New Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Kalyan Dedicated

Report  and Pictures by Dr Eugene D’Souza, Mumbai
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai (GA)

Mumbai, Mar 19: In a solemn liturgical ceremony, the newly reconstructed Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Kalyan West was blessed, consecrated and dedicated by His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Mumbai along with Dr Felix Machado, Archbishop of Nasik, and Emeritus Bishop Ferdinand J. Fonseca in the presence of a host of priests and nuns as well as dignitaries, representatives of different religions and thousands of parishioners on Sunday, March, 15, 2009.

The old Church of Our Lady of Lourdes was established in the Western side of the historic city of Kalyan in 1932. It catered the spiritual needs of the catholic population, especially in railways service belonging predominantly to East Indian and Goan communities. With the passage of time and the expansion of the city, additional Catholics belonging to other linguistic and regional communities such as Mangaloreans, Malayalis and Tamils also migrated to Kalyan. With the increased catholic population, the space within the existing Church building became inadequate to accommodate the ever increasing faithful which rose to over 6,000. Realizing the need to have a larger Church building, Rev Fr Barthol Machado, the Parish Priest and also the Dean of the Thane Deanery, took the bold step of initiating the reconstruction of the Church building, whose foundation stone was laid by His Eminence Ivan Cardinal Dias on April, 6, 2006.

After nearly three years of hard work and at a cost of over rupees three crores, the magnificent new building of the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes is a gem of architectural beauty and magnificence. In order to face any danger of major floods as had been experienced on July 26, 2005, the church is built on stilts, so that the ground could be used for children, youth and other functions. There are two additional floors above the church.

According to Fr Barthol Machado,  the brain behind the new Church building, “The oval shape and design of the Church is conceived with utility, beauty and divinity in mind. It is shaped as an Ester Egg, symbolizing new life. When we enter the oval shaped Church, we are reminded of the Risen Lord, our New Life. It also reminds us of our New Hope of Eternal Life.”

The entire Church building and its exterior and interior have been conceived with spirituality in mind. When one enters the Church compound his attention is immediately drawn to the scene of Calvary. The large image of the crucified Christ, with Mary, Mary of Magdala and John at the side strikes the Christians as well as non-Christians the sacrifice, humility, compassion, forgiveness and love of God for the entire humanity. To the right side immediately after the entrance is the beautiful Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes to whom the Church is dedicated.

The imposing structure of the Church is built on sixteen pillars, which represent sixteen communities of the parish. There are seven entrances through strong teakwood doors to the oval shaped hall of prayer and worship. On entering the Church one can see the impressive and beautifully planned altar and sanctuary. The huge statue of the Risen Christ is imposed on the cross shaped stained glass panel.
The Tabernacle is placed on the left along with the Lectern. The statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Baptismal Pond are on the right. The beautiful wooden canopy with lights reminds one of Heavenly Glory and Divinity. The stained glasses with pictures of the Sacraments add colour and meaning to the edifice. The balcony which runs right across the portion facing the altar can accommodate about 500 people. Stained glass windows above the balcony depict the preaching and healing service of the poor and the marginalized. A picture of Mother Theresa holding a child also adorned the wall.

On Sunday, March 15, 2009, at 5.30 pm,  His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias along with other Bishops, priests, nuns, altar servers and people went in procession to the main entrance of the Church and presented to Fr Barthol, the Parish Priest the symbolic Key of the new Church building. After Fr Barthol opened the door of the new Church, the entourage entered the Church for the solemn blessing and dedication ceremony. The Church was filled to the capacity and many more people had to remain on the Church campus who could see the proceedings inside the Church through Close Circuit TV.

The dedication ceremony was the most solemn, meaningful and emotional. Sprinkling of the Holy Water, the anointing of the altar and the walls of the Church, burning of the incense, the blessing of the crosses, the illumination of the edifice, lighting of the Pascal Candle and Samay during the dedication liturgy was witnessed by all the faithful with awe and spiritual bliss.

It was heartening to know that the representatives of different religious communities including Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist and Protestant were invited to attend the dedication ceremony who occupied the front seats. Following the end of the liturgical service children belonging to different religious groups sat on the altar and recited passages from their respective Holy Scriptures and sang common devotional hymns. In a supreme gesture of brotherhood, His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias along with Fr. Barthol, stepped down from the altar and presented flower bouquets to the representatives of different religions as a token of love and appreciation for their presence at the dedication ceremony.

Fr Barthol in his thanksgiving address appreciated the relentless hard work put in by all, especially the architects Mr Marshal Mathos and Mr P.N. Powle, engineer Mr John Varghese, contractors Mr Atmaram Rathod and brothers. The dedication ceremony was followed by cultural programme and fellowship meal.


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Comment on this article

  • Rini, shahapur

    Sun, Dec 23 2012

    hai,please someone tell me the timing for mass on 25th december,2012

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  • edward gomes, Mumbai

    Sun, Aug 12 2012


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  • Rohan Fernandes, Mumbai

    Mon, Jul 02 2012

    Hi can anyone tell me who is the parish priest of this beautiful and parish and his contact number

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  • sofia fernandes, Santacruz

    Mon, May 21 2012

    Dear Father, pls provide complete address of the church & landmark & tel nos as one of my friend who resides in Kalyan wants to visit the church. Also provide mass timings on Sunday & week days & church opening time. Thank u

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  • sennen dsouza, bandra

    Fri, Jul 29 2011


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  • Warren Godenho, United Kingdom

    Mon, Jan 24 2011

    My memories of Lourdes Church and school go back many years, to the late 1950s. My parents taught at the school, my brother, sister and I made our 1st communion in the church as well as our confirmation. I served at mass regularly, was a member of the choir but not, unfortunately, a very bright scholar. I have many fond memories of Our Lady of Lourdes and am impressed with the photographs of the new church. The family left Kalyan in 1959 and moved to Byculla and continued our education at Christ Church High school (where my parents also taught). Left for the UK in 1961 and have never been back.

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  • marcus V Dias, GOA / 18 Duttawadi kalyan opp Raj mahal hotel rambaug 6

    Sat, Jan 08 2011

    Our church is so Beautiful, I always look at our church Pictures & feel i m in India, Please I request yourll to send me some information about/ news about our church

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  • Louisa Dass, Pink Palace , Rambaug , Kalyan

    Mon, Jun 14 2010

    Very well done , all credit goes to Fr. Barthol . May god give him more courage , strength and good in health to build more church and binde all families in love .

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  • Savio Fernandes, Dubai

    Mon, Apr 06 2009

    Being Away from home.Really missed our church opening ceremony,  Thanks daiji world for the pics.its been lots of hands and lots of good peoples efforts to make this day come true we see such a beautiful newly reconstructed church in front of us .

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  • Shannon Fernandes, Dubai, U.A.E

    Sat, Apr 04 2009

    Commendable effort. A very big thanks to all the people behind building our beautiful church. Very happy to see the pictures. Well done!

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  • Jasmina Lobo, uganda

    Thu, Apr 02 2009

    Hello, I am born and brought up in this parish and have been an active member during our youth days,I am happy to see some pics and effort put up by people to construct our church.May our mother bless and keep all in her care and protection.

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