Vice Rector foils Land Grab attempt on Mount Mary’s Church Property.


MOUNT MARY'S BASILICASILENT VOICE Congratulates Fr. Aniceto Pereira, Vice Rector of Mount Mary Basilica; Bandra, for foiling the Land Grab attempt on the Property belonging to Church.

It is well-known; Parishes in Bombay are in possession of large chunks of Properties, donated by Parishioners. However, with much regret, we state that most of them are neglected or clandestinely been handed over to builders, by Parish authorities themselves. Our Lady of Salvation Church, Dadar; entered into one such agreement with a builder, to develop a couple of their properties, viz. Gloriosa and Ave Maria; builder promising Twenty four flats and a community Hall admeasuring 1100 Sq. Feet to Church, and some amount in cash.

While Fr. Aniceto Pereira was at OLSC, yours truly along with erstwhile colleagues met him to inquire about the receipt of these flats from the builder. The reason for doing so was till that time there was no trace of those Twenty four flats and the Community hall. The parishioners became wary about it and believe that builder has usurped them all, with connivance of Parish authorities. Of course, the agreement was not signed by Fr. Aniceto but one of his predecessors.

We do not know, if Parish has received possession of their share in the agreement.

President of one of the Church aided organization has condemned this and has called for all the parishes to survey and fence Church Properties. We call this a double speak. While we complained to Archbishop about a sale of Church properties by the Parish Priest, where he belongs and a member of Property Committee, he came in Defense of him, and also mocked at another Parish Priest, who successfully had secured Church Properties by fencing them, for which he received flaks from his own colleague.

We do not wish to relegate Fr. Aniceto Pereira’s action and pledge all the support from SILENT VOICE as well as SOUL – SAVE OUR LAND Team.





TOI. March 5th,’13

‘Land shark’ targeting Mt Mary Church plot?

Nauzer K Bharucha TNN

Mumbai: Sunday mass is an occasion for prayer, but worshippers at the landmark Mount Mary Church in Bandra (W) heard some disturbing news from the parish priest during the weekly service. An alleged attempt to grab a plot adjoining the Mount Mary Basilica has led to a flurry of complaints, including an FIR filed at the Bandra police station last month.
Church officials said the 1,355 square metre barren plot was in its possession for close to four decades. But now a usurper, claiming to be the owner, has staked claim and is trying to negotiate with a builder to exploit it for development. It has a development potential of around Rs 100 crore.
“We purchased the property by registered conveyance deeds in the early 1970s. We have our own gates and locks since 1972,’’ said vice rector Aniceto Pereira.
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount perched atop Mount Mary owns a few properties around the shrine. On February 18 last, officials said Robin Gonsalves and a builder’s representative trespassed the property north of the presbytery building Marianella and placed two security guards.
A week later, Gonsalves put up a board on the wall, stating he was in possession of the property. “Attempts to file an FIR against him for the blatant trespass were unsuccessful until the next day when considerable pressure had to be exerted to lodge it,’’ a church official said. The Bandra police confirmed a complaint was filed but refused to provide details.
Gonsalves broke open the gates of the Basilica compound, brought in construction material and parked a car on February 27, the complaint said. When the complaint was made, they took away the guards. “On March 2, after a great struggle, the police towed away the car. But the building material is still there as mute witness to a systematic operation to grab the land,’’ said Pereira.
For over a century, the Mount Mary Basilica has been apilgrimage for lakhs of people every year. In 2004, the present church edifice marked it centenary, although the site has been a pilgrimage for four centuries. A chapel was built in 1570 on a hilltop; today, it has grown into a majestic pilgrimage centre, compared to leading Catholic sites in Mexico and Portugal. It is one of the five leading Marian shrines in the world in terms of the number of pilgrims it attracts.
Times View: Act tough, protect Mumbai’s heritage M ount Mary, like many other churches in the city, is a part of Mumbai’s heritage. That even this church can fall prey to land-grab attempts shows the impunity with which the local land mafia operates. Cops should take this case seriously. Action must be swift and strict enough to be a deterrent for land sharks eyeing other property that is part of the city’s heritage.

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, more co...

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, more commonly known as Mount Mary, is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Mumbai, India. The church is one of the most visited churches in the city located in the suburb of Bandra. Every September, the feast of Mount Mary is celebrated on the Sunday following 8 September, the birthday of the Virgin Mary. This is a week long celebration known as the Bandra Fair and is visited by thousands of people. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



1 Comment

  1. March 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    […] Vice Rector foils Land Grab attempt on Mount Mary’s Church Property. ( […]


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