In a land area of approximately 13,400 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the townships of Botou, Huanghua, Hejian, Renqiu, the counties of Yanshan, Wuqiao, Dongguang, Suning, Mengcun Hui Autonomous Region, and Haixing, Nanpi and Xianxian.
Cangzhou is a prefecture-level city in Hebei province, People's Republic of China. Cangzhou's urban center has a population of approximately 488,600 (2004), while the prefecture-level administrative region in total has a population of approximately 7 million. (The population of the whole country is about 1.3 billion). Most residents are Han Chinese. But there is also a sizable population of the Muslim Hui minority.
Cangzhou's history goes back to 1856, when the Holy See divided the Catholic mission in Tcheli (Zhili) province, which no longer exists, into three regions. Southeast Tcheli vicariate was entrusted to French Jesuits and renamed Xianxian vicariate in 1924. It was elevated to a diocese in 1946.
In 1981, a meeting of Catholic representatives in Hebei decided to rename the dioceses in the province in line with the government's administrative divisions. Xianxian diocese was thus renamed Cangzhou diocese.
The diocese has more than 200 churches with 70,000 Catholics. It has 260 nuns and 110 priests, and runs Xavier Minor Seminary and a convent.
According to the Pontifical Yearbook 2002, the diocese had in 1950 a number of 62,000 Catholics representing 2.8 percent of the population of 2,200 000.
There was a total of 119 priests (35 diocesan, 84 religious) serving 221 parishes. The male Religious numbered 135 and the female Religious 85.
Bishop Li Liangui, a young rector recently ordained Bishop of Cangzhou (Xianxian) with many Catholics and vocations, has expressed his desire to raise the standard of clerics and nuns in the diocese.
Expressways conncect Cangzhou with Beijing. Cangzhou's Huanghua Harbour is the end of a main Chinese coal shipping railway. There are Beijing Capital Airport and Tianjin Airport close to Cangzhou.
Cangzhou's climate is mild to warm in the summer to cold in the winter, with snowfall.
Cangzhou's urban center is a heavily industrial city but the city's administrative territory also includes strongly agricultural areas. The North China Oil Field is within Cangzhou City's jurisdiction. Cangzhou also encompasses a large fishing port and the modern, coal-exporting Huanghua Harbour.
Cangzhou is located to the south of Beijing, about about 180 kilometers from the Chinese capital, near the coast of the Bohai Sea of the Pacific Ocean.
According to the Cangzhou city government website, the world-famous Cangzhou martial arts and acrobatics have been the gems of traditional Chinese culture. The Book of Songs, the most ancient poem collection in China, was just spread from Cangzhou to all over the world. Thanks to the abundant natural resources and rich cultural heritage, Cangzhou enjoys the fame of "five hometowns and one pearl", as Hometown of Martial Arts, Hometown of Acrobatics, Hometown of Casting, Hometown of Golden-Thread Dates, Hometown of Ya Pear, and Baiyangdian Lake has been praised as Pearl of North China. At present, there are 6 intangible cultural heritages of Cangzhou being protected by the State.
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
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.
St. Mary’s Cathedral Church in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state, is the mother church in the tribal belt of eastern India, where Belgian Jesuits laid the foundation of Catholicism in 19th century. This brownish Church, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, stands on Dr. Camil Bulcke Path and nestles between St. Xavier’s College and St. Albert Major Seminary.
Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Sardhana is a historic church that lives the memory of love and benevolence of the sole female Roman Catholic ruler in India. Our Lady of Graces Church of Sardhana stands at Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh of northern India. Consecrated in 1822, this 200-feet long church with a high central dome over the main altar, is one of the largest churches in northern India.
Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica at Mylapore is a monumental declaration on ancient root of Christianity in India. The church was built over the tomb of St. Thomas, the Apostle who is believed to have preached Christianity in India. The cathedral preserves 2000-year-old bones of the saint and the lance that pierced him to death. Popularly known as Santhome Church, the cathedral at Chennai (formerly Madras) in Tamil Nadu state was constructed during the Portuguese era in the 16th century. “San Thome” assumes its name from St. Thomas.
St. Joseph’s Church in Lahore is the oldest Catholic Church in Pakistan that has flourished since the 19th century despite deadly sectarian violence in recent years. The church at Sarfaraz Rafiqui Road in Lahore was established as a wooden structure during the British colonial era, on Oct. 31, 1842, to provide pastoral care to the British soldiers. It completed 180 years this year.
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.