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Kerala Church rejoices on the release of Fr Tom Uzhunnalil
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VIJAYAPURAM DIOCESE
     
Bishop
Rt. Rev. Dr. Sebastian
Thekethecheril
     
 

By the apostolic Bull "Ad Christi Nomen", His Holiness Pope Pius XI bifurcated the Archdiocese of Verapoly and erected the Diocese of Vijayapuram on July 14, 1930. The headquarters of the diocese is in Kottayam Municipal Town. As there is an Oriental Catholic Diocese named Kottayam since 1887, the formators decided to name the new diocese Vijayapuram, because it was the name of the Panchayath adjacent to Kottayam town and it was the centre of the Church activities of the Diocese. Vijayapuram is characterized by its multiple specialties. It comprises the entire civil districts of Kottayam, Idukki and partial portions comprises the entire civil districts of Kottayam, Idukki and partial portions of the districts of Alleppey, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta. The diocese has an area of 9,000 sq. kms. The total population is 80,000.

Many factors facilitated the formation of this diocese. The presence of Latin Catholics in this area is due to rapid migration from within and outside the state. The first phase of the migration started in the middle of the 18th century when Latin Catholics from the Diocese of Cochin came to Vaisiambhagom, Nedumudy, Kanjpadam and its vicinities. The second phase began at the first half of the 19th century, when people from different parishes of Quilon reached Maramon, Ranny, Vanavathukkara, Thiruvalla, Changanacherry and Poovam. The third phase started by the second half of the 19th century when the high ranges of the eastern side began to be used for cultivation tea. People from Verapoly, Cochin and from different parts of Tamilnadu settled down in this area for different jobs. The arrival of Bro Rockey Palackal, ocd, at the end of the 19th century geared upon the fourth phase of the history of the Diocese of Vijayapuram. Bro Rockey as a zealous father worked hard in Kottayam, Thellakom, Chengalam and Kumarakom and preached the Good News to the native people, especially among the so-called low castes. He opted to serve the poor, sidelined, marginalized and downtrodden and thus secured the name "Apostle of the Outcastes".

The area Church work of the Archdiocese of Verapoly entrusted to the Carmelites was created to be the Diocese of Vijayapuram. The administration was in the hands of the Carmelites of the Navara Province. The first two bishops were Spaniards- Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter. Bonaventure Arana, ocd, (1931 - 1950), Rt. Rev. Dr. Ambrose Abasolo, ocd,(1950 - 1971) and the first Indian to take up the reign of the diocese was Rt. Rev. Dr. Cornelius Elanjickal (1971 - 1987) and the present one is Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Thuruthikonam.

 

http://www.vijayapuramdiocese.org
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+91 481 - 2563747 (O), 2565863 (P)
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+91 481 - 2565863
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Vijayapuram Bishop's House, P. Box 82, Kottayam - 686 001, Kerala, India.