There are 22 civil districts in the diocese in an area of 222,236 square kilometres.
The diocese of Jammu-Srinagar comprises the entire union territories of Jammu and Kashmir. It is surrounded by the international boundaries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and China from west to east. The Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab are on its south.
People speak Urdu, Dogri, Punjabi, Hindi and English.
Missionary endeavors began since 1868 in the areas of Kafiristan (now in Pakistan) and Kashmir. As a result, the prefecture apostolic of Kafiristan and Kashmir was erected on July 06, 1887, bifurcating the diocese of Lahore, now in Pakistan. The region was entrusted to the Mill Hill Missionaries (MHM).
After the independence and birth of Pakistan, the ecclesiastical territory was reorganized as prefecture apostolic of Kashmir and Jammu on Jan. 17, 1952. The ecclesiastical territory was renamed as the prefecture apostolic of Jammu and Kashmir on May 14, 1968. It comprised the districts of Kashmir and Ladakh, which were part of Rawalpindi diocese (now in Pakistan) and the districts of Jammu and Poonch, which belonged to Lahore diocese (now in Pakistan).
After the Mill Hill Missionaries left the prefecture, it was entrusted to the Indian Capuchins of St. Joseph's province, Kerala, in 1978. Capuchin Msgr. Hippolytus Kunnunkal was appointed as its first Indian prefect apostolic on Dec. 28, 1978. It was raised to a diocese on Sept. 7, 1986, and Msgr. Kunnunkal was ordained bishop of Jammu-Srinagar in the newly consecrated St. Mary's Cathedral, Jammu. The diocesan curia, which functioned in Srinagar since 1952, was shifted to Jammu in Dec. 1986. After the retirement of Bishop Kunnunkal, Capuchin Msgr. Peter Celestine was ordained its second bishop on Sept. 6, 1998. Bishop Peter Celestine retired on Dec. 3, 2014 and Bishop Ivan Pereira took the office on Dec. 3, 2014.
The climate varies from tropical in the plains of Jammu to semi-arctic cold in Ladakh. Annual rainfall varies from 92.6 mm in Leh to 650.5 mm in Srinagar and 1115.9 mm in Jammu.
Wildlife in the state include leopard, Kashmir stag, bear, snakes and peacock.
Handicrafts production and export, mainly wood carvings, carpets, shawls, copper and silverware have been the traditional industries of the state.
Nearly 80 percent of the people depend on agriculture. Major crops include paddy, wheat, maize, pulses, cotton and barley. Large orchards in Kashmir produce apples, pears, peaches, walnuts, cherries, almonds, cherries, apricots strawberries and saffron.
It is the sixth largest state in India, including the area occupied by Pakistan and China. The mountainous state is blessed with lofty snow clad peaks, deep gorges, glaciers, lush green meadows and verdant valleys full of Chinar trees, beautiful silvery lakes, charming flora and fauna, making it a "paradise on the earth." It has a very rich history and a distinct culture. Some of the most sacred temples, mosques, monasteries and caves. Major rivers are: Indus, Chenab, Jhelum and Ravi.
Literacy rate is 54.46 percent. The diocese gives importance to education by running many English medium schools. Most of the Church personnel are from southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and tribals from the Chhotanagpur region.
Sufiana music is a rich tradition in Kashmir. Jabro and Alley Yate are popular dance forms in the Ladakh region. Ritual dance of Kud is performed in honour of local deities in the Jammu region.
Principal festivals of Jammu region are: Lohri, Baisakhi, and Bahu Mela. Id-ul-Zuha and Miraj Alam are celebrated in the Kashmir region and Mela Losar and Hemis festivals in the Ladakh region.
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.