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The Archdiocese of Bombay has been a metropolitan see since the time it was elevated by Pope Leo XIII on September 1, 1886. The ecclesiastical province of Bombay includes the suffragan dioceses of Nashik, Pune, and Vasai. This website is dedicated to the Priest, Religious and Lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Bombay for their dedication commitment and service in this the 125 anniversary of the erection of the Archdioceses

One hundred and twenty-five years ago in 1886 through a Concordat signed by the Holy See and Portugal and following that through Pope Leo XIII's Bull Humane Salutis, Bombay (as it was then called) had its own Archbishop became an Archdiocese. This is the official website of the Archdiocese that strives to trace the roots of our Archdiocese and invites you to take a journey into the future. This website is created for the Archdiocese by the Catholic Communication Centre.

Introduction

One hundred and twenty-five years ago in 1886 through a Concordat signed by the Holy See and Portugal and following that through Pope Leo XIII's Bull Humane Salutis, Bombay (as it was then called) had its own Archbishop became an Archdiocese. As we mark the anniversary of that event, we glance back at the 1,500 years of Christianity in the region of Mumbai, trace its tumultuous history and treasure the uniqueness of our cultural past. Presented below is a macro-view of the history of the Archdiocese especially through its constituent one hundred and twenty-six parishes with just the spotlight on its leadership and works or ministries.

The testimony of the global reach of the Catholic faith finds manifestations in myriad cultural expressions through many continents. In India, Christianity found a home on the west coast long before colonial governments brought power into issues of faith. Though tradition holds on to the Apostolic connection with the Christianization of the region, actual historical evidence eludes us.

 

Patron Saints

St. Francis Xavier Feast Day 3rd December FRANCIS XAVIER, ST. (1506-1552).

Born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in the Basque area of Spanish Navarre on Apr. 7, he was sent to the University of Paris 1525, secured his licentiate in 1528, met Ignatius Loyola and became one of the seven who in 1534, at Montmartre founded the Society of Jesus. He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly in the Portuguese Empire of the time. He was influential in the spreading and upkeep of Catholicism most notably in India, but also ventured into Japan, Borneo, the Moluccas, and other areas, which had thus far not been visited by Christian missionaries. In these areas, being a pioneer and struggling to learn the local languages in the face of opposition, he had less success than he had enjoyed in India.

Many miracles have been attributed to St Francis. He was said to have possessed the gift of tongues, to have healed the sick and even to have raised the dead; but for the last, at least, there is no real evidence. That he possessed the gift of prophecy seems to be certain, but he can hardly have possessed the gift of tongues. The evidence is, on the contrary, that he had to rely throughout on interpreters to translate his message into the different languages he required, and was often sadly misled. The real miracle of his life, as has been said, was the miracle of his personality, by which he was able to convert thousands to the faith wherever he went and to win their passionate devotion.

He died abandoned with but one companion, without the sacraments or Christian burial. But within a few weeks his body was recovered and found to be perfectly incorrupt. It was brought to Goa and received there with a devotion and an enthusiasm which showed that the people had already recognized him as a saint. He was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1619 and canonized together with St Ignatius by Pope Gregory XV, on March 12th, 1622. He is now the patron of all the missions of the Catholic Church.

 

Saint Gonsalo Garcia 5th February Saint Gonsalo Garcia (1556–1597)

is a First Roman Catholic saint from India. Born in the western coastal town of Vasai, an exurb of the city of Bombay, he preached from the Bassein fort during the time the town was under Portuguese colonial rule. The feast of St. Garcia has traditionally been held on the first Sunday nearest to the neap tide following Christmas in Vasai.

Gonsalo Garcia was born Gundi Slavus Garcia— to a Portuguese father and a Canarese (resident of the Konkan coast) mother in Bassein, on February 5, 1557. He was the right hand of father St. Peter Baptist Superior of Franciscan mission in Japan. He was tutored by Fr. Sebastian Gonsalves, a Jesuit priest working in Vasai, in the college near Bassein fort. Garcia studied under the tutelage of the Jesuits for eight years from 1564 to 1572. Then, at the age of fifteen, Fr. Sebastian took Garcia to Japan. He soon managed to learn the language and since was seen as an affable person; he soon became popular in the local community as a catechist. He resigned and left to Alcao to set up trade. His business prospered and branches were opened in different locales in Southeast Asia. Gonsalo's long cherished dream to be a Jesuit did not materialise and moved on to Manila in the Philippines as a lay missionary. In the Philippines, he was influenced by a Franciscan priest, Fr. Peter Baptista and soon joined the Seraphic Order as a lay brother. After working with the leprosy patients there he was formally ordained as a Franciscan as the Friars Minor at Manila.

