Parish History

A brief history of the parish and church

In response to a request of the Holy Family Welfare Association, a voluntary body of Catholics, Rev. Fr. Apollinaris D’Silva was appointed Priest-in-charge in January 1971 and thus originated the Parish Unit of the Holy Family.

Soon after his arrival, a plot of land was acquired at Pestom Sagar where under his inspiration and guidance there have developed in the course of the years a High School, a Parish House and a Prayer Hall. Besides two big co-operative housing societies have come up at Pestom Sagar and Chedda Nagar under his sponsorship.

With the transfer of Fr. Apollinaris on the 31st of May 1982 came Fr Joseph Vincent and the parish unit was raised to a parish.

The church building was completed and inaugurated in the short term of Fr. Hugh Fonseca. On the 8th March 1986 the church was blessed by Archbishop Simon Pimenta.

On 21st July 1986 Fr. John Lobo took over the reigns and was succeeded by Fr. Edward C. D’Souza on 1st June 1992. On 1st June 1998 the baton was passed on to Fr. Donald Rodrigues and then to Fr. Denis Pereira in June 2004 and Fr. (Dr.) Francis Carvalho in June 2010. On the 1st of June 2016, Fr. Ashlyn Fonseca was apointed as the parish priest.

Fr. Ashlyn Fonseca's untimely death on 25th August 2017, saw Fr. Leon Mascarenhas, the Assistant Parish Priest taking the reigns as the acting Parish Priest. On the 6th of July 2019 he was inducted as the Parish Priest.

The Assistant Parish Priests and/or Principals who have served at Holy Family Church are:

Fr Milton Gonsalves | Fr L.M. George | Fr Noel D'Abreo | Fr Sandeep Borges | Fr Trevor Fernandes | Fr Vivian pinto | Fr Lincoln Rebello | Fr Terence Murray | Fr Leon Mascarenhas | Fr Kulandai Yesu (CPPS) | Fr Vernon Aguiar (on the staff) |

Click the arrow to read the words of Fr. Hugh Fonseca, Parish Priest of Holy Family Church spoken on the 28th of February 1986 on the occasion of the Blessing & Dedication of the new Church.


"I cannot believe it ! Is it really true? Our parish Church at last coming up.” These were some of the varied reactions from parishioners when it was announced last May that work on the Church building was soon to begin. As the days and months have flown by since then initial doubt and scepticism has given way to joy and excitement for soon on March 8th'a dream will become a reality when His Grace Archbishop Simon Pimenta will bless the new Church and consecrate the altar.

After many years of patent waiting at last the people of Pestom Sagar parish will have their own place of worship..' maybe there is a moral for us somewhere First and foremost, that when people shed their differences and come together, many things can be achieved. The Church building, an edifice of stone and cement, is a symbol of the living Church, a sign of what we as a Catholic community are called to be in this area of the city. However, it can only be a living Church if the members put aside their inhibitions and fears, and most especially, their apathy, unconcern and indifference and work to build a truly holy family of God's people.

At this moment of celebration and rejoicing, however, we cannot forget the pioneers both among the clergy and the lay people who have worked to bring the parish to its: present state We remember with gratitude Fr. A D'Silva who despite certain limitations worked tirelessly to sow the seed and start what today is a fast developing, bubbling parish -in the eastern suburbs. Thanks are due too to Fathers Joe Castelino, Joseph Vincent and Milton Gonsalves for putting both school and parish on a firm footing. And we cannot, forget also those lay people who took the initiative in arranging for the priest and starting off the Holy Family parish unit about 16 years ago.

The blessing of the new Church is however not the end but only the beginning, a time for pause, to look ahead with hope to the formation of the parish community and to spread God's kingdom of truth, justice, love and peace in this area. To paraphrase the words of the poet, Robert Frost "The woods are lovely, dark and deep; and we have miles and miles to go before we sleep."

I take this opportunity of thanking Archbishop Simon Pimenta, the Auxiliary Bishops F. Fonseca and L. Pereira, for their support and encouragement, both financial and otherwise. Our thanks are due too to the Architects, Mr. Vyomkesan and Mr. Sivadas, of M/s. Studiarch, as well as to the Contractors, Mr. Chaubal and Mr. Ovalekar, of Enarch Construction Co.

It’s not possible to thank each one by name and individually, so I trust you will bear with me as I say thanks to all those who have contributed in any way in cash or kind towards the growth of the Church and building and the parish community, through their services or their time. May the Lord bless each one of you abundantly and fill you with the peace, joy and happiness which He alone can give.