History
OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOMBAY
1321
The Pre-Portuguese Era
 
Our earliest historical reference to Christianity in Bombay (now, Mumbai) comes from a Greek merchant, Cosmas Indicopleustes. He writes about a community of Christians in Kalyan served by a Bishop appointed in Persia in the 6th Century. In 1321, we have the letter of a French Friar, Jordanus of Sèvèrac, regarding the martyrdom of his companions Franciscans of the Friars Minor - priests Thomas of Tolentino, James of Padua, Peter of Sienna and, a lay brother and linguist, Demetrius of Tiflis, ‘on the Thursday before Palm Sunday in Thana of India.’ These Italians were hosted by the fifteen odd Christian (Nestorian) families to be found in the port city of Thana. Friar Jordanus himself was serving a Christian community in Sopara (now Nallasopara). Since Kalyan, Sopara, Chaul (Revdanda) and Thana have been, at varied points in time, port-cities claiming internationally mixed populations with an ancient tradition of trade links with West Asia, it follows that Christians could be counted among the demographic.
1520 to 1637
The Coming of the Portuguese
 
In 1534, the same year as the Archdiocese of Goa was founded, the Portuguese took control of the territories of Bassein (Vasai), Salsette, Thana and the Bombay (now Mumbai) group of islands. Missionaries accompanied the conquering fleets to serve as chaplains. They further, fanned out into the countryside evangelising, gathering communities and providing for their spiritual sustenance. Just a few years before this, at the southernmost reach of the present Archdiocese, the first Portuguese Churches sprang up in Chaul (today's Revdanda). The Franciscans were the first Religious Order to make its presence felt in Bassein and its surrounding territories. Under the indefatigable Antonio do Porto, the Franciscans established churches in and around Bassein and, more successfully, in neighbouring Salsette from 1547 onwards. In 1551, the Jesuits set up a small house and school for the converts in Thana. A few years later in 1557, in the valley now covered by the waters of the Powai-Vihar lakes, a unique community of Christians lived and worked and this may be seen as an experiment that inspired the later internationally renowned Jesuit Reductions of Paraguay and Brazil. The year 1637 marked the establishment of the Vicariate Apostolic of Bijapur by the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (henceforth, "Propaganda"). The Vicariate of Bijapur increased rapidly in size, absorbing Golconda, and extended from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal, from Madras-Mylapore to Calcutta. It finally comprised the whole Moghul Empire and was also referred to as the Vicariate of the Great Moghul. From the end of the 17th century, this Vicariate was served by the Carmelite Fathers, whose headquarters was at Surat, north of Bombay.
1665 to 1794
From the Coming of the British to the Double Jurisdiction
 

1665: Brief Overview of the British Era

 

In 1665, Bombay (now Mumbai) passed into the hands of the British. This was done through the marriage treaty of 1661 between Charles II of England and the Infanta of Portugal, whereby Bombay was ceded to the British as part of the marriage dowry. At the time of transfer, the Church on Bombay Island continued to be under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Goa. On February 14, 1689, Bombay was invaded by Sidi Yacut, which provided the British with the opportunity to seize Jesuit property at Parel.  This was a retaliatory measure, because they believed that the Jesuits were supporting the Sidi. The Jesuits made attempts to get the property back but failed. They were officially deprived of the property in 1791.

 

1720: The Padroado vs Propaganda Controversy

 

The Decree expelling the Portuguese Franciscans from the Bombay Island was issued on May 24, 1720. Since the British were determined on getting rid of the Portuguese Franciscans, Rome approved the entry of the Carmelites into Bombay. The Franciscans left Bombay and Bishop Mauritius with four or five Carmelites came to Bombay. Four churches were taken over by the Carmelites.

 

In the 1828 civil war, in Portugal, King Dom Miguel, to whom the Religious Orders lent moral and financial support, was defeated. The new government not only suppressed all Religious Orders in Portugal but also broke off diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 1833. Pope Gregory XVI issued the Brief ‘Multa Praeclare’ on April 24, 1838, which confirmed the Vicars-Apostolic in their office, extended their field of work and deprived the Padroado clergy of all jurisdiction within the established Vicariates. The authorities in Goa rejected the Papal Brief, they claimed that since the Brief had not received the "regium placet'', it was null and void.

