The diocese's area is 26,461 kilometers square, which covers some parts of East Java and Central Java provinces.
In 1810, Surabaya was a mission station of apostolic prefecture of Batavia (now Jakarta) and for the first time a Dutch diocesan priest named H. Waanders lived in Surabaya. His main work was serving Catholic Dutch people living in the area. At that time, none of local people was Catholic. Father Waanders then was replaced by several diocesan priests, including Fathers Thijssen and Cartenstat.
In 1859, two Jesuit priests - Fathers M. van den Elzen and Y.B. Palinkx - came in.
In 1862, Brother St. Aloysius established an orphanage and a school in Surabaya, because many children were born from unwed parents. Dutch soldiers were not allowed to marry Indonesian women at that time.
In 1863, Ursuline nuns started to serve in Surabaya by establishing a school.
In 1923, the mission in Surabaya was handed over by the Jesuits to a Dutch priest from the Congregation of Mission (CM) whose name is Lazaris. On June 30, 1923, the other five CM priests came in: Fathers Theophilus de Backere, Cornelius Klamer, Y. Wolters, The Heuvelmans, and E. Sarneel. Two or three other priests came in every year since.
In February 1928, Surabaya became an apostolic prefecture. Father Theophilus de Backere was appointed as the first apostolic prefect and his installation led by Monsignor A.F. van Velsen, Vicar Apostolic of Jakarta, was on Sept. 16, 1928.
On Dec. 24, 1936, Monsignor Theophilus de Backere left Surabaya and was replaced by Monsignor M. Verhoeks. He was installed apostolic prefect on March 13, 1937.
On Feb. 11, 1942, apostolic prefecture of Surabaya was elevated to apostolic vicariate of Surabaya. Monsignor M. Verhoeks was installed its apostolic vicar. His episcopal ordination was conducted on May 8, 1942.
On Jan. 3, 1961, Pope Johannes XXIII issued a decree declaring the establishment of the church hierarchy in Indonesia. Apostolic vicariate of Surabaya became a diocese. The episcopal ordination of the first bishop, Monsignor Johanes Klooster, CM, was held on Sept. 9, 1961. Three years later, Father A.J. Dibjakarjono was appointed diocesan general vicar.
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
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.
St. Mary’s Cathedral Church in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state, is the mother church in the tribal belt of eastern India, where Belgian Jesuits laid the foundation of Catholicism in 19th century. This brownish Church, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, stands on Dr. Camil Bulcke Path and nestles between St. Xavier’s College and St. Albert Major Seminary.
Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Sardhana is a historic church that lives the memory of love and benevolence of the sole female Roman Catholic ruler in India. Our Lady of Graces Church of Sardhana stands at Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh of northern India. Consecrated in 1822, this 200-feet long church with a high central dome over the main altar, is one of the largest churches in northern India.
Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica at Mylapore is a monumental declaration on ancient root of Christianity in India. The church was built over the tomb of St. Thomas, the Apostle who is believed to have preached Christianity in India. The cathedral preserves 2000-year-old bones of the saint and the lance that pierced him to death. Popularly known as Santhome Church, the cathedral at Chennai (formerly Madras) in Tamil Nadu state was constructed during the Portuguese era in the 16th century. “San Thome” assumes its name from St. Thomas.
St. Joseph’s Church in Lahore is the oldest Catholic Church in Pakistan that has flourished since the 19th century despite deadly sectarian violence in recent years. The church at Sarfaraz Rafiqui Road in Lahore was established as a wooden structure during the British colonial era, on Oct. 31, 1842, to provide pastoral care to the British soldiers. It completed 180 years this year.
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.