Dioceses of India
Total: 1

Diocese of Bareilly

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Rite: Latin
Region : Agra
Patron: Our Lady of Nativity & St. Alphonsus
Founded: 19 January 1989
Province: Agra
Status: Diocese
Total area: 32,860 Sq. kms.
Total Population : 88,98,990
Catholics Total: 6,435
Diocesan Priests: 51
Religious Priests: 31
Religious Sisters: 302
Minor Seminarians: 26
Major Seminarians: 20

Diocese of Bareilly at a Glance

Ecclesiastical Institutions

Parishes & Substations : 55Retreat Centres: 01
Major Seminaries : 0Diocesan Minor Seminaries: 01
Congregation Minor Seminaries: 01Religious Formation Houses : 01
Men Religious Houses: 0Women Religious Houses: 60

Charitable Institutions

Hospitals : 04Dispensaries / Clinics / Health Centres: 10
Orphanages : 02Homes for Aged & Destitute : 03
Schools for Physically Challenged: 01Homes for Physically Challenged : 0
Crèches: 0Boarding Houses : 16
Counselling Centres : 01De-addiction Centre: 01
Social Centres : 02HIV / AIDS Centre: 01

Educational Institutions

Professional Colleges : 0Degree Colleges: 0
Parallel Colleges : 0Vocational / Technical Training Centres : 0
Higher Secondary / Junior Colleges : 22High Schools : 19
Upper Primary Schools: 05Lower Primary Schools:0
Nurseries / Pre-Primary Schools :17Presses & Media Centres : 0


The Catholic Mission in Northern India takes its origin from the arrival of the Jesuit Missionaries in Fathepur Sikri in the year 1580 at the invitation of the Mogul Emperor Akbar. In 1601, they established their headquarters at Agra. In 1619, the Jesuit Missionaries were in Rajasthan, but the ruler there did not encourage the Christian message to spread. The Jesuit Missionaries were invited to Patna in 1620. There were a few Catholic Portuguese soldiers in the army. A Church was built and the foundation for a Catholic community was laid. When Capuchin Missionaries arrived in Patna in 1706 on their way to Tibet, they found about 150 Catholics.

In 1773, when the Jesuit Congregation was suppressed, two Carmelite Fathers from Bombay succeeded them in Agra, who in turn were replaced by the Capuchins. Ever since, the Capuchin Missionaries have laboured relentlessly for the spread of the faith and the progress of the Catholic Church in north India. The year 1885 marks the beginning of the long process of divisions and sub-divisions of the Tibet-Hindustan region which led to the creation of not less than thirty ecclesiastical units of north India.

In the year of the Lord nineteen hundred and eighty nine, on the nineteenth day of the month of January, His Holiness John Paul II, the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church took the momentous decision of erecting a new Diocese-the Diocese of Bareilly and promulgated the Bull “Indorum Inter Gentes”. By this Bull, six districts of the Diocese of Lucknow in the state of Uttar Pradesh namely, Bareilly, Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, Shahjahanpur and Pilibhit were carved out to form the new Diocese of Bareilly having the church of St. Alphonsus as its Cathedral. The Diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Agra.
On the same day, the Holy Father appointed and proclaimed Very Rev. Anthony Fernandes, Vicar General of the Diocese of Varanasi as the Bishop-elect of the newly erected Diocese, by promulgating the Bull “Eodem Animi Pastoralis”.

Thus was fulfilled the long cherished dream of the late Bishop Conrad de Vito, OFM Cap, the first Bishop of Lucknow who, with remarkable foresight and vision had realized that the work of evangelizing and spreading the Gospel could not be achieved in an effective and concerted way if one pastor alone was given the care of the fourteen districts of his diocese. With the creation of the new state of Uttarakhand and with the further division of the districts the Catholic Diocese of Bareilly now comprises of nine districts of two Northern States, viz. districts of Bareilly, Shahjahanpur and Pilibhit from the State Uttar Pradesh and the Districts of Udham Singh Nagar, Nainital, Almora, Bageshwar, Pithoragarh and Champawat from the State of Uttarakhand.

Bishop Anthony Fernandes served the Diocese of Bareilly for over 25 years with missionary zeal and commitment. During his tenure as Bishop the diocese spread its mission areas in the field of Education, health and social work. A special feature of his mission work was encouraging Ashram and the care of Christ-Bhaktas. 

Pope Francis on Friday 11th July 2014 appointed Rev. Fr. Ignatius D’ Souza, Vicar General of the Diocese of Lucknow, as the Bishop of Bareilly succeeding Emeritus Bishop Anthony Fernandes. He served the faithful of Lucknow diocese for close to 24 years and has a wealth of gifts and experiences with him for his episcopal ministry. In a moving and joyful celebration of the Mass, Bishop Ignatius D’ Souza was consecrated and formally installed as the second Roman Catholic Bishop of Bareilly, on Saturday, October 4, 2014. Bishop Ignatius chose the motto “Serve the Lord with Gladness” (Psalm 100:2). This phrase prescribes a rule of worship. It reflects the steadfastness and the unfettered responsiveness to the will of God that he would cultivate in his life. The service of God is a source of highest joy with this new vigour and zeal Bishop Ignatius D’ Souza has begun to carry ahead the mission of the Lord.

The Catholic population of Bareilly Diocese is 7,460. The Diocesan clergy is 58. There are 34 Religious Priests, 10 Religious Brothers and 329 Religious Sisters in the service of the Diocese.