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Archdiocese of Nagpur

Archdiocese of Nagpur
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In a land area of 59,024 square kilometres, the archdiocesan territory covers three districts of Maharashtra state: Nagpur, Gondia and Bhandara; and four districts of Madhya Pradesh state: Betul, Chhindwara, Seoni and Balaghat.

Important cities are Nagpur, Gondia, Chhindwara, Balaghat, Betul, Bhandara and Seoni. Kamptee, near Nagpur, was an important British cantonment, where a lot of Anglo-Indian Catholics live. Most of the local people are Dalits (former untouchables). Many Dalits here have embraced Buddhism and are known as Neo-Buddhists.

Major industries are: textiles and small scale industries. Rice mills, oil mills, poultry farms, soap making, steel units are also located here.

People cultivate rice, cotton, maze, wheat and sugarcane in the diocesan territory.

Nagpur is famous for oranges. It is called the Orange City.

Population

The total population in the archdiocese is 12,687,000 in 2016 with Catholics numbering 25,800.

Language

Languages spoken are Hindi, English and Marathi.

History

Nagpur archdiocese is situated roughly in the middle of India. It was made diocese in 1887 by dismemberment of what was then known as the Central Provinces and Berar from the diocese of Vishakapatnam. It was entrusted to the care of the Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales (MSFS). Carved out of Nagpur, Jabalpur prefecture (now diocese) was formed in 1932. Indore prefecture (now diocese) was carved out of Nagpur in 1935. Amravati diocese was formed out of Nagpur in 1955. Exarchate of Chanda (now a diocese) was formed out of Nagpur in 1962. Prefecture of Raipur (now archdiocese) was created out of Nagpur in 1964. In 1953 Nagpur was raised to an archdiocese, with Amravati, Aurangabad and Chanda as its suffragans. Bishop Eugene D'Souza was the first Indian bishop and became archbishop of Nagpur.

Church

Most of the Catholics comprise migrants from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa and tribals from Jashpur diocese and Anglo-Indians. They live mostly in the urban areas of the diocese. There are very a few local Catholics, and they are mostly Dalits. The diocese emphasizes on building Small Christian Communities (SCC) and human communities, charismatic renewal programs.

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