St Blaise Church Amboli

Catholic

Maharashtra, India

Contact

Caesar Road
Amboli, Andheri West
Mumbai Maharashtra, India

Services

06:00 a.m. (English)
07:00 a.m. (Konkani)
08:00 a.m. (Children)
09:00 a.m. (English)
10:00 a.m. (English)
06:00 p.m. (English)

FIRST SUNDAY
07:00 a.m. (Marathi)

The Portuguese first visited the coast of Bassein in 1509, but it was only in 1534 that the islands of Bassein, Salsette, Bombay and Karanja were ceded to the Portuguese by the Bahadur of Gujarat.

Amboli first appears in Portuguese documents as early as 1554, two years after the death of St. Francis Xavier. It was the custom of the Portuguese government to give the rents accruing from the villages of the Province of the North (i.e. north of Goa) as a reward to those who helped Portugal in some enterprise or conquest. Thus, in 1554, Tristao Dias Ribeiro was given the villages of Versova and Amboli for services rendered to the crown of Portugal. It is presumed that Ribeiro invited the Franciscans to Amboli and had the church of St Blaise built around 1560. In all probability this church (or chapel more likely) was affiliated to Mount Poinsur.

The rectorate (parish) of St Blaise was founded probably between the years 1585-89. According to the evidence of Fr Paulo da Trinidade, the parish of St Blaise in 1630 comprised the villages of Irlem (Irla), Parlem (Parle), Vessana (Versova), Megrem (Mogra), Andherem (Andheri) and Juvem (Juhu). The number of Catholics was then 1637 adults and 400 children.

In 1739 the Marathas conquered Bombay and a number of churches were destroyed. The church of St Blaise was not one of these, but it remained without a priest for two years, during which time the building was badly neglected. But from 1741 there is a record of secular priests as vicars of the parish, and they continue till today.

Over the centuries, the territorially large parish of St Blaise has been divided to give rise to new parishes. Today the parish of St Blaise extends from Mograpada in the east, Juhu Lane in the south,Dhake Colony in the west and Jogeshwari in the north.

As people from the city began to move into the suburbs and the number of parishioners increased, the old structure of the church was felt to be inadequate. So plans were drawn to build a new structure. Construction began in 1997 and the new church and parish complex was consecrated on 30 December 1999 by Cardinal Simon Pimenta. Of the old, only the altar remains — the three altars were reconstructed to form one main altar.