Created in 1987, the Mymensingh Diocese is located within the ecclesiastical territory of Dhaka in Bangladesh.
The total population was around 18,243,000 in 2016.
In addition to the wide use of Bangla tribal languages, Garo and Hajong are also spoken by indigenous people in the diocesan territory.
Before September 1987, the area which currently is the Mymensingh Diocese, was part of the Dhaka Archdiocese. So the early history of the Church in this Diocese, is linked up with the history of Dhaka.
In the second part of the 16th century, Catholics were already there in various parts of what now is the Mymensingh Diocese, as in Hossenpur of Kishoreganj District.
But the remarkable Catholic evangelization work among the Garo people began only in the early 20th century. This work among the Garos and the progress made is indeed a bright spot in the history of the Church in Bangladesh.
In 1909, five Garo leaders made a long trip down to Dhaka to ask the Catholic Bishop to send a priest.
A year later, the Bishop sent Father Fleury CSC, and Brother Eugene CSC, to study the situation. In late 1910 and early 1911, Father Adolphe Francis CSC, began the work in Tausalpara near Ranikhong.
On March 19, 1911, Father Francis reaped the first fruits with 21 Catholic baptisms at Tausalpara.
The first church among the Garos was built at Tausalpara in 1912, and in 1913, Father Francis began living there. In 1915, he moved to the Ranikhong Hill where Ranikhong Parish is now situated.
Until 1918, Father Francis was practically alone, tramping the Garo country from east to west, covering the 90-mile strip of the territory. In the following twenty-five years, a total of six parishes were established.
When Mymensingh Diocese was created in 1987 (comprising of the Civil Districts of Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Kishoreganj, Netrakona, Sherpur and Tangail), eight parishes existed: six of them close to Meghalaya border (from east to west): Baluchara (1930), Ranikhong (1912), Bhalukapara (1926), Biroidakuni (1928), Baromari (1942) and Mariamnagar (1937).
Parishes had also been established in Mymensingh Town (1927), and at Jalchatra (25 miles or some 40 kilometers southwest of Mymensingh Town, in 1960).
Three additional parishes (11 parishes in total) have been erected since 1987 at Boruakona (1989, with territory taken from the eastern part of Baluchara Parish), Pirgacha (1993, with territory taken from the northern part of Jalchatra Parish), and Joljolia (2006, with territory taken from the western part of Biroidakuni Parish).
On May 15, 1987, Pope John Paul II erected the Diocese of Mymensingh and named as its first Bishop, Father Francis Anthony Gomes, who was then studying in Rome.
On September 8, 1987, the new Diocese was officially erected, and the new Bishop was ordained in Mymensingh.
On Christmas Day 2003, Father Ponen Paul Kubi CSC (the then Director of the Pobitra Krush Sadhana Griha, Rampura, Dhaka) was appointed the Auxiliary Bishop of Mymensingh and ordained in Mymensingh on February 13, 2004.
On July 15, 2006, Bishop Ponen Paul Kubi CSC, was appointed the second Bishop of Mymensingh by Pope Benedict XVI. The installation ceremony was held on September 1, 2006.
By the end of 2006, the Catholic population of Mymensingh Diocese grew to 72,952.
No separate political structure is there in the Mymensingh diocesan territory.
There are some seats in the Parliament for Mymensingh, and the citizens elect their representatives to those seats. No serious disruption of democracy is seen in the region.
Minorities can vote and take part in politics without any pressure.
Mymensingh Diocese is connected to all parts of the country by land, and to some extent by river.
Buses, trains and private vehicles are the main modes of transport to Mymensingh town. Roads and highways connect district towns and rural areas of the diocese.
Mymensingh Diocese covers a total land area of 16,448 square kilometeres and it comprises of the six civil districts of Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Kishoreganj, Netrakona, Sherpur, and Tangail.
The per capita income in the diocesan territory is equivalent to 599 USD (as of June 2008, as per the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics).
The main agricultural products are rice, pineapple, jackfruit, banana etc.
There are many cell phone service providers, in addition to government and private land phone service providers. Cells phones are popularly used.
The avreage literacy rate of Mymansingh Diocese area (including the areas of Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Sherpur, and Netrokona) in Bangladesh is 39.82 precent (as per 2011 census).
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous Mother Mary at Velankanni shrine in India. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as “the Lourdes of the East” and holds the largest Catholic Church in Asia.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
The shrine holds a three-meter-tall, white-stone carved statue Virgin Mary on the Tao Pao Mountain in the Diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam, about 1,600 kilometers from the national capital Hanoi.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urakami of Nagasaki is a witness of persecution of Christians from 17th to 19th centuries and deadly atomic bombing during the Second World War. This European-style, red-brick church continues to preserve some relics that survived the atomic bombing. Urakami cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was almost destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The church stood about 500 meters from the hypocenter of atomic explosion. The devastation shattered and charred stone-made statues of saints, which were later preserved as relics along with the surviving head of Virgin Mary statue and one of the church’s original bells.
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The church shot into global fame thanks to a wooden statue of Blessed Virgin Mary that wept 101 times and Marian apparitions to Japanese nun Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa that miraculously healed her hearing impairment. Japanese wooden sculptor Saburo Wakasa from Akita city carved the now-famous miraculous statue of Virgin Mary in 1963.
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim. It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.