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?

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Diocese of Xinyang

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Diocese of Xinyang
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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Xinyang/Sínyang is a diocese located in the city of Xinyang in the Ecclesiastical province of Kaifeng in China. It is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Henan province, People's Republic of China, the southernmost administrative division in the province.


Xinyang population was 6,109,106 according to the 2010 census, and 1,230,042 of them lived in 2 urban districts, Pingqiao and Shihe.


  • December 15, 1927: Established as the Apostolic Prefecture of Xinyangzhou from Apostolic Vicariate of Kaifengfu
  • April 25, 1933: Promoted as Apostolic Vicariate of Xinyangzhou
  • April 11, 1946: Promoted as Diocese of Xinyang


Xinyang has a monsoon-influenced, four-season humid subtropical climate, with cold, damp winters, and hot, humid summers. The months of April through June here are slightly cooler than much of the rest of the province. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 2.2 °C (36.0 °F) in January to 27.4 °C (81.3 °F) in July; the annual mean is 15.31 °C (59.6 °F). The annual precipitation is just above 1,100 millimetres (43 in), and close to two-thirds of it occurs from May to September. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 38% in March to 47% in four months, the city receives 1,974 hours of bright sunshine annually; January through March are the cloudiest months.


The prefecture-level city of Xinyang has a total land area of 18,819 square kilometres (7,266 sq mi). The city is located in the southernmost part of Henan Province, on the south bank of the Huai River. It borders the cities Zhumadian to the north and  Nanyang to the northwest, and the provinces of Anhui and Hubei to the east and south respectively. The region where Xinyang is located is considered a subtropical area and the Dabie Mountains cover most of its territory.


The Xinyang City is divided into two districts and eight counties.

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