Many years ago, way back in the 70’s, a little chapel was built within the school premises on the muddy roads of Vazira Naka, under the guidance of Fr. Anthony Alessi (Rector), Fr. Henry Frassi (Administrator), Fr. Daniel Venia (Confessor), Fr. Joseph P. (Principal) and two clerics. This complex was really opened as the 2nd aspirantate (besides Lonavala) called St. Paul’s Apostolic School & was opened on 29 June, 1970. It was named after St. Paul, so as to present a model for the future missionaries, and also to commemorate the visit of Pope Paul VI to Bombay in 1964.
The chapel was there to fulfill the spiritual needs of the students and the few Catholics that stayed around the locality. The place was christened – St. John Bosco Chapel and was Canonically erected in 1972. The confreres were involved in pastoral work in the parish and the areas on the outskirts of Borivali, such as Dahisar, Mt. Poinsur and Andheri. A youth club, for youth of the locality was also started.
Years passed by and new faces were seen visiting the chapel frequently – a definite sign of growth of the community. The 70’s and the 80’s saw the early stages of the expansion of our community, as many Catholics came to reside in the vicinity of the school and the need to cater to their pastoral requirements began to be felt. Hence in June 1989, a sub-centre of the Immaculate Conception Church was created. It took care of the pastoral needs of about 300 families and it was left to the Rector to manage. Consequently, the school and parish began to be a rich source of priestly and religious vocations.
The transition from the 70’s to the 90’s was very evident, both in the size of the community as well as the surroundings. The muddy roads were gone. The small structure of the school and chapel was now made even bigger. The community had grown vastly – it was taking the shape of a parish. The Parish Unit was Established in June 1993. This sub-centre was officially given the status of a parish by the Archdiocese and Fr. Olivio Miranda was put in charge. The parish was dedicated to St. John Bosco.
Even though the community was smaller than it is today it was none the less, a very vibrant one. Participation of the people in the various competitions, programmes, fetes was heart gladdening. Various groups and associations had already been established – Youth Group, Parish Pastoral Council, Small Christian Communities, Salesian Cooperators, while others were still coming up – Bombay Catholic Sabha, Legion of Mary, SVP. Bubbling life and activity echoed the corridors of Don Bosco, Borivli.
Along with the entry into the new millennium began a new phase. We were no more just a chapel but a Church. Our community was overjoyed when the Bombay Archdiocese officially recognized us as ‘St. John Bosco Parish’ in the year 2001. To cater to the needs of the ever growing parish, the Community Care Center, Prayas Kendra was started.
In order to fully accommodate the entire family at Borivli, the Church was restructured. This concept was the brainwork and brilliance of Fr. Colbert da Silva. The Church in its grandeur and beauty as it is today was blessed on 31st January 2007 when the late Fr. Ronald Menezes was Parish Priest. The spirit within the new walls has maintained the rejuvenating bubbling life, the gusto, the radiance, the energy and that joy that is always a part of St. John Bosco parish.
Today St. John Bosco Church caters to the Spiritual needs of 980 plus families, approx. 4000 people.