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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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Archdiocese of Bangalore

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Archdiocese of Bangalore
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Population

The archdiocese of Bangalore covers 27,014 square kilometers comprising the civil districts of Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Chickballapur, Kolar, Ramnagara and Tumkur. The 2015 census counted 16,768,000 people in these six districts, of whom it identified 436,600 as Christians.

Language

Tamil, English, Telugu, Malayalam and Konkani languages are in use, but the principal language of the archdiocese is Kannada, the official language of Karnataka state. However, Masses and other liturgical services are conducted in other subsidiary languages depending on the need of the congregation. Being a metropolitan city, Mass and liturgical services in the city and its suburban parishes are also offered in English.

History

The diocesan territory was formerly part of the Mysore Mission, which was separated from Pondicherry in 1845 and entrusted to the Paris Foreign Missions Society (Missions Etrangeres de Paris, MEP). The Mysore Mission was elevated to an apostolic vicariate in 1850 under the leadership of Bishop Charbonnaux, MEP, who had been serving as coadjutor bishop of Pondicherry.

In 1886, Mysore was elevated to a diocese with Bangalore its headquarters. Throughout the second part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, MEP bishops guided fellow missionaries in developing a network of churches, schools, convents and colleges. Thus, they prepared for Bangalore's emergence as an archdiocese and a cosmopolitan city.

St Francis Xavier Cathedral (1842) was built by Father Jarrige, Saint Joseph's Church (1852) by Father Bigot-Beauclair and Saint Mary's Basilica (1882) by Father Kleiner, before he was made a bishop. Sacred Heart Church was completed in 1895 by Father Combret. Saint Patrick's Church was completed by Father Gailhot in 1844 and renovated by the illustrious Father Tabard, who served as its parish priest 1891 - 1925 and is buried inside the church. Besides St. Mary's Basilica, Bangalore has another shrine, the Infant Jesus Shrine in Viveknagar.

St. Peter's Seminary in Malleswaram, now a philosophy and theology faculty and center for canon law, was established in Pondicherry in 1777 by Bishop Brigot, first MEP superior of the Malabar Mission. The seminary was shifted to Bangalore in 1934. Saint Joseph's College was founded by Bishop Charbonnaux as soon as he was appointed bishop of Bangalore. It was handed over to the Jesuits on June 1, 1937.

Mysore was bifurcated on Feb. 13, 1940, to create the diocese of Bangalore, which became an archdiocese on Sept. 19, 1953.

Transportation

Bangalore is well connected by air, rail and road to all India's major cities such as Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Calcutta, and other important cities and towns.

Industries

Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state, is one of Asia's fastest growing cities. It is home to some of India's most advanced high-tech industries and premier scientific establishments, and its thriving information technology industry has earned it the nickname of "Asia's Silicon Valley." Bangalore is India's fifth-largest and fastest-growing city. Until its high-tech boom began in the late 1980s, it was known as the "Garden City," with greenery flourishing in its pleasant climate.

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