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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 Ranchi

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Archbishop Felix Toppo
Archbishop Toppo
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Archbishop Felix Toppo
Archbishop's House,
P.O. Box 5, Dr. Camil Bulcke Path,
Ranchi-834001, Jharkhand, India

Phone: (0651)235.07.28
Fax :235.01.44
Email: [email protected]

Archbishop Toppo, a Jesuit, was born on Nov 21, 1947, in Tongo, a parish in Gumla diocese. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1968 and was ordained priest in 1982. He was appointed bishop on Jun 14, 1997 and was ordained on Sept. 27, 1997. Pope Francis appointed Bishop Felix Toppo of Jamshedpur as the new archbishop of Ranchi, the mother diocese of India’s tribal catholics. He has a masters degree in psychology from the Gregorian University, Rome.

He has served the Society of Jesus in various capacities as director of pre-novices, novice master and superior. He was appointed the bishop of Jamshedpur in 1997.
He is currently the governing body chairperson of the CBCI Society for Medical Education, North India; chairperson of the Regional Bishops’ Council of Jharkhand and Andaman and vice-chancellor of St. Albert’s College, Ranchi.

Earlier, he was the chairperson of the CBCI Office for Clergy and Religious and of the National Vocation Service Centre, Pune, for four years. Cardinal Toppo has been a bishop for the past 40 years. He became the bishop of Dumka in 1978, when he was 39. He is the first tribal cardinal from Asia.

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