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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Diocese of Nakhon Sawan

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Diocese of Nakhon Sawan
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The Diocese of Nakhon Sawan was created on Feb. 25, 1967, after it was carved out from the Archdiocese of Bangkok. It consists of 13 provinces: Nakhon Sawan, Saraburi, Lop Buri, Kamphaeng Phet, Phitsanulok, Chai Nat, Tak, Phetchabun, Sing Buri, Phichit, Sukhothai, Uttaradit and Uthai Thani. The total population of the area is 8,272,430. The government encourages couples to have small families of two children.

Since the creation of the diocese 39 years ago, the work of the diocese has progressed steady. Apart from its parishes and schools in all 13 provinces, the diocese is expanding its social welfare and developmental work for tribal people.

About 88 percent of the Catholics in the diocese practice their faith regularly. In some communities, where priests are not available to celebrate Sunday Masses, catechists or community chiefs preside over the Liturgy of the Word. 

The website of Nakhon Sawan Diocese is available (only in Thai) at:www.nsdiocese.com

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