Church of St. Gonsalo Gracia (Gass)
Erected in 1942 (ref: Catholic Diocese of Vasai)
The people of Gass were parishioners of Holy Cross Nirmal, that was at a distance of about 4 kms. The distance and the inaccessibility of the village during the monsoon months resulted in the Catholics bring isolated and spiritually neglected. The Catholics of Gass in 1941, petitioned the Archbishop of Bombay for an independent parish and a place of worship
The parish of Gass was formed in 1942 under the patronage of St. Gonsalo Gracia the first and only Indian saint with Fr. Thomas as the first parish priest. The church, a shed enclosed by a compound wall, was erected on a plot of land generously donated by the parishners themselves, where mass and other religious services were conducted.
However, the cyclone in 1946 ripped off the roof and damaged the main altar. The primary school now had to double as the church.
The necessity for a new church was evident. The job of building the a spacious church was entrusted to the erstwhile and energetic Fr. Luis C. D’Souza. Auxiliary Bishop Longinus Pereira blessed the foundation stone on December 26, 1957 on the solemn occasion of the fourth centenary of the birth of St. Gonsalo Graca. Lack of Funds and transportation difficulties delayed the completion of the church for four years. Cardinal Gracias blesses the new church on march 8, 1962, the centenary of the canonization of St. Gonsalo Gracia.
The new church an imposing and beautiful façade reflects the Indian design for th efirst time with an Indian motif surrounded by four Indian styles domes and a 18 foot cross. The painted and restored alter was from the Bhuleshwar Cathedral in Bombay that was closed in 1941. the life sized statue of the patron saint was locally made.
Today the church has become a place of pilgrimage especially in the month of Febuary.
Gass, P.O. Sopara, Tal. Vasai, Dist. Thana 401 203
Tel: 0250 2414701
Go to: HOMEPAGE