History of our Parish

Table of Contents

Beauty is truly God’s letter of love writ upon the face of the earth. His mastery is as much evident in nature as it is in our lives.

The Origin

The origin of Naigaon Parish Mary Help Of Christians Parish goes back to 1994 when the priests of Mother of God Church Palle would come every Saturday evening to celebrate the Eucharist. It was on 1st May 1994 that the first catholic family came to settle in Naigaon East and they were the Fernandes family in the Pereira colony and on the 21st  May 1994 Fr. Dominic Furgose blessed this first house in Naigaon East. At that time the Citizen colony was under construction. Naigaon East parish constituted of mainly 2 colonies i.e. the Citizen and the Pereira. Although the local villages also formed a part of the parish where a few catholic families are understood to reside. While the official parish of Naigaon east was not decided, Mother of God church Palli was the closest Parish that catered to the spiritual needs of the community.

November 1994

On 25th November 1994 Fr Dominic Furgose celebrated the first community mass in Naigaon East and appointed for the first time the church committee consisting of three members Mr. Harry Menezes, Ms. Claret Fernandes and Mr. Julius Carvalho. The church committee members were appointed to take care of the spiritual needs of the community and to liaison with the parish  fathers on behalf of the community. To attend mass the residents of Naigaon East had to walk to the station, cross the railway tracks and then take a rick to Palli Church.


In 1995 due to the growing catholic population the church committee was expanded. However, regular monthly meetings began only from June 1996. From June 1996, Fr. Michael the then Assistant parish priest would celebrate Mass in Naigaon East on evey alternate Sunday. Later from  13th October 1996 Fr. Michael announced that he would celebrate mass every Sunday which was a gift to the community and to those who could not attend Sunday mass due to financial and conveyance constrains. From then on Naigaon East were having regular Sunday masses. However due to his Parish commitments the Mass would be held either in the morning or in the evening as per the availability of time to Fr. Michael.

In 1995, with the growth of the catholic population, the church committee was also expanded. It appointed representatives on area wise basis and divided into 7 zones. Palli Parish followed a system of celebrating two community masses in a year for each community. One during Lent and the other during October vacation. This was the time when the whole community of Naigaon East met and a small function would be organized as a community get together. It was a t this first time that the Parish Priest would visit all the families where the houses were to be blessed. On 19th March 1996 the sisters of Charity opened the first Catholic institution for the orphaned girls of Naigaon East. The sisters would also visit the families and offer their spiritual  help and guidance to the families.


In February 1997, his Lordship Bishop Thomas Dabre had his first visit to the community of Naigaon East and took stock at the area right up to Citizen Housing Society. He then celebrated the Eucharist for the community.


On 3rd October 1999 his Lordship Bishop Thomas Dabre officially announced that the Naigaon East would hence forward be a separate parish under the independent charge of the Don Bosco Fathers. It was on this day that the Ursuline Sisters (Holy Family Hospital Sisters) opened their house in Naigaon East. From then on Naigaon East has been under the care of the Don Bosco Fathers or Salesians of Don Bosco.

In October 1999 the Salesian Provincial approved the use of the Don Bosco School Hall as the Mass and Community center for the Naigaon East Community. Mr. Anthony Pereira had offered to build the Church and the name proposed for the Parish was Mary Help of Christians. The Church committee went ahead with the collection of funds for the Church.


On 24th January 2004 The Bishop of Vasai signed a Contract with the Salesian Provincial of Mumbai for a period of 30 years.


On 15th May 2008 Bishop Thomas Dabre, in his letter to the Parish Priest of Naigaon East, Fr. Vivian D’Souza, ratified the agreement and, at the same time, stated that the entire responsibility of completing the church building lay in the hands of the Salesian Province. He went further to grant permission to start the construction of the church building as soon as possible.


On 23rd March, 2009, Bishop Thomas Dabre addresses a letter to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, requesting him to allow the Parish Priest to collect funds from the Bombay diocese for the church in Naigaon.  Although His Lordship stated in the contract and in the letter to his Eminence that the land for the proposed Church is now registered with the diocese of Vasai and the same has been handed over to the Mary Help of Christians Church Trust to build the Church. The actual handing over of the land had not been done.


In 2010: Plans  were  drawn up by Architect, Ajay Wade and submitted to CIDCO for clearance. A payment of Rs. 6,84,586 (Scrutiny Fees Rs. 24,450; Land Development Fund Rs. 2,20,036; Development Charges Rs. 4,07,500 and Security Deposit Rs 32,600) are made.

18th February, 2010: Plans are approved and passed by CIDCO.

However, No Construction work could be started by Mary Help of Christians Trust because the land was still in the name of the Vasai Diocese.


24th July 2012: Meeting with the Archbishop comprising of the following members: Citizen Society Promoter, Mr. Leslie Lobo, Diocesan Property Committee – Fr. Rajesh Lopes, Fr. Louis D’Britto and the Parish Priest, Fr. Orville Coutinho. The purpose of the meeting was to convince the Promoter to lift the bar on sub-letting of the land a Deed of Rectification.  14th August 2012: Deed of Rectification was signed at the Vasai Registrar Office.


19th March 2013, Fr. Provincial Michael Fernandes received a letter from Archbishop Felix Machado defining terms and conditions for the construction of the church.

18th April, 2013: These terms and conditions were finalized at a meeting held in the presence of the Archbishop and his College of Consultors and the Parish Priest. They are as follows:

  • The Diocese will sublet the property to Mary Help of Christians Church Trust for a period of 20 years from May 2013
  • All funds for the construction of the Church building will be raised locally from the parish. No funds should be used out of the treasury of the Salesian Province. Hence the situation of compensating the Salesian province of Don Bosco, Bombay as stated in clause 16 of the contract will not arise.
  • The land and the church building will remain the property of the Diocese of Vasai. As per clause No.17 of the original contract, on the expiry of the ecclesial agreement the Bishop of Vasai is free to revoke the contract.
  • After the parishioners have raised a substantial percentage of the project fund and if still there is need for additional funds the Bishop of Vasai as per his prerogative will grant permission for raising funds from the faithful within the diocese of Vasai.

24th September 2013: The Official transfer of the Church land from Diocesan Trust Vasai to Mary Help of Christians Church Trust, Naigaon East.  Papers and Documents collected from the Advocates – Albert Dabre Stamp duty, Registration Fees, Documentation fees etc… totaling Rs. 6,70,000/-


2014: The Architect informs us that with the elapse of 3 years, the approved Plans can no longer meet the requirements or be considered by the Virar-Vasai Municipal Corporation.

After several meetings by the Parish Priest and the Architect Mr. Ajay Wade, new designs and plans are drawn up. Several months pass for revisions and corrections to be made in the plans before the plans are accepted by Church body.

August 2014, The Architect submits the Plans to the Virar-Vasai Municipal Corporation for CRZ clearance and scrutiny. The development and other scrutiny fees would need to be paid once we are informed by the Corporation and Architect.

In the meanwhile the Cemetery work is undergoing its proper completion. Around 60 graves in concrete settings have been laid up. The compound wall of the cemetery has been raised with proper foundations done and strengthened. Entrance Gate and a small  enclosure or Hall has been prepared for the celebration of the Eucharist and last rites.