 

In January 1844, Archbishop Dom Jose Maria da Silva Torres landed in Bombay, on his way to Goa. The Padroado party, clergy, and laity, escorted him to Gloria Church in a triumphant procession. Archbishop Torres administered the sacraments, began a series of visitations and acted as if ‘Multa Praeclare' had never been written. His behaviour threw the whole of Bombay into a ferment.

 

The 10-year period of dispute spanned the years 1840 to 1850 in which all parties in the conflict appear to have shared responsibility namely the Portuguese Government in Lisbon, the civil and religious authorities in Goa, the Bombay Government, the Padroado and Propaganda parties in Bombay, the Carmelite fathers, and the Carmelite Vicars – Apostolic.

1850 to 1928
The Period of the Double Jurisdiction
 

1850: The Birth of ‘The Examiner’ & Bishop Hartman

 

When Bishop Hartmann came to Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1850, the only Catholic newspaper for those under the Vicar-Apostolic's Jurisdiction was the ‘Bombay Catholic Layman.’ It was authored by two Irish laymen, who used the paper to oppose first Bishop Whelan and then Bishop Hartmann. Rather than cross swords with them, Bishop Hartmann encouraged the starting of the ‘Bombay Catholic Standard,’ under the editorship of another Irishman. Soon, disappointed with that paper as well, the Bishop approached a certain Mr. Borges, who in July 1850 started a monthly publication, ‘The Examiner.’ Three months later in September 1850, with Mr. Borges' consent ‘The Examiner’ became the ecclesiastical organ of the Vicariate under the Bishop's control and management, but under another title, ‘The Bombay Catholic Examiner.’ By 1852, the other two publications folded up while ‘The Bombay Catholic Examiner’ kept on going. In April 1905, its title was shortened once again to ‘The Examiner’ which, incidentally, completes 170 years in 2019.

 

1886: Creation of the Archdiocese of Bombay and Induction of the First Archbishop

 

The year 1886 is significant for two events: A new Concordat signed between the Holy See and Portugal on June 23 and the establishment of the Episcopal Hierarchy in India on October 1 by Pope Leo XIII.

The Concordat of 1886 was a triumph of papal diplomacy over Portuguese pretensions. It was also a victory in the long struggle between the Propaganda and Padroado, wherein, the Propaganda policy of saving and expanding the Vicariate triumphed.

Three months later, Pope Leo XIII issued the Bull, ‘Humanae Salutis’ which enabled him to establish the Indian Hierarchy. As a result of the Bull, Bombay (together with Agra, Verapoly, Calcutta, and Colombo) was raised to the status of an Archdiocese and had at its head an Archbishop. His jurisdiction extended from Bombay island and, after an interval of 3000 kilometres to Gujarat, Kathiawar, Sind and British Baluchistan. Bishop George Porter, S.J.  was the first Archbishop of Bombay. He served the Archdiocese of Bombay from 1886 – 1889.

It is important to note that the Concordat of 1886 did not put an end to the tensions and troubles of the double jurisdiction. The Concordat introduced the idea of territorial jurisdiction for the first time. Prior to this, Catholics in Bombay were free to worship in any Church of their choice. 

 

1905: The New Cathedral

 

The story of the ‘Holy Name Cathedral’ tells a unique history of the Archdiocese of Bombay. This dates back to 1720 which marked the exit of the Franciscans from the Bombay island. Soon after, the Carmelites took over the administration of the Church. The Carmelite Vicar-Apostolic resided in Medows Street at Fort and set up a Chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which was open to public worship in 1760. The Chapel was made an independent Parish in 1767. The parish grew and in order to accommodate the increasing congregation the then Archbishop Theodore Dalhoff S.J.  felt the need to secure a site for a new Church, school and residence. The foundation stone of the new Church was laid by Archbishop Dalhoff on July 9, 1902, at Wodehouse Road. The Church was blessed on the feast of The Holy Name of Jesus on January 15, 1905. In 1920, the building on Meadow Street was demolished.

 

The Church of the Holy Name of Jesus was effectively  raised, on January 1, 1942,  to the status of a Pro-Cathedral after the existing Cathedral at Bhuleshwar was closed to the public and later demolished in 1941. On March 3, 1964, at the request of Cardinal Valerian Gracias, the Church was elevated to the status of a Metropolitan Cathedral. It was consecrated on November 28, 1964, during the 38th International Eucharistic Congress in Bombay.

