Church of St. Peter (Arnala)
Erected in 1931 (ref: Catholic Diocese of Vasai)
This church was erected in the early part of the 20th century and was one of the first under the Archdiocese of Bombay.
Arnala, a fishing village located at the Northwest tip of the coast of Bassein, practically on the banks of the Arabian Sea is five kilometers from Agashi, originally parishioners of Our Lady of Light ('Nossa Senhora de Luz '. Luz in Portuguese means light.) And later on parishioners of St. James, experienced real difficulties in attending services at Agashi.
To mitigate the people’s hardships, Fr. Ismail Da Costa, the assistant parish priest of Agashi, built a hut – chapel in 1919 in Arnala. Two year later in 1921, with the help of the kolis, he improved the hut to a corrugated metal shed that was blessed by the Archbishop of Damaun and dedicated to St. Peter the Apostle.
Fr. Da Costa moved in as the priest-in-charge of the incipient parish. He added a parochial hall to the structure in 1926. Next priority was the construction of a proper church in the village. He marshaled the resources of the local people and with their assistance obtained a plot of land free of cost.
The proposed church received the blessings of the local people of all faiths who enjoyed a harmonious relationship with each other so much so that a Hindu Community Assoc. even donated a sum of Rs. 3000/- towards the construction of the church
Archbishop Joaquim Lima (archbishop of Bombay) blessed the church on dec. 27, 1931.
Kolis consider Fr. Da Costa as the “true Apostle of Arnala”
P.O Arnala, Dist. Thana 401302
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