In a land area of 4,286.80 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the provincial state of Goa and the Union territories of Daman and Diu in Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli in Maharashtra.
Panjim is the biggest city in the archdiocese. Margoa and Vasco are other important towns in the territory.
Around 2,121,000 is the total population as of 2016. Konkanis are the major ethnic groups.
Konkani, English, Marathi, Portuguese, Gujarati and Hindi are the languages used in the diocesan territory.
The glorious chapter of the expansion of the Catholic Church in the east can be said to have begun after the European 'discovery' of the sea route to India in 1498. This helped the coming of the European fathers to these lands, one of them being St. Francis Xavier, the great Apostle of the East and Patron of the Missions. Goa is privileged to have been the starting point of his Church work and the place where his sacred remains are preserved.
Goa was called the "Rome of the East" due to the central role it played in the evangelization of the east. One Goan priest, Father Joseph Vaz, who distinguished himself in the evangelization of Sri Lanka and is therefore acclaimed as the 'Apostle of Ceylon', was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Jan. 21, 1995. Another Goan priest, Father Agnelo de Souza, member of the Missionary Society of Pilar, is hopefully on the way to beatification. Pope Clement VII erected the See of Goa on Jan. 31, 1533. Its Jurisdiction extended from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, to China and Japan. On Feb. 4, 1557, Pope Paul IV detached Goa from the province of Lisbon and raised it to a metropolitan archdiocese, having as suffragans the dioceses of Cochin and Malacca (Malaysia). In the course of time, the Sees of Macau (near Hong Kong), Funay (Japan), Cranganore, Mylapore, Nanking and Peking in China, Mozambique in East Africa and Daman were created and made suffragans of Goa.
In 1572, Pope Gregory XIII acknowledged the archbishop of Goa as the primate of the East. By 1857, Goa had gained some more suffragans while, on the other hand, it had lost most of its overseas suffragans, to the exception of Macau and Mozambique.
On Jany 23, 1886, Pope Leo XIII made the archbishop of Goa patriarch of East Indies. In the same year, the archdiocese of Cranganore was suppressed and its title was annexed to the diocese of Daman.
The city is managed by corporation. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called panchayats and municipalities respectively.
The archdiocesan area is well-connected in terms of transport infrastructure by roads and railway. The nearest airport is in Panaji city. The city has a major port and a naval base.
Nearly Rs 53,902 ($1,133) is the per capita income in the territory, one of the highest in India, as of Oct. 5, 2009. Fishing and tourism are the major revenue earners in the archdiocese. Cash crops such as coconut, cashew and rubber along with rice are cultivated in the archdiocesan territory.
Major cement factories, ship building yards, Naval stations are situated here. Minerals are also available in the area.
Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The archdiocese is well connected by local cable TV networks.
Nearly 75.1 percent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.
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.