In 1940, hardly four years after the inauguration of the Parel Seminary, a new vision for a grand seminary building set-up was proposed on paper. A site hunt was undertaken and the one at Kol Dongri, Andheri was approved. However, not a sod of earth was turned in on the new-land. Was it unpromising? Read on to discover the fateful events of the 1940s.

1940 – 41 – The Andheri plot in question was close to the Railway Station to the east and belonged to the Mangalorean Garden Homes Society.

July 1943 – The Diocesan Council announced that an agreement had been signed to buy the plot at Andheri where the whole Seminary could be comfortably located.

August 1945 – Archbishop Roberts, before his departure to Europe, appointed a Seminary Building Committee. The Committee comprised of both Diocesan and Seminary representatives. Their primary task was to study the architectural plans submitted for approval.

August 1946 – The Committee’s discussions prolonged and their opinions differed not only in terms of layout but more importantly in the vision of the future seminary. There was a tussle between the ‘Block System’ (University City) and the ‘House or Home System’.

February 1947 – With some modifications the ‘Block System’ prevailed and Auxiliary Bishop Gracias sanctioned the building plans. Further Bishop Gracias wrote in his first Lenten Pastoral letter dated February 14, 1947: ‘A visit to the Institution (the Seminary)… would reveal the trying conditions faced by the Staff and students…Plans to transfer the Seminary to the new site at Andheri are well underway…The path may be rugged, the journey calling for much patience…’ (The Examiner 1947)

March 1948 – All permissions needed for construction were taken. Andheri seemed to be the Promised Land for the Bombay Seminary.

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