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Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. X I No. 2 Bulletin April-June 2008
News Update | Articles | Researchers
New Arrivals | Mails & Emails
Church is a place of
worship or house of worship where a group of people (a congregation) comes
to pray or perform acts of religious praise, honour or devotion. The form
and function of religious architecture has evolved over thousands of years
for both changing beliefs and architectural style. In Christianity, some
“private” places of worship are called chapels, while major public ones
are designated by a term reflecting its ecclesiastical status, such as
cathedral (seat of a diocesan bishop), basilica, or minster.
Different religions have
different names for their places of worship
|Bahai House of Worship
||Islam (also referred to by
its Arabic name: Masjid)
||Basilica of Most Holy Rosary
||St. Patrick's Church
||St. John Evangelist Church
||St. Francis Xavier's Church
||Queen Of Peace Church
||St. Thomas Church
||Our Lady Of Dolours Church
||St. Teresa's Church
||Shrine Of Our lady Of Fatima
||Church Of Christ The King
||Cathedral Of The Most Holy
||Prabhu Jisu Girja
||Stella Maris Church
||Sacred Heart Church
||St. Patrick's Church
||Our Lady Of Happy Voyage
||Nirmala Mata Maria Girja
||St. Ignatius Church
||Sacred Heart Of Jesus Church
||St. Joseph's Chapel
||Sacred Heart Chinese Chapel
Heritage Churches of Kolkata
Church of Our Lady of Bandel
Bandel, (the name came from the Bengali word "bandar" which means "port")
appears to have been the port of Hooghly at the time of Portuguese and Mughals.
The only relics of the Portuguese settlement are the Church (Basilica) and the
monastery. It is about 2 kms away from the Bandel railway station.
The present church and monastery are said to be built in 1660 by Gomez de Soto
having the key stone of the old church bearing the date 1599 over the eastern
gate of the Monastery. In front of the Church stands a ship's mast which was
presented by the captain of a vessel which had encountered a storm in Bay of
Bengal and was saved by the grace of Virgin Mary. The statue of "Our lady of
Happy Voyage" is in the middle of the Church.
Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary, Murghihata
Started in 1797. The main church of the Padroado in Kolkata till 1834, it became
the first Parish church of the newly erected Vicariate Apostolic of Bengal. The
Salesians, who took over charge from the Jesuits in 1921, handed it over to the
Diocesan Clergy in 1972. The Cathedral Annexe was built in 1979.
St. Thomas' Church, Middleton Row
In December 1841, when Mother M. Delphine Hart and her intrepid band of 11
Loreto nuns arrived in Calcutta from Ireland, they were housed in "a splendid
three-storied mansion, Number 5, Middleton Row, a noble building. Earlier
occupants of the building included Henry Vansittart, Governor of Bengal
(1760-64), Sir Elijah Impey, First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at
Calcutta (1774-82) and from 1824, the Second Anglican Bishop of Calcutta, Bishop
On January 10, 1842, Loreto House School was opened in this building. Meanwhile,
the construction of St. Thomas' Church, on the same premises had begun from
November 11, 1841. The Catholic Archbishop of Calcutta, Mgr. Carew, also
constructed a residence for himself next to the church and at the doorstep of
Loreto House. This building was then known as St. Thomas' House. The only
original buildings on the premises now are St. Thomas' Church and a part of the
building where the college was first established.
St. Joseph’s Church, Raghabpur
Fr. Zubiburu, a Spanish Carmelite with the support of Mr. Crow the then District
Magistrate of 24 Parganas, made the first Catholic effort in the area in 1841.
But after seven years of work it was abandoned. The mission was started again in
Fr. Deplace SJ. was considered as the founder of Raghabpur Catholic Mission. In
the year 1876 he started living at Raghabpur. At the time of his coming at
Raghabpur, there were already 250 Catholic families living in and around
In the year 1877, he established three small Churches for the Catholic
community. In the same year a primary school was opened at Raghabpur. In 1885,
the Catholic Mission became a parish. In 1890 Fr. De Prins S.J. built the
present Church. In 1893 two boarding's were opened, one for the boys and another
for the girls.
