The origin and growth of Infant Jesus Church parish at Dombivli – Thakurli can be traced to the 1960s when few immigrant Catholic families settled down in the township. With the passing years the Catholic population in Dombivli – Thakurli registered a steady increase and by early 1970s there were about hundred Catholic families in and around Dombivli. For their spiritual needs and sunday obligation, these Catholics had to go either to our Lady of Lourdes Church, Kalyan or St john the Baptist Church, Thane. Realizing the difficulties faced by the Catholics of Dombivli – Thakurli, Fr. Joseph Victoria, a kind hearted retired priest from the Clergy Home, Bandra volunteered to come to Dombivli to offer sunday Mass. As there was no appropriate place, Mr. Almeida and Mr. Nathan offered their courtyards in the Bhavan Chawl for the Sunday mass.
With the increasing Catholic population, a need was felt for a larger place for Sunday mass. It was chiefly due to the efforts of Mr. A .J. George, the Rotary Club of Dombivli offered their Gokhale Hall for the Sunday masses. In order to develop fellowship among the Catholics of Dombivli – Thakurli, the Dombivli-Thakurli Catholic Association was established which approached the parish priest of our Lady of Lourdes Church, Fr. Francis Pereira with a request to set up a church in Dombivli – Thakurli area.
Appreciating the efforts of the Dombivli-Thakurli Catholic Association, Fr. Pereira purchased the present plot including a Protestant chapel in 1973 from Mrs. Antoinette Bhagwat of Bhagwat Mission. The Chapel was consecrated on 1974 during the Christmas Midnight mass and was converted into a Roman Catholic place of worship dedicated to infant Jesus of Prague. The long felt dream of the catholics of Dombivli – Thakurli was fulfilled by having their own place of worship.
Fr. Jose Vincent became the first priest- in charge of the Infant Jesus Church. He was followed by Frs. Machado, Leslie miranda, claude D’Souza, George pulikottil, Sebastian Serrao, Thomas Kuruvilla. The assistant priests included Frs. Francis Swamy, Peter Lewis, Johny Nicholas, philip Mendonca, Nigel Barret and Julius.
With the influx of catholic population in 1980s And 1990s the existing chapel was inadequate for the sunday masses and festivals such as Christmas and Easter. With the arrival of Fr. Thomas Kuruvilla as the parish priest in 1992, the dream of having a new church at Dombivli – Thakurli was fulfilled. Even before building the church, Fr. Kuruvilla took up the challenge of building the Basic Christian Community. He started the Sunday school to instill the basic Christian faith among the children. With the help of Fr. Nigel, Fr. Kuruvilla organized the youth of the parish into a dynamic force.
The foundation stone for the construction of the New church building was laid on 22-02-1997 by His Lordship Bishop Percival Fernandez and the construction of the church building was completed in 2000. The new church building was consecrated on 17th December 2000 by Archbishop Ivan Dias
Fr. Thomas Kuruvilla was succeeded by Fr. Edward D’souza who was followed by Fr. Peter D’Cunha. Fr. Peter took up measures for the spiritual and material development of the parish. Due to his efforts the construction of the Grotto, shrine of Infant Jesus and the main gate of the church were completed. He also initiated the practice of procession through the neighbourhood of the church on the occasion of the feast of Infant Jesus and the Nativity of our Lady.
To ease the time taken to travel to the Main Church, ‘Mata Velankanni Center ‘ was opened at Dawdi in 2010. The Grotto was Blessed by His Lordship Bishop Agnelo Gracias.
In 2018, the church facilitated the Lodha and Kolegaon residents with a Sunday mass center at St. Theresa’s High School Hall in Kolegaon.
Over the years the parish of Infant Jesus has grown in leaps and bounds. Presently the catholic population of Dombivli – Thakurli is around 5000. The parish is divided into 14 Zones, which in turn are subdivided into 48 units. The boundaries of the Infant Jesus Parish stretches from TATA power house to the North; River water park to the South; Sonar pada to the East and Ulhas river to the West.