Bheemunipatnam, also called Bhimilipatnam or Bimili, is the Headquarters of a Taluk and the first municipality of Madras presidency. It had its glorious days before Visakhapatnam developed as a Por t City. In the seventeenth century the Dutch had their settlements here and established a factory. Subsequently it developed into a commercial centre with Indigo and Jute factories and with many European settlers. It is health resort too.
There are records to show that in the 18th Century, Priests were visiting this place. In 1861 Bishop Neyret, the Vicar Apostolic of Visakhapatnam bought a piece of land in the middle of the town and built a church and a room for the priest. The catholics were either Europeans or Anglo-Indians who were very few in number. There must have been priests working in 18th and 19th centuries at Bheemunipatnam. Perhaps they must have been visiting the place from other stations. There was seldom a resident priest.
In 1929 Bishop Rossillon bought the old Post Office, repaired it and gave it to Sisters of St. Ann of Luzern and they took possession of it in 1930. They soon started a Dispensary, a Maternity hospital, a creche for the unwanted babies and an Orphanage. Under Mother Francisca an alround progress came. The sisters slowly expanded the proper ty and buildings.
In 1940 sister Beatrice star ted a school which developed slowly into a High School for Girls. With the school they star ted the boarding and girls from different mission stations got admission. Ever since the convent star ted there is a resident priest at Bhimili. Fur ther the sisters opened a nursing Home especially for the sick and the old priests. Thence some of our Veteran missionaries are buried at Bhimili.
The Parish of Bheemunipatnam was established in the year 1930 as per the parish records. Fr. Xavier Dias managed to get a few villages around Bhimili for Christ. At Bheemunipatnam itself the number of catholics is very few. The parish priest resides in the room of the old church rebuilt by Bishop Rossillon. Mass on week days is said only in the sister’s chapel but on sundays and feast days Mass is celebrated in the Parish Church.