SVD India Mumbai Province (INM)

St. Theresa's Church, Bandra

owards the end of 1948, Archbishop of Bombay, Most Rev. Gracias, sent for Fr. George Prakash SVD who was in Bombay for his final year studies in Hindi and Sanskrit. He told Fr. Proksch: St. Theresa’s parish is orphaned by the death of Fr. Gomes and the new establishment is in need of a priest. Since SVD's were on the lookout for “fresh fields and new pastures, a transit station like Bombay was most welcome. Fr. Prakash conveyed to his then Superior, Fr. V. Zimmermann and it was agreed.

December 3, 1948 marks the beginning of SVD's mission activity in St. Theresa’s parish. It was on the feast of St. Francis Xavier, Apostle of the East, Fr. Proksch accompanied by Fr. Henry Remedios, vicar of St. Andrew’s church, visited the villages of Khar and Pali. Fr. Peter Braun stepped into the shoes of Fr. Proksch in February, 1951 and immediately set about the task of consolidating the spade work of Fr. Proksch.


Most of the work of supervision of the school building had been entrusted to the hard-working parish assistants, R. J. Parsch SVD and Fr. John Huebner SVD. Fr. John Partsch (1951-56) and the subsequent assistants helped to bring about great changes in ten years. Fr. Francis Hoenen (1950-51) was the first assistant who after going to the Belgium Congo was made Bishop. The seed that had been carefully planted by Fr. Gomes, closely nursed by Fr. Proksch, quickly sprouted under the care of Fr. Braun and methodically tended by Fr. Huebner fully bloomed under the supervisory eye of Fr. Leo Krzeminski (1959-66).


The big day dawned on october 2, 1962 when cardinal gracias, on the eve of the feast of patroness st. Theresa, blessed and consecrated the new church amidst much rejoicing: a landmark in church architecture in india. Fr. Kevin o’toole(1966-71) who had a five year tenure in the parish was for some time professor of english in the svd seminary in indore. Fr. Augustine chellanthara who was the youngest parish priest in bombay, took charge of the parish on may, 1972.


Parish Priests:
Frs. Theophilus Gomes George Proksch; Peter Brown, John Huebner; Leo Krzeminski, Kevin O’toole; Augustine Chellamthara; Antony Furtado; Peter Verhaelen, Salvadore Serrao; Aloysius D’souza; Caetano D’costa; Berly Pallan, Baptist Pais.


Names Of Assistants:
Joachim Mocha; Francis Hoenen; John Partsch; Joseph Lobucher; John Hubner; Arthur Mailn; Kevin O’toole; Clement Godwin; Leon Jungblut; Joseph Puthumana Nallore; Antony Furtado; Kurian Pottananai; Albert Nazareth; Augustine Chellanthara; Philip Koran; P. M. Isaac; Jerrome D’souza; Scaria K.J.; Sylvester Rego; Charles Pinto; Charles Vas; Varghese Chalamana; S. Jesu; Francis Fernandes; Baptist Pais; Antony Kannamkulam; Sunny Francis; Jerome D’souza; Joseph M.T. Lawrence Correa; Venance; Richard Mathias; Antony Joseph; Mahipal Toppo; Henry D’souza; Santhuraj, Scria Pannackal, Nichalas .


Over the years.....

The St. Theresa’s High School has grown from an ‘airconditioned’ bamboo walls and kerosene tin roof building to an imposing structure adding to the beauty of TPS III. The foundation stone of the School building was laid by His Eminence Valerian Cardinal Gracias on 3rd October, 1952. Due to land difficulties however, the work was resumed only in 1954, under the able supervision of Brother Damsus Pley SVD. In the year 1955 under the able guidance of Fr. Parch SVD as its first Principal, the school started with 118 pupils on roll. St. Theresa’s became a full fledged High School in 1961 when the first batch of students were sent up for SSC examinations. By 1963, all girls sections except  Std. X and XI went over to Duruelo Convent. In 1968 under the guidance of Fr. Jungblutt, the then principal, a new extension to the school was added, which provided more classrooms and a hall for the parish.

When Fr. J, Partsch (1951-1956) left, Fr. A. Malin took over the stewardship in 1956 and he was succeeded by Sr. Cecelia for a year (1960-61); Fr. L. Jungbult was in the rein from 1962-1971; Fr. K. Pottanani who was already in the staff of the school for a few years, succeed Fr. Jungblutt in 1971: Fr. J. Nallor succeeded Fr. Pottanani in 1977 until his retirement in 1990. Fr. Jerome D’Souza followed Fr. Nalloor till 1998. Fr. Antonym Joseph is the Principal from 1998 and Fr. Santhuraj joined him in 2000 and is the headmaster of the primary section. Fr. Clement Godwin who was a popular assistant in the parish and teacher in the school for several years also acted as the Principal when Fr. L. Jungblutt went to Europe on home leave. Other SVD members who served the school are Frs. Vaghese Chalamana and Venance Ashirvadam: both are now serving in Andhra missions.


Staff of  St. Theresa's Church
Jolly Mudakkampurath (Superior & Parish
Caetano Mascarenhas
Anil Kiran Fernandes
Gopu Vinod Reddy
Nicolau D'Costa
Dn. Jose George

St. Theresa's Church
Bandra (W), Mumbai - 400 050
Tel: (022) 2640 7891 / 9004979257
Email : Email: [email protected]