1928 to 1950
The Period of Transition
 

1928: End of the Double Jurisdiction

 

In the year 1928, the ‘Double Jurisdiction’ came to end in India. The surprising development in the history of Church in Bombay (now Mumbai) goes back to October 3, 1910 when a revolution broke out in Portugal and King Manoel had to flee to England. The new rulers commanded that the religious congregations be expelled, seized their properties and separated the Church and State in Portugal. In the wake of these events the Holy See insisted on the Law of Separation by which the Portuguese Republic had renounced the privileges previously given to the Catholic King of Portugal. Thus, the Concordat of 1886 lapsed and consequently the right of patronage was extinct.

The Agreement of 1928 marked the beginning of a new era in the Church of Bombay.

 

1928 to 1950: The Archdiocese under the Leadership of Archbishops Joaquim Lima and Thomas Roberts

 

The 22-year period between 1928 to 1950 was considered to be a phase of transition for the Church in Bombay. The Church passed from 130 years of life under the institution of the double jurisdiction to a life of unity and co-responsibility. This period also saw a shift in administration from foreign prelates and the religious clergy to Indian prelates and the secular clergy. The Church in Bombay made this successful transition due to the timely presence of two great Archbishops - Joaquim Lima S.J. and Thomas d’Esterre Roberts S.J.

1950 to 1978
The Archdiocese under the Leadership of Valerian Cardinal Gracias
 

1950: Induction of the First Indian Archbishop

 

Msgr. Valerian Gracias was appointed as the seventh Archbishop of Bombay in 1950. He was also the first Indian Archbishop. Though inducted in 1950, Archbishop Valerian Gracias was effectively at the helm of ecclesiastical affairs in Bombay since 1946. “The period between 1950 – 1978 is known as the ‘Gracias Era’ because whether in the area of consolidation and growth of the Church in Bombay (now Mumbai) or matter of participation in national or international events, it was the person of the Cardinal Archbishop that was the driving spirit.”

 

1954: National Marian Congress

 

The National Marian Congress was held in Bombay, and was convened from December 4-8, 1954, during the Marian Year. Cardinal Valerian Gracias was appointed by Pope Pius XII as Papal Legate to this Congress held at Azad Maidan. The Congress marked the concluding celebrations of the Centenary (1854 – 1954) of the pronouncement of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In the course of the Congress, on December 5, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Mount, Bandra was raised to the status of a Minor Basilica. The beautiful statue of Mary was crowned by Cardinal Valerian Gracias.  

 

1964: 38th International Eucharistic Congress

 

The 38th International Eucharistic Congress was held in Bombay from November 28 to December 6, 1964. The Oval Maidan witnessed the main events of the Congress including the inaugural and concluding Eucharists. The Congress was attended by thousands of national and international delegates. It fell between the third and fourth sessions of the Vatican Council II. The Congress organizations numbered more than 60 committees and 500 members.

 

1973: Inauguration of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council

 

The Archdiocesan Pastoral Council was inaugurated on June 10, 1973, at the Cathedral of the Holy Name. The Council was seen as a body that effectively involved the whole Church in Bombay (now Mumbai). The task here was to establish the presence and mission of the Church in keeping with the demands of the Gospel.

 

1978: The XIV World Congress of International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations

 

The XIV World Congress of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations was held in Bombay (now Mumbai) from January 29 to February 1, 1978. The theme for the Conference was ‘The Changing Society.’ Archbishop Giuseppe Caprio, Substitute of the Secretariat of State, was appointed by Pope Paul VI to attend the Conference.

 

1978: Death of Cardinal Valerian Gracias & Induction of the New Archbishop

 

Cardinal Valerian Gracias passed away on September 11, 1978 and was interred in the Cathedral of the Holy Name.

Coadjutor Archbishop Simon Pimenta was installed as the eighth Archbishop of Bombay on September 21, 1978. He was the second Indian Archbishop.

