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 Jamshedpur

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Diocese of Jamshedpur
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The diocese of Jamshedpur was erected on July 2, 1962, in Jharkhand state. It comprises the district of East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum (excluding the parish of Bandgoan), Saraikela- Kharswan, Dhanbad, a portion of Bokaro district (namely the Chandankiayari Block and the Chas Block) and in West Bengal it covers Purulia district.

The districts of West Singhbhum and Saraikera-Kharswan were formerly part of the archdiocese of Ranchi. The districts of East Singhbhum, Bokaro, Dhanbad and Purulia were part of the archdiocese of Calcutta.

Bishops Lawrence T. Picachy, SJ, (1962-1969) and Joseph R. Rodericks, SJ, (1971 -1996) were the former prelates. Bishop Felix Toppo, SJ, was consecrated on Sept. 27, 1997, as its third bishop.


The languages of liturgical celebrations in the towns are Hindi and English. In the villages - Ho, Mundari and Santhali are used.


In 1962, at the time of the erection of the diocese only eight parishes existed. In 1964, the parishes of Bandgoan and Anandpur were transferred to the archdiocese of Ranchi.

The majority of the people in the diocese are living in villages which belong to the Hos, Mundas and Santhal tribes. The cosmopolitan towns of Jamshedpur, Purulia and Dhanbad have a floating population which comes for work from all the states of India.

There are approximately 60,000 Catholics in the diocese. There are 146 priests and 318 religious sisters working in the diocese.

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