livelihood. It was indeed, a great support for the harijans. A few more people received baptism and Bishop Rossillon himself visited Madugula. With a great hope, a foundation stone was laid for the parish church at Madugula. Mr Thomas Field was incharge of the construction. He worked very hard for the church. He became a victim of black water fever and died on Holy Thursday in 1929.

The number of baptisms increased and the work progressed without much hindrence. When the harijan leaders of Chodavaram, Kothakota and Vepada heard that Madugula harijans became christians they joined together and boycotted them. As the Madugula harijans were isolated Fr Dias tried his best and strengthened the Madugula Harijans numerically. Hence he opened as many outstations as he could. Satyavaram, Suravaram, Kinthali, Jemmadevipeta, Vommali, etc were opened in this line. All the catechists appointed by Fr Dias did a marvellous job. Catechists like E Venkappa, P Rajanna and P Bheemanna stood firm in their faith and proved to be a great help to the parish priest in the spread of faith. Fr Dias had a very tough time. But with all his experience and firm faith he could very well pacify the elders who created troubles relating to caste in the substations.

The Parish Church of Madugula was blessed on 27th September, 1929. It is said that there was a severe drought in Madugula and surrounding places at that time. When Bishop Rossillon arrived on the 26th September, 1929 there was down pouring of rain all through out night. The people considered it a sheer sign of God’s Blessings.

St. Ann’s sisters who willingly came forward to Madugula in 1932 have been doing an excellent job in the fields of Health care and education. Sr. Freeda is very well remembered for her committed services to the poor and the needy. The parish was extended and from this parish only evolved parishes of Chodavaram and Anakapalli later on.

Thus with all the effor ts and committed services of Fathers, sisters, catechists and initiallly Mr. Thomas Field, the faith of Madugula parish is spread to the nearby villages.