To reach out to all for spiritual needs of the local Christians


To build a humanity of love and service by Christian witness

To build faith formation for responsible citizenship

To be responsible to change the mission of being God’s kingdom of love peace and brotherhood

To heal the broken & fragmented world and restore the integrity of creation.

How it all started:

The history of Catholic Church Godhra, Panchamahal District dates back to British times when the railway lines were laid connecting Bombay and Delhi. Of course the first  Christians  here  were  Methodist  who  established schools,  hostels,  teacher  training  institutions  and  built Churches  all  over  the  district  with  manifold  social activities.  Earliest  of  the  Catholics  we  have  a  written record is that of Mr. J. J. Baptista, son in law of Anna Bonsley who came from Ahemadnagar in Satara district in the  present  Maharashtra  State.  Mr.  J.  J.  Baptista was devout catholic of Anglo Indian community and kept the upper floor of his house for Holy Mass as he was station master of Godhra Railway Station in 1942.  Mr.  Alick Bonsley, son of Mrs. Anna Bonsley then became the chief ticket inspector in Godhra. Himself too a devout catholic opened his house for all religious celebrations whenever priests were available from Bombay or Baroda. History (railway Bulletin) has it that his Lordship Longinus Pereira of Bombay   Archdiocese visited the Godhra Catholic Community in October 1958 with Rev. Fr. Gomes SJ of Rosary Church Baroda. In 1959 December 27, Fr. Gomes celebrated Christmas followed by New Year celebrations on the first of January 1960 in premises of the Railway  employees. On that day community being bigger altar was installed and decorated in the residential premises of the narrow gauge yard quarters. Ceremonies and celebrations were held with the accompaniment of music by late Mr. Eric Samuel who was known as a one man band.


In the years that followed Catholics of Ghodra seem to have been looked after by Dahod Parish as some baptism records of Catholics are found there. In the year 1974, the territory of Panchmahal, Dahod was entrusted to the Divine Word Missionaries by the Bishop of Baroda for evangelization and development. First Divine Word Missionary to be appointed was Fr. Joseph Lopez SVD who took up residence in Dahod who also looked after the needs of Catholics in Godhra. He was then joined by Fr. Leo Cornelio SVD. In the year 1976, Fr.  William Lenzen SVD, the retired Principal of St.  Paul’s  High  School,  Indore  arrived   Godhra. Staying in a rented house he negotiated for the purchase of land and began constructions, helped by late Br. Ignatius Gnanarul SVD and supervised by an engineer Mr. Pinto. The work was completed by Fr. Denis D’Souza SVD, who also negotiated the purchase of land for a school to be run by the Divine Word Missionaries.

It is to be noted also  that  Catholic  Church  Halol  and  Shanti  Bhavan Devgarh  Baria  form  part  of  the  Catholic  Church  Trust Godhra. On  first  June  1985  the  Mission  Sisters  of  Ajmer  an indigenous  congregation  came  to  help  the  Divine  Word Missionaries after the agreement signed by between the parties. In  the  year  1992  (4/11/1992)  a  mutual  agreement  was signed  by  the  Bishop  of  Vadodara  Rt.  Rev.  Francis Braganza SJ and then Provincial Superior Ignatius Thottappilly SVD by which a clear demarcation of property was made by both parties. By this agreement the land and the structures big or small, present or future including the parish house will belong to the diocese of Baroda while the school and all the property and the structures in St. Arnold’s School compound will belong to the Society of the Divine Word (Central Indian Province). Catholic Church grew in name and fame in Godhra with the growth of St. Arnold’s School which is run in Gujarati and English Mediums. It is a comparatively low cost educational institution.  With this educational institution a stable community of Catholics also has come into existence. Catholics of Godhra make a very faithful community with almost 100 % attendance in Holy Mass. 

They are dependent on poor wages received for their jobs, paying debts for their newly built houses and caring for their less fortunate relations. But truly they live trusting in God’s loving providence.  In  earlier  days,  Catholics  in  Godhra  came together for Holy Eucharist in the railway colony bungalow and later shifted to a narrow room in the church compound always served by Divine Word Missionaries Now  the  parish  community  is  looked  forward  to  have   worthy place of worship by renovating the present Prayer Hall and for this since all the year 2004, we have begun to collect funds with the help of our Bishop and Provincial. It is especially to be noted that if the present hall is used for any other purpose than worship a sum of Rs. 30 to 35 thousand will have to be paid every year to the municipality according to the assessment.

Miles Stones:

Confreres who worked so far

Name of the Confreres



Fr. Joseph Kazhukattuthale

Assistant Parish Priest


Fr. Adolph Roche

Assistant Parish Priest


Fr. Dennis D’Souza

Parish Priest


Fr. John De Britto

Assistant Parish Priest


Fr. Chackochan Kakkanath

Parish Priest


Fr. Mark Mathias

Assistant Parish Priest


Fr. Joe Vas

Parish Priest,


Fr. Jose Pulickal

Assistant Parish Priest


Fr. Francis Veigas

Parish Priest


Fr. John De Britto

Parish Priest


Fr. Jacob Vazhavelil

Pastoral Experience


Fr. Raju Sastya

Pastoral Experience


Fr. Ignatius Thottapilly

Parish Priest


Fr. Charles Pinto

Parish Priest


Fr. Sleevaiah Bandanatham

Assistant Parish priest


Fr. Sleevaiah Bandanadam

Parish Priest


Fr. Maria Paulraj

Assistant Parish Priest


Fr. Joseph Vayalil

Parish Priest


Dn. Arockia Muthu Selvam

Diaconate Ministry


Fr. Arockia Muthu Selvam

Assistant parish Priest