Established on 22nd May,1998 by vertue of the Decree of
Holiness Pope John Paul II entitled "Eternae Salutis"
The Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Dabre now bishop of poona
Consercrated on: 27 th May 1990
Current bishop Abp. FELIX ANTHONY MACHADO from 19 dec 2009.
The history of Vasai is as old as Christianity itself. Tradition has it that St. Bartholomeo, the apostle, came to Kalyan which forms part of Thane district in which is situated the Diocese of Vasai. In the 6th century, Kalyan had a Bishop elected and sent from Persia. Jordenus worked as a Dominican priest for a brief period in a church at Sopara in 1321 in this diocese when he had come just as a Father before he was appointed as the first Bishop of Quilon.
In 1534, the Portuguese moved to Vasai from Cochin and Goa. In 1536, they put up a church in Vasai Fort dedicated to Our Lady of Life. There was also a Parish church under the title of St. Joseph. This Church was known as the 'Se' or 'Seat of the Bishop.' Whenever the Bishop of Goa visited Vasai that was the church from where he officiated. With the arrival of the Portuguese Frs. the Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits, Augustinians, they started sending their Fathers to Vasai. (The Brothers of St. John of God were also among them). They erected 3 big churches in North Vasai and about 5 churches in South Vasai. There were churches built by them in Palghar and Dahanu Talukas. Today, they do not exist.
The Catholics of the former 8 churches are being served today by the 33 ecclesiastical units which form the major part of this diocese. The Church in this diocese had its ups and downs during the 18 - 20 centuries i.e. during the Maratha and the British rule, but the priests that came from Goa kept up the faith when the European Fathers were driven away. The local priests coming from the East Indian Community were among the first ones to help the Goan priest in preserving the faith of the people of this area which they had received from the Portuguese from the 16th Century.
The 1,13,817 (One lakh thirteen thousand eight hundred seventeen) Catholic population of the diocese today gives good number of vocations. The diocese today has 33 Churches, 56 Convents, 4 Hospitals, 3 Senior and 2 Junior Colleges, 23 High Schools and 57 Primary Schools, not to speak of the Orphanages, Homes for the Aged, Dispensaries, Leprosy Homes, etc. The new Diocese of Vasai was created on May 22, 1998 by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. The good tidings of the creation of the new diocese were joyfully announced by His Eminence Cardinal Ivan Dias, on Sunday, June 28, 1998, the eve of the feast of the Apostles, Sts. Peter and Paul, at the Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Remedy, in the august presence of Simon Cardinal Pimenta. The Installation ceremony of Most Reverend Bp Thomas Dabre as the First Bishop of the new Diocese took place at the new Cathedral of Our Lady of Grace, Papdy, on August 15, 1998.
Vasai (West), Dist. Thane - 401 202
Tel: (0250) 2380220, 2381521, 2380898
Fax: (0250) 2383333
Website: dioceseofvasai.org Suvarta.org