1979 to 1996
The Archdiocese under the Leadership of Simon Cardinal Pimenta
 

1979: The Freedom Of Religion Bill

 

The ‘Freedom of Religion Bill,’ was introduced in Parliament by Mr. O.P. Tyagi, a Janata Party MP, on December 22, 1978. The Bill, aimed at preventing conversions by force, inducement or fraud. However, it rendered genuine conversions as illegal given the wide ambit of the bill. A campaign to challenge the bill was organized all over the country. In Bombay, Christians from Maharashtra protested against it on March 29, 1979 in a rally organized by the Maharashtra Christian Forum. The bill soon fell in disfavour and was withdrawn, with the fall of the government.

 

1980: The First Priests’ Synod of Bombay

 

The first Priests’ Synod (Consultation) of Bombay was held at St. Pius X College (Diocesan Seminary), Goregaon, from November 3-7, 1980. It was attended by 331 diocesan and religious priests engaged in the pastoral ministry.  The focus of the Synod was to evaluate the lives of the priests and their ministry ‘in order to make themselves more responsive and relevant to the changing needs of the Archdiocese.’

 

1986: Pope Saint John Paul II’s Visit to India

 

His Holiness Pope Saint John Paul II visited India from February 1 – 10, 1986. He was the guest of the Government of India and the Catholic Church in India. The Pope’s pilgrimage to the Indian subcontinent included 14 cities in all: Delhi, Ranchi, Shillong, Calcutta (Kolkata), Madras (Chennai), Goa, Mangalore (Mangaluru), Cochin (Kochi), Trichur, Kottayam, Trivandrum, Vasai, Pune and Bombay(Mumbai).

 

His Holiness arrived in Delhi on 1st February, 1986 and was received by the then Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to India, Agostino Cacciavillan; Archbishop of Delhi, Angelo Fernandes; Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Episcopal Conference of India, Simon Ignatius Pimenta. The Holy Father was also greeted by eminent personalities of the country – Zail Singh, Former President of India, and the then Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi, at a welcome ceremony. During the Pope’s visit to Calcutta on February 3, 1986 he met the destitute people of Nirmal Hriday Ashram.  He was accompanied by Saint Mother Teresa and was visibly touched by the experience.

 

The Holy Father arrived at Bombay on February 9, 1986, and immediately departed, by helicopter, for Vasai to bless the foundation stone of the University dedicated to St. Gonsalo Garcia. From Vasai, the Holy Father returned to Bombay and paid homage to Our Lady at Mount Mary’s Basilica. Pope Saint John Paul II also addressed the congregation at the Cathedral of the Holy Name and led them in prayer. At the Eucharistic celebration that followed at Shivaji Park the Pope spoke elaborately on ‘Responsible Parenting’ reiterating the Second Vatican Council. On the last day of his Pilgrimage to the Indian subcontinent, the Holy Father met the Religious at St. Pius X College, Goregaon. In his address to the Religious the Holy Father said, “…through the faithful observance of your vows in humble service to others, especially the poor, you penetrate to very heart of Indian life, so steeped in religious value. There, in the spiritual heart of your people, you help to promote the Kingdom of God.”

The same day, Pope Saint John Paul II delivered a short discourse at the Shivaji Park, where he spoke to the youth of Bombay. In his speech he affirmed “that a Church offers a fundamental help to understand life, exhorting the youth to apply the Christian message to the social reality of India.”

After ending his address to the youth, the Holy Father pronounced his farewell greeting to India and left for Rome.

 

 

1987: The Syro-Malabar Rite

 

Pope John Paul II issued a letter to the Bishops of India on May 28, 1987, in which he addressed the relationship between the Latin, the Syro-Malabar and the Syro-Malankara Churches in India, and stated, “Given the number of Catholics of the Syro Malabar rite in the Bombay-Pune region of India, the situation presently existing there can be considered mature enough for the establishment of an Eparchy of the Syro Malabar rite.” 

1988: The Syro-Malabar Eparchy (Diocese) of Kalyan

 

The Syro-Malabar Eparchy or Diocese of Kalyan was formed in 1988. The boundaries of the new diocese were coterminous with the boundaries of the Latin ecclesiastical units of Bombay (now Mumbai). Monsignor Paul Chittilapilly was ordained its first Bishop on August 24, 1988. The establishment of the Eparchy of Kalyan is a landmark in the ecclesiastical history of India.

