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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 Nashik

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Diocese of Nashik
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In a land area of 57,592 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers civil revenue districts of Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nandurbar and Ahmednagar in Maharastra state.

Nashik is the biggest city in the diocese. Jalgaon, Dhule and Ahmednagar are other important towns.

Population

The total population was 3,046,000 in 2016. Marathas are the major ethnic groups.

Language

Marathi, Hindi, Konkani, English, Tamil and Malayalam are the languages used in the diocesan territory.

History

In 1878, a few villages in Ahmednagar district came into contact with Christianity. It was led by the German Jesuits. The mission got a boost with the establishment of a station in Valan, near Kendal. Soon more stations started.

In 1987, Pope John Paul II erected the diocese of Nashik consisting of the territory detached from the diocese of Poona.

It is a missionary diocese with small and big parishes. The diocese has about 76,182 Catholics out of the 20 million population in the five districts.

Political

Cities are managed by corporations. Villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called panchayats and municipalities respectively.

Transportation

The diocesan area is well connected in terms of transport infrastructure by roads and railway. The nearest airport is in Mumbai city.

Economy

The per capita income in the diocese territory is Rs 11,762 ($260) as of February 2011. Farming especially sugarcane and vineyards provide jobs in the diocesan area.

Telecommunication

Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese is well connected by local cable TV networks.

Education

Nearly 70.9 percent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.

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