In a land area of 5,591 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the civil jurisdiction of the province of Samar (formerly known Western Samar).
Samar Island occupies the eastern portion of the Philippines. It lies southeast of Luzon and covers the northernmost section of Eastern Visayas. It is separated from Luzon on the north by San Bernardino Strait and from Leyte on the southwest by the narrow San Juanico Strait. The territory is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by Leyte Gulf and on the west by the Samar Sea.
The total population in the diocesan territory is 770,045 as of the end of December 2016.
Suffragan of Palo
Created: April 10, 1910
Comprises the civil jurisdiction of the province of Western Samar
Titular: Sts. Peter and Paul
Feast Day: June 29
Leyte and Samar were once considered one province by the Spanish government placed under the jurisdiction of Cebu. In 1768 it was divided into separate provinces, with Tacloban as the capital of Leyte and Catbalogan the capital of Samar.
On April 10, 1910, Pope Pius X separated the island provinces of Samar and Leyte form the Diocese of Cebu, and erected the Diocese of Calbayog comprising both island provinces. In 1914 the Franciscans turned over the administration of the parishes of Samar to the secular clergy.
On Nov. 28, 1937, Pope Pius XI separated Leyte from the Calbayog diocese by creating the Diocese of Palo, in Leyte. On Oct. 22, 1960 Pope John XXIII decreed the division of Samar by creating the Diocese of Borongan, also in Samar. And again on March 11, 1975, Pope Paul VI decreed the creation of the Diocese of Catarman, also in Samar. Thus the whole island of Samar now has three dioceses: Calbayog in Western Samar, Borongan in Eastern Samar, and Catarman in Northern Samar. These three dioceses belong to the Ecclesiastical Province of Palo, Leyte, and are suffragans of this archdiocese.
Vision: "A community of persons united in faith, hope and love, centered in Christ, living by the Word and the Sacraments, prophetically witnessing to the Gospel values of sharing, unity, peace and justice, in solidarity with the poor, within the concrete historical situation and needs of the people of Samar, under the guidance of the Magisterium and the example of Mary, Mother of the Church."
Goal: "The Diocese of Calbayog shall have Ecclesial Communities that are renewed, transformed, animated and consumed by the Gospel values of sharing, unity, peace and justice in solidarity with the poor, imbued with the spirit of Vatican II and Plenary Council of the Philippines II, conscious and actively working toward Total Human Development, whose impact will be felt by society."
Thrust: "Basic Ecclesial Communities that are committed to Evangelization and Total Human Development."
Literacy rate (simple literacy) 85.5 percent
Gonsalo Garcia was born on Feb. 5, 1556, to a Portuguese father and Indian mother of Konkani descent, at Agashi village at Bassein (now Vasai), near Mumbai city in western India. His father was a soldier stationed at Fort Bassein, a Portuguese fort. Gonsalo received his education under the Jesuits. While assisting at the Church of the Holy of Jesus at Bassein, he developed a friendship with Jesuit Father Sebastian Gonsalves, who eventually became his lifelong mentor and guide.
This Filipino layman martyr saint could be rightly called the patron of infant baptism because it was after the baptism of an infant through his instrumentality that on 2nd April 1672 Pedro was martyred along with his companion missionary Fr. Diego San Vitores who baptised the infant. This infant was of a mother who got converted to Catholicism.
Lorenzo Ruiz, also called Saint Lorenzo of Manila, is a Filipino saint venerated in the Catholic Church. A Chinese-Filipino, he became his country's protomartyr after his execution in Japan by the Tokugawa Shogunate during its persecution of Japanese Christians in the 17th century.
Andrew Kim Taegon was the first Korea-born Catholic priest ordained by the French Bishop Jean-Joseph-Jean-Baptiste Ferréol at Shanghai in 1844.
On every first Friday of the month thousands of Catholics flock to Holy Cross Church of Cherpunkal in Kerala, India to revere Infant Jesus and St. Thomas, the founder of the church. The church stands on the southern bank of Meenachil River. This fabled church, also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross)Church, belongs to Catholic Diocese of Palai of the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar 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.
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.
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.
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.
St. Anthony Cathedral at Wahakotte in Kandy is a melting of cultures and religions in Sri Lanka. Wonder worker St. Anthony of Padua is a highly respected saint among Sri Lankans of all ethnicities and faiths. Thousands visit this pilgrimage site all the year round. On the feast of St. Anthony on June 13, this national Catholic shrine draws tens of thousands of faithful from all over the country.