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 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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