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Explore the Oldest Dioceses in South Asia

Cardinal Cheong

The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

It is believed that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle,
who is said to have reached the Malabar Coast of Kerala in 52 AD.

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

History of a few oldest dioceses in India as the cradle of Indian Christianity
can be dated back to the 15th century.

Find out which is the first diocese in India here.

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Diocese of Romblon

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Bishop Narciso Villaver Abellana
Bishop Abellana
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Bishop Narciso Villaver Abellana
Bishop's Residence,
Villa del Mar, Suwa,
Lonos, Romblon City, 5500
Romblon, Philippines

Phone: (0939)927-0116
Email: [email protected]

Pope Francis appointed Narciso Villaver Abellana as bishop of Romblon on Oct. 15, 2013.

Bishop Abellana, a member of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC), is the fifth bishop of Romblon.

He was born on Nov. 9, 1953 Talisay City in Cebu. He graduated in Philosophy from Ateneo de Manila University in 1973, and continued his studies at the Loyola School of Theology then worked on his Licentiate in Church History at the Gregorian University in Rome.

He was ordained a priest on December 28, 1978 and served in different capacities. He was also parish priest in
Camotes Island in Cebu.

Abellana also earned his Licentiate in Church History at the Gregorian University in Rome.

At the time of appointment as bishop he was chaplain of Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in Nueva Ecija.

In 1999, members of his Religious Congregation elected him its Philippine provincial. He served at this post until 2005 while acting as consultant to the society’s Communication Foundation for Asia’s Catechetical Center.

Abellana was also later elected First Assistant to his congregation's Superior General in Rome, and returned to the Philippines after his term ended in 2011.

Romblon had been without a bishop since Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc was transferred to Aklan in July 2011.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Bishop Jose Corazon T. Tala-oc (11 Jun 2003 Appointed - 25 May 2011 Appointed, Bishop of Kalibo)
  • Bishop Arturo M. Bastes, SVD (July 3, 1997 - July 25, 2002)
  • Bishop Vicente Salgado y Garrucho † (May 30, 1988 - Jan. 30, 1997)
  • Bishop Nicolas M. Mondejar (Dec. 19, 1974 - Nov. 21, 1987)

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