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Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Catholicism in the Philippines

“…500 years have passed since the Christian message first arrived in the Philippines. You received the joy of the Gospel... And this joy is evident in your people … We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers. In the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands …”

~ Pope Francis said in his homily of the Mass at the Vatican on March 14, formally opening the yearlong celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Catholicism’s arrival in the Philippines.

A country of 7,641 islands at the sea of southeast Asia with a population of 109 million, of which more than 10 million are migrants living in almost 100 countries across the world.

Why the Pope calls Filipinos “smugglers of faith”? What makes the local Church so unique?

What is the Catholic population in the country? How many dioceses, bishops are there?

All you need to know about the Church in the Philippines in one click
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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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