In Memories of Two Cardinals in Asia

Cardinal Cheong
Cardinal Sim

The Church in Asia lost two cardinals in less than two months this year.

Cardinal Cornelius Sim, a new cardinal in Asia and the first of Brunei, died on May 29. He was 69.

Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, 89, former archbishop of Seoul and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, passed away on April 27.

More about the lives of Cardinal Sim and Cardinal Cheong
and the Churches in Brunei and South Korea, of which their missions were dedicated to.

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Diocese of Jhabua

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Diocese of Jhabua
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In a land area of 21,366 square kilometres, the diocesan territory covers districts of Jhabua, Alirajpur, Ratlam, Mandsaur and Neemuch and Sardarpur tahshil of Dhar district.

Jhabua is a tribal district located on the western part of Madhya Pradesh bordering Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Situated on the National Highway connecting Indore and Ahmedabad, it is 155 kilometers from Indore and 264 kilometers from Ahmedabad. Delhi-Bombay railway line also passes through Jhabua district with a railhead at Meghnagar.


Jhabua district has 1,231 villages and 86 percent of the total population of the district consists of tribals. The villages are inhabited by tribals namely Bhils, Bhilalas and Patlias. The tribals live in scattered clusters with huts mostly in or adjacent to their own fields. The houses are mostly made of bamboo and clay.


Languages spoken are Hindi, Bhili and Bhilali.


Diocese of Jhabua was established on March 25, 2002, by bifurcating the diocese of Indore and Diocese of Udaipur with Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal, SVD, as its first Bishop. The diocese comprises five civil districts of western Madhya Pradesh bordering the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The first parish in the district of Jhabua was started in 1896 at Thandla.


The main occupation of the tribals is agriculture. The percentage of irrigated land is low. The main crops in the region are maize, soyabean, pulses, wheat and cotton. The land is undulated and soil is of poor quality. Due to lack of technology and poor soil conditions, the farmers’ economic status remains low.

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