On May 26, 1592, the Spanish governor in the Philippines sent Gonsalo on a diplomatic mission back to Japan along with Baptista. After working for four years, the Japanese shogun suspected the missionaries of sedition and were placed under house arrest in their monastery in Miaco (Kyoto) on 8 December 1596. A few days afterwards, when they were singing vespers, they were arrested, manacled and immured. On January 3, 1597, the left ears of twenty-six confessors among them Garcia, were exscinded; but were then collected in reverence by the local Christians. On February 5, Garcia was crucified on Nagasaki Hills with twenty six of his companions. St. Garcia was the first to be extended on, and nailed to, the cross, which was then erected in the middle of those of his companions. Fr. Gonsalo, the first to arrive, went straight to one of the crosses and asked "Is this mine?". The reply was "It is not". Then he was taken to another cross, where he knelt down and embraced it. The others, one after another, started doing the same. "That was quite a sight, the way Br. Philip was embracing his cross. . . " comments one of the witnesses. [3] Two lances impaled his body through his heart. While being nailed, Garcia sang praises of God, earning him the martyr's title.

In 1627, Garcia and his fellow martyrs were declared as Venerable by Pope Urban VIII. The martyr's feast day occurs on Feb 5th and in 1629, their veneration was permitted throughout the Catholic Church. On June 8, 1862 Pope Pius IX declared Garcia a saint.

 

ARCHBISHOP OSWALD CARDINAL GRACIAS


His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias

His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias (born 24 December 1944) was ordained a Priest on 20th December 1970 and ordinated as a Bishop on the 16th of September 1997 is the Archbishop of Bombay, having been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on 14 October 2006, and was raised to the cardinalate in 2007. In 2010, he was elected as the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (having been the vice-president from 2008).

Early life and ordination Cardinal Gracias was born in Bombay on the 24th of December 1944 to Jervis and Aduzinda Gracias He completed his school studies at St. Michael's School in Mahim and joined college at the Jesuit run St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. After a year, he entered the Seminary of St. Pius X in Bombay, where he studied philosophy and theology. Gracias was ordained to the priesthood by Valerian Cardinal Gracias the then Archbishop of Bombay on 20 December 1970. From 1971 to 1976, he served as Chancellor and secretary to Bishop Joseph Rodericks, SJ, of Jamshedpur.

Diocesan work Cardinal Gracias then furthered his studies at Rome, attending the Pontifical Urbaniana University from 1976 to 1982; he obtained a doctorate in canon law, a diploma in jurisprudence. Upon his return to Bombay, he was named chancellor, judge of the metropolitan tribunal, and judicial vicar. From 1982, he was the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Mumbai, and from 1988 he was the judicial vicar for the Archdiocese, a visiting professor to the seminaries of Bombay, Poona, and Bangalore, as well as serving as President of the Canon Law Society of India.

Bishop and Archbishop On 28 June 1997, Gracias was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay and Titular Bishop of Bladia by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on 16 September from Archbishop Ivan Dias, with Bishops Ferdinand Fonseca and Bosco Penha serving as co-consecrators. Gracias was later named Archbishop of Agra on 7 September 2000, and Archbishop of Bombay on 14 October 2006. He also served as Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), and is currently the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishop in India(Latin rite)

Cardinal On 17 October 2007, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would elevate Gracias and twenty-two others prelates to the College of Cardinals. At the consistory in St. Peter's Basilica on 24 November 2007, he was created Cardinal-Priest of S. Paolo della Croce a "Corviale".

On 20 February 2008 Cardinal Gracias was elected 1st Vice President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India(CBCI) of which had earlier served as Secretary General.

Like all cardinals, Gracias is a member of various offices of the Roman Curia, and is invited to attend their plenary meetings, which in principle are held every year. Appointments are for five years and are renewable. In May 2008 Pope Benedict named him a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and, on 6 July 2010, of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias elected Secretary General FABC

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India was elected FABC Secretary General by the Presidents of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. The FABC is an apex body representing 19 Bishop's Conferences comprising 28 of their Asian member countries like the other Bishops' Conferences of South America, Europe, Africa and Oceania. The Federation coordinates the work of the Church in these countries and represents Asia before the Vatican and Government authorities. The Central Secretariat is located in Hong Kong and is the principal service agency of FABC, and an instrument of co-ordination both within FABC and with outside offices and agencies in countries all through Asia.

The Court of Arms The coat of arms was designed and adopted when he was appointed as the Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay.

