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St. Teresa of Avila Church - Churches and Synagogues
2056    Dibyendu Banerjee    06/04/2019

Located on the AJC Bose Road near Moulali and built in 1889, St. Teresa of Avila Church is considered as a heritage Catholic Church in the City of Calcutta, serving the Entally Parish and the surrounding areas. The foundation stone of the graceful church was laid on the 28th December 1895 and was blessed by Monsignor Goethals on 22 April 1897. However, the parish was canonically established on 25 April 1897.

Saint Teresa of Avila
Saint Teresa of Avila

The church was named after St. Teresa of Avila, the Roman Catholic Saint and Carmelite nun of the 16th century. Born on 28 March 1515, she was a prominent Spanish mystic and her life spanned the great tumult and upheaval of the historical epoch known as the Reformation. She established small convents throughout Spain, traveled on foot, and thus came to be known as the ‘walking’ (andariega) saint.

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She believed and preached that the most powerful and acceptable prayer was the prayer, which leads to action. She taught her nuns to think and pray on their own and to concentrate in order to hear the voice of the Lord in their interior, in what she called the ‘Interior Castle.’ She died on 4 October 1582 at the age of 67 and forty years after her death, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV, in 1622. Much later, on 27 September 1970, she was declared a Doctor of the Church for her writing and teaching on prayer, by Pope Paul VI.

St. Teresa
St. Teresa of Avila Church - Central portion
St. Teresa of Avila Church - Central portion
St. Teresa of Avila Church - Side view
St. Teresa of Avila Church - Side view

The imposing red building of the St. Teresa of Avila Church in Entally consists of two atypical minarets. As it was founded mainly with the view to serve the Bengali speaking Anglo-Indian community in the area, many of the instructions were inscribed on the walls of the church in Bengali language.

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After a century of its construction, the building was repaired, renovated and transformed to a double storyed church. The project was completed on 22 April 1997 and was blessed by Mother Teresa. There is a statue of Mother Teresa inside the church.

The prayer hall
The prayer hall
The prayer hall
The prayer hall
The prayer hall
The prayer hall
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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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