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Diocese of Surabaya

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Diocese of Surabaya
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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.

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