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 Sagar

Bishop Mar Anthony Chirayath
Bishop Mar Anthony  Chirayath
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Bishop Mar Anthony Chirayath
Bishop's House Post Box No. 32 Sagar Cantt.P.O. Madhya Pradesh - 470 001, India
(O) +91 7582 - 222633, (P) +91 7582 - 325 851, 9425425006
Fax :+91 7582 - 222175
[email protected], [email protected]

Bishop Anthony Chirayath was born on July 30, 1941 in Aranattukara in the Archdiocese of Trichur, Kerala. He is the fifth of six children born to the Mathew couple.

He did his primary and secondary schooling at Tharakan's High School, Aranattukara. In 1958 he completed his high school from St. Aloysius High School, Elthuruth, Kerala. The next two years were spent in St. Augustine's Minor Seminary, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. In 1961, he passed Intermediate Exams from Jabalpur University. In 1964, he graduated with first rank in political science from Nagpur University in Maharashtra. He did his philosophy and theology studies from St. Charles Seminary, Nagpur. In 1969 he represented the seminary at the Post-Conciliar Assembly held in Bangalore, Karnataka.

On Jan. 2, 1970 he was ordained a priest for Sagar Diocese, together with his brother Father Jose Chirayath, CMI. In the same year he obtained the academic degree "Bachelor of Theology". The next two years he was active in Sagar as Secretary of Bishop Clemens Thottungal, CMI, Chancellor of the Diocese, Parish Priest of the Cathedral, Sagar University Chaplain and Diocesan Director of Social Services. In 1972, he was selected to serve in the Roman Curia as an Official of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. In 1978 he was given the title of Papal Chamberlain. In 1994 he was made a Prelate of Honour. In 2003 Pope John Paul II elevated him as Office Head. In the same year he was honored with the title of Apostolic Proto-Notary. On Feb. 2, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him third Bishop of Sagar. On March 25, 2006 he was ordained Bishop by Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church. Bishop Chirayath speaks several Indian and European languages.
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