The period from 1876 to 1930 was the period of hope and despair. On the one
hand, the mission was expanding but on the other hand natural calamities like
famine, flood and disease were common occurrence. Very often it was not clear,
whether the people had come to the Mission for spiritual needs or for material
The period from1930 to 1954 was the period of consolidation in which the newly
converted Catholics were given instructions to become good Catholics. The period
from 1954 to 1970 was the time of expansion and construction. The number of
Catholics increased. A good number of mission stations with church centers were
established. In 1968 Keorapukur was bifurcated from Raghabpur and canonically
erected as a Parish.
(Kaikhali Chapel built in 1841, 16 miles South of Calcutta)
The period from 1970 to 2005 was the period of growth in spiritual, and
educational field. In 1977 Baruipur became a diocese. In 1991 the Mission
celebrated its 1501h anniversary and the Church celebrated its centenary. The
school was recognized and upgraded by the Government of West Bengal to 6th
standard in 1983, to 8th standard in 1987, to 10th standard in 1990 and to 12th
standard in 1999. During this period, many other parishes emerged, Keorapukur in
1968, Kalyanpur and Thakurpukur in 1971, Baruipur in 1987, and Sajnaberia in
2000. St. Joseph's Catholic Church is the oldest Catholic Church in 24 Parganas
(S) District of West Bengal. According to the census of 2005 it has a Catholic
population of 5812 of which 2678 are in Raghabpur and the rest are in eight sub
stations such as Gostomath, Hogolkuria, Salpukur, Debipur, Balarampur, Chak
Rosul Mammud, Keordangi and Nursikdarchak.
Church of Our Lady of Dolours, Boitakhana
Founded in 1810 as parish of the Padroado, It has a shrine of Mother of Mercy.
St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Bow Bazar
A chapel was built in 1844, which was badly damaged by the 1897 earthquake. The
foundation stone for the new church was laid by the then Archbishop Goethals on
the 12th April 1898. Blessing of the Church was on 7th June 1900. It became
Parish on 2nd December 1903.
ST. TERESA’S CHURCH, Moulali
St. Teresa of Avila Church was formerly built in 1889. Fr. C. Hogger SJ was the
Parish priest then. The foundation stone of the present church was laid on 28th
December 1895. The church was blessed by Msgr. Goethals on 22nd April 1897. The
Parish was canonically established on 25th April 1897. This church was later
renovated and made two storied exactly after hundred years on 25th April 1997
under the supervision of Fr. Vincent Lobo. The blessing of the new church was
done by Mother Teresa.
St. Patrick’s Church, Dum Dum
Church built in 1823, partly with the help of Irish Fusiliers, partly by
contribution from Kolkata Catholics led by Mr. Joseph Baretto; initially
intended for Irish soldiers stationed at Dum Dum with resident military
chaplain. Now a full parish with resident priest since 1955. A presbytery was
constructed by Msgr. Leander D’Costa, and was blessed on 17th March 1987.
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Dharamtala
The foundation stone was laid on the 12 February 1832, and the church was
solemnly blessed on Easter Sunday, the 30th March 1834. A Parish of the Padroado,
it became a parish of the Vicariate in 1844. The Church was renovated and
re-dedicated on 3rd October 1971.
St. John’s Church, Sealdah
The first chapel, called the Cemetery Chapel was built in 1902 and was
canonically erected as a parish in 1903. its original purpose was a railway
chaplaincy. From 1st January 1970, Kanchrapara with 150 Catholics was detached
from the parish and joined to its original parish of Barrackpore. From 1972 Asha
Niketan was housed in the Presbytery till 1990. After that Missionaries of
Charity Sisters Contemplative branch took over the presbytery in April, 1990.
