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Explore South Asia's ancient dioceses

Cardinal Cheong

The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

St. Thomas the Apostle, who is believed to have arrived on Kerala’s Malabar Coast in 52 AD, is considered the father of the Catholic faith in India.

Christian communities developed and expanded further when European missionaries arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The history of a few ancient dioceses in Asia can be dated back to 13th century pre-Portuguese mission expeditions.

Find out the oldest diocese in India here.

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Diocese of Manado

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Diocese of Manado
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Manado diocese covers an area of 90,000 square kilometers and includes the territories of three provinces on Sulawesi island: North Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and Gorontalo.

Manado became an apostolic vicariate on April 13, 1937. It was made a diocese on Jan. 3, 1961. Sacred Heart Bishop Nicolaus Verhoeven was appointed the first Bishop of Manado on Feb. 2, 1961. He was succeeded by Sacred Heart Father Theodorus Moors who then served as vicar general of Manado diocese. The Dutch missionary resigned on June 26, 1969, and was succeeded by Sacred Heart Bishop Josephus Suwatan. He is the first Indonesian bishop of Manado diocese.

During its establishment in 1961, Manado diocese had only four parishes: three in North Sulawesi province and one in Central Sulawesi province. But now Manado diocese has 46 parishes and 586 mission stations with 309 church buildings. Thirty-six parishes are in North Sulawesi, nine in Central Sulawesi, and one in Gorontalo.

Manado diocesan office is based in Manado, capital of North Sulawesi province.

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