In a land area of 24,409 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the town of Malang and other areas in East Java, including Jember, Banyuwangi, Madura, Lumajang, Pasuruan, Probolinggo, Purworejo and Situbondo.
In the diocesan territory, the population was 16,498,709 at 2016-end. As a province, East Java has the greatest population density. People are from different ethnic backgrounds including Javanese, Chinese, Dayak, and Flores.
Javanese with different dialects is in use in the diocesan territory, also Madurese language.
Mission work started in the eastern part of Java in 1580 when the Portuguese traders came to Panarukan. A few years later, the priests of the Dominican Order tried to spread the Gospel in Panarukan and Banyuwangi led by Fathers Emmanuele, Pascuale, Pietro and Giorgio. There is no information regarding the work of the Dominican Order in the 16th century, until they were reportedly drawn to Malacca, while leaving Pascuale as a martyr.
In the beginning of the 1800s, priests from the Society of Jesus began to work in Surabaya. One of them was Father H. Waanders. They tried to visit the northern regions, among others, Pasuruan. Chronicle History of Mission noted the arrival of Father Van der Elzen, SJ, and Father Palinckx, SJ, in 1850 and a layman, AM Anthonijsz, in 1895. A small church, then donated, is still in use, the Church of St. Anthony in Pasuruan. Father G. Jonckbloet, SJ, was the first missioner who carried out evangelization works in Malang in 1896. He opened a parish located in Kayutangan, Malang, on July 2, 1896, and founded the Church of the Sacred Heart. From here, the mission reached Lawang. In 1900, the Order of the Sisters (OSU) built houses in Celaket monastery, Malang, and opened a school (Cor Jesu), which is still in use. The work of the priests of the Society of Jesus is recognized as the foundation's mission in Malang, which stretches between the Church of the Sacred Heart in Kayutangan, Lawang, and St. Anthony Church in Pasuruan.
From the centers in Kayutangan, Lawang and Pasuruan, Carmelites Fathers Van der Pas, Henckens and Brenkel moved to the region of Malang, and founded the church in Probolinggo in 1924. Father Van der Pas even crossed by boat from Probolinggo to Madura (Sumenep) in 1927. Meanwhile, the waves of migration moved from Kalibawang, Kulonprogo and Boro to the plantations along the southern coast of East Java. The first generations of Catholics baptized in 1904 were among them. Lay people participated in sowing the seeds of God's Kingdom in new places like Sumberjati and Glagahagoeng, south of Banyuwangi, and Sukoreno (between Lumajang and Jember), preparing the ground for the mission work in the area of the eastern tip of Java.
In April 1927, the administrative status of the Mission of Malang was converted into an apostolic prefecture. With this status, all activities of the Catholic faith were released from the responsibility of the Dutch Catholic Church and taken over by the Vatican. Father Clemens Vander Pas, OCarm was appointed as the leader (Prefect of Malang), which was confirmed by Bishop Antonio Pietro Francesco Van Velzen, SJ, vicar apostolic of Jakarta (Batavia).
Land, sea and air transportations are available in the diocese. Villages can be accessed from the main asphalted roads. Almost every island has harbor connecting one another.
People make up of civil servants, farmers, traders and mostly employees.
The telecommunication in the diocese is good. Almost all parts in the diocese can be reached by phone, the Internet, television and radio.
Malang is known as the ‘City of Education,’ because it has many reputable universities. There are also many senior high schools.
The ethnic and cultural richness adds to the traditional arts. One of these traditional arts is Topeng Malangan puppet show. The styles of the arts can be traced back to the three cultures of Central Java, Madura and Tengger. People in Malang are known for their dynamics and hard work.
There is also a center for the appreciation of local arts, which is called Taman Krida Budaya Jawa Timur. Here, various local arts are often performed, such as Ludruk, Ketoprak, Wayang Orang, Wayang Kulit, Reog, Kuda Lumping and Sendra Tari.
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous Mother Mary at Velankanni shrine in India. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as “the Lourdes of the East” and holds the largest Catholic Church in Asia.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
The shrine holds a three-meter-tall, white-stone carved statue Virgin Mary on the Tao Pao Mountain in the Diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam, about 1,600 kilometers from the national capital Hanoi.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urakami of Nagasaki is a witness of persecution of Christians from 17th to 19th centuries and deadly atomic bombing during the Second World War. This European-style, red-brick church continues to preserve some relics that survived the atomic bombing. Urakami cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was almost destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The church stood about 500 meters from the hypocenter of atomic explosion. The devastation shattered and charred stone-made statues of saints, which were later preserved as relics along with the surviving head of Virgin Mary statue and one of the church’s original bells.
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The church shot into global fame thanks to a wooden statue of Blessed Virgin Mary that wept 101 times and Marian apparitions to Japanese nun Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa that miraculously healed her hearing impairment. Japanese wooden sculptor Saburo Wakasa from Akita city carved the now-famous miraculous statue of Virgin Mary in 1963.
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim. It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.