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History :

Estd. : 16-11-1963
Area : 14,015 Sq. Kms.
Total Population : 29,17,234
Catholics : 39,558


The Diocese of Chikmagalur, comprising of the three civil districts of Shimoga, Chikmagalur and Hassan was created by Pope Paul VI by the Apostolic Constitution, 'Indicae Regionis' dated 16th November 1963. Earlier this area was a part of the vast diocese of Mysore. It was Canonically erected by His Excellency Arch Bishop James Ronald Knox, the Apostolic internuncio on 4/02/1963 at St. Joseph's Cathedral Chikmagalur. The most Rev. Dr. Alphonsus Mathisas D.D. J.U.D was consecrated on 05/02/1964 as the first Bishop. In January 1989 the District of Shimoga along with the District of Chitradurga of Bangalore Arch Diocese, was formed into the Diocese of Shimoga.

Geographically the Diocese of Chikmagalur is situated in the Western Ghats and consists of hilly region where the main crop is coffee. Tea is grown in some places. Ragi, paddy, maize, sugar-cane, vegetables, pulses and coconut are grown in the plains. The greater part of the catholic population are the Konkanies, descendents of migrants from the South Canara District, who had come for work in coffee plantations and later on settled in the area of whom some are planters. The native Catholics are found in the plain of Hassan District, their ancestors had become Catholics in the beginning of the 18th century when the Jesuit missionaries evangelized the area. Later M.E.P Fathers continued this work of evangelization. After the errection of the Diocese only Indian Priests are working in the Diocese. Descendents of the settlers from Tamil Nadu can be found allover the Diocese. The early history of evangelization of Chikmagalur Diocese goes back to 16th century.

The Diocese of Chikmagalur begun with 19 parishes and 18 Diocesan Priests in the three districts has taken strides of Progress. Now there are 39 Parishes, 1 Shrine, 3 Independent stations with resident priests and 56 active Diocesan Priests. Besides there are a great number of religious priests and sisters. Educational institutions have increased and even first grade colleges have been started. The St. Joseph's Minor Seminary, Bridgetine convent and the Holy Cross Hospital at Chikmagalur, the Cloistered Carmel Convent, the Don Bosco Technical School and Seva Samsthe, the Diocesan Social Service Centre (C.M.S.S.S.) at Hassan are but a few of the many important institutions.

The noble stalwart of faith the late Bishop Rene Feuga of Mysore together with Late Monsignor Angelo Fernandes are the principle cause of Establishing Chikmagalur Diocese and are remembered with gratitude. Under the young energetic and talented Bishop Alphonsus Mathias the Diocese progressed steadily and was a pioneer in evangelization, Kannada music and writing. We are proud to say that the first Kannada Cassettes and religious books were published by the Diocese. Bishop J.B Sequeira, the Rector of St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary succeeded Bishop Alphonsus, who went as the Arch Bishop of Bangalore after serving the Diocese for 22 years. Bishop J.B. Sequeira was consecrated on 11/06/1987 as the Bishop of Chikmagalur and under him the present Minor Seminary was built. He retired after 18 years of active service. The Diocese is proude of giving 2 Bishops, Bishop Thomas Vazapilly, the present Bishop of
Mysore and Bishop P .V. George of Madagascar, the M.E.P Superior General Fr. Balthazar Castelino and Fr. Dorairaj, great Missionary and Rector in Madagascar.

Bihop Thomasappa Anthony Swamy D.D. succeeded Bishop J. B. Sequeira and was consecrated on 06/02/2007 as the third Bishop of Chikmagalur. He was the head of the Missiology Department at St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore before his Bishopric. Under his active leadership many new Churches and Presbyteries have been built. A new life and zeal has filled the Diocese which has made priests more active, zealous and enterprising.

18 Priests of the Diocese have gone to the Lord after their active ministry in the Diocese

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History | Our Diocese | Our Patron | Our Bishop | Former Prelates | Office Bearers | News Letter | Bishop's Circular | Bishop's Engagements | Diocesan Commissions
Diocesan Associations | Deaneries | Seminary | Religious Houses | Parishes | Substations | Convents | Educational Institutions | Hostels, Boarding's, Orphanages
Hospitals and Dispensaries | Social Service Centers | Diocesan Priests | Religious Priests | Brothers | Sisters | Necrology | Statistics |
House for Retired Priest's
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Courtesy : Commission for Social Communication, Diocese of Chikmagalur

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