Many many years ago – a hundred years and more,

Some boundaries of Mt. Carmel’s parish, were lined with sandy shores,

Lapped by the friendly waters, hard by the adjoining sea;

And menfolk from these areas, toiled in the waters of the azure deep,

Setting sail ‘midst breezes cool or whistling winds o’er troubled waters,

Unmindful of the weather, to reap the riches of the roaring sea.

And this the elders sustained their families living on Nature’s bounty,

Pursuing a hereditary profession with native talent and ardent seal,

And there was a peace and love amongst them, and all lived in harmony.

Some years before this time, Bandra saw the origin of double jurisdiction of Padroada and


St Andrew’s Church at this point of time was under Padroada jurisdiction,

But some of its dissatisfied parishioners left St Andrew’s in 1849, for Propaganda jurisdiction.

Building a temporary chapel of bamboos thatched with coconut leaves in Koliwada

Was “the beginning of St. Peter’s Church and the double jurisdiction in Bandra”.

Simple, humble, rustic folks under St. Peter’s pastoral care

They lived in obedience to Church authority.

But somehow in course of time, it came to pass

A controversy crept ‘tween them and the hierarchy,

As to the possession and safekeeping of the insignia,

A symbol of the local clan and a totem of the Confraternity.

A grim situation thus arose - other factors too strengthened the big divide,

So with heated head and tempers frayed,

And ire increasing with each passing day,

The gulf grew wider,.. and wider,.. and wider,…….

Hectic efforts were then see on the horizon,

To reconcile both sides and repair the damage done,

So, reconciliation did come through Fr. Dalhoff’s, the Administrator Apostolic

But separation from Propaganda jurisdiction was still problematic.

The Holy See defused the situation by granting the Separation

At the instance of Msgr. Andrea Agati – the Delegate Apostolic

Undoubtedly through Fr. Dalhoff’s efforts and intervention.

A way out had to be found to fulfil their spiritual duties

For the 215 families of Bazaar and Koliwada localities,

In this, the authorities were found wanting,

For the Bishop of Damaun wrote to St Andrew’s Vicar,

Who by distance from the separated families was not very far,

To accommodate them till such time they built a Church of their own.

Which change the Holy See approved and made publically known.

But building a Church was by no means and easy task

For the fishermen knew not where to turn or whom to ask,

As funds were needed urgently and in bountiful plenty.

The Bishop of Damaun once again came to their rescue.

A plan of action he prepared after taking all things in view,

And with the ever obliging and encouraging parishioners of St. Andrews,

And donation of land by the Church Board of Our Lady of the Mount,

He saw the plan of action through and the difficulties surmount.

And in this task they were not left all alone.

For the stones were donated by the “khot” of Kurla,

They tasted their first sip of happiness and Joy

When the foundation stone of the Church was laid

By His Grace Don Antonio da Costa, “midst jubilation and much glee

In the year of Our Lord eighteen ninety-two- the seventh of February.

And so with zealous activity and frantic speed,

The building of the Church was soon completed.

The Bishop of Damaun blest the Church and declared it open

And said the first Mass on the 10 th of June 1894.

There were many benefactors and donors amongst the devotees,

To Joseph Albuquerque and sacred to his loving memory

Lies the land he unreservedly donated for a cemetery.

And to Peter Albuquerque, on whom with pleasure it befell

To gift the beautiful image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The main alter which adorned the Church till its renovation

Was from one of the ruined churches of Diu – a timely donation.

To Fr. Pio Elias Saldhana of Paitona Goa, the first Vicar,

Fell the onerous task of building the house parochial,

Constructing the ceiling of the Church and paving the floor,

Which he did by collecting funds visiting door to door,

The bells of the Church reminding the people to pray

The Angelus at dawn, evening or at twelve mid-day,

Whether in the home or at work in the sea not far away,

And which can be seen from the belfry even today,

Were donated in 1891 by Mr Sebastian Jacinto Barretto of Wadala,

And in 1905 by Mrs. Magdalene Quiny, a much respected parishioner of Bandra.

Imparting education whether in religion or the 3 Rs.

Has been the cherished dream of most of the Vicars;

But Fr. Diego Joao Siqueira, the 2 nd Vicar, could not realise his dream,

As the icy hand of Death intervened – the dreamer died but not his dream!

