The diocesan territory covers a land area of 61,266 square kilometers.
The mission territory of the Northern Shan State was first evangelized around 1869 by MEP Fathers from the Archdiocese of Mandalay. At a later phase in 1930, the PIME Italian Fathers took over and much expansion was made both east and west of the Salween River. A two-pronged mission drive was made at that early stage from the two Prefectures of Lashio and Kengtong. Under the aegis of the Italian Missionaries joined by a group of zealous diocesan priests, much headway was made. From the very start, a tough little group of Italian Reparation sisters worked alongside the priests. They helped open schools, boarding houses, nurseries and clinics.
The nationalization of all mission and also private schools was a terrible blow. The Church lost all her schools overnight. However, it was also a blessing in disguise. The Religious now turned to direct mission apostolate. The Holy See entrusted Lashio to the Salesians in 1975, making it a Prefecture. Monsignor Jocelyn Madden, the Salesian Delegate, was the first Apostolic Prefect. On his early retirement, another Salesian, Monsignor Charles Bo, succeeded him. More development end further expansion took place. In 1989, twin celebrations were held: the golden jubilee of the start of the mission and the reopening of the Wa State Mission (the extensive area east of the Salween River).
In recognition of the work of the Salesians, the Vatican moved fast. On Dec. 16, 1990, Monsignor Charles Bo was appointed the first bishop of the newly created Diocese of Lashio.
A further landmark was made in 1991, when the new Catechist Training Center was inaugurated in Lashiogyi. Under the able guidance of the De La Salle Brothers, a two-year special course is given to catechists from all dioceses.
In the span of some 20 years, the diocese has ordained new diocesan priests. Bishop Bo also founded a Missionary Congregation of Brothers and Sisters of St. Paul. Its special charism is direct evangelization ad gentes. It started with a few teenage boys and girls in 1990 and is now a flourishing congregation of 49 professed Religious. It is spread out in 13 houses, 10 in Lashio, 2 in Pathein diocese, and 1 in Pyay diocese.
Then, Bishop Bo was appointed Bishop of Pathein on May 24, 1996. Bishop Philip Lasap Za Hawng was installed as the new Bishop of Lashio diocese on Oct. 4, 1998. On the same solemn occasion, two diocesan priests were ordained for Lashio by Bishop Bo, former prelate of Lashio.
Bishop Za Hawng continued to promote the newly founded Missionary Congregation of Brothers and Sisters of St. Paul. However, in 2000, the brothers decided to move to Pathein where the founder could give close attention to their formation. The sisters remained in the Diocese of Lashio and continue to grow in numbers. Now, there are 70 professed sisters who are in 16 houses -- 11 in the home diocese of Lashio, three in Pathein, one in Pyay, and one in the Diocese of Myitkyina. In June 2005, the Novitiate of St. Paul Sisters from Lashio started their mission in the Archdiocese of Yangon, according to the wish of the Archbishop of Yangon, the founder of the Association of the Missionary Sisters of St. Paul.
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.