The Apostolic Vicariate of Quetta is the largest in the country by geographical area but most impoverished both ecclesiastically and economically. It is the poorest and least populated church jurisdiction.
Cultural landscape of Balochistan portrays various ethnic groups. People speak different languages including Balochi, Brahvi, Pashto and Urdu.
Quetta Apostolic Vicariate has its roots beginning in the reign of the British Empire in 1697, when the Vicariate of the Great Mogul was established, which included the lands Balohistan. In 1832, the Vicariate formed a part of the Archdiocese of Bombay and in 1878 it was passed to the mission of Afghanistan, which had been entrusted to the Mill Hill missionaries. Quetta, in the years to follow would be visited by Jesuits (who left in 1935) and then Franciscans (until 1982). In 1982, the pastoral care of the local community was entrusted to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), later reinforced by Salesians.
The climate of the upper highlands is characterized by very cold winters and warm summers. Winters of the lower highlands vary from extremely cold in the northern districts to mild conditions closer to the Makran coast. Summers are hot and dry. The arid zones of Chaghi and Kharan districts are extremely hot in summer. The plain areas are also very hot in summer with temperatures rising as high as 50 degrees C (120 degrees F). Winters are mild on the plains with the temperature, never falling below the freezing point. The desert climate is characterized by hot and very arid conditions. Occasionally strong windstorms make these areas very inhospitable.
Balochistan is rich in mineral resources; it is the second major supplier, after Sindh province, of natural gas. In the period spanning 1972-73 to 2005-06 the provincial economy expanded by 2.7 per cent per annum which was much slower than the performance of the other four provinces. It scores lowest in 10 key indicators for education, literacy, health, water and sanitation for 2006-07.
It comprises the entire province of Balochistan, that constitutes about 44% of the entire territory of Pakistan. It extends over an area of 347,188 square kilometers. It includes divisions of Quetta, Kalat, Saibi, Zhob, Nasirabad and Makran. It also includes districts of Quetta, Killa saifullah, Chagai, Pishin, Kila Abdullah, Kalat, Awaran, Mastung, Kharan, Las Bela, Khuzdar, Sibi, Ziarat, Kohlu, Dera Bugti, Zhob, Musa Khel Bazar, Barkhan, Loralai, Nasirabad, Jhal Magri, Bolan, Khachhi, Jafarabad, Gwadar, Panjgur and Turbat.
A number of tribes constitute to make people of Balochistan. Three major tribes are Baloch, Pashtoon and Brahvi. The tribal chief is called Sardar while head of sub-tribe is known as Malik or Mir. Sardars and Maliks are members of district and other local Jirgas according to their status. The Baluchis, believed to have originally come from Arabia or Asia minor. Most of Brahvi speaking tribes are bi-lingual and are quite fluent both in the Baluchi and Brahvi Languages. There are Pashtoon tribes alsoPopular instruments in Balochi music are the sarod, doneli, and benju. Of special note are Sepad, Shabtagi, Vazbad, Lullaby, and Zayirak, various melodies which are sung in rituals after the birth of a child, while lullabies are sung to infants and children.
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.