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 Ratnapura

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Bishop Cletus Chandrasiri Perera
Bishop Perera
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Bishop Cletus Chandrasiri Perera
Catholic Bishop's House,
Madola, Avissawella 71600,
Sri Lanka

Phone: +94 36-2232368, direct: +94 36 - 2232370
Fax :+94 36-2232369
Email: [email protected]

Bishop Cletus Chandrasiri Perera O.S.B was born on Sept. 6, 1947 in Seeduwa, in the archdiocese of Colombo. His parents are Joseph Eliot Perera and Kovilage Roslyn Silva. He has a brother elder to him and a sister and a brother younger to him. He was ordained a priest on Aug. 4, 1973 and was ordained Bishop of Ratnapura on July 11, 2007 in the Basilica of the 12 Apostles in Rome. He was installed as the third bishop of Ratnapura on July 28 in Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Ratnapura. Bishop Perera studied in Rome 1978-81 and obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Anselmo. He also served as the diocesan youth coordinator, the parish priest of St. Anthony's Cathedral, Kandy from 1992 to 1998. In 1984, he was appointed parish priest of Wahacotte in the central diocese of Kandy, where he later served as vicar general for eight years. As a priest, he worked on justice and peace issues and was director of the diocesan pastoral center, and general manager of Catholic private schools. He was the diocesan director of the Legion of Mary as well and was the Conventual Prior of the Order of St. Benedict (OSB) in Sri Lanka from 2002 till he was ordained. He has served Kandy diocese as the general manager of the Catholic private schools from 1992 and was holding this post at the time of his nomination as Bishop of Ratnapura. Bishop Perera is chairman of the Catholic National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism and the Commission for Missionary Activity of Sri Lankan Bishops' Conference.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Bishop Harold Anthony Perera (2003 - 2005)
  • Bishop Patabendige Don Albert Malcolm Ranjith (1995-2001)

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