St Anthony’s Charity Institutes, Mangalore, justly famed all over India and abroad had a humble beginning. 12th June 1898 may be said to be its Birthday. It was on that day the late Msgr Michael Placid Colaco, commonly known as Msgr M.P. Colaco, sowed the mustard seed which in the designs of Providence was destined to grow into proportions which the founder could hardly have conceived.
In the year 1898, when Fr John S. Abreo was the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Miracles (Milagres)Parish, situated at Hampankatta, the centre of Mangalore Town, Fr M.P. Colaco was his Assistant. With the approval and guidance of the Parish Priest, the young and energetic Assistant began to give shape to his idea of St Anthony’s Shrine. In 1680 when Bishop Thomas de Castro had build the Church of Our Lady of Miracles at Hampankatta, he had also put up a side altar dedicated to St Anthony and installed the statue of the Saint thereon. But except for the feast being celebrated annually on the 13th of June, no other special devotions were held. On 12th June 1898 evening Fr M.P. Colaco had special devotion held in honour of St Anthony and inaugurated the Shrine. From the following day i.e. from 13th June 1898, Fr Colaco began offering Mass every Tuesday on the Altar of the Saint and to have special prayers recited after Mass. The response of the people was beyond all expectations. Not only the parishioners of Milagres, but the faithful from other parishes, from even beyond the town, began to frequent the Tuesday devotions. The fast growing number of devotees and the ever increasing number of petitions was a proof of the popularity of the devotion. They brought their intentions to be prayed for, as they brought their offerings in thanksgiving. What was realized from these offerings was distributed among the poor and thus began the work of “St Anthony’s Bread” in Mangalore.
The work grew from day to day. The zealous founder wrote to the bishops and priests of India and elsewhere acquainting them with what St Anthony was doing in Mangalore. There began to flow in regular stream, intentions to be prayed for from all over India and from such distant places as Singapore, China, Japan, Federated Malay States, Africa and even Europe. Offerings followed as a matter of course and they went to succour the needy and the poor, in and out of Mangalore.
Dear Friends and Devotees,
Greeting from Fr J. B. Crasta.
“Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Master and the Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s’ feet, I have given you an example, that as I have done, you also may do”(John 13: 12).
The actions and words of Jesus at the last supper resonated in the minds and hearts of the Apostles. So,they preached the Gospel of service and love with full of zeal and convictions. They not only preached the Gospel but also looked after the material needs of the people (Acts 5). As they baptized people, the number of the faithful grew and the Apostles were not able to carry out the both the tasks effectively. Hence, they appointed seven deacons to look after the material needs of the faithful.
Inspired by the Gospel values Late Msgr M. P. Colaco stared St Anthony’s Home for the Poor in Milagres in 1898 to cater to the needs of the poor. It all started with the devotion (Novena) to St Anthony. As the result of the devotion and prayer to St Anthony many generous people came forward to help the poor people of the vicinity. Msgr started to build houses for the poor and distributed food (St Anthony’s Bread).When he could no longer accommodate the poor people in Milagres, in 1936 he shifted the campus to Jeppu. Today it is known as St Anthony’s Charity Institutes. This year the institution will complete 125 years of service to the destitute of Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra in particular, and India at large.
On the occasion of Post Centenary Silver Jubilee, we are happy to re-design our website with all the information of the institution. We thank the Fr Anil Fernandez the web designer, Fr Rupesh Tauro and Fr Larry Pinto the Assistant directors for their creativity and their tireless work. We specially thank Most Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore and the Managing Trustee for his constant guidance, concern and support.
Fr J B Crasta.