Boundaries and Demographics

Background

The parish strength once stood at 15,000 (circa the 1960s) but numbers have since declined. Families have moved out to the suburbs or have migrated. The original boundaries have also shrunk to the extent that the Parish of St. John the Evangelist was carved out of the northern area of the Holy Name Parish. The area surrounding the Cathedral is now more commercial than residential which changes the complexion of the location considerably.

Parish Boundaries

The Parish boundaries presently extend from Churchgate in the North to the Colaba Post office at the southern end. The western limit is bounded by the Arabian Sea, while the eastern boundary lies near the General Post Office, Fort.

Demographics

The statistics from the last census taken in 2005 show the parish strength at 500 parishioners from 550 families. The ongoing census will be completed in 2012.

There is a rising number of aging parishioners, and a decline in the number of younger families with a consequent decline in the number of baptisms, holy communions and confirmations. The upside is that there is a very vibrant Senior Citizens group who lend their time, talent, experience and memories to the various activities in the parish.

This parish also caters to Catholics belonging to different linguistic backgrounds by conducting masses for them in their mother tongue. There is a Konkani Mass daily and two on Sundays, in addition to the English language Masses. The Hindi Mass is celebrated once a month for parishioners from a Hindi-speaking background.

There has also been a shift in the economic background. With the increasing spread of two large slum areas, there is now a larger number of middle class, lower middle class and economically disadvantaged parishioners whose different needs have to be catered to.

What is heartening to note is that some things do not change and that is the fact that ‘from early morning to late evening…people have access throughout the day to drop in and make a visit’ and there is always someone present in the main church and in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. The late Cardinal Valerian Gracias’ words come to mind: “…our present day spiritual life rests indeed on the foundations strongly and securely laid by past generations…”. While numbers may have dwindled, faith has not.