St. Ignatius Church, Kidderpore
It was founded in 1911. For many years the Kidderpore area was looked after by
the Military Chaplain of Fort William, residing first at St. Xavier’s College up
to 1871, then at Hastings from 1871 to 1891 and in the old Kidderpore Presbytery
on Ekbalpore Road from 1897. In 1904 the central room of the Presbytery was
arranged into a Chapel. Fr. Hipp built the Church in 1910 and it was blessed in
Carmel of Christ the King Chapel, Outram Street
Four sisters from the Carmel of Mont sur Marchienene, Belgium arrived in Kolkata
in November 1935. Their convent was not yet ready; so they enjoyed the kind
hospitality of the Daughters of the Cross at St. Vincent's Home, Kidderpore, for
18 months. On June 28, 1937, Mother Prioress, 3 professed sisters and 3
postulants left Kidderpore for the beautiful convent of Christ the King which
His Grace Msgr. Perier had prepared for them at 4 Outram Street.
His Grace received them at the gate and in a few touching words bade them take
formal possession of their new home. "Here you will serve God in peace and
solitude" said Msgr. Perier. "Pray for the conversion of sinners and implore
God's blessings on the labours of our missionaries and our active religious.
Here you will offer reparation for sins that are daily committed in this large
city, and by your holy lives, you will co-operate with all those that toil for
the establishment of Christ's Kingdom in Bengal".
|FIRST CAB AWARD FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Fr. Felix Raj SJ, was conferred the First Catholic Association of Bengal (CAB)
Community Development Award along with four other awardees: Archbishop Henry
D’souza, Frs. Rosario Stroscio SDB, Louis Gobetti SDB and Sr. Cyril Mooney IBVM
on Saturday, April 19, 2008 at 5.00 pm at a public function held at Don Bosco
His Eminence Telesphore P. Cardinal Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi was the Chief
Guest and presented the awards in the presence of His Grace Archbishop Lucas
Sirkar SDB of Kolkata. The award carried a silver plaque and a cash prize of Rs
Accepting the honour, Fr. Felix Raj said, “I must express my unworthiness to
this great honour. What I am doing is just a drop in the ocean. But I feel happy
and overjoyed when I experience that this drop is not the only drop. There are
He accepted the award in the name of his team members and the underprivileged
children whom he strives to serve. The CAB’s appreciation and encouragement will
surely make us march forward with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. I always
remember what Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of these brothers and
sisters, you do unto me”, he added.
The Catholic Association of Bengal acknowledged the altruistic contributions of
this wonderful priest, educationist and economist who quietly resonates young
minds with sounds of education, empowerment and enlightenment.
St John's Church,
originally a cathedral, was among the first public buildings
to be erected by the East India Company after Kolkata became the effective
capital of British India.
It dates from 1787. The overgrown graveyard here has a number of interesting
monuments, including the octagonal mausoleum of Job Charnock, founder of
Calcutta, who died in 1692. Admiral Watson, who supported Clive in retaking
Calcutta from Siraj-ud-daula, is also buried here.
(Mausoleum of Job Charnock)
The obelisk commemorating the black hole was moved from near the GPO to a corner
of this graveyard. It was constructed between 1784 - 87, at a cost of Rs. 2
lakhs. Based on Greek architecture and designed by Lt. James Agg, the graceful
Church is made entirely of stone. It is the earliest example of British masonry
in India. Near the west wall is a replica of the Holwell Monument - originally
erected at the site of the Black Hole of Calcutta.
Inside the church there are the famous paintings of The Last Supper by John
Zoffany, a marvellous stained glass window and memorial tablets of prominent
citizens through the ages.
St. Paul's Cathedral
The foundation for St. Paul's Cathedral was laid in 1839 largely due to the
efforts of Bishop Wilson. In 1847 it was consecrated as the first Episcopal
Church of the Orient. Its Indo-Gothic architecture is credited to Major W.N.
Forbes. An earthquake destroyed the original 61-m. high tower in 1897. After
restoration, it was again destroyed by another earthquake. Finally, it was
rebuilt as a replica of the Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral.
