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 Cuddapah

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Diocese of Cuddapah
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In a land area of 31,019 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers civil districts of Kadapa and Chittoor.


The population is 6,951,000 at end of 2016.


The languages used are Telugu, Tamil and English.


The two main political parties in the region are the Indian National Congress and the Telugu Desam Party.


Main modes of transport are public buses and trains. Transportation infrastructure facilities are good.


The per capita income in the diocesan territory is Rs. 10,708 ($251) as of July 2008. Kadapa district is a repository of mineral wealth like lead, barites, asbestos and limestone. It is also known for the "Cuddapah stone" used in the construction industry. Cement production is a major industry in the district. Chittoor is known for its agro-based industries such as fruit-processing units and byproducts of horticulture. The major agricultural products of the area are: groundnut, paddy, sugarcane, cotton, turmeric and jowar.


Telecommunication services are fairly widespread. There is a radio station in Kadapa.


The literacy rate in the diocesan territory is 64.8 percent.


Burra Katha, a local folklore is popular. So also local forms of dances and dramas.

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