Home > City news > The church in the hills

The church in the hills

Saturday, December 25, 2010
By Sagar Joshi

A first glimpse at Holy Cross Church, located at the Western end of Mahabaleshwar’s market square gives an impression of a ‘toy church’. However, let the toyish appearance not befool you, because once you step inside this house of God, it offers the kind of serenity one can ever imagine about.

Another fact that sets this church apart from all the others is that it has one of the smallest parishes in the world, comprising of just twelve families.
Confirming this fact, which is displayed right at the entrance of the church, Reverend Father Alex Quadros, the visiting parish priest (in his third year) and principal of St. Patrick’s School and Jr. College, Pune, said, “Yes, ours is one of the smallest parishes in the world, or probably the smallest in the world. This parish was formed during the beginning of the 20th century.”

When asked why the families don’t attend the bigger church at Panchgani, Father Alex quickly pointed out that the church at Panchgani was constructed much after the construction of Holy Cross and that since most of the families have their businesses in Mahabaleshwar, it is not convenient for them to travel to Panchgani, 20 km away, to attend mass on a regular basis. Commenting on the service organized for Christmas, he said, “We are expecting around 200 people to attend and these will be from in and around Mahabaleshwar.”

Replying to the query on how does such a small parish manage to bear the maintenance costs, Father Alex said, “Since Mahabaleswar receives the second highest rainfall in the country, the church building is always in a need of maintenance every season, especially the roof and an overall paint job. On an average, it costs around Rs.1.5 lakh to restore the building. Thankfully, by God’s grace and our generous donors from Mumbai, Goa and other parts of the country, we always manage to pull it off. It takes almost a month to complete the entire restoration work.”

So next time you visit the hill station, do make it a point to visit Holy Cross Church, lose yourself in its serenity and be generous enough to donate to keep the history of the place alive for future generations to understand and appreciate!

History & facts

  • The Holy Cross Church is a Roman Catholic Church, constructed in 1831 by the domestic aids of the British officers governing Mahabaleshwar
  • Initially a simple cross was erected at the site in 1828 and the priest was called in from Panchgani to recite prayers
  • Reverend Father D.L. Carvaloh, was the first priest to conduct services in 1837 and later set up a chapel at Panchgani
  • In 1966, the district collector allowed the Catholics to bury their dead at the European Christian Cemetery, a kilometre away from the market square
  • Today, the church has no residing priest and Fr. Alex conducts services only on weekends

For donations:
Contact: Rev.Fr. Alex Quadros
Mob: 09922991894
Tel: 020-26360065/ 26361318
 

Facebook   Delicious   Delicious   submit to reddit reddit
COMMENTS
No Comments Posted
POST YOUR COMMENTS
Name:  
Email:    
Comments:
 
- Advertising -
Diary
With a vast variety of delicacies to choose ...
Amidst the celebration and reverence, it is impor
Bringing in christmas with cards
I am a really sensitive person and I cry easily w
Dr. Rajan B. Bhonsle, M.D. (Bom)
Consulting Sex Therapist & Counsellor
Dr. (Mrs.) Minnu R. Bhonsle, Ph.D.
Consulting Psychotherapist & Counsellor
Astrology
Select Sun sign:
 
Aries (Mar 21 - Apr 20)
Aries (Mar 21 - Apr 20)You will have a busy satisfying day at work, when profits will accrue and new assignments are also likely. Wait for a more favorable time before you launch your expansion plans. It seems there will be several changes within your work. The evening is spent with your friends and beloved.
Tarot for Love
Select Sun sign:
 
Aries (Mar 21 - Apr 20)
Aries (Mar 21 - Apr 20)What the cards say: A new freedom in your relationship will make you happy Path: Enjoy the freedom but don’t take it to an extreme. Know where to draw the line Don’t take advantage of this freedom by being impulsive and irresponsible Ally: Sagittarius will enjoy with you. Avoid the critical Virgo Card for the week: Tarot key VI The Lovers. You have a choice. Good times for lovers
- Advertising -
Research is an underdeveloped, often neglected se
I wish to pursue a career in writing and eventual
Hi. We are two friends. I am currently in 12th st
Read More