About the Parish

   The Church of the Immaculate Conception also known as the "City Church" has a rich history spanning 215 years.  It is the oldest in Pune, and is considered the Mother Church by many as the Catholic Church in this city has its origin here. At present there are 1,800 Catholics registered with this Parish. 

Current Clergy:

  • Rev. Fr. Salvador Pinto (PP)
  • Rev. Fr. Isidore Soares (Asst. PP)
  • Rev. Fr. Jovian D'Mello (Asst. PP)
  • Rev. Fr. Arun Tribhuvan (In-Residence)

 

History of Our Parish:

   Dom Minguel de Noronha, a Portuguese national, was an officer in the Peshwa Madhav Rao's army. He was the spirit behind the recruitment of soldiers from Goa and North Kanara.

   As far back as December 1792, Mass was celebrated for the first time on Christmas day on land donated by the Peshwato Dom Minguel de Noronha in appreciation for services of the Catholic soldiers. He also looked after the needs of these people. Dom Minguel then collected subscriptions for the building of a proper church. Madhav Rao also helped with his own contribution. A small but permanent structure was constructed and Fr. Vincent Menezes was appointed the first Parish Priest in 1794. After the British conquest of Pune, the number of Catholics increased manifold, as there were many Catholics among the British troops. 

Construction of the Church:

   On June 24, 1843, the British Government gave a portion of land, measuring one bigha (3 acres and 14 gunthas) from the area adjoining the Church to the Catholics of Pune free of revenue, in view of the increase in numbers. In 1843 Fr F.C. Conceicao, the then Parish Priest was able to collect an amount of Rs 12000 including a subsidy from the Portuguese Government of Goa. With this amount, the old Church built only with mud and mortar, was reconstructed in stone and mortar. this new church was completed in 1852. In the absence of any other Catholic priest, the British troops were served from the City chapel, and the soldiers were buried in its cemetery. This arrangement, however, ended in 1835, when Fr. Britto was appointed Military Chaplain under Propaganda and he started another chapel in the Cantonment for the use of the soldiers. The City chapel served the Goans who had settled in the city and neighborhood. When Poona was made into a diocese in 1886, the "City Chapel" and its congregation were assigned to the Diocese of Poona. But, immediately an agitation arose for its retention under Padroado. The result was that it was conceded by the Brief "Post Initam" (June 7, 1887) to the Archdiocese of Goa as an exempted church extra limits.

Associated Schools:

   Attached to the church on the north side is the Ornellas School founded in 1887, and on the south lies the Portuguese Association Hall, while the graveyard is a short distance away. On an invitation from the Patriarch of Goa, the Sisters of Apostolic Carmel started the Mount Carment School in 1943 in a building situated behind the church. the church was extended in the year 1952. In 1953, the Parish came under the Bishop of Poona. Exactly a hundred years later Msgr. Peter Nicholas Pereira, the then Parish Priest, extended the church by about 60 feet at an approximate cost of Rs 91,000. The special architectural design was aimed at merging elements of Christian architecture with that of Maratha tradition. the Fathers Residence was constructed in 1958. In the year 1998 redesigning of the sanctuary was undertaken. There was a Girls' Hostel in what is now the Parish Center. The Mount Carmel School was handed over ot the Poona Diocesan Educational Society in June 1983, and renamed as St. Clare's High School.

   Puneites popularly know the church of Immaculate Conception as the "City Church" this is because the Church stands at the entrance of Pune city, which was marked by a 'Quarter' Gate that existed there, in days gone by...

List of Former Parish Priests