Yesterday the newly renovated Dominic Savio Church at Satpur was inaugurated and blessed by Fr Ajoy Fernandes, vice provincial of the Salesians of Mumbai. Fr Maurice Henriques, SJ, former parish priest of Holy Cross and one of the pioneers of Satpur, presided at the Eucharist, and Fr Nelson Falcao preached.
The renovation consists of a new facade, with a cross surmounting the edifice, and a large statue in fibreglass of Jesus with arms outstretched, along the lines of the Christ of Rio de Janeiro. The statue is the work of the artist Mr Thatte; I think it is not a mere imitation, because Jesus has a cloth flung over his shoulders in the Indian style.
The whole design of the renovation is the work of Mr Thatte and his architect son. The sanctuary looks particularly beautiful, with a PoP false ceiling, wooden panelling in old Burma teak, a new altar (also the work of Mr Thatte), and a new tabernacle.
The renovation has been largely the work of Fr Nelson and Mr Richard D'Souza and his brother Elias. The D'Souzas put their hand to the work in memory of their mother, who passed away about a year ago. Many of the parishioners, and especially the parish council, have also put in a great deal of work. Fr Nelson has been onsite day in and day out the last month, and with him also Mr Richard D'Souza, who has taken a very personal interest in the work.
Fr Ajoy remembered also those in the past who have contributed to the church in Satpur: the Jesuit pioneers, including Swami Shilananda; the Jesuit province of Mumbai, to whom the land belongs; the Salesians who worked in Satpur, most especially Frs Lloyd Rodrigues, Franco Pereira, and Kenneth Pereira who were involved in the building of the church with the help of the Province and some contribution from the people from both sectors of the parish.