Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Catholicism in the Philippines

“…500 years have passed since the Christian message first arrived in the Philippines. You received the joy of the Gospel... And this joy is evident in your people … We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers. In the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands …”

~ Pope Francis said in his homily of the Mass at the Vatican on March 14, formally opening the yearlong celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Catholicism’s arrival in the Philippines.

A country of 7,641 islands at the sea of southeast Asia with a population of 109 million, of which more than 10 million are migrants living in almost 100 countries across the world.

Why the Pope calls Filipinos “smugglers of faith”? What makes the local Church so unique?

What is the Catholic population in the country? How many dioceses, bishops are there?

All you need to know about the Church in the Philippines in one click
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Archdiocese of Taunggyi

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Archdiocese of Taunggyi
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Taunggyi Archdiocese is situated in the Southern Shan State, in the eastern part Myanmar. It was established as a Diocese by Pope John XXIII in 1961. There are 18 townships in the archdiocese. Buddhism is the predominant religion whereas Christianity, animism and a few other religions form the minority.

In civil society, the Diocese comprises 2 zones, namely Loilem Zone and Taunggyi Zone and canonically 2 Vicariates, Taunggyi Vicariate and Loilem Vicariate. There are 9 parishes in the archdiocese; 6 parishes in the Loilem Vicariate and 3 parishes in Taunggyi Vicariate.

The diocese was raised to archdiocese by Pope John Paul II in January, 1998 and officiated by Msgr. L. Bressan, the Apostolic Delegate. Bishop Emeritus J. B. Gobbato, PIME died on August 6, 1999 and was entombed in Taunggyi Cathedral. Msgr. Peter Hla was appointed auxiliary bishop of Taunggyi Archdiocese on May 10, 2001 and was ordained Bishop on Dec. 15, 2001 by Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, the Apostolic Delegate to the Union of Myanmar. Msgr. Basilio Athai was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Taunggyi Archdiocese on June 29, 2008 and was ordained Bishop on Nov. 18, 2008 by Archbishop S. Pennacchio, Apostolic Delegate of Myanmar.

Launch out into the deep. (Luke. 5:4)

We, as one family of God, centered in Christ, inspired by the word of life and nourished by the Eucharist. As a community of believers, we are an interdependent pilgrim Church, united in love and working for integral evangelization with a faith that does justice.

To form a discerning Christian communities, to celebrate life and faith in meaningful liturgy and worship, to respond creatively to the needs of the poor and the marginalized, to build and promote communal bonds with people of other faiths and cultures.

Overall social targets are: To provide basic needs to the displaced, marginalized and the poor, to support the education of the poor and disadvantaged, to upgrade the level of healthcare, to improve infrastructure in the rural areas, to assist private-sector initiatives, to provide relevant skills training.

Overall spiritual targets are: Strengthening of the religious life, encouraging community participation, building reconciliation and peace, and gearing towards self-reliance.

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