Dioceses of India
Total: 1

Diocese of Berhampur

Quick Links:      History
Rite: Latin
Region : Orissa
Patron: St. Vincent De Paul
Founded: 24 January 1974
Province: Cuttack-Bhubaneswar
Status: Diocese
Total area: 51.289km2
Total Population : 82,58,452
Catholics Total: 1,25,241
Diocesan Priests: 78
Religious Priests: 60
Religious Sisters: 233
Minor Seminarians: 24
Major Seminarians: 39

Diocese of Berhampur at a Glance

Ecclesiastical Institutions

Parishes & Substations : 43Retreat Centres: 02
Major Seminaries : 01Diocesan Minor Seminaries: 01
Congregation Minor Seminaries: 02Religious Formation Houses : 04
Men Religious Houses: 01Women Religious Houses: 52

Charitable Institutions

Hospitals : 02Dispensaries / Clinics / Health Centres: 23
Orphanages : 09Homes for Aged & Destitute : 08
Schools for Physically Challenged: 02Homes for Physically Challenged : 0
Crèches: 0Boarding Houses : 30
Counselling Centres : 0De-addiction Centre: 0
Social Centres : 01HIV / AIDS Centre: 23

Educational Institutions

Professional Colleges : 02Degree Colleges: 01
Parallel Colleges : 0Vocational / Technical Training Centres : 02
Higher Secondary / Junior Colleges : 10High Schools : 15
Upper Primary Schools: 14Lower Primary Schools:14
Nurseries / Pre-Primary Schools :05Presses & Media Centres : 01


The seed of Catholicism in Odisha can be traced back to the 17th Century, when it was under the care of Madras-Mylapore. By 1845 the region of Odisha was already under Visakhapatnam Diocese and the missionaries of St. Francis de Sales, msfs evangelized the hilly regions of the then Ganjam and Phulbani Districts and the coastal belt of Cuttack and Berhampur. However, with due the hard missionary life and unhygienic conditions of the hilly region, many young missionaries succumbed to tropical deceases like Malaria & Black fever in the mission fields. Therefore, after the World War I, in 1923, they handed over the Cuttack Mission, as it was known then, to the Congregation of the Mission, the Spanish Vincentian missionaries. Under the Vincentian Missionaries the Cuttack Mission progressed in leaps and bounds. It was declared "Missio Sui Juris" by Pope Pius XI on July 18, 1928 and Fr Valerian Guemes, CM, was appointed its Administrator and Ecclesial Superior.

In 1937 Cuttack Mission was raised to the status of a Diocese and Rt. Rv. Florence Esperanza CM as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Cuttack. After his retirement, Bishop Paul Tobar, CM was appointed as the second Bishop in 1948. On 24th January 1974, Pope Paul VI, by the Papal Bull 'Verba Jesus Christi', bifurcated the Diocese of Cuttack and created the Diocese of Berhampur with the present eight civil Districts of South Odisha: Ganjam, Gajapati, Nuapoda, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangapur, Malkangiri and Kalahandi. Simultaneously, Odisha Ecclesiastical Province was created with Cuttack-Bhubaneswar as the Archdiocese, the new name of the Diocese of Cuttack, and the Diocese of Berhampur was placed as one of its suffragan Dioceses.  Bishop Thomas Thiruthalil, CM. was installed on 23rd June 1974 as the first Bishop of Berhampur. In January 1990 he was transferred to the newly erected Diocese of Balasore and Rev. Fr. Joseph Das was appointed as the Administrator of the Diocese of Berhampur, who was later consecrated Bishop of Berhampur on 7th July 1994. Bishop Das retired in 2006. 

The present Bishop Rt. Rev. Sarat Chandra Nayak was consecrated on 30th January 2007 as the third Bishop of Berhampur, with his motto: “To be a happy servant.” Accepting the request of the Diocese, Pope Francis bifurcated the Diocese of Berhampur and created a new Diocese of Rayagada on 11th April 2016. Rt. Rev. Bishop Aplinar Senapati, CM was consecrated on 28th May 2016 as the first Bishop of Rayagada, comprising six civil Districts: Nuapoda, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangapur, Malkangiri and Kalahandi, The Diocese of Berhampur has now 2 civil Districts: Ganjam & Gajapati. Diocese has a Ten Year Plan (2011-2021) to realize the following Vision and Mission. 

Vision: To be a Spirit-filled, Self-sustaining and Serving Community. 

Mission: To make Christ known to the world by improving the quality of Christian life, by promoting human dignity and freedom, by empowering the marginalized through quality education and sustainable holistic development, and to promote healthy, happy and harmonious life in the society.

Former Bishops

Most Rev. Joseph Das Bishop1993-2006
Right Rev. Thomas Thiruthalil, CMBishop1974-1989