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 Ahmedabad

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Bishop Athanasius Rethna Swamy
Bishop Rethna Swamy
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Bishop Athanasius Rethna Swamy
Bishop's House,
Dr. Tankaria Rd., Mirzapur,
Gujarat, India

Phone: 079-25624717, 25624105
Email: [email protected]

Bishop Athanasius was born on Feb. 10, 1961, at Parampukkarai in Kottar diocese, Tamil Nadu. After primary school, he joined the “Mission Home” at Nagercoil. In 1977, he entered the Minor Seminary in Madurai. Two years later, he joined St Charles Seminary, Nagpur, for philosophical and theological studies.

He was ordained priest on March 29, 1989, for Ahmedabad diocese. He began his priestly work as assistant priest at Sananad, a post he held for two years. He was then made the rector of St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary, Ahmedabad. He was the principal of St. Xavier’s High School, Chavdapura, for two years from 1993.

In 1994, he went to Rome to study Bachelor of Education and Licentiate in Clinical Psychology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. On his return in 1998, he was appointed rector of Shradha Inter-diocesan Seminary, Ahmedabad, for four years. He was the rector of St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary, Ahmedabad, and Spiritual Director at Gujarat Vidya Deep Seminary, Baroda, for ten years from 2002.

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