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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Archdiocese of Tellicherry

Archbishop Mar George Valiamattam
Archbishop Mar George  Valiamattam
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Archbishop Mar George Valiamattam
The Archbishop's House, Tellicherry-670 101, Kannur, Kerala, India
+91 490, 2341058, 2344977 (p),Mobile: 9447386601
Fax :+91 490 2341412
[email protected]

Archbishop George Valiamattam was born on Sept. 16, 1938 in Punnathara in the Archdiocese of Changanassery. Later his family migrated to Kodancherry in Calicut district of Kerala.

After schooling he joined seminary. Completed his philosophical studies at Carmelgiri Seminary, Aluva. He did his theological studies at the Pontifical Urban University, Rome. He was ordained a priest by bishop Sebastian Valloppilly on Nov. 30, 1963 in Rome. He obtained his doctoral degree in Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome in 1967. He served the diocese in the capacity of a vicar, Secretary to Bishop, Chancellor, Diocesan Director of Catechism and Mission League and Rector of the Minor Seminary. He also served the diocese of Thamarassery in the capacity of Chancellor, Secretary and Director of Catechism. He was consecrated as the second bishop of Tellicherry by Archbishop Antony Cardinal Padiyara on May 1, 1989. He assumed office on May 1, 1989. In 1995 Tellicherry Diocese was raised to the status of Metropolitan Archdiocese, he was promoted and appointed as its first Metropolitan Archbishop.

Presently he serves the Church as a member of the Standing Committee of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of India (CBCI). He is also a member of the Permanent Synod of the Syro Malabar Major Archiespiscopal Church and many other synodal commissions. He is the Chairman of the Synodal Commission for the Good Shepered Major Seminary, Kunnoth, Kerala.
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