Dioceses of India
Total: 1
Belthangady

Diocese of Belthangady

Quick Links:      History
Rite: Syro-Malabar
Region : Karnataka
Patron: St. Thomas Apostle
Founded: 24 April 1999
Province: Tellicherry
Status: Diocese
Total area: 12543 sq.Kms.
Total Population : 31,77,352
Catholics Total: 30,000
Diocesan Priests: 34
Religious Priests: 07
Religious Sisters: 191
Minor Seminarians: 22
Major Seminarians: 23

Bishop of the Diocese

Most Rev. Lawrence Mukkuzhy
BISHOP OF BELTHANGADY
Personal Details
Born:31-Aug-1951
Priestly Ordination:27-Dec-1978
Episcopal Ordination:4-Aug-1999
Period: 1999-

Tel(P): 09449007056, 08256 - 233056
Email(P): bpmukkuzhy@gmail.com
Contact Details
Bishop’s House, Udayanagar, P. B. No. 13, P. O. Belthangady - 574 214, D. K. (Karnataka)
Tel(O): 08256-233056
Fax : 23 30 56
Email : frjosephvf@gmail.com

Diocese of Belthangady at a Glance

Ecclesiastical Institutions

Parishes & Substations : 52Retreat Centres: 02
Major Seminaries : 0Diocesan Minor Seminaries: 01
Congregation Minor Seminaries: 0Religious Formation Houses : 0
Men Religious Houses: 06Women Religious Houses: 36

Charitable Institutions

Hospitals : 02Dispensaries / Clinics / Health Centres: 06
Orphanages : 02Homes for Aged & Destitute : 02
Schools for Physically Challenged: 01Homes for Physically Challenged : 0
Crèches: 0Boarding Houses : 07
Counselling Centres : 0De-addiction Centre: 0
Social Centres : 0HIV / AIDS Centre: 01

Educational Institutions

Professional Colleges : 01Degree Colleges: 01
Parallel Colleges : 0Vocational / Technical Training Centres : 0
Higher Secondary / Junior Colleges : 01High Schools : 10
Upper Primary Schools: 11Lower Primary Schools:11
Nurseries / Pre-Primary Schools :12Presses & Media Centres : 01

History

The Diocese of Belthangady was erected by the Papal Bull “CUM  AMPLA”, dated 24 th  April 1999, of His Holiness Pope John Paul II as a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Thalasserry. This diocese has been established for the Syro-Malabar Catholics of the three civil districts of Karnataka State, viz., Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.  It took more than 50 years for the Syro-Malabar Catholics living in this area to become a Diocese. It has a prehistory. 

In the middle of the 20 th  century there were lot of migrations from Southern Kerala to Northern Kerala, to the southern parts of Karnataka and South Western parts of Tamil Nadu.  The migration of Syro-Malabar Catholics to various parts of Karnataka, mainly Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Chickmagalur, Shimoga districts took place in 1950s.  The migration to these areas were encouraged by the availability of agriculture land and the encouragement from the then Madras Government.  

The spiritual needs of these Syrian Catholics were  met by the Latin Dioceses of Mangalore, Mysore,  Chickmagaluru.  

The Diocese of Tellicherry was erected by the Bull ‘Ad Christi Ecclesiam Regendaam’ on 31st  December 1953 by His  Holiness Pope Pius XII of happy memory, as a suffrogan of the Archdiocese of  Ernakulam, for the Catholics of   Syro-Malabar Church migrated to Malabar from Travacore and Cochin states. Mar Sebastian Vallopilly became the first Bishop of the Diocese. 

As the Catholics of  of the Syro-Malabar community  migrated even to the states of Karnataka and Tamilnadu, the boundaries of Tellicherry  Diocese were extended to the present Latin Dioceses of Mangalore, Chickmagalur, Mysore, Shimoga and Ootacamund on April 29, 1955.

In order to overcome the hindrances of language the CMI Fathers came with helping hands and later priests from the Diocese of Tellicherry. The cultural difference especially the language difference was a problem for the priests from Tellicherry for the fruitful pastoral activities here. So the development of the parishes in Karnataka remained far behind comparing to the parishes in Kerala. 

In March 1, 1973, the Diocese of Mananthavady was formed by bifurcating the Diocese of Tellicherry.
 
The territory of the new Diocese was extended to the districts of Shimoga, Chickmagaluru, Hassan, Mandya, Chamarajanagara and Mysore in Karnataka. The districts of Dakshina Kannada (including present Udupi District)  and Kodagu remained under the Diocese of Tellicherry.  

As Dakshina Kannada (including present Udupi District) is in Karnataka State with a different language and culture, it was difficult to cater to the spiritual needs of the faithful directly from Thalassery. Hence it was declared a Mission Province of the Archdiocese of Thalasserry on the 11 th November 1979 by Mar Sebastian Vallopilly and appointed Very Rev. Fr. K.M. Peter as the Episcopal Vicar of the Mission. Very Rev. Fr. Peter Koottiany was the Episcopal Vicar of D.K.Mission till May 16, 1997. During the 18 years of his able and dedicated leadership the D. K. Mission grew to become a Diocese later. 
   
Very Rev. Fr. Lawrence Mukkuzhy succeeded Very Rev. Fr. K.M. Peter as the Second Episcopal Vicar on the same day. The Mission grew up and finally in April 24, 1999, the Diocese of Belthangady was erected by the Papal Bull “CUM AMPLA” of His Holiness Pope John Paul II as a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Thalasserry and Msgr. Lawrence Mukkuzhy was appointed as the first Bishop of the Diocese. This Diocese has been established for the Syro-Malabar Catholics of the three civil districts of Karnataka State, viz., Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. The diocese was inaugurated on 4th  August 1999.