The church is 247 ft. in length and 81 ft. in width and the tower is 201 ft.
high. The Cathedral is set within huge grounds with several ancient trees. The
interim of the church is a feast for the eyes, with excellent floral designs on
the walls. Beautiful architecture and exquisite mural painting captivates the
beholder. The life and work of St. Paul is vividly described in pictures. Bishop
Wilson lies in his eternal rest in a coffin inside an underground chamber. The
commission plate conferred on him by Queen Victoria is still exhibited here. The
ambience of the church is very soothing and tranquil.
Armenian Church is located in Armenian Street, at the north-west corner of
Barabazaar, near Howrah Bridge in Kolkata.
Built in 1764, designed in the early 18th century, the Armenian Church is today
the oldest extant church in Kolkata. Three oil paintings - 'The Holy Trinity',
'The Last Supper' and 'The Enshrouding of Our Lord' - by the English artist A E
Harris also adorn the altar. Remains of the Armenian cemetery can be seen in the
The Armenian Christians have been staying in India since remote antiquity. They
claim to have arrived in India before the British. On 22nd June, 1688, the East
India Co. had entered into a contract with the Armenians in Europe. As per the
contract, the East India Co. was supposed to construct a church in all corners
of India where a minimum of 40 Armenians would inhabit. The EIC would also grant
50 pounds to the appointed priest as his remuneration.
A Jewish Synagogue
A Jewish Synagogue in Kolkata is situated in canning street, very close to
This is the place of worship for the Jews. Previously, this place saw the
existence of a temple of the Jews named as 'Nevch Salome' Later on, that gave
way to the 'Makhan David' Synagogue. Built by Mr. Elias David Joseph Esra to
perpetuate the memory of his father, Mr. David Joseph Ezra who died in 1882.
This is the largest Synagogue in the East and is magnificent in architecture and
It was opened to the public in 1884. The tower of the synagogue offers a
splendid view of the city. It is 140 ft. in length and 82 ft. in width. The
tower bears a marvelous sight with a clock fitted to it.
|An Economic Festschrift
ANTONITA M. Devotta
A festschrift in honour of Prof. Raj Kumar Sen, titled
Indian Economy: Economic
Ideas, Development and Financial Reforms was released on the 30th of March 2008.
The volume, consisting of twenty-six research papers, is compiled and edited by
Dr. Fr. J. Felix Raj, S.J. A unique feature of this festschrift is that the
authors of the various essays in the volume belong to the common category of
research scholars of Prof. R. K. Sen and all these essays are indicative of
their respective areas of research.
The book release function was graced by His Grace, Lucas Sircar, Archbishop of
Kolkata as Chief Guest. Prof. Asis Banerjee, Vice Chancellor of Calcutta
University presided over the function. Other personalities included Fr. George
Ponodath, S.J., Rector of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, Prof Alok Ghosh, a
noted economist and Dr. S.S. Kothari, former MP. The Archbishop congratulated
the scholars on their efforts and encouraged research in the field of Economics
as he deemed it “essential and instrumental in the growth of the nation”.
Prof Asis Banerjee observed
“It is probably one of the very rare occasions on
which research scholars of a mentor have come together to publish their theses
in honour of their Guide”. He also commented on the efforts of the scholars
“which provide a possible solution to the economic problems of our nation”.
While Fr Ponodath expressed his appreciation for the diversity of the topics
covered in the book, Prof Alok Ghosh congratulated Prof Sen on his excellent
guidance and praised the editor, Fr. Raj for taking on the mammoth task of going
through large theses, condensing it and making it more easily comprehendible.
Fr. Felix Raj thanked the dignitaries and all present at the function
particularly the research scholars for their cooperation.
The book is published by Deep & Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi and is
priced at Rs. 1500/-.
A Jaywalker’s Guide to Calcutta by Das, Soumitra, Eminence Designs Pvt. Ltd,
Developmental Issues of North East India by Konar, D. N. & Chakrabarti,
Subhabrata, Akansha Publishing House, New Delhi, 2008.
Dnarao Pathikbar by Bandhopadhyay Ruma, Sekh Alla-Uddin, The Allgraph, Kolkata,
Growth and Development of Tourism in India by Mishra, Ananta Mohan & Konar, D.