Escutcheon Washing of the feet, Letter M, Scales of Justice and Handshake

Motto: To Reconcile All Things in Christ

Symbolism: Washing of the feet: symbolizes a commitment to service; Letter M: Represents devotion to Mary; Scales of Justice: Church Law. His field of specialization; Handshake: stands for reconciliation and building bridges of communion.

 

BISHOP BOSCO PENHA : Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay

Bishop Bosco Penha was born Jan. 10, 1937, in Bombay archdiocese. He was ordained a priest for the archdiocese on Dec. 20, 1967. On May 15, 1987, he was appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay and his episcopal ordination followed on August 8. He is one of the archdiocese's Vicar Generals, with special responsibility for the laity. Bishop Penha also chairs the Western regional bishops' Commission for Laity and Small Christian Communities.

He is the Director of Small Christian Communities (SSC) in the Archdiocese. The SCC project entered the archdiocese through what is known as the Bombay Priests' Synod of 1980 which made a declaration that every parish and every priest would give a priority to the building of Small Christian Communities. This is the Brain Child of Bishop Bosco Penha

The work began in a systematic manner in June 1984; and over the last 25 years it has grown in strength and stature. As a result almost every parish in the archdiocese is now structured into SCCs. There are approximately 1800 communities and 12,000 animators

The project is helped by a team of around 25 persons, consisting of priests, the religious and laity, known as the F.I.L.M.C. Team (Formation and Involvement of the Laity in the Mission of the Church) It is this team which services the SCC programs in parishes. It is largely due to this team that the project has been successfully implemented in every nook and corner of the archdiocese.

The SCCs implement programs of various types: religious, socio-cultural, outreach, civic and political. Of these, the SCCs are generally stronger in the first three and weaker in the latter two categories. Nevertheless many beautiful acts of love and mutual helpfulness take place all around the archdiocese because of these SCCs.

 

BISHOP AGNELO RUFINO GRACIAS : Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay

Originally from Colva, Goa, Bishop Agnelo was born in Mombasa, Kenya, Africa, on July 30, 1939. After finishing his priestly studies through the diocesan seminary, Parel and St Pius X College, Goregaon, he was ordained priest on December 21, 1962.

After serving as an assistant at Holy Name Cathedral from June 1, 1963 to May 31, 1971 he was deputed to Rome for further studies - doctorate in spiritual theology - between 1971-1975.

Upon his return, he joined the St Pius X College as professor and spiritual director on June 1, 1975. On June 1, 1985 he was appointed the rector of St Pius X College and held the position till May 31, 1993.

He served as parish priest at St Michael's Church, Mahim from June 1, 2000 to February 2001.

He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Bombay on March 13, 2001 and ordained bishop by Cardinal Ivan Dias on April 21, 2001. On February 28, 2002 he was elected chairman, CBCI Family Commission, Jalandar. He became Archdiocesan consulter on August 1, 2007 and was appointed Pontifical Commissary Heralds of Good News on January 16, 2008.

In January 2011, he was appointed chairman, CCBI Doctrinal Commission and on June 1, 2011 was once again appointed the rector of St Pius X College, Goregaon.


 

STATISTICS

Name Type
Catholic Population 504,265
Parishes 118
Diocesan Priests 269
Religious Priests 290
Total Priests 559
Religious Sisters 1,500
Religious Brothers 96
Ecclesiastical Institutions 13
Colleges 5
Schools 158
Technical Schools 14
Professional Colleges 18
Orphanages 31
Hostels 14
Hospitals 9
Publications 18

 

     
 
A Matter Of Style
Posted On : 21 Sep 2016  
Posted by Fr. Fr. Daniel Christian
 
FAMILY – GOD’S FUNDAMENTAL INSTITUTION.
Posted On : 04 Jan 2017  
Posted by Fr. Editorial
 
Homily 26th Nov 2017 - Fr Steven by  Guest
Date: 26 Nov 2017
Homily 19th Nov 2017 by  Guest
Date: 19 Nov 2017
Homily 12th Nov 2017 by  Deacon Anthony
Date: 12 Nov 2017
 
 
Daily Readings
 Dec 15th, 2017
IS 48:17-19
Thought of the day
    Dec 15th, 2017 IS 48:17-19 Friday of the Second Week of Advent Lectionary: 185 Reading 1 Thus says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea; Your descendants would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, Their name never cut off or blotted out from my presence. Responsorial Psalm PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6 R. (see John 8:12) Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life. Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life. He is like a tree planted near running water, That yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers. R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life. Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes. R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life. Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Lord will come; go out to meet him! He is the prince of peace. R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel MT 11:16-19 Jesus said to the crowds: "To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, 'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.' For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, 'He is possessed by a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is vindicated by her works."
     
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Email : sjcocd@gmail.com
 
   
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