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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Diocese of Batticaloa

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Bishop Joseph Ponniah
Bishop Ponniah
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Bishop Joseph Ponniah
Bishop’s House,
P.O. Box – 43, Batticaloa – 30000,
Sri Lanka

Phone: 94 – 65 222 7642, 94 – 65 – 222 2735, 94 – 71-8428052
Fax :94 – 65 222 4667
Email: [email protected]

Bishop Joseph Ponniah was born on 12 October 1952 at Thannamunai. He was ordained a priest on 30 April 1980, and appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Trincomalee – Batticaloa Diocese on 24 May 2008. His Episcopal ordination was on 24 May 2008.

Bishop Joseph Ponniah was appointed as the first Bishop of Diocese of Batticaloa by the Holy Father Pope Benedict the 16 on 03rd July 2012.
He was installed as the first Bishop of newly erected Diocese of Batticaloa on 23 September 2012. Bishop Joseph Ponniah is the Vice Chairman of Catholic National Commissions for Education, Catechetics & Bible Apostolate, Catholic National Commission for Missionary Activity, Catholic National Commission for Liturgy & Culture, and Committee member of the Finance.

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Kwun Tong,
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