N. Akansha Publishing House, New Delhi, 2008.
Incomparable India by Blackham, Robert J. Rajat Printographics, New Delhi, 2007.
Indica by Heras Institute, Heras Institute of Indian History and Culture, New
Mother Teresa by (Ed.) Kolodiejchuk, Brian M. C., Doubleday, New York, 2007.
Political Culture of the Migrant by Chaudhuri, Subrata, Standard Book
Swami Vivekananda by Basu, Shankariprasad, Ananda Publishers Pvt. Ltd. Kolkata,
Tagore and Radhakrishnan
by Mukherjee Jaya, Janaki Prakashan, Patna, 1992.
The Faith Tradition by Pereira Francis, ISPCK, Delhi, 2007.
Researchers at the Goethals
Dr. Jayati Gupta, Kolkata, on British Travellers to India.
Dr. Kana Kitazawa, Japan, on British Raj and its Cultural Inheritance in
Fr. Arockiasamy. J, Barrackpore, on Catholic Missionaries and the Santals
Fr. Louis Francken SJ, Ranchi, on History of Jesuit Mission in Ranchi.
Mr. Chandan Chaudhuri, on St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta.
Mr. Choi Jong Hwan (Peter), Korea, on Pastoral.
Mr. Iftekhar Ahsan, Kolkata, on Calcutta / St. Xavier’s College.
Mr. Muktidan Bag, Raidighi, on Indian Theologian - R. C. Das.
Ms. Maitreyee Choudhury, on Rural Bengal and Tibet.
Mails & EMails
Goethals library is absolutely a wonderful place, must be made more accessible
to the public, especially tourists.
Mr. Iftekhar Ahsan, Kolkata.
We were really impressed by the kind support of your staff and the precious
collection. We would like to come again next year.
Dr. Kana Kitazawa. JAPAN.
This Library is an Asset to the Bengal Church and Society. The historical
sources are enormous and very essentially helpful for the research scholars.
Fr. Arockiasamy. J, Barrackpore.
I am grateful for the periodical you send me, which I do read from cover to
cover. The articles are most brilliant and give food for thought. I am delighted
to receive them. And my friends devour the articles. We often sit together and
meditate on them especially the ones of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay. They were
The model-spirituality for life and leadership is excellent and inspiring, the
practical lessons presented, provide encouragement and sustenance while treading
the path indicated. This has therapeutic value resulting in a happier frame of
mind. If each and every citizen and reader follows intensely all that is written
and interiorizes them, this entire planet will become a more joyous place to
The Church owes a lot to you for your creative innovative thinking and
enlightened knowledge. By following and imbibing what you write, we would
certainly achieve mystic transcendence, the eternal gaze of absolute beauty,
truth and goodness, growth in fervent love (Peter 4:8) beatific vision, generous
tolerance, fearless strength, unique expressions of Absolute God, creators of
unity, builders of peace, ambassadors of good will, icons of Nazareth,
contagious gratitude, generous sweetness, positive life patterns, love shared
wisdom, and all the best things in life.
Dr. Swami Garfield Jansen, Coimbatore
Thank you for sending the Goethals News. I have been wanting to know about
Spirituality and your newsletter has given what I wanted. I shall be interested
to read more about the subject and can you one or two books on the subject.
Bijoy Kumar Bhuyahn, Assam.
Congratulations for bringing out The Goethals News. Your model of Spirituality
is good... Glad to learn that you have compiled and edited "Indian Economy:
Economic Ideas, development and Financial Reforms".
It was very kind of you to give me a copy of the title "Indian Economy" edited
by you - an Economic festschrift to Prof. Raj Kumar Sen and also the Jan.-Mar.
2008 issue of Goethals News.
I am deeply impressed by your article "Spirituality for Life and Leadership".
Dr. K. M. Bhattacharya, Mumbai.
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa
Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Director: Dr. Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Staff: Mr. Sunil Mondol and Debu Mondal.