History by the alphabet

Updated: 16 September, 2020 11:13 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

An A to Z Instagram series by Thane's St John the Baptist Church sheds light on trivia about its history spanning four centuries

St John the Baptist Church, Thane
St John the Baptist Church, Thane

“Since our parishioners couldn’t come to church, we decided to take the church to them as part of our overall outreach programme,” says Fr Gerry Fernandes, parish priest of St John the Baptist, Thane. And so every day of the week, pre-designated teams post themed content on the church’s Instagram page, Monday being the day for Know Your Facts. As part of this agenda, last month, they started an Instagram series to bring attention to interesting trivia about Thane, the church and the parish in alphabetical order, ie each fact will correspond to a letter.

Along with Fernandes, the team behind the initiative includes Fr Glasten Gonsalves and parishioners Fleur D’Souza, Bonny D’Souza, Eric Lobo, Jennifer Coutinho, Sanchia Dighe and Louanne Hendricks.

The Baroque-styled church is one of the most historically significant structures in the state, having stood the test of time for over 400 years. To kickstart the series, they began with A for Antônio, which was essentially a mini biography of Santo Antônio, the patron of the church, whose presence is evident in the structure by a carved wooden door.

Most recently, they posted trivia on the letter F, which corresponds to the Franciscan martyrs of Thana. “While researching for The Witness, a highly illustrated 111-page book, published in 2018 by Fernandes and Bishop Allwyn D’Silva, nuggets of information were filed in alphabetical order for easy retrieval. For Instagram we chose important themes from the book and sequenced them from A to Z — a tell-it-all. Sometimes, we have several items per letter,” D’Souza shares.

The year St John the Baptist Church was restored

Log on to instagram.com/st.john.the.baptist.church

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First Published: 16 September, 2020 09:46 IST

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