On 7 th February 1909 – exactly 15 years later,

The foundation stone for the school building was finally laid

By Msgr. L. C. Pera, the redoubtable Damaun Diocese Administrator

Who christened it “St Aloysius’, the name it was known by in the St. Peter’s earlier

The third Vicar of happy memory was Fr. Rozario Fransisco Pinto,

Succeeded in the due course of 1910 by Fr. Jose Aureliano Patrocino Monteiro,

Followed by Jose Maria P. Da Gama from 1912 to 1915

And then by Fr. Timothy F. Gonsalves in the year 1916.

In 1917 came the much revered Fr. Marcellino Baptista of Bassein,

Who made the Church hum with many activities.

Till his transfer in 1926, followed by Fr. Cyril A. D’Abreo of Ranwar till 1929.

1929 marked a watershed in the territorial division if Bandra parishes,

And Mt. Carmel, then 35 years old, obtained its due share quite generous

Descending from Mt. Mary’s steps and adjoining areas till Mahim Causeway,

Some parts of which still belong to Mt. Carmel till this day.

From December 1929 to July 1940 Fr. John Anthony Gomes was in the seat

Followed by Fr. German Balthasar Annunciation of Bandra, D’Monte Street,

It was during the Vicarship of Fr. Annunciation, on the 6 th of April 1941, Palm Sunday

That a fracas took place throwing the religious service in disarray.

Which led to the closure of the Church and the Parochial House on the 12 th of April 1941.

Till it was finally reopened by Archbishop Roberts on the 10 th September 1942

Fr Apollinaris D’Souza was the next Vicar, till May 1947, of great foresight and ability,

Remembered best for the new school building built and blest in 1943.

Was followed by Fr. Hygino Fernandes for a short term from June 1947.

In 1948 Fr. Joseph Socrates D’Souza was appointed the Parish Priest

He left his contribution by building the Mt. Carmel Rectory.

To Msgr. Sylvester Pereira who came next in June 1959, goes the rightful credit

Of raising the school building to three storeys,

And to overcome the problem resulting from shortage of graves for burial,

He built channels with the cemetery boundary encompassing wall,

The need for a bigger church was mooted during his tenure,

But it could not be accomplished as June 1947 saw his transfer,

And the responsibility fell on Fr. Ayres Fernandes who took over,

But in vain; as he passed away in August 1976,

The foundation stone of the new church was however blessed when Fr. Ayres was alive

By his Eminence Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay on September 8 th 1975

In October 1976, Fr. Marcellino Remedios took over and had the singular honour

Of completing the task and constructing the church as it stands today,

A landmark on the gateway, to the Bandra of old, from the Reclamation way.

On the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the 11 th of February 1981

‘Midst much fanfare and to the strains of music of the local band

His Grace, the Most Revd. Dr. Simon Pimenta, Archbishop of Bombay

Consecrated the Alter and solemnly blessed the Church,

The plans of the church drawn up by the architect Charles Sobrinho, a parishioner

Were meticulously executed by Raymond D’Lima, a reputed builder

The Alter so tastefully designed was donated by Venus Confectioners.

From June 1981 to May 1988 the next Vicar was Fr. Joe H. Pereira

Responsible for building above the Church, a Parish Hall.

The next in order came Fr. Michael Goveas

Who by love and compassion uplifted many from their spiritual morass.

But as Vicar, Alas! He had a very short run,

From 1 st June 1988, till the end of May 1991

From 1 st of June 1991, Fr. Brian E Fernandes is in the saddle till this day,

Poised to celebrate Mr. Carmel’s Centenary in a many splendored way,

The Centenary has opened wisely and well, on the 18 th of July 1993

The Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, with a concelebrated High Mass

By Bishop Ferdinand Fonseca of Bombay, being the Chief Celebrant

Who propounding the theme of the Centenary Year in his homily

Emphasized strongly that we should live as one family

And build the parish into a loving, caring and sharing family.

Fr. Brian, the Vicar and his co-operative team has already begun

To labour in this direction, leaving no stone unturned.

Time and again they have strongly brought to the fore

“Building a Christ-centered Community”, as the theme of the Centenary Year.

And while we labour today to build a Christ-centered Community,

Let us not forget the 215 families of the Original Community

Who labored hard by their sweat and toil to build the Church,

Whose Centenary Year with fervor we are celebrating as such.

To trace as many of the descendants living today

And felicitate them in a loving and befitting way.


By Jeremias Fernandes