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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Diocese of Gwalior

Bishop Joseph Kaithathara
Bishop Joseph Kaithathara
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Bishop Joseph Kaithathara
Bishop's House,Diocesan Centre,Jonagar, Kheriya Modi, Morar,Gwalior - 474 006. M. P., India
+91 751 2569345, +91 751-2569340, Mobile: 09826257063, 09826238327
Fax :+91 751-2569300
[email protected]

Bishop Joseph Kaithathara was born on June 22, 1939 to late Mrs. Velama (Philomina) and Mr. John Kaithathara in Gothuruthy, Kerala. He is the eldest of three sons born to the John couple.

He completed his school education from the parish school, St Sebastian's school, Gothuruthy, in April 1955. In June 1955, he joined St. Joseph's Seminary, Ernakulam. After two years of studies in Ernakulam, he went to Rome and on Oct. 15, 1957, he started the studies of Philosophy and Theology in Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome. He was ordained priest in Rome on Dec. 21, 1963. Later, he obtained a Doctorate in Canon Law from the same college. He left Rome in September 1972 to work in Weichs, Southern Germany till June 1973.

He came back to Jhansi on July 4, 1973 and Bishop Baptist Mudartha sent him to be on the staff of St. Joseph's Seminary, Allahabad, as a professor of Canon Law and continued there till May 1987. He was simultaneously appointed, Prefect of students, Dean of Studies and Minister of the House.

In July 1987 Bishop Frederick D'Souza called him back to the diocese and entrusted him the pastoral ministry of St. Anthony's Cathedral, Jhansi. From July 1991 up to May 1996 he was the Rector of St. Joseph Seminary, Allahabad. In September 1996 was appointed Parish Priest of St. John the Baptist Church Lashkar, Gwalior.

On Feb. 9, 1999 the Diocese of Gwalior was erected and he was appointed its first Bishop on the same day. He retired on 18 Oct, 2016.
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