St. Jerome’s Church (built 1595)
The church was originally built by woods in the year 1595 by the Franciscan Fathers dividing the East Indian villages of Kashi (Cassi) and Mira (Mirem). It stood for 23 years until it was heavily damaged by a cyclone in 1618. The church was reconstructed in 1626 along with a parish consisting of the villages of Kashi, Mira, Sanbojapal, CHene, Bandonli, Baroli and Tantoli. The church was once again destroyed in 1739 during the Maratha invasion. The church was rebuilt in 1926 and the original statue of Saint Jerome was placed on the altar of the newly constructed church. The sanctuary of the new church was constructed on top of the rear arch of the original church and the Sacristy of the new church was built on top of sanctuary of the old church. The original cross, which stood for 386 years, was replaced in 1926 alongside the other renovations. St. Jerome Church is a Roman Catholic Church in Kashimira, Mira-Bhayandar, India. It was built during the Portuguese era by the Franciscan Fathers in 1595. It is situated on a hillock along the Western Express Highway.
This church stands on a hillock at the northern point of Salsette Island alongside the Western Express Highway. There were the two old villages of Kashi (Cassi) and Mira (Mirem) and this church stood in between the two villages as a dividing boundary line. The pictures shows the present church, which is the third one, built on the same site in 1926 where it was blessed and opened for public worship on 26th December 1926 which even today is celebrated as the feast day though the feast of St. Jerome falls in September.
It was the Portuguese Franciscan Fathers who selected this site between two villages and built their first church in 1595. This was a beautifully worked upon wooden structure by the local carpenters under the directions of the Franciscan Fathers. This building lasted just 23 years for it was destroyed in a terrible cyclone that hit the western coast in October 1618.
It was not until 1628 that the new church was built alongside the ruins of the old. By 1630 as Fr. Paulo da Trindade tell us, the parish was flourishing and now consisted of villages of Kashi, Mira, Sanbojapal, CHene, Bandonli, Baroli and Tantoli. This church flourished for the next 109 years and it was destroyed in 1739 during the Maratha invasion.
The statue of St. Jerome was preserved and was placed on the main altar of the new church that was finally built 187 years later in 1926. The rear arch of the old church is now the sanctuary of the new church and the sanctuary of the old church is now the Sacristy of the new church. In front of the old ruined church is a cross about 386 years old and in 1926 a new cross was erected in front of the new church. Each year on December 26 on the feast day a fair is held and is attended by more than Lakhs of people from all over Salsette, Bassein and Thane districts.