Mundgod - Hanagal

Mundgod is a small town located in the reserved forest area in the northern part of Karnataka. In 1980 Fr. Mathew Lewis went as parish priest of St. Rita’s Church, with a small number of Catholics. In 1991 he with the help of the Charity Sisters started a school in the Church premises to educate the tribals (Siddhis, Gollas, and Gowlies) and Dalits who live in small villages deep in the forest. In 1993 under the able leadership of Fr. Lawrence Pinto the school was shifted to the present location (Karaginakoppa). In 1994 the primary school turned into a High School and in 2003 it became a composite PU College.

In view of preparing good teachers the Jesuits started a D. Ed College in 2004. However due to the changing policies of the government and lack of numbers it was closed down. Fr. Lawrence Pinto followed a different education system. Along with the regular subjects he introduced additional subjects like farming, dairy, carpentry, etc., so that the students after their studies go back to their villages and help in rebuilding their village and make the villages self-sufficient. Instead of housing them in large hostel buildings, a cottage system was introduced. Each cottage had around 30 children with a kitchen, a garden and a warden. It was a new concept – school with a difference.

Loyola Vikas Kendra, a social action centre, works for the integral development of the poor, fighting for justice, building up their self-esteem, restoring human dignity, creating awareness, promoting health and hygiene, releasing them from the fetters of money lenders and eradicating poverty in Mundgod and HangalTalukas of Uttara Kannada and Haveri districts. This centre runs 5 village hostels, mainly for the Primary and the High school students.

St. Rita’s Parish has 3 sub-stations. The Catholics in two sub stations – Mainahalli and Ugginkere are mainly Siddhis who are descendants of African slaves brought to Goa by the Portuguese, and hence bear African features. Another substation is at Malagi. The parish at Mundgod looks after the socio-pastoral development of the people. St. Lawrence Church at Hangal is another parish under the supervision of the Mundgod Mission.