 

1989: National Convention Of Catholics

 

The National Convention of Catholics was held at St. Pius X College, Goregaon, from June 2-5, 1989. Over 500 delegates participated in this Convention which had as its theme, “The Catholic Community in India – towards the 21st Century”.

 

1989 - 1990: First National Catholic Youth Convention

 

The first National Catholic Youth Convention was held in Vasai from December 27, 1989 – January 1, 1990. Inaugurated by Cardinal Simon Pimenta, the Convention had as its theme: “Youth with Jesus – a Challenge for National Integration.” It was attended by 1400 participants from all over India including animators from 89 dioceses of India.

 

1990: Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay with special charge of Vasai

 

On May 27, 1990, the Archdiocese of Bombay received its third Auxiliary Bishop. Thomas Dabre was ordained bishop with special charge of Vasai. This was a significant step, in the formation of the diocese of Vasai - “which would start from beyond the Thane creek (Naigoan) and extend to Virar and, even beyond to the Talasari region.”

 

1990: First All Bombay Catechists’ Convention

 

The first All Bombay Catechists’ Convention was inaugurated by Cardinal Simon Pimenta on January 7, 1990. Around 900 catechists representing eight deaneries of the Archdiocese attended the Convention.

 

1990: Bombay Priests’ Consultation

 

Ten years after the first Priest’s Synod in 1980, the second Bombay Priests’ Consultation was convened at St. Pius X College, Goregaon, from November 5 – 9, 1990. The theme chosen for common reflection was: ‘Parish renewal, a call to priestly renewal.’ Cardinal Simon Pimenta, three Auxiliary Bishops, 350 priest and 25 active observers from among the faithful, participated in the Consultation. The theme of the Consultation was divided into three topics: 1) priestly renewal, 2) parish renewal and 3) diocesan renewal.

 

1990: The Parish Pastoral Plan

 

The Parish Pastoral Plan was formulated in order to give thrust, direction, and continuity in the life and activities of the parish. The idea was approved and discussed at a special meeting, attended by 300 of the lay faithful and clergy on December 2, 1990, at St. Pius X College, Goregaon. Parish Pastoral Councils across parishes were formed to understand the needs of the Archdiocese of Bombay and the direction it needed to take.

 

1990 – 1991: The Ignatian Year

 

The Ignatian year marked the 500th birth anniversary of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the 450th anniversary of the ‘Foundation of the Society of Jesus.’ The jubilee year commenced on September 27, 1990 and ended on July 31, 1991. The Bombay Jesuits celebrated these centenaries with three days of festivity from April 20-22, 1991. Day one of the occasion was graced by former governor Shri C. Subramanian and the then British Commissioner Sir David Goodall, along with Cardinal Simon Pimenta, at St. Xavier’s College.

1994: All India Catholic Union Platinum Jubilee

 

The Platinum Jubilee celebration of the ‘All India Catholic Union’ was held at St. Pius X College, Goregaon on June 3-4, 1994. The seminar themed ‘Towards an Adult Church’ was addressed by speakers and sessions that developed a vision of a laity, awakened to greater dynamic participation in the life and mission of the Church in society.

 

1996: Retirement of the Archbishop

 

On completion of his tenure as Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Simon Pimenta resigned from his post on March 1995. His resignation was accepted by the Holy Father on January 22, 1997. The Cardinal had served the Archdiocese as Archbishop of Bombay for seventeen years and four months. Although his resignation was accepted in January, he continued to serve as administrator of the Archdiocese until his successor took over in March 1997.

1997 to 2006
The Archdiocese under the Leadership of Ivan Cardinal Dias
 

1997: Induction of the new Archbishop

 

Archbishop Ivan Dias was installed as the ninth Archbishop of Bombay on March 13, 1997. He was the third Indian Archbishop. He chose ‘Servus’ as his episcopal motto, an indication of his understanding of his ministry as “servant of the Lord” and of his staunch devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, “the handmaid of the Lord.”

 

1997: Appointment of a new Auxiliary Bishop

 

Bishop Oswald Gracias was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay on July 25, 1997, by Pope John Paul II. He was ordained Bishop at St. Michael’s Church, Mahim. Prior to his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop, he served as the Chancellor and Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of Bombay.

