Taungngu Diocese is, in the middle part of Myanmar and the area of the diocese is 49,600 square kilometers.
Ethnic Groups in the diocesan territory are: Gheba Kayins, Ghekho Kayins, Sgaw Kayins, Bwe Kayins, Sokhu Kayins, Burmese, Indians, Chinese, few Kayahs, few Kayaws and few Shans.
1868 - Arrival of PIME Missionaries, they took charge of Eastern Burma, were stationed in Taungngu
1870 - Apostolic Prefecture of Eastern Burma erected
1890 - Vicariate Apostolic of Taungngu erected
1950 - Kyaingtong was taken from the Vicariate of Taungngu and raised to that of Vicariate Apostolic of Kengtung (Kyaingtong)
1955 - Diocese of Taungngu erected
1961 - Division of the Diocese of Taungngu and Diocese of Taunggyi
Bishop Bigandet's first tour of the country brought him to Taungngu on Jan. 17, 1857. Father George D'Cruz had been there for about one year as chaplain to soldiers established there. Apart from soldiers, there was hardly a Catholic in town.
The first priests of the Milan Foreign Missions Society, PIME arrived in 1868.They found a station with two catechists at Leitho and about 150 Catholics - apart from the soldiers - in town and in the countryside. Father Eugene Biffi, Father Rocco Tornatore, Father Carbone and Father Conti were the first missionaries.
PIME Bishops who ruled the Prefecture of Eastern Burma
Msgr. Eugene Biffi, PIME (1870 -1881)
Father Tancredi Conti, PIME (1882 - 1889)
Father Rocco Tornatore, PIME (1889 - 1908) In 1890, Taungngu was raised to the status of Vicariate Apostolic and Msgr. Rocco, the Prefect was consecrated by Bishop Bigandet on the occasion of the solemn of the Cathedral of Mandalay.
On Jan. 26, 1908 Bishop Rocco died in Yado and was buried in Leiktho. On Jan. 24, 1909, Bishop Emmanuele Sagrada was consecrated and worked more than 30 years and died in 1939. Bishop Alfredo was consecrated in 1937 when Bishop Sagrada retired and succeeded him as Vicar Apostolic of Taungngu. In 1950, Kyaingtong was separated from the Vicariate Apostolic of Taungngu and raised to Vicar Apostolic of Kyaingtong and Fr. Guercillena became the first Vicar Apostolic of Kyaingtong.
On Jan. 1, 1955, the Vicariate Apostolic of Taungngu was elevated to the status of a diocese with Bishop A. Lanfraconi as first residential Bishop. In 1959 Bishop A. Lanfraconi returned to Italy for medical treatment and died there in November 1959. The diocese was ruled by Vicar Capitular Msgr. Pasquale Ziello, PIME from 1959 to 1961.
In March 1961, the Diocese was divided into a southern part namedTaungngu Diocese and a northern part called Taunggyi Diocese. T Bishop of Taungngu Msgr. Sebastian U Shwe Yauk was consecrated on May 21that year by Pope John XXIII in Rome and he ruled the diocese for 27 years. On June 4, 1984, Father Isaac Danu was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Taungngu and then consecrated on Jan. 17, 1985 at Leiktho Takone by Bishop Sebastian U Shwe Yauk. Bishop Sebastian U Shwe Yauk died on July 13, 1988. Bishop Isaac was appointed Administrator of the Diocese on July 18, 1988 and he was nominated Bishop of Taungngu on Sept. 20, 1989.
A diocese of evangelization and unity led by model and competent leaders in practicing deep spiritual Life and promoting holistic development in communion with others.
We the people of Taungngu diocese, commit to:
Mature and prayerful life, self-sacrificing and witnessing our faith to be model to others under guidance of the Church and obedience to civil laws.
Proclaim, preach and teach the Good News of salvation of mankind with perseverance and redemptive love of Christ, harmonious relationship with other religions in sharing our faith and common beliefs.
Spiritual, technical, social and leadership formation relevant to our program, services and relative to Church social teachings.
Uplift the living standard of the poor and the needy through education and promoting abilities in using and sustaining community resources.
Taungngu Diocese coveres low land areas and high land areas. In the low land there is a railway passing through from south to north and car roads are mainly used for transportations. There is a rough car road passing the high land from south to north east. Traveling on foot is still a main way of transportation in high land.
The literacy rate in the diocesan territory is about 75 percent.
The tribal groups are much interested in music songs and dances. They are to be praised for their natural talents in singing, dancing and playing of musical instruments.
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
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.
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 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.
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.