The St.Michael's Church, Mahim consecrated on 15th November, 1925 looks very innocous on week days but come Wednesday, the church comes alive. It is the day of Novena for the Mother of Perpetual Succour.
I was one of the regular participants on Wednesday Novenas at Mahim Church. The Novena is conducted in two parts - first the prayer service and the second, the sermon and reading out excerpts from the various intentions/thanksgiving notes dropped by the devotees. Some of the instances selected from such collections (albeit anonymous) and narrated during the novena, are inspiring in re-kindling the faith of not only Christians but a large congregation of non-christians.
The novena service takes place every hour right from morning till evening in five languages. Large number of devotees attend the Novena on the way to office or while returning from work unmindful of the hardhsips in reaching the church and the hassles of train/bus journey. What makes the wednesday Novena at Mahim church so special.
People in hardship promise to carry out seven or nine Wednesday Novenas at the Mahim church if their intentions are fulfilled. I had carried out such Novenas every Wednesday at Mahim church for seven years during my stay at Mumbai when I got a good job, an understanding spouse, a house and many other favours. I had carried out a special Novena for my sister-in-law and her intentions were fulfilled.
This belief that whatever you ask of the Mother will be granted if it is in your interest is what keeps people of all faiths to throng to this church on Wednesdays.
This church was built originally in the 16th century, and remodelled last in 1973. The first novena to the Mother of Perpetual Succor was started somewhere in 1948. Over the years, the number of devotees mainly from Mumbai city, have increased considerably making it necessary for the church authorities to provide additional space to accommodate the larger crowd.
The impact and significance of this Novena needs to be witnessed and experienced personally.