 

1997: Fourth Centenary Celebration of the Martyrdom of St. Gonsalo Garcia

 

The Fourth Centenary celebrations of the martyrdom of St. Gonsalo Garcia concluded in 1997. Three main events took place in the course of the Centenary year within the precincts of the Vasai Fort:

 

  1. Eight young men from Vasai were ordained priests by Cardinal Simon Pimenta.

  2. On November 16, 1997, a rally was held of all parish associations, presided over by Archbishop Ivan Dias.

  3. The concluding celebration was held on February 8, 1998 during which the Sacrament of Confirmation was administered to 2000 children from the Vasai zone.

 

 

1997: Deanery of Navi Mumbai

 

On August 1, 1997, a new deanery of Navi Mumbai that comprised seven parishes and quasi-parishes was erected on August 1, 1997. The decision was taken by the Archbishop after due consideration, given the pastoral needs of the area. The deanery of Navi Mumbai incorporated parish units detached from the deaneries of Kurla, Thane, and Raigad.

 

1998: The New Diocese of Vasai

 

Vasai was carved out of the Archdiocese of Bombay and erected as an independent diocese with the Decree “Cum ad aeternam.” The Decree was promulgated by Pope John Paul II on May 22, 1998. A public announcement was made by the Vatican on June 28, 1998, and by Archbishop Ivan Dias the same evening at Our Lady of Remedy Church, Vasai. Rt.Rev.Dr. Thomas Dabre was installed the first Bishop of Vasai at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Grace, Papdy, on August 15, 1998.

1999: Feast of Divine Mercy

 

Archbishop Ivan Dias approved the devotion to  Divine Mercy in the Archdiocese of Bombay on March 29, 1999. He recommended that the clergy and the faithful in the Archdiocese celebrate the Feast of  Divine Mercy every year on the first Sunday after Easter. Archbishop Ivan Dias also encouraged the  daily recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as also the observation of the Divine Mercy Novena which commences on Good Friday, in preparation for the Feast.

2000: Farewell to Bishop Ferdinand Fonseca and Bishop Oswald Gracias

 

Cardinal Ivan Dias bade farewell to Bishop Ferdinand Fonseca and Archbishop Oswald Gracias on December 3, 2000, at a special Eucharistic Celebration, at the Holy Name Cathedral. Bishop Fonseca had reached the age of retirement, and Bishop Oswald Gracias was leaving for his new office as Archbishop of Agra. 

 

2001: Archdiocesan Synod: The Church in Mumbai: Light to the Nations and Glory of God’s Holy People

 

The Archdiocesan Synod, the first of its kind in the history of the Archdiocese of Bombay, was inaugurated on January 6, 2001 with a mammoth rally. This was a gathering of representatives from various parishes together with Simon Cardinal Pimenta, Archbishop Ivan Dias, Bishops Ferdinand Fonseca, Bosco Penha, Gilbert Rego, Priests and religious  men and women. After Cardinal Ivan Dias’ inaugural address, Bishop Bosco outlined the plan of action, the main thrust being a definitive pastoral plan to take the Archdiocese forward.

The actual sessions were held between January 21 – 26, 2001 at St Pius X College, Goregaon and after much discussion and interaction, resolutions were passed covering three main categories: incarnational, communitarian and dialogical.  The Synod committed itself to mission which embraced the marginalised, the family and the youth.

 

The Synod statement was presented to the Archbishop on January 26, 2001 and in April 2001, Cardinal Ivan Dias issued a Pastoral Letter which provided a comprehensive framework to implement the desires and aspirations of the Archdiocese as represented by the Synod.

2001: Appointment of two new Auxiliary Bishops

 

On March 24, 2001, His Holiness Pope John Paul II appointed two new Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Bombay. Fr. Percival Joseph Fernandez and Fr. Agnelo Rufino Gracias were assigned titular Episcopal Sees of Bulla and Molicunza respectively.

2006 – present
The Archdiocese under the Leadership of Oswald Cardinal Gracias
 

2006: Mumbai’s New Archbishop: Oswald Gracias

 

Archbishop Oswald Gracias was appointed by the Holy Father as the tenth Archbishop of Bombay on October 14, 2006.  He is the fourth Indian Archbishop. He was installed at the Holy Name Cathedral in the presence of the Holy Father’s representative, His Excellency Pedro Lopez Quintana. At a public reception, that followed, he addressed the priests, religious men and women, lay people, youth and women outlining his vision for the church in Mumbai.

