Mass on 8th May
Facing (from inside) the Entrance of the Seepz Church
Bishop Agnelo Gracias ( the celebrant of theHoly Mass), arriving on horse driven carriage.
Left Side Wall of the Chruch (facing towards altar)
Right Side Wall of the Church (from outside the Church)
Facing Altar (from inside the Chruch)
Photos Courtesy : Mr. Alphonso Tao
The members of Saint John The Baptist Church Save Committee who had spear headed the Agitation for the opening of the 500 year old Historic Church Named SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH at SEEPZ MIDC, Mahakali, Andheri (E), Mumbai, finally attained a huge victory in succeeding to get a new entrance to the SEEPZ Church.
In a victory rally held on Tuesday 8th March 05, a united Christian Community came together in a solemn procession which started from the main entrance of the Santacruz Electronic Export processing Zone (SEEPZ) main gate to the new entrance of the SEEPZ church.
EXTRACT FROM THE CATHOLIC DIRECTORY OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOMBAY 1982 (page 101 and 102)
The origins of the parish of
After Powai, Marol was a stronghold of Christianity in this region of the island. The Jesuit Report of 1669 tells us that the parish comprised 1380 Catholics in Marol, 302 in Condita, 246 in Gundowli and 219 in Chakala.
The original church of this parish was built in 1579 at Condita at a point north of the present
The church at Condita escaped the ravage of the Maratha war, for it continued to have Vicars, now secular priests, appointed to it from 1739 onwards (Humbert, I:141), who also looked after the remnant Christian community at Powai. Due to the outbreak of a devastating epidemic, Fr. Jose Lourenco Paes, the Vicar of Condita at the time, having built a new church in the village of Marol in 1840, transferred the parish from Condita to Marol and the old church and parish house was abandoned (Humbert II:63). Before the old church feel into disrepair, the statues, the baptismal font, the altars and a few pillars were transferred to the new church at Marol.
At the entrance of the present
Till about the year 1973, Mass was celebrated annually at the ruined
The parish of Marol has given birth to two new parishes: Holy Family at Chakala in 1943 at its western end, and St. Vincent Pallotti in 1981 at its northern end. However, in spite of these detachments the parish of
OUR DEMANDS TO THE GOVERNMENT
OUR DEMANDS TO THE GOVERNMENT
Since our organization which was formed in 2003 named
1) The State/ Central Government should restore the Church to its original glory help us in putting the roof and to preserve the sanctity of this church and even declare this as a heritage monument.
2) The encroachment on the Ancestral grave yard to be demolished and cleared.
3) The Dewool Talav (
4) Construct a boundary wall around the place.
5) Safe guard the
6) Include this church in category Grade III of the heritage regulation for Greater Bombay 1955.
We are happy today being in this Holy Season of LENT (40 days of fasting prayer and penance) We grant that god has heard out prayers and our Dream has come true for we have got back our Holy and first church in the city of Mumbai.
Thank you and hope the Government work quick and give us more results.
Mr. Nicholas Almeida
Letter to Chief Minister
St.John the Baptist Church Save Committee
Date: 19th Feb 04
The Chief Minister,
M E MO R A N D U M
We the members of St. John the Baptist Church Save Committee along with our Christian Bretheren Make the following demands :
1) To provide grounds for burial in thhe city of Mumbai wherever the Church has no burial ground.
2) For 27 long years the people of Mulund have no cemetery/burial ground, time and again land has been allotted and relocated, leaving the people with an expenditure of not less than Rs. 15,000/- to bury their dead at Sewree Cemetery. Till the Government does not allot the land for the cemetery at Mulund, a provision should be made by the government for taking and burying the deceased of their families to sewree.
3) The Antop Hill catholic cemetery which has been encroached by hutments should be vacated and the S.R.A. scheme which is to be passed on the burial ground of our ancestors should be stopped.
4) The 500 year old Seepz Church, which is a symbol of our Origin as Christians should not only be preserved as per the agreement with the Central Government when the Chruch was handed over to them to maintain its sanctity, but also to provide access to the people to offer prayers and mass.
5) As and when the 80% land owners of Bombay, the Christian inhabitants of this city has given its land for the development of this Metropolitan city Mumbai. There exists a U.P. Bhavan (Uttar Pradesh Bhavan), but the Christians have never been thought of. Today, we demand for a land for Christian Bhavan from our Government.
6) There is an acute problem of Housing which is the product of the Discrimination of the Government upon this community. For the slum dwellers. The F.S.I provided is 2.5 to 4, whereas for the Gauthans the F,S,I provided is .75. The Slums which are 10 years old get this facility for housing, recreation, schools, Hospitals etc. But what about the Original Inhabitants of this City ? We demand the Government should direct the Corporation to give the Repair Permissions within 30 days of application and the Government to pass the F.S.I for Gauthans as it is for the slum Dwellers.
7) The Constitution too has neglected the existence of the convert Christians of this city. Since 1947, we have been deprived of our status & reservation, though the sons of the soil of the seven islands of Mumbai which comprise of East Indians Communities belong to the Bramhins, Prabhus, Pachkalshis, Charkalshis, Sonars, Khatris, Bhandaris, Kharpatils, Kunbis, Kunbhars, Nhavis, Dhobis, Kolis, Bhois, Mahars, Chanbars, Agris (ref.: Gazette of Bombay Pg. 200) . We demand the reservations which have been long deprived of i.e. the OBC status. As recently Kalina village under Vakola Police Station Jurisdiction. The Christian Community members were beaten, threatened, their lives are in danger. We want the Government to protect our minorities Community at large. After giving our valuable lands for Airports, university, Government Developments, Hospitals, Railways, still jobs are not provided for our local youths. We being `Asli Mumbaikars what a pity in our land and city, we are jobless.
Despite id our efforts, time and agains a deaf ear has been turned towards the plea of our community, the demand made by us are our basis essential rights which have been deprived of for long. We stand before you to draw your attention towards the fulfillment of the said demands failing which we shall be forced to knock the door of the law.
Today 19th Feb. 2004, we 27 Christians Youth are shaving our heads bald in protest.
WE DEMAND JUSTICE.
Mr. Nicholas Almeida
St. John The Baptist Church Save Committee.
Almeida House, Church Pakadi, Road No. 2,
Sahar, Vile Pale(E)
Mumbai 400 099
Tel: 2837 6600
Mr. Nicholas Almeida
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