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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 Bogor

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Diocese of Bogor
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Bogor diocese covers an area of 18,369 square kilometers, comprising three districts (Bogor, Cianjur and Sukabumi) and three municipalities (Bogor, Depok and Sukabumi) of West Java province, and three districts (Serang, Lebak and Pandeglang) and two municipalities (Serang and Cilegon) of Banten province. Both West Java and Banten are predominantly Muslim areas, but the diocese does not consider itself a minority group. Instead it refers to itself as a diaspora Church called to establish friendly dialogue and to respect local cultures.

The apostolic prefecture of Sukabumi, established on Dec. 9, 1948, was elevated to the diocese of Bogor on Jan. 3, 1961. Franciscan Bishop Nicolaus Johannes Cornelis Geise was appointed the first bishop of Bogor. The Dutch missioner, who was also an anthropologist, resigned on March 1, 1975. He was succeeded by Bishop Ignatius Harsono, Bogor's first diocesan priest, who was ordained bishop on May 8, 1975. Following Bishop Harsono's resignation on July 17, 1993, Archbishop Jesuit Leo Soekoto of Jakarta administered the diocese until the appointment of Bishop Angkur in 1994 succeeded the Jakarta archbishop. Bogor's cathedral was consecrated to the Blessed Mother.

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