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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Diocese of Belgaum

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Bishop Derek Fernandes
Bishop Fernandes
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Bishop Derek Fernandes
Bishop's House,
B.C. 69, Belgaum-590001,
Karnataka, India

Phone: (0831)2420.587, + 91 8382 282363 (Personal)
Fax :2424.226, + 91 8382 282452
Email: [email protected]

Bishop Derek Fernandes was born on May 14, 1954, and ordained priest on May 5, 1979. He was appointed bishop of Karwar on Feb. 24, 2007, and was ordained on April 20, 2007. He succeeded bishop emeritus Bishop William Leonard D'Mello who was the first bishop of Karwar from the inception of the diocese in 1976. Bishop Derek Fernandes was serving as the diocesan social service director at the time of his appointment.

Pope Francis appointed him as the new bishop of Belgaum on May1, 2019.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Bishop Peter Machado (2 Feb 2006 Appointed - 19 Mar 2018 Appointed, Archbishop of Bangalore)
  • Bishop Bernard Moras (1997-2004)
  • Bishop Ignatius Lobo (1968-1994 Emeritus)
  • Bishop Fortunato da Viega Coutinho (1964-1967)

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