St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara Church
It is a Syrian Catholic church which is affiliated to the Diocese of Kalyan.
The church is located in a suburb of Mumbai called Kandivali, which is in the western part of India.
Rev. Fr.Siju Kizhakkepallivathukal is the Vicar of the parish.
The church is easily accessible by road and is close to the Western Express Highway. It is 15km away from the Mumbai Airport and 3km away from the Borivali or Kandivali railway stations.
Most of the members of the church are originally Keralites. The Holy Mass services are in Malayalam. Catechism classes are conducted in the church on every Sunday after the Holy Mass. The church promotes charitable activities through its own Educational and charitable trust (The Chavara welfare Trust) and also through The Karunya Trust owned by the Diocese of Kalyan.
The church has around 90 families as its members. The Parish Council consists of members elected from its four geographical units:
St.Mary's Unit, Infant Jesus' Unit, St.Joseph Unit and St.Thomas' Unit.
The Church has an Educational Institution, which currently runs nursery classes affordable to the poor and middle class children around the church.
In 1985, Rev. Fr. Paul Blaise Kadicheeni CMI at the request of Rev. Fr. Edward, the then parish priest started to celebrate Holy Mass in the Syro-Malabar Rite. This practice was continued by Rev. Fr. George Vadekethala later on. After the establishment of the Diocese of Kalyan in 1988, Rev. Fr. Thomas Chirakkal and Rev. Fr. Paul B. Kadicheeni C.M.I served as Asst. Parish Priests.
From 1989 onwards Rev. Sisters from the congregation of the Sisters of Charity residing at Jesu Bhavan Malad East, have been helping in the parish ministry.
With further increase in the number of participants, the parish priest and the parishioners felt the need for starting a centre of our own. After much efforts, a suitable structure in Singh Estate near Samata Nagar, Kandivali East, was found. Mar Paul Chittilappilly, the first Bishop of Kalyan, granted the necessary permission and on 7th April, 1994.
The parish council decided to have St. Chavara Kuriakose Elias as the patron of the Parish and the Holy See granted for the same. The hall was blessed on 17th April, 1994 and Holy Mass was offered on the very same day by Rev. Fr. Paul B. Kadicheeni CMI with the limited facilities available at that time.
On 3rd July , 1994 a Nursery School and a Homeopathy Clinic was started with the help of the sisters of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament from Mira Road.
On 19th March 1997, the church got registered under the name of “Chavara Welfare Trust”. The aims of the trust are primarily to look after the educational, social, economic, medical, cultural, spiritual and all round welfare and development of Syro-Malabar Catholics of Blessed Cyriac Chavara Parish, Kandivali East- Mumbai. Following in the footsteps of Educational Reformation by our Patron Bl. Fr. Chavara, the families of our Church actively contribute to sponsor school fees upto 12th standard, for the backward in the society. The Church also provides ration supplies including rice, sugar, grains, wheat powder etc. to 40 families every month (yearly around 500 families) since the last 10 years. This food distribution drive was started in August 2005 on the 200th Birth Anniversary of Bl. Fr. Chavara.
As part of our Patron’s zeal for the education of children, we have been running a nursery school since 20 years within the church. The Church also provides support for medical treatment in case of emergencies. All these benefits are open to all irrespective of caste, creed or religion.
On 25th February 2012, the Church was renovated under the leadership of then Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Jerry Alex and was blessed by Bishop Mar Thomas Elavanal.
On 23rd November, 2014 the patron of the Church, Bl. Kuriakose Elias Chavara was canonized. As part of the Canonization Celebrations a Bible Convention was held from 21st to 23rd November, 2014 which saw a participation of more than 2000 faithful.