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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 Shimoga

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Bishop Francis Serrao, S.J.
Bishop Serrao, S.J.
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Bishop Francis Serrao, S.J.
Bishop's House,
Sagar Road, Shimoga
577204, Karnataka, India

Phone: 08182 322 999, 09980072698
Email: [email protected]

Bishop Francis Serrao was born in Moodbidri, near Mangalore, in 1959.

He joined the Society of Jesus on Jan. 3, 1979 and studied philosophy and theology at the Jnana Deepa Vidya Peeta, Pune. He also secured masters in theology from Vidya Jyothi College, Delhi.

He was ordained priest on April 30, 1992 and made his final vows on May 1, 1999. Bishop Serrao has a wide experience in the social apostolate by working among Dalits and tribals in Anekal of Bangalore archdiocese and Mundgod mission of Karwar diocese.

He was rector of St. Aloysius College, the 136-year old institution in Mangalore, which has some 11,000 students from the primary to doctoral studies.

At the time of appointment as bishop, he was provincial of the Karnataka Jesuit province, an office he has been holding for the last five years.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Gerald Isaac Lobo (1999-2012)
  • Ignatius Paul Pinto (Nov. 14,1988 - Sept. 10,1998)

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