Dioceses of India
Total: 1

Diocese of Sindhudurg 

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Rite: Latin
Patron: Our Lady of Milagris
Founded: 05 July 2005
Province: Bombay
Status: Diocese
Total area:  21,099
Total Population : 5,365,709
Catholics Total: 21,999
Diocesan Priests: 26
Religious Priests: 26
Religious Sisters: 0
Minor Seminarians: 0
Major Seminarians: 0

Diocese of Sindhudurg  at a Glance

Ecclesiastical Institutions

Parishes & Substations : 24Retreat Centres: 01
Major Seminaries : 0Diocesan Minor Seminaries: 0
Congregation Minor Seminaries: 0Religious Formation Houses : 02
Men Religious Houses: 0Women Religious Houses: 0

Charitable Institutions

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

Educational Institutions

Professional Colleges : 01Degree Colleges: 0
Parallel Colleges : 0Vocational / Technical Training Centres : 03
Higher Secondary / Junior Colleges : 01High Schools : 10
Upper Primary Schools: 01Lower Primary Schools:06
Nurseries / Pre-Primary Schools :04Presses & Media Centres : 01


The area of the Sindhudurg diocese is 21,000 sq. kms.  consisting of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts and Kolhapur district (leaving out the city of Kolhapur)  which consists of the talukas of Ajra, Gadhinglaj, Panhala, Budhargad, Kagal, Radhanagri, and Shahuwadi. The total population of the diocese is about 53,65,706 with 29,794 Catholics. The main language of the Catholics is Konkani at home and Marathi outside.

Prior to 1953 Bijapur and Dharwar were under the diocese of Poona, and Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg were under the Archdiocese of Goa.  In 1953 Bijapur and Dharwar were cut off and added to the Diocese of Belgaum and,  Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg were included in the Diocese of Poona.

Already in 1953 there was a move by Bishop Andrew D’Souza to cut off the four northern districts – East and West of Khandesh,  Nashik and Ahmednagar, due to great distance from one end of the diocese to the other; difficulty in travelling by both rail and road; different cultures of the faithful, difficulty in gathering priests even for retreats and monthly conferences. This materialized only in 1987 when, due to the initiatives of Bishop Valerian D’Souza, Bishop Emeritus of Poona, the new Diocese of Nashik was created with the districts of Nashik, Jalgaon, Dhule and Ahmednagar, on June 9  1987, with  Rev. Fr. Thomas Bhalerao sj as its first Bishop.

As mentioned above, the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg Districts were part of the Archdiocese of Goa till 1953 after which, because of political reasons, these districts were attached to the Diocese of  Poona. Goa today is one - hour drive by car from the nearest parish, while these parishes are eight hours drive from Pune (about 400 kms.)

The people in the diocese have Goan culture because they migrated from Goa 200 years ago.  The customs and traditions are Goan and entirely different from those of the people of Pune and urban cities. The process to create a new diocese began in March 2001.

The diocese, which was erected on 5th July 2005 was a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Bombay.  Now, since 25th November 2006 it is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Goa.