Dioceses of India
Total: 1

Diocese of Indore

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Rite: Latin
Region : Madhya Pradesh
Patron: St. Francis of Assisi
Founded: 15 May 1952
Province: Bhopal
Status: Diocese
Total area: 19,073 sq. kms.
Total Population : 44,96,287
Catholics Total:  19,319
Diocesan Priests: 19,319
Religious Priests: 58
Religious Sisters: 406
Minor Seminarians: 19
Major Seminarians: 25

Diocese of Indore at a Glance

Ecclesiastical Institutions

Parishes & Substations : 25Retreat Centres: 05
Major Seminaries : 0Diocesan Minor Seminaries: 01
Congregation Minor Seminaries: 01Religious Formation Houses : 16
Men Religious Houses: 0Women Religious Houses: 63

Charitable Institutions

Hospitals : 03Dispensaries / Clinics / Health Centres: 10
Orphanages : 02Homes for Aged & Destitute : 03
Schools for Physically Challenged: 0Homes for Physically Challenged : 01
Crèches: 02Boarding Houses : 14
Counselling Centres : 01De-addiction Centre: 0
Social Centres : 04HIV / AIDS Centre: 02

Educational Institutions

Professional Colleges : 0Degree Colleges: 01
Parallel Colleges : 0Vocational / Technical Training Centres : 0
Higher Secondary / Junior Colleges : 17High Schools : 05
Upper Primary Schools: 05Lower Primary Schools:03
Nurseries / Pre-Primary Schools :03Presses & Media Centres : 0


On March 3, 1931 the Territory of Indore was formed by taking territories from the dioceses of Ajmer, Allahabad and Nagpur, and was entrusted to the Society of the Divine Word. The first Divine Word Fathers Fr Peter Janser, svd, who was appointed Superior of the place, and Fr Leo Krezeminski arrived in Indore on November 4, 1932. 

On March 11, 1935 Indore was elevated to Prefecture Apostolic and Msgr. Peter Janser, svd, was appointed the first Prefect Apostolic. The territory covered 1,10,000 sq. kms., comprising the districts of Indore, Khargone, Khandwa, Dhar, Jhabua (except Tahsil of Thandla), Ratlam, Dewas, Ujjain, Shajapur, Rajgah, Bhilsa (Vidisha) Hoshangabad and the whole of Bhopal State. 

In 1948 Msgr. Herman Westermann, svd, was appointed Prefect Apostolic which he continued till 1951 when he was appointed Bishop of Sambalpur. Msgr. Herman Westerman SVD was succeeded by Msgr. Francis Simons, svd, when the Prefecture Apostolic was raised to a diocese and he was appointed Bishop in 1952. In 1971 Bishop Simons resigned and on December 18, 1972, the past Bishop George M. Anathil, svd, was appointed successor of Bishop Simons. Bishop George Anathil retired in 2008 and Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal SVD was transferred from Jhabua and installed as Bishop of Indore.

In 1964 the districts of Bhopal, Sehore, Vishisha, and Hoshangabad were ceded to the Archdiocese of Bhopal. In 1968 the districts of Ujjain, Shajapur and Rajgah were separated from the diocese and the Exarchate of Ujjain was established. In 1977 the districts of Khandwa and Khargone were separated and the diocese of Khandwa was erected. In 1981 the district of Mandsaur was transferred from the diocese of Ajmer to the diocese of Indore. 

By the decree of His Holiness Pope John Paul II “Ad perpetuam rei memoriam” dated 1st March 2002, the diocese of Jhabua was erected separating the districts of Jhabua, Ratlam, Mandsaur, Neemuch and the Tahshil of Sardarpur from Dhar district from the diocese of Indore. The canonical possession of the new diocese took place on 7th June 2002. After this division, the diocese of Indore has three civil districts of Indore, Dewas and Dhar except the Tahshil of Sardarpur.

Former Bishops

Most Rev. George M. Anathil SVDBishop1973-2008
Most Rev. E. Baretto (Administrator) Bishop1971-1973
Most Rev. Francis Simons SVDBishop1952-1971
Most Rev. Herman Westermann SVD Prefect Apostolic 1948-1951
Most Rev. Peter Janser SVDPrefect Apostolic 1933-1946