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The Saint Joseph Church, Krista Shanti Dham is located in St. Joseph Nagar, Mira Road(East), Thane (India). At present it has more than 6000 families making it the largest parish in the Archdiocese of Mumbai. These families have been divided into various Communities which form approx. 21 zones. The approximate Catholic population of the Parish is more than 25,000. The parish, though just 22 years old, is one of the most dynamic & enthusiastic parishes of Mumbai, because, it has, as its parishioners, talented personalities migrating from various parishes of Mumbai, Goa & Mangalore. It was started by late Fr. Richard in 1988.
SUNDAY office remains closed
The Christmas Mass of 1987 was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Aniceto Nazareth from St. Pius X College Seminary, Goregaon. The Holy week of 1988 was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Mary John SVD for Maundy Thursday & Good Friday and Easter Vigil by Fr. (Late) Leslie Ratus, Professor of St. Pius College Seminary, Goregaon.
In May 1988, miraculously a piece of land for the construction of the new church was obtained. This was donated by Our Lady of Nazareth Church, Bhayandar. The Bombay Archdiocese entrusted the Carmelite Fathers of Karnataka-Maharashtra-Goa Province to cater to the spiritual needs of the people and to construct a church. The Carmelite Fathers were the first to come to Bombay and help the Catholics in the 18th Century.
On June 10th, 1988, Fr. Richard Castelino o.c.d. blessed & laid the foundation stone for the church with a capacity of accommodating 350 people. He named it as St. Joseph Church. The 1st Priest in charge was Fr. Michael Morris Shenoy OCD. He resided in a flat at Sheetal Dhara and attended to the spiritual needs and also supervised the construction work. Rev. Fr. Berkman Pinto OCD came in as an assistant.
The church building & residence was ready by December 1988 and the Christmas Mass was celebrated. Though the church was built,it was still a Unit of Our Lady of Nazareth Church, Bhayandar. In 1990, Fr. Peter D'Sa arrived. Bro. James Pius came for his one year Regency. In 1991, Fr. Gabriel Dias stepped in Mira Road. In 1992, Fr. Anthony D Souza came. The church flooring was done two feet high at the time of construction. But with the passage of time, the surrounding low lying land was filled with mud and as the residential complexes were mushrooming around the church and all across Mira Road, the church flooring soon leveled with the outside as the next monsoon arrived, there was water logging inside the church. The surrounding area was infested with mosquitoes and the priests became the regular victims of infections and sicknesses like Malaria and other viral fevers.
In 1993, Fr. Alfred John Menezes the newly ordained priest was sent as an assistant to the parish. In 1994,because of the increasing demand for ministry, Fr. Melwyn D'Cunha, arrived as one more assistant for the parish. On 11th August 1995, Fr. John Alex Pinto appointed as a Priest in-charge.Since the tenure of Fr. Michael Morris Shenoy was over, he was transfered to Goa. The priests couldn't anymore stay at their Parish house residential block attached to the church as continuous water- logging was over an ankle deep throughout the monsoon. They temporarily shifted their residence to two flats, one in Woodland and the other in Asmita Horizon. The plans for the reconstruction of the church were laid.
On June 23rd, 1996, His Eminence Cardinal Simon Pimenta blessed the Foundation stone for the reconstruction of the church. He also blessed the Holy Cross School Extension and the Convent. Thereafter , Sunday Mass was celebrated at Holy Cross Convent School Hall (Stilt area). On 9th February 1997, the Provincial of the Karnataka-Goa-Maharastra Province Fr. Lawrence D'Mello laid the foundation stone for the new church.
In 1998, Fr. Alexander Braganza a newly ordained priest joined the parish team. On 17th January 1999, Bishop Oswald Gracias Auxiliary bishop of Mumbai, inaugurated the Residence and Parish office Building. On 5th December 1999, Archbishop Ivan Dias with Bishop Thomas Dabre Bishop of Vasai, inaugurated the new Church .
This beautiful church structure has been well planned and designed by the architect Mr. Girish Pradhan. It stands on a piling foundation designed to a depth of 9-10mtrs resting on a hard rock holding restraint and constraint for the seismic floor and other natural pressures like wind and water. It has been designed to provide good ventilation and plenty of natural light. The open ground can be merged with the church for important occasions like Christmas and Holy Week.
The church has a sitting capacity for 1,000 people in the central block and another 450 on the mezzanine floor. The 15 mysteries of the Holy Rosary are depicted on the railings of the mezzanine floor. On the six window grills there are inscribed portraits of St.Teresa of Avila; St. John of the Cross; St Therese the little flower; St. Francis Xavier; the Holy Trinity and The Good Shepherd. There are the Stations of the Cross-on stain glasses above the windows. At the main entrance, there is a painting of Our Father, Son and Holy Spirit with the words inscribed for the 3rd millenium A new beginning.
On the left side of the Church, There is the Blessed Sacrament Chapel wherein the sacrament is exposed for 24 hrs adoration. The Sanctuary is simple with a big cross at the background. Above the church, there is a multipurpose community hall and a terrace hall. There is a staircase,and along the staircase wall, leading to the mezzanine floor and hall, we have beautiful paintings depicting the life of Jesus Christ. On the right side of the church there is an underground water storage tank raised 3 feet above the ground level for a stage for outdoor functions. Through the blessings of God and the leadership of Rev. Fr. John Alex Pinto along with his assistants, and the generous parishioners, well wishers and friends, the task of building this beautiful church has been accomplished. This has made all the parishioners one in mind and heart, contributing their mite and at the same time building on the real church of Christ, through the Small Christian Communities.
Fr. John Pinto who worked for seven years in the parish had been transferred in the year 2001. Fr.Rudolf V. D'Souza took over as the new Parish Priest. In July 2009 Fr. Dominic Vas took over as the new Parish Priest after the transfer of Fr. Rudolf.
Krista Shanti Dham, St. Joseph's Nagar Sheetal Nagar, Mira Road (E), Maharashtra, India 401107