St Lawrence Church, Bondel is one of the parishes of the Diocese of Mangalore. It is situated 8 kms away from the Heart of the City on the way to Bajpe Airport. It is a very beautiful place surrounded by Pacchanady, Moodushedde, Marakada, Kavoor and Padavinangadi villages. This parish was established on April 10 in the year 1923. Though it began like a mustard seed with few families today it is serving nearly 1000 families, having 27 wards. This Parish has received the service of 10 parish priests, more than 23 Assistant priests who were able and dynamic. Under their leadership the parish has grown in all the capacities. Rev. Fr Andrew D’ Souza is the present Parish Priest and Rev. Fr Jason Vijay Monis is the Asst. Parish Priest.
The church is growing today in all the areas including spirituality, education, business, health, culture etc. It has got several associations like Alter Boys, Catholic Sabha, Choir, ICYM, Legion of Mary, SFO, SVP, and YCS. The parish is surrounded by the religious houses like Missionary Society of Infant Jesus, Sacred Heart Fathers & Brothers of Betharram SCJ, Mary Immaculate Convent, Presentation Convent, Bala Yesu Nilaya Convent, Vijayamari Convent, Jyothi Nivas Convent and Nazareth Niwas. The parish is moving towards progress under the president of the parish pastoral parish able leadership of Rev. Fr Andrew D’ Souza and Parish Pastoral Parishad (PPP) which consists of more than 90 members which is a very strong advisory body of the parish.
Mr Henbert Pinto is the Vice President and Mr Wilfred Alvares secretary of PPP. The parish is also known for religious vocations has given more than 50 vocations to the diocese and outside. Late Bishop Rt. Rev Dr Basil D’ Souza was son of the soil.
Bondel parish is a very beautiful place having natural beauty with Mountains valleys. Most of the people here are agriculturists, there are also businessmen, working abroad working, in education institutions, a right blend of rich and poor. The church is vibrant with youth and the elderly working together to build a community of Love. In 1923 the Church came to its existence and in 1973 it celebrated it Golden Jubilee and in 1998 its Platinum Jubilee. So it has a long history of around 88 years.
A French missionary priest Rev. Fr Alexander Dubois known as Frad Saib (Then PP of Milagres) visited this place in the year 1873 and seeing the natural beauty of this place he called this place as “Bon valle”, A French term meaning good valley (Konkani: Borem Falkay) and hence this place is popularly known as Bondel.
Bondel Parish was once a part of Milagres Church. In 1908 a little more a Kilometre east of the Present Church, Rev Fr Aloysius Fernandes of Milagres Mangalore had built a Chapel on a hillock near a place called Thota for the Catholics of Pacchanady, Moodshedde and a portion of Padav. In the same year Primary School was also started there. In 1913, rev. Fr Frank S. Pereira of Milagres constructed a chapel at the site were the present church stands. The school was also shifted from Thota to the Bondel Church Premises. Bishop Perini appointed Rev. Fr Julian Rego as the chaplain in 1917.
In 1922 a presbytery was built and also school was renovated. The church attained the status of the Parish on April 10th, 1923 under the patronage of St Lawrence. Rev. Fr Frank S. Pereira as its first parish priest (1923 to 1926). In 1st October, 1926, Rev. Fr Julian Rego came as the the Parish Priest of Bondel Church and Manager of the School(1926 to 1935). In May 1929, two wards of Bejai were added to Bondel Parish. He also added the sanctuary to the Church. In 1934 the primary school came under the Catholic Board of Education which was earlier under the Milagres Church. January 31st, 1937, Rev. Fr J. B. D’ Sa came as the Parish Priest of Bondel. He further enlarged the sanctuary and renovated the Belfry in 1951. He served the parish for 20 years (1937 to 1957).
In 1957 Rev. Fr Aloysius J. Silva took charge as the Vigar. He upgraded the Primary School to Higher Primary School. He also renovated the Presbytery and the school building. Rev. Fr Gabriel B. D’ Souza came as the Vigar in May 18, 1968. In 1969 Mahatma Gandhi Centenary High School was started in the church compound. Later in 1972 it was shifted to the new building where it is presently located. The present Church was built by Rev. Fr Denis D’Souza (1977 to 1987). He worked hard for the development of the parish. After him Rev. Fr Thomas D’Souza (1987 to 1994) erected the belfry for 3 bells and rebuilt the presbytery. In June 27,1994 Rev. Fr Clifford D’Souza took over the charge as the parish priest of Bondel Church. He worked on building the faith of the people. In April 28, 1997, Rev. Fr John Mendonca became the parish priest. Under his leadership the Platinum Jubilee was celebrated in a splendid manner in 1998. The present Church hall was built as a memorial of the Platinum Jubilee Year.
In 2004, the Bishop appointed Rev. Fr Antony Serrao as the parish priest of Bondel Parish. In the year 2007, St Lawrence English Medium School was started in commemoration of the Centenary Jubilee of the School. The new English Medium School building was inaugurated by Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza the Bishop of Mangalore.
In 2011 Rev Fr Andrew D’Souza was appointed as the parish priest a man of prayer. Under his able leadership the parish is grown more spiritually. Many spiritual activities are taking place and the faith of the people is becoming stronger. And with the continues efforts by the parish priest.
The church has been grown under the able leadership of all the past parish priests, Assistant Priests, Vice Presidents with the cooperation of the faithful. And it continues to grow..