Dioceses of India
Total: 1

Diocese of Salem

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Rite: Latin
Region : Tamil Nadu
Patron: Infant Jesus & Our Lady of Victories
Founded: 26 May 1930
Province: Madras-Mylapore
Status: Diocese
Total area: 9624 Sq. km
Total Population : 58,74,437
Catholics Total: 87,140
Diocesan Priests: 79
Religious Priests: 36
Religious Sisters: 539
Minor Seminarians: 38
Major Seminarians: 75

Diocese of Salem at a Glance

Ecclesiastical Institutions

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

Charitable Institutions

Hospitals : 08Dispensaries / Clinics / Health Centres: 15
Orphanages : 20Homes for Aged & Destitute : 08
Schools for Physically Challenged: 0Homes for Physically Challenged : 0
Crèches: 0Boarding Houses : 0
Counselling Centres : 01De-addiction Centre: 01
Social Centres : 0HIV / AIDS Centre: 0

Educational Institutions

Professional Colleges : 01Degree Colleges: 0
Parallel Colleges : 0Vocational / Technical Training Centres : 26
Higher Secondary / Junior Colleges : 0High Schools : 0
Upper Primary Schools: 53Lower Primary Schools:57
Nurseries / Pre-Primary Schools :16Presses & Media Centres : 0


The Diocese of Salem comprises the civil districts of Salem and Namakkal. In 1623 Southern Kongunadu, part of Salem district under Madurai Nayakkars accepted Christianity, through Fr Robert De Nobili, sj, and his successors, the Portuguese Jesuits of the Madurai Mission. About 1654, the Italian Jesuits of the Mysore Mission had a residence near Hosur. Hence they spread the Gospel as far as Tiruppathur.

In 1687, the Mysore Mission laboured alone in the entire area of the present diocese. Fr De Cunha, victim of the Dassaries succumbed in 1711 at Kapiganathi near Hosur. 

In 1785, during Tippu's Rule, Msgr Champenois, Superior of the Malabar mission was, on his request, entrusted by Rome with the Mysore Mission which took care of Salem. In 1794, he was the First Bishop to visit Salem, then brought under English rule and he left in charge there "Abbe" Dubois, who strove to restore the devastated church. From 1797 Kartenaras from Cranganore intruded into Salem till they left about 1833.

The area continued to depend on the Coromandel Mission, later Vicariate Apostolic of Pondicherry, which in 1886 became an Archbishopric. This set up continued till 1930 except for Hosur Taluk which had been entrusted from 1861 to the care of Mysore and for the southeast which was joined in 1899 to the Diocese of Kumbakonam.

On August 3, 1930 the Diocese of Salem was erected from the parts of Salem district under the jurisdiction of Pondicherry diocese (6 parishes), Kumbakonam diocese (3 parishes), Mysore diocese (1 parish) and in 1943 was added the western portion of Mettur Taluk (2 Parishes). Msgr Henry Prunier MEP, was the first Bishop.

In 1949, the Diocese of Salem was entrusted to an Indian, its second Bishop, Bp V. S. Selvanather, Bishop of Salem till March 1973 when he was transferred to Pondicherry - Cuddalore as Archbishop.

Holy Father, Pope John Paul II has established the Diocese of Dharmapuri detaching the civil District of Dharmapuri from the Diocese of Salem according to the communiqui released on February 28, 1997. The Holy Father has also appointed Msgr Joseph Antony Irudaya Raj, sdb, as the First Bishop of Dharmapuri.

Former Bishops

Right Rev. Singaroyan Sebastianappan
Bishop Emeritus of Salem
Personal Details
Priestly Ordination:27-May-1978
Episcopal Ordination:18-Oct-2000

Tel(P): (0)9443604045
Email(P): bpsingam@gmail.com
Contact Details
Bishop’s House, Post Box No. 703, 2, Court Road, Maravanery, Salem - 636 007 (Tamilnadu)
Tel(O): 0427-24 15 641
Fax : 24 11 517
Email : salemdiocese@gmail.com
Most Rev. Michael Bosco DuraisamyBishop1974-1999
Most Rev. V.S. SelvanatherBishop1949-1973
Most Rev. H.A. PrunierBishop1930-1949