"On the eve
of the Assumption in 1588 the whole village of Marol became Catholic.
After a very short time, thirteen other villages under the jurisdiction
of Marol followed her example". (Ref. Thesaurum Rerum Indicarum
I, Pg. 560.). Among those villages were Chaquelem (Chakala)
and Gondoulym (Gundowli).
The person responsible for the conversions was Bro. Manuel Gomes
S.J., who was ordained a priest in 1583. He was well-versed in
the Marathi dialect spoken in this area and he also knew the rites
and ceremonies of the local people. He was the founder of
the Church of St. John
the Baptist, Condita (Kondivita), the ruins of which still exists
in the SEEPZ Complex.
to the Ecclesiastical Census of 1660 and the Jesuit Report of
1669, the Catholic
population of Chakala was 219 persons and that of Gundowli 246.
The Catholics of Chakala
and Gundowli belonged to the parish of St. John the Baptist,
Condita, till 1840, and
thereafter, belonged to the parish of St. John the Evangelist,
The Church of Marol catered excellently to the spiritual and temporal
needs of the villages of both Chakala an Gundowli, but with the
growing population and increasing problems of
transportation, a need for a separate Parish for these villages
and the new ones that grew around, e.g. Mogra, was deeply felt.