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 Punalur

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Bishop Selvister Ponnumuthan
Bishop Ponnumuthan
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Bishop Selvister Ponnumuthan
Bishop's House,
P.B. No. 48, Kollam Dist.,
Punalur - 691 305, Kerala, India

Phone: 91-475- 2227078, 2220229, 0475 222 5419, 91-9447310361
Fax :+91 475 - 2225419
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

Bishop Selvister Ponnumuthan was born on Aug. 10, 1956, in Uchakada village in Thiruvananthapuram district. He joined St. Vincent's Minor Seminary at Trivandrum and completed his college education in St Xavier's College. He joined St. Joseph's Pontifical Seminary Carmelgiri in 1975. He was ordained priest on Dec. 19, 1981, by Bishop Jacob Acharuparambil. He served four months as assistant parish priest before taking over the charge of prefect in St. Vincent’s Minor Seminary for eight years. Later, he took a doctorate from Gregorian University Rome. He joined Carmelgiri Seminary as lecturer in 1996 and was appointed as vice rector of the seminary in 1998, and became its rector in 2008. He was ordained as the third bishop of Punalur diocese on June 28, 2009.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Bishop Joseph Kariyil (2005-2009)
  • Bishop Mathias Kappil (1986-2005)

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