In a land area of 3,092 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Iligan City and part of the province of Lanao del Norte. The diocese lies in the northern part of Mindanao, where the Zamboanga Peninsula joins with the mainland of Mindanao between Yllana and Iligan Bays.
In Iligan Diocese the population is 1,551,000 at end of 2016.
Ecclesiastically, all of Mindanao and Sulu came under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Cebu during the Spanish era. When the Diocese of Zamboanga was created in 1910, it had jurisdiction over the whole of Mindanao. In 1933 the Diocese of Cagayan de Oro was separated from that of Zamboanga and got jurisdiction over Surigao, both Misamises, Bukidnon, and part of the old Lanao, presumably the northern part nearer to it. In 1971, Iligan became a prelature nullius and suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.
The Prelature of Iligan was created on Feb. 17, 1971, with the late Bishop Bienvenido S. Tudtud as the first Prelate Ordinary. In November of 1982, Iligan was elevated to a diocese, suffragan first to the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro and later to the Archdiocese of Ozamiz. Bishop Fernando R. Capalla was named first Bishop of the Diocese of Iligan. In 1995, Monsignor Emilio L. Bataclan became the second bishop of the diocese.
For the church in Iligan it has been a slow process of development considering the existing situation of Christians and Muslims co-existing in the area. In its first stage of development, the church in Iligan was more concerned with a genuine dialogue between the faiths.
The second stage was the establishment of Basic Ecclesial Communities to bring evangelization down to grass roots level, in line with the spirit behind the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II).
Major Industries in Iligan Diocese are Cement, Oil, some Chemicals, steel and electricity. The agricultural sector comprises rice, corn, root crops, vegetables, fruits, flowers, livestocks, etc.
The literacy rate is 90 percent.
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous Mother Mary at Velankanni shrine in India. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as “the Lourdes of the East” and holds the largest Catholic Church in Asia.
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.
The shrine holds a three-meter-tall, white-stone carved statue Virgin Mary on the Tao Pao Mountain in the Diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam, about 1,600 kilometers from the national capital Hanoi.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urakami of Nagasaki is a witness of persecution of Christians from 17th to 19th centuries and deadly atomic bombing during the Second World War. This European-style, red-brick church continues to preserve some relics that survived the atomic bombing. Urakami cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was almost destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The church stood about 500 meters from the hypocenter of atomic explosion. The devastation shattered and charred stone-made statues of saints, which were later preserved as relics along with the surviving head of Virgin Mary statue and one of the church’s original bells.
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The church shot into global fame thanks to a wooden statue of Blessed Virgin Mary that wept 101 times and Marian apparitions to Japanese nun Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa that miraculously healed her hearing impairment. Japanese wooden sculptor Saburo Wakasa from Akita city carved the now-famous miraculous statue of Virgin Mary in 1963.
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim. It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.