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Explore the Oldest Dioceses in South Asia

Cardinal Cheong

The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

It is believed that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle,
who is said to have reached the Malabar Coast of Kerala in 52 AD.

Christian communities developed and expanded further when
Portuguese missionaries arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.

History of a few oldest dioceses in India as the cradle of Indian Christianity
can be dated back to the 15th century.

Find out which is the first diocese in India here.

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Archdiocese of Kottayam

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Auxiliary Bishop Jose Pandarasseril
Bishop Pandarasseril
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Auxiliary Bishop Jose Pandarasseril
Sreepuram Bishop's House,
Pallikunnu P. O., Kannur-670 004,
Kerala, India

Phone: +91 497-2701333, 2707835, 2702133, +91 9447598242 (mob)
Fax :+91 497-2708333
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

Bishop Mar Jose Pandarasseril was born on April 18, 1961, at Ettumanoor, Kottayam in Kerala. He completed his philosophical and theological studies at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Mangalore, and was ordained priest on Dec. 28, 1987. He studied canon law at Santa Croce University in Rome and took a licentiate degree in 1995. Syro Malabar Synod has chosen him as the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Kottayam and Pope Benedict XVI assigned him the titular Episcopal See of “Castello di Ripa” on Sept. 21, 2006. He was consecrated as a bishop on Oct. 28, 2006. He is the Member, Synodal Commission for Catechism and chairman of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council commission for youth.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Bishop Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry (1974-2006)
  • Bishop Mar Thomas Tharayil (1951-1974)
  • Bishop Mar Alexander Chulaparambil (1914-1951)
  • Bishop Mar Mathew Makil (1896-1914)
  • Bishop Charles Lavigne (1887-1896)

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