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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Diocese of Tiruchirapalli

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Bishop Savarimuthu Arokiaraj
Bishop Arokiaraj
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Bishop Savarimuthu Arokiaraj
Bishop's House,
12A Convent Road,
Tamil Nadu, India

Phone: (0431)2415.635
Fax :2417.502

Pope Francis appointed Father Savarimuthu Arokiaraj as bishop of Tiruchirapalli on June 29, 2021.

At the time of appointment, Bishop Arokiaraj was serving as rector and parish priest of Holy Redeemer’s Basilica in Tiruchirapalli.

Bishop Arokiaraj was born on Oct. 24, 1954, in Lalapettai in Tiruchirapalli Diocese.

He studied philosophy and theology at St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore, from 1973-80 and was ordained priest on Jan 8, 1981, for Tiruchirapalli Diocese.

He obtained a doctorate in liturgy from the Institute Catholique de Paris in France in 2002.

Earlier, Bishop Arokiaraj was secretary of the diocesan Liturgy Commission from 1988-91. He was regional secretary of the Liturgy Commission of Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council from 2002-08.
Bishop Arokiaraj also served the diocese as chancellor and professor of liturgy at St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli, from 2012-15.

Tiruchirapalli Diocese became vacant after the retirement of Bishop Antony Devotta on July 14, 2018. Bishop Devotta died in October 2019.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Antony Devotta (16 Nov 2000 Appointed - 14 Jul 2018 Retired)
  • Bishop Gabriel Lawrence Sengol (1990 - 1997)
  • Bishop Thomas Fernando (1970 - 1990)
  • Bishop James Mendonca (1938 - 1970)
  • Bishop John Peter Leonard, S.J (1936 - 1938)
  • Bishop Ange-Auguste Faisandier, S.J. (1913 - 1934)
  • Bishop Jean-Marie Barthe, S.J. (1890 - 1913)
  • Bishop Alexis Canoz (1846 - 1888)
  • Bishop Louis-Charles-Auguste Hebert, M.E.P. (1836 - 1836)
  • Bishop Clement Bonnand, M.E.P. (1836 - 1850)

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