Explore the Oldest Dioceses in South Asia

Cardinal Cheong

The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

It is believed that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle,
who is said to have reached the Malabar Coast of Kerala in 52 AD.

Christian communities developed and expanded further when
Portuguese missionaries arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.

History of a few oldest dioceses in India as the cradle of Indian Christianity
can be dated back to the 15th century.

Find out which is the first diocese in India here.

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Archdiocese of Trivandrum (Latin)

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Archbishop Thomas Jessayyan Netto
Archbishop Jessayyan Netto
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Archbishop Thomas Jessayyan Netto
Archbishop's House, Vellayambalam,
Kerala, India

Phone: 9447150080
Fax :2725.001
Email: [email protected]

Pope Francis appointed Msgr Thomas Jessayyan Netto as Archbishop of Trivandrum on Feb 2, 2022. He succeeds Archbishop Soosa Pakiam who quit after he turned 75 in March 2021.

Archbishop Netto was born on Dec. 29, 1964, in Puthiyathura under metropolitan archdiocese of Trivandrum.

He did his studies in philosophy and theology at Saint Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Alwaye and obtained a diploma in sociology from Loyola College Trivandrum. He was awarded a doctorate in dogmatic theology (ecclesiology) at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome. Archbishop Netto was ordained a priest on Dec. 19, 1989.

He has held the following offices: parish vicar in Peringamala (1990-1991) and of the Cathedral of Palayam (1991-1995) and executive secretary for ecumenism and interreligious dialogue (1994-1995).
He completed his specialist studies in Rome from 1995 to 1999. He then served as parish priest in Pettah (1999-2003), and executive secretary for the Basic Christian Communities (2000-2004) and rector of Saint Vincent’s Minor Seminary in Trivandrum (2003-2010).

Since 2007 he has served as a member of the College of Consultors, director of the Board for Clergy and Religious Life (2008-2010), chargé at Saint Anthony’s Forane Church in Valiayathura (2009-2010), parish priest in Thope, coordinator (2010-2014) and episcopal vicar of Ministers (2014-2018).

From 2018 to the present, he served as parish priest of Saint Augustine’s Church, Murukumpuzha, vicar forane of Kazhakkuttom and editor of the diocesan journal Jeevanum Velichavum.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Archbishop Maria Calist Soosa Pakiam (31 Jan 1991 Succeeded - 2 Feb 2022 Retired)
  • Archbishop Jacob Acharuparambil OFM Cap (1979-1991)
  • Archbishop Peter Bernard Pereira (1966-1978)
  • Bishop Vincent Dereira OCD (1937-1966)

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