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Explore South Asia's ancient dioceses

Cardinal Cheong

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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Archdiocese of Pondicherry-Cuddalore

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Apostolic Administrator Peter Abir Antonisamy
Bishop  Antonisamy
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Apostolic Administrator Peter Abir Antonisamy
Archbishop's House,
P.O. Box 193, 206 Cathedral St.,
Puducherry-605001, India

Phone: (0413)233.47.48; 233.99.11
Fax :420.15.03
Email: [email protected]

Bishop Peter Abir Antonisamy was born in Sathipattu, in 1951, and was ordained priest in 1979.

He holds a master's degree in biblical theology from St. Peter's Pontifical Institute, Bangalore, a master's degree in literature and history from the University of Titrupathy, a licentiate in sacred scriptures from the Biblicum in Rome, and a doctorate in sacred scriptures from the Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome.

He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including secretary to the archbishop of Bangalore and the chancellor of the Curia, professor of sacred scriptures at the Good Shepherd seminary, Coimbatore, parish priest of Kurumbagaram, director of St. Paul's Bible Institute, Poonamelle, deputy secretary of the Tamil Nadu Bishops' Council, co-ordinator of the Catholic Biblical Federation of South Asia, and director of the Tamil Nadu Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre.

Since 2004 he is the director of the Emmaus Spirituality Centre, Sithanagur, which he founded in 2004.

On 27 Jan. 2021, Bishop Antonisamy was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Archbishop Antony Anandarayar (10 Jun 2004 Appointed - 27 Jan 2021 Retired)
  • Archbishop S. Michael Augustine (1992-2004)
  • Archbishop V. S. Selvanathar (1973-1992)
  • Archbishop R. Ambrose (1955-1973)
  • Bishop R. Ambrose, Coadjutor (1954-1955)
  • Bishop R. Ambrose, Auxiliary (1953-1954)
  • Bishop Mark Gopu, Auxiliary (1948-1953)
  • Archbishop A. S. Colas (1930-1955)
  • Archbishop Morel (1909-1929)
  • Archbishop Joseph Gandy (1892-1909)
  • Archbishop Laouenan (1886-1892)
  • Bishop Joseph Gandy, Coadjutor (1883-1889)
  • Bishop Laouenan, Vicar Apostolic (1868-1886)
  • Bishop Godelle, Vicar Apostolic (1861-1867)
  • Bishop Godelle, Coadjutor (1857-1861)
  • Bishop Bonnand, Vicar Apostolic (1836-1861)
  • Bishop Bonnand, Coadjutor (1833-1836)
  • Bishop Hebert, Superior of the Carnatic Mission (1810-1835)
  • Bishop Champenois, Superior of the Carnatic Mission (1791-1810)
  • Bishop Champenois, Coadjutor (1786-1791)
  • Bishop Brigot, Superior of the Carnatic Mission (1776-1791)

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