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Explore South Asia's ancient dioceses

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The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

St. Thomas the Apostle, who is believed to have arrived on Kerala’s Malabar Coast in 52 AD, is considered the father of the Catholic faith in India.

Christian communities developed and expanded further when European missionaries arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The history of a few ancient dioceses in Asia can be dated back to 13th century pre-Portuguese mission expeditions.

Find out the oldest diocese in India here.

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Diocese of Fukuoka

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Bishop Josep Maria Abella Batlle
Bishop  Abella Batlle
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Bishop Josep Maria Abella Batlle
6-28 Josui-dori,
Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi
810-0028, Japan

Phone: (092)522-5139
Fax :523-2152

Pope Francis appointed Bishop Josep Maria Abella Batlle as the bishop of Fukuoka on April 14, 2020.

Bishop Abella, a Claretian, has been an auxiliary bishop of Osaka since 2018.

He was born in Lleida, Spain in 1949 and was ordained a priest in 1975. He was assigned to Japan, where he did pastoral work in the Nagoya and Osaka dioceses.

After serving as provincial superior of the Claretians in Japan, he became superior general of the order in Rome in 2003.

After finishing his term in 2015, he returned to Japan and pastoral work in the Osaka Archdiocese.

Bishop Abella is the second non-Japanese appointed since World War II to head a diocese in Japan. Before that war, foreign bishops were all replaced by Japanese.

In December 2017, American Franciscan Wayne Berndt was named bishop of Naha. In addition, Bishop Michiaki Yamanouchi of Saitama, though born in Japan was raised and ordained a priest in Argentina.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Bishop Dominic Ryoji Miyahara (19 Mar 2008 Appointed - 27 Apr 2019 Resigned)
  • Bishop Joseph Hisajiro Matsunaga (1991-2006)
  • Bishop Peter Saburo Hirata (1969-1990)
  • Bishop Dominic Sen'emon Fukahori (1941-1969; 1941-1944 Administrator Apostolic)
  • Bishop Albert Breton, M.E.P. (1930-1941)
  • Bishop Fernand Thiry, M.E.P. (1927-1930)

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