13 St Sebastian Church - Over 400 Years of God’s Faithfulness - Metilda Stanley

posted Nov 14, 2018, 8:14 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 14, 2018, 8:15 AM ]
Chembur, the Queen of the Eastern Suburbs, has now come into the limelight, thanks to India's first monorail, the Eastern Freeway and Santacruz-Chembur Link Road. The erstwhile tinsel town, once favoured by film folks, is now well connected with the rest of Mumbai. Chembur has changed so much in the past few decades; many heritage bungalows making way for skyrises and plush recreational clubs that dot this salubrious neighbourhood. Chembur's old villages retreated quietly, and only a few still survive as gaothans. While Chembur is getting ferociously redeveloped, the Marouli village is far from the clamour and glamour. With its old Catholic cottages and tree-lined bylanes, this sylvan village still manages to retain its old world charm.

The most popular Catholic Church in Chembur is OLPS (Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church), followed by a lesser known Holy Family Church at Pestom Sagar. Tucked away in a cozy corner of Chembur is one of the oldest churches of the Archdiocese of Bombay, called St Sebastian Church, or popularly referred to by locals as Marouli Church. The church is believed to have been built circa 1630s, though the exact year is unknown. The old church was in another location close to the present St Sebastian School near the RCF gate. An outbreak of bubonic plague led to the relocation of the church to its present location. The first reconstruction of the church took place in 1900. The present church building was rebuilt and inaugurated on November 20, 1993, by His Eminence Cardinal Simon Pimenta, under the then Parish Priest, Rev Fr Elias D'Cunha.