St. Thomas Church, Aldona

The Church of St. Thomas remains an awe inspiring presence in Aldona. It was built in 1596 on a high plateau on the banks of the Mapusa River. A tributary of the Mandovi River. A flight of broad steps cut into a cliff and lead to an open plain that surrounds the grand white building. Inside, the Church is ornately decorated by symbolic biblical murals and grand statues. The treasures of the church are the subject of a village legend. At one time, the statues of the church were strung with jewellery by villagers as thanks for prayers answered. But Churches were often robbed of these jewels. The Church buildings are white-washed in the tradition of Goan churches. The band stand in the grounds and the cemetery are also white-washed and all together evoke a feeling of awe. The gate of the Church graveyard has a sign in Konkani “Aiz Maka Falea Tuka” which translates into something akin ‘Me Today You Tomorrow’ , a poignant reminder of our mortality.

The Franciscans established the church as the seventh parish in Bardez. The edifice one sees today came up only around 1610 AD. The original building was a mud structure. In 1898 AD, new additions were made by way of the current sacristy and the parochial residence. The tower that is visible today on the left hand side was added as late as in 1927. The overall origins of the church go further in the past beyond 1927. In fact, the Franciscans initially built the church in 1569 AD at Coimavaddo, where they had started their ministry. The new building was built in 1596 AD due to the requirement of a more conveniently located bigger church. A Feast is celebrated here on 3rd Sunday following Easter.


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