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 Amravati

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Diocese of Amravati
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The diocese of Amravati, created on May 8, 1955, was formerly part of the archdiocese of Nagpur. In 1977, some of its territory was taken for the creation of Aurangabad diocese. The diocesan territory of 46,447 square kilometers comprises the civil districts of Amravati, Akola, Buldana, Washim and Yavatmal in Maharashtra state, an area called the Vidarbha region.

Amravati is the biggest city in the diocese. Akola, Buldana are the other major towns.


The total population is 11,266,653 , of which Marathas form the major ethnic group.


Marathi, Korku, Urdu, English and Hindi are the main languages used.


Father Joseph Albert Rosario, MSFS, was appointed the first bishop of Amravati on the day the diocese was created. Upon Bishop Rosario's retirement on April 1, 1995, Father Edwin Colaço was appointed as bishop of Amravati.

Bishop Colaço was transferred to Aurangabad in October 2006, and Pope Benedict XVI appointed Father Lourdes Daniel, then vicar general of the diocese of Pune as the third bishop of Amravati on June 8, 2007. Bishop Daniel was transferred to Nashik diocese on Nov. 11, 2010.


Cities are managed by corporations. Villages and small towns are administered by panchayats and municipalities, respectively. These local bodies are elected.


The diocesan area is well connected by roads and railways. The nearest airport is in Aurangabad city.


Annual per capita income is Rs 10,800 ($233) as of November 2009.


Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities. The diocese is well covered by local cable TV networks.

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