The historic place ‘Vasai’ (Bassein) has been an important landmark from times in the distant past. Surrounded by the Sahyadri Mountains to the east, enriched by the alluvial soil of the Vaitarni this beautiful green belt is bordered by the boisterous Arabian Sea to the West. This area speaks volumes about human endeavour, toiling to reap the benefits from the green agricultural expanse – the hilly dense forests coupled with the wealth from the seas. Our college is ensconsed in this secure rustic world which is fast changing into a modern industrial environment and life style.
During the 1980’s the Catholic community in and around Vasai felt the need of opening an institution of higher learning. Since1889 the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady Of Grace, Papdy- Bassein has been involved to cater to the educational needs of the Catholic community.
Although Vasai had many important schools run by different organisations yet till the recent past, there were not any institutions of higher learning. Students from this area had to commute to the Bombay city earlier to meet their educational needs.
This felt need saw the public of Vasai create a college in 1970’s, but that was not enough to meet the emerging needs for higher education. In 1975 our college trust (Our Lady of Grace) opened the Thomas Baptista Junior College and in 1984 the St. Gonsalo Garcia College of Arts and Commerce saw the light of existence.
The foundation stone for the institution of higher education and excellence was laid by The Pope John Paul II on 9th Feb, 1986..
Since 1984 the senior college had begun functioning at the premises of the Thomas Baptista Junior College. It was only in 1996 that the entire college administration and teaching shifted to the present campus.
To provide the rural youth higher education aimed at academic excellence coupled with over all character formation through moral ethical and spiritual values inculcating the spirit of research and discovery, to orient in skills, to ensure employment and self-sufficiency through various courses to enhance essential human resource development for the overall improvement of life which lead to nation building.
St. Gonsalo Garcia College is committed to the integrated development of youth for individual and social transformation
- To offer Higher education to the needy without the distinction of caste and creed.
- To imbibe students with the culture of decency and dignity enabling them to establish themselves as citizens with educational, moral, spiritual integrity and sincerety.
- To enable training and access to relevant fields of intrest and talents.
- To help students access to job opprtunities in Vasai and outside.
- To avail oppurtunitythrough the syllabus and extra-curicular activities to develop awareness and understanding of the plethora of avenues available.
- To motivate the staff, to develop their creative potential in their respective feilds of research and development, to provide maximum oppurtunity to students to enchance their talents.
- To encourage the staff and students to co-ordinate their skills and abilities for enhancing their creative expression.
Archbishop Dr. Felix Machado
Archbishop Dr. Felix Machado, born in Vasai on 6th June 1948, completed schooling in Vasai.
- In 1971 he worked for refugees from Bangladesh. He then worked for the upliftment of tribals in Talasari in 1972.
- He has obtained special Diploma in Marathi Pradnya, Marathi Sahitya Parishad,
Pune, (1968). He acquired the Licentiate in Indian and Western Philosophy: St. Pius X college, Goregaon, Mumbai (1973), Christian Theology: Catholic Faculty of Theology, Lyon, France (1976); Diploma Third World Theology: Maryknoll School of Theology, New York, USA (1979); Master of Arts in Christian Theology: Maryknoll School of Theology, New York, USA, (1980): Doctor of Philosophy, Fordham University, New York, USA 1984.
- He was a professor at Hofstra University, Hempstead, Long Island, USA, (1980-84); St. Pius X College, Goregaon, Mumbai, (1985-1993); and K.J. Somaiya Bhartiya Sanskriti Peetham, Mumbai (1991). His doctoral dissertation on Gynaneshvari is preserved at the University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Contributed numerous Articles in various Indian and Foreign Journals of Philosophy and Theology in various languages such as Marathi, English, French and Italian . He was also the editor of ‘Pro Dialogue’ a Vatican Publication. Archbishop Dr. Felix Machado is a polyglot. He knows eleven foreign languages with Marathi being his mother tongue.
- He was an undersecretary at the pontifical council for ‘Interreligious Dialog’ at the Vatican City. In that capacity he has personally accompanied H.H. Dalai Lama to St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
- Archbishop Dr. Machado has participated in International seminars and conferences in different countries of the world and delivered key-note addresses, major talks, conferences, etc. The path to liberation and ‘journeying together’ are two of his books in English. It’s also published in Italian and French by Vatican Press. And other publication ‘Magayanche Maherghar’ is published in Marathi.
- He was appointed as the Arch Bishop- Bishop of Nasik on 8thMarch 2008 by the Vatican.
- On 19thDecember 2009 was appointed by the Vatican as the Arch Bishop- Bishop of Vasai .
- He is the Chairperson for Ecumenism and Inter-Religious dialogue of Western Region Council (WRC), Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), the Conference of Catholic Bishops’ in India (CCBI) and Federation of Asian Bishop’s conferences (FABC).
He has been elected as the president of western region bishops’ council on 12thDecember 2014.
Fr. Rajesh Lopes