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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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Diocese of Indore

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Diocese of Indore
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The diocesan territory covers a land area of 19,073 square kilometers. It comprises the districts of Indore, Khargone, Khandwa, Dhar, Jhabua (except tahsil of Thandla), Ratlam, Dewas, Ujjain, Shajapur, Rajgah, Bhilsa (Vidisha) Hoshangabad and the whole of Bhopal.

Population

The population of diocesan territory is 4,496,287 as on 2016 and Catholic population is 19,991.

Language

Ethnic groups in the territory include Maharahstrians, Gujarathis, Malayalees, Marwaris, Tamils and Telugus. Most of the people speak Hindi, Malwi, Bhili and Bhilali but there are a considerable number of people who speak English, Marathi and Gujarathi.

History

On March 3, 1931, the mission territory of Indore was formed by extracting some territories from the diocese of Ajmer, Allahabad and Nagpur and was officially assigned to the Society of the Divine Word. The territory then covered 110,000 square kilometers.

On March 11, 1935, the Indore mission was elevated to a prefecture apostolic and Msgr. Peter Janser was appointed the first prefect apostolic. Under his leadership, the mission made considerable progress. The diocese of Indore was erected on May 15, 1952. Msgr. Francis Simons, SVD, was appointed as its first bishop. During his tenure, he established many new stations. With his foresight he purchased land in many places.

The districts of Ujjain, Shajapur and Raigarh were separated from the diocese of Indore and the exarchate (later diocese) of Ujjain was established in 1968.

The two civil districts of Khandwa and Khargone were separated from Indore diocese and the diocese of Khandwa was erected on Feb. 3, 1977.

On March 11, 1981, the district of Mandsaur was transferred from the jurisdiction of the diocese of Ajmer to that of the diocese of Indore.

On March 1, 2002, the diocese of Jhabua was erected separating the districts of Jhabua, Ratlam, Mandsaur, Neemuch and the Tahshil of Sardarpur from the diocese of Indore. At present, the diocese of Indore has three civil districts of Indore, Dewas and Dhar except the Tahshil of Sardarpur.

Economy

The territory has petrochemical, automobile, dairy, garment manufacturing, agriculture, hotel and information technology industries. Indore is the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh.

Education

The literacy rate is 83 percent.

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