The diocese of Chittagong comprises 17 civil districts of Chittagong,Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachori, Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur, Bhola, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Barisal, Jhalakathi, Barguna, Gopalganj, Madaripur and Shariatpur.
Total population is 28,586,492. Ethnic groups include the Boms, Chakmas, Marmas, and Murongs.
Bangla (Bengali), English and tribal languages are used in the diocesan territory.
The early history of the Church dates back to 1537 A.D. When there were Catholics in the Portuguese settlements in areas that now form part of the diocese of Chittagong. The first church was set up in 1600, which now forms Diang and the city of Chittagong.
Father Francesco Fernandez SJ, who came to Chittagong in 1598, who was blinded, tortured and who died in captivity on November 14, 1602, is Bengal’s first martyr. In 1845, Chittagong became the seat of the first Apostolic Vicariate of Eastern Bengal, and later, the administration was transferred to Dhaka. Noakhali was the first place to have the Holy Cross missionaries, who arrived there in June, 1853.
The diocese of Chittagong was canonically erected on May 25, 1927, taking away a major share of the territory that comprised the then diocese of Dhaka. The diocese then comprised Chittagong, Noakhali, Barisal, Gournadi, Narikelbari, Haflong, Badarpur, Akyab, Sandoway, Gyeithaw and Chaugtha and was handed over to La Salette Fathers of the diocese of Akyab in 1937.
The newly-erected diocese of Chittagong was entrusted to the care of the Canadian province of the Congregation of Holy Cross. When the new ecclesiastical province of Dhaka was created in July, 1950, Chittagong became a suffragan of Dhaka. Later in 1952, portions of the diocese of Chittagong which were situated in Assam (India), were detached to form a separate ecclesiastical unit, called the Prefecture of Haflong, and later the diocese of Silchar, which are now called the Dioceses of Agartala and Aizawl.
Citizens elect the parliamentary representatives for the constituencies in the area. Members of ethnic minorities can vote and take part in politics without undue pressure. The city residents have the opportunity to elect their mayor and the Chittagong City Corporation members.
Chittagong is connected to all parts of the country by road and rail, and to some parts by air. Roads connect the city to towns and rural areas in the diocesan territory.
The diocese covers a land area of 44,195 square kilometers comprising of 17 civil districts: Bandarban, Barisal, Bhola, Borguna, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Feni, Gopalganj, Jhalakathi, Khagrachori, Lakhipur, Rangamati, Noakhali, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Madaripur and Shariatpur.
Annual per capita income was the equivalent of $45 as of January 2010. Garment and cement manufacturing, steel re-rolling and dried fish are the main industries of the area. The main agricultural products are rice and jute.
There are many cell phone service providers in addition to government and private landline service providers. Cell phones are growing in popularity, but limited network coverage of the Hill Tracts areas became available only recently.
The literacy rate is 56 percent.
The literacy rate is 56 percent.
Gonsalo Garcia was born on Feb. 5, 1556, to a Portuguese father and Indian mother of Konkani descent, at Agashi village at Bassein (now Vasai), near Mumbai city in western India. His father was a soldier stationed at Fort Bassein, a Portuguese fort. Gonsalo received his education under the Jesuits. While assisting at the Church of the Holy of Jesus at Bassein, he developed a friendship with Jesuit Father Sebastian Gonsalves, who eventually became his lifelong mentor and guide.
This Filipino layman martyr saint could be rightly called the patron of infant baptism because it was after the baptism of an infant through his instrumentality that on 2nd April 1672 Pedro was martyred along with his companion missionary Fr. Diego San Vitores who baptised the infant. This infant was of a mother who got converted to Catholicism.
Lorenzo Ruiz, also called Saint Lorenzo of Manila, is a Filipino saint venerated in the Catholic Church. A Chinese-Filipino, he became his country's protomartyr after his execution in Japan by the Tokugawa Shogunate during its persecution of Japanese Christians in the 17th century.
Andrew Kim Taegon was the first Korea-born Catholic priest ordained by the French Bishop Jean-Joseph-Jean-Baptiste Ferréol at Shanghai in 1844.
On every first Friday of the month thousands of Catholics flock to Holy Cross Church of Cherpunkal in Kerala, India to revere Infant Jesus and St. Thomas, the founder of the church. The church stands on the southern bank of Meenachil River. This fabled church, also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross)Church, belongs to Catholic Diocese of Palai of the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Church.
St. Mary’s Cathedral Church in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state, is the mother church in the tribal belt of eastern India, where Belgian Jesuits laid the foundation of Catholicism in 19th century. This brownish Church, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, stands on Dr. Camil Bulcke Path and nestles between St. Xavier’s College and St. Albert Major Seminary.
Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Sardhana is a historic church that lives the memory of love and benevolence of the sole female Roman Catholic ruler in India. Our Lady of Graces Church of Sardhana stands at Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh of northern India. Consecrated in 1822, this 200-feet long church with a high central dome over the main altar, is one of the largest churches in northern India.
Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica at Mylapore is a monumental declaration on ancient root of Christianity in India. The church was built over the tomb of St. Thomas, the Apostle who is believed to have preached Christianity in India. The cathedral preserves 2000-year-old bones of the saint and the lance that pierced him to death. Popularly known as Santhome Church, the cathedral at Chennai (formerly Madras) in Tamil Nadu state was constructed during the Portuguese era in the 16th century. “San Thome” assumes its name from St. Thomas.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
St. Anthony Cathedral at Wahakotte in Kandy is a melting of cultures and religions in Sri Lanka. Wonder worker St. Anthony of Padua is a highly respected saint among Sri Lankans of all ethnicities and faiths. Thousands visit this pilgrimage site all the year round. On the feast of St. Anthony on June 13, this national Catholic shrine draws tens of thousands of faithful from all over the country.