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Father Jude Botelho: Custodian Of Mumbai’s heritage churches

Nov. 4, 2018

A year shy of retiring, when he turns 75, Father Jude Botelho, parish priest of the Church of Our Lady of Glory, Byculla, popularly known as Gloria Church, can’t help but look back at the last four years as a lesson in art history.

Back in the early 1970s, the priest had been part of the team that oversaw the construction of St Paul’s Church in Dadar, but restoring and repairing churches aren’t what he’d call his forte.

Yet, in 2014, when he came to the Church of Our Lady of Health, Cavel, the centuries-old structure whose teakwood interiors were eaten away by white ants, called for immediate attention.

No sooner had he completed the repairs of that church in 2016, Fr Botelho was moved to Gloria, where he was tasked with completing the restoration of the 160-foot-tall heritage landmark, which finally opened its doors to parishioners October 28.

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