The newly reconstructed Infant Jesus Church, a popular pilgrimage centre at Viveknagar in Bangalore was inaugurated recently by Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore Archdiocese.
Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana dedicated the new church at a Eucharistic celebration.
Later, at a public function Governor T N Chaturvedi said that the church was magnificent both functionally and aesthetically.
He said that he was impressed by the innocence of the face of the Infant Jesus as also Jesus on the Cross.
Kulandai Yesu a cassette of devotional songs sung by Shankar Mahadevan, Sadhana Sargam and chorus was released on the occasion.
The belfry with three bells which resonate the musical notes Do, Re, Mi was blessed by Fr. Thomas Jabamalai, former Vicar General of Bangalore Archdiocese.
Earlier Fr. Martin Kumar, parish priest of Infant Jesus Church welcomed the gathering.
In terms of accommodating the number of people, this is the largest church in Karnataka. With 312 benches, it can seat about 3,500 persons inside the worship hall and another 5,000 people in the open podium area.
18th April, 1969, the foundation for a new church was laid by Most Rev. Dr.S.Lourduswamy, the then Archbishop of Bangalore.
May 1971, Rev.Fr. L.Peter was appointed as the first parish priest of the new church, who took steps to celebrate the holy mass on the newly acquired land, brought the Infant Jesus statue from Sacred Heart church and installed it in an improvised old tent and thus began the "Tent Church" which lasted for over eight years.
The newly acquired land, popularly known as the "Rose garden" surrounded by thick vegetation was infested with snakes and poisonous reptiles and with no street lights was plunged in darkness at night. All this did not deter the faithful who flocked to the church.
1972, this new parish was canonically erected by the Most Rev. Dr. P.Arokiaswamy, the then Archbishop of Bangalore.
1974, the local authorities turned down the plan for the new Church for want of the approval of the Bangalore Development Authority, but Fr.Peter patiently toiled on.
26th October 1977, the powerful and miraculous intervention of Infant Jesus finally enabled him to get the approval and the entire development charges of Rs.50,000 was completely waived off, which was the first ever waiver in the history of the Bangalore development authority. Since all the events occurred on Thursday, the day was dedicated to Infant Jesus.
29th June 1979, the Most Rev. Dr. D.S.Lourduswamy, Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of the people, came from Rome, blessed and opened the new Infant Jesus Church in the presence of a very large gathering of devotees of different faiths.