The Diocese of Khulna was canonically erected on January 3, 1952, as the Diocese of Jessore, with parts taken from the Archdiocese of Calcutta (presently Kolkata) and the Diocese of Krishnagar in India.
The total population of 2016 was 16,671,400. Bangla and English are used in the diocesan territory.
The Foreign Missionaries of Milan (PIME) had begun their apostolic work in this region in 1855. Father Antonio Marietti, PIME, reached Jessore in 1856. The Salesian missionaries worked in this territory from 1927 to 1952.
On June 14, 1956, the Episcopal See was transferred from Jessore to the large city of Khulna and since then it has been called the Diocese of Khulna.
The newly created diocese was entrusted to the St. Francis Xavier Foreign Mission Society (SX), popularly known as the Xaverian Fathers.
Iswaripur, which is south of Satkhira town, is of special historical interest. The first ever Christian Church, dedicated by the Jesuits on January 1, 1600, was located at this place. The church had the title, "The Church of the Holy Name of Jesus"; nothing of this Church remains now.
There was no other Christian Church in the area comprising the present Khulna Diocese until the arrival of the PIME missionaries in 1856. The first Church was at Jessore (1856). Other early churches are those at Shimulia (1859), Bhabarpara (1866), Malgazi of Shelabunia Parish (1870) and Khulna city (1873).
There is no separate political structure in the diocesan territory. There are parliament seats in Khulna. Citizens elect their representatives to those seats, and no serious disruption of democracy has ever occurred. Minorities can vote and take part in politics without any pressure. The people of Khulna also elect their mayor for the Khulna city corporation.
Khulna is connected to all parts of the country by land, and to some extent by air. Buses, trains, launches and private vehicles are the main modes of transport. People reach Jessore via airplanes, then by bus to Khulna. Roads and highways connect the city to towns and to rural areas of the diocese.
The diocese covers a total land area of 28,236 sq. km. It comprises 12 civil districts of Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Kushtia, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Jessore, Jhenidah, Norail, Magura, Faridpur, and part of Gopalganj. The Sundarbans (Bangla-Sundarban) delta, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is situated in Khulna. It lies at the mouth of the Ganges and is spread across areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal in India, forming the seaward fringe of the delta.
The per capita income of the diocesan territory is $476. Jute products, cement and fish trade are the main industries. The main agricultural products are rice and jute.
There are many cell phone service providers, in addition to government and private land phone service providers. Cell phones are popularly used.
The overall literacy rate of the diocesan territory is 43.1 percent. Bangla and English are used in the diocesan territory. The total population in 2016 was 16,671,400.
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.