 

2011: The Inauguration of the Archdiocesan Heritage Museum

 

The Archdiocesan Heritage Committee was set up in 2006 by the former Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Ivan Dias, in order to preserve the rich and ancient traditions of the Church. On September 25, 2011 the Archdiocesan Heritage Museum housed on the first floor of St. Pius X College, Goregaon was blessed and inaugurated by His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias. Its vast collection of artefacts has successfully managed to showcase the stages of Christianity in Bombay (now Mumbai) from 6 A.D. onwards.

 

2011: The Establishment of a Catholic Communication Centre

 

Previously known as the Centre for Social and Pastoral Communications (S&PC), the Catholic Communication Centre (CCC) was reorganised to ensure a strong presence across digital and social media platforms. Located at Eucharistic Congress Building III, the Centre was inaugurated by Cardinal Oswald Gracias on November 5, 2011.

2012: The Archdiocesan Consultation

 

The Archdiocesan Consultation was held from November 12-14, 2012. The Consultation was set up to facilitate the process of a spiritual-pastoral renewal. It was an after product of the Archdiocesan Synod held in Mumbai in 2001.    The Archdiocesan Consultation witnessed a vibrant renewal of pastoral commitment with the cooperation and inclusion of all who comprise the Archdiocese: Clergy, Religious, Laity.

 

2013: Appointment of two new Auxiliary Bishops

 

On May 15, 2013, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Fr. Dominic Savio Fernandes and Fr. John Rodrigues as Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Bombay. They were ordained Bishop at St. Michael Church, Mahim by Cardinal Oswald Gracias on June 29, 2013.

 

2013: Death Of Cardinal Simon Pimenta

 

Cardinal Simon Ignatius Pimenta, Archbishop Emeritus of Bombay passed away at the Clergy Home, Bandra on July 19, 2013. He was buried at St. John the Evangelist Church cemetery on July 23, 2013. The Funeral at St. John the Evangelist Church in Marol was presided over by his Eminence Oswald Gracias and the Apostolic Nuncio, His Grace, Archbishop Salvatore Pennachio, and was attended by many senior prelates, priests, Religious and lay people.

 

2014: Golden Jubilee Celebration - 38th International Eucharistic Congress

 

The Archdiocese of Bombay celebrated the golden jubilee of the 38th International Eucharistic Congress that showcased the spiritual life of the Church in India. On November 6, 2014, the Archdiocese inaugurated the ‘Circle of Life’ which was a precursor to the main event. The Golden Jubilee celebration commenced on November 28, 2014 and ended on December 7, 2014. Events held during this period were an actual representation of the activities that took place 50 years ago. In 2014, people were invited to focus on ‘The Eucharist and Life.’ This helped to connect with the theme of the 38th International Eucharistic Congress – ‘The Eucharist and the New Man.’

 

In view of the significance of the spiritual outcome of this event, a ‘National Eucharistic Congress’ was planned for the succeeding year.

 

2015: National Eucharistic Congress

 

The National Eucharistic Congress was held in Mumbai from November 12 – 15, 2015. It attracted hundreds of people from all over the country. The four Cardinals, all the Bishops, representatives of Priests, Religious, Lay people and Youth from 170 dioceses in the country participated in the four-day event. This Congress aimed at deepening the understanding, appreciation and love of the Eucharist. The theme for the National Eucharistic Congress was ‘Nourished by Christ to Nourish Others.’ At the conclusion of the Congress the participants made a public commitment to live lives centred on the Eucharist, reaching out to others in love and service.

2017: Death of Cardinal Ivan Dias

 

Emeritus Ivan Cardinal Dias passed away in Rome on June 19, 2017. His funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Peter’s Basilica and his body was laid to rest at the Propaganda Fide Chapel in the Roman Cemetery. His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias celebrated a Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Cardinal Ivan Dias at the Cathedral of The Holy Name.

 

2017: Two New Auxiliary Bishops

 

His Holiness, Pope Francis, appointed Fr. Allwyn D’Silva and Fr. Barthol Barretto, as Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Bombay. Bishop Allwyn was assigned the Titular See of Dura while Bishop Barthol was assigned the Titular See of Strongoli. They were appointed on December 20, 2016, and ordained Bishops on January 28, 2017.

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