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 Trichur

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Auxiliary Bishop Tony Neelankavil
Bishop Neelankavil
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Auxiliary Bishop Tony Neelankavil
Catholic Archbishop's House,
Bishop Palace Road, P.O. Box 706,
Thrissur-680005, Kerala, India

Phone: (0487)2333.325; 2333.542, 09744787865
Fax :2338.204
Email: [email protected]

Auxiliary Bishop Tony Neelankavil was born on July 23, 1967. He belongs to Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral Church, Trichur. He joined St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Trichur, in 1984 and completed his philosophical and theological studies at St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, and was ordained priest on Dec. 27, 1993, by Archbishop Mar Joseph Kundukulam. After his ordination, he was appointed assistant parish priest at St. Antony's Forane Church, Ollur, and St. Thomas Forane Church, Palayoor. In 1995, the bishop-elect was sent to Leuven for higher studies in Catholic University, Leuven and obtained a licentiate and doctorate in theology. In 2002, he was appointed animator of theology students, spiritual father, lecturer and dean of studies at Marymatha Major Seminary, Trichur. In March 2017, he was appointed rector of the same seminary. The Bishop is a well-known orator, writer and theologian.

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The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia.
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