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.
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.