Dioceses of India
Total: 1

Diocese of Vijayapuram

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Rite: Latin
Region : Kerala
Patron: Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus
Founded: 14 July 1930
Province: Verapoly
Status: Diocese
Total area:  9,000 Sq. km
Total Population : 3,367,900
Catholics Total: 83,369
Diocesan Priests: 117
Religious Priests: 14
Religious Sisters: 0
Minor Seminarians: 0
Major Seminarians: 0

Diocese of Vijayapuram at a Glance

Ecclesiastical Institutions

Parishes & Substations : 83Retreat Centres: 03
Major Seminaries : 0Diocesan Minor Seminaries: 0
Congregation Minor Seminaries: 0Religious Formation Houses : 03
Men Religious Houses: 0Women Religious Houses: 0

Charitable Institutions

Hospitals : 01Dispensaries / Clinics / Health Centres: 05
Orphanages : 15Homes for Aged & Destitute : 03
Schools for Physically Challenged: 0Homes for Physically Challenged : 0
Crèches: 0Boarding Houses : 0
Counselling Centres : 0De-addiction Centre: 0
Social Centres : 03HIV / AIDS Centre: 0

Educational Institutions

Professional Colleges : 03Degree Colleges: 0
Parallel Colleges : 0Vocational / Technical Training Centres : 04
Higher Secondary / Junior Colleges : 10High Schools : 09
Upper Primary Schools: 08Lower Primary Schools:29
Nurseries / Pre-Primary Schools :18Presses & Media Centres : 01


By the apostolic Bull "Ad Christi Nomen", His Holiness Pope Pius XI bifurcated the Archdiocese of Verapoly and erected the Diocese of Vijayapuram on July 14, 1930. The headquarters of the diocese is in Kottayam Municipal Town. As there is an Oriental Catholic Diocese named Kottayam since 1887, the formators decided to name the new diocese Vijayapuram, because it was the name of the Panchayath adjacent to Kottayam town and it was the centre of the Church activities of the Diocese. Vijayapuram is characterized by its multiple specialties. It comprises the entire civil districts of Kottayam, Idukki and partial portions comprises the entire civil districts of Kottayam, Idukki and partial portions of the districts of Alleppey, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta. The diocese has an area of 9,000 sq. kms. The total population is 80,000.
Many factors facilitated the formation of this diocese. The presence of Latin Catholics in this area is due to rapid migration from within and outside the state. The first phase of the migration started in the middle of the 18th century when Latin Catholics from the Diocese of Cochin came to Vaisiambhagom, Nedumudy, Kanjpadam and its vicinities. The second phase began at the first half of the 19th century, when people from different parishes of Quilon reached Maramon, Ranny, Vanavathukkara, Thiruvalla, Changanacherry and Poovam. The third phase started by the second half of the 19th century when the high ranges of the eastern side began to be used for cultivation tea. People from Verapoly, Cochin and from different parts of Tamilnadu settled down in this area for different jobs. The arrival of Bro Rockey Palackal, ocd, at the end of the 19th century geared upon the fourth phase of the history of the Diocese of Vijayapuram. Bro Rockey as a zealous father worked hard in Kottayam, Thellakom, Chengalam and Kumarakom and preached the Good News to the native people, especially among the so-called low castes. He opted to serve the poor, sidelined, marginalized and downtrodden and thus secured the name "Apostle of the Outcastes".
The area Church work of the Archdiocese of Verapoly entrusted to the Carmelites was created to be the Diocese of Vijayapuram. The administration was in the hands of the Carmelites of the Navara Province. The first two bishops were Spaniards- Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter. Bonaventure Arana, ocd, (1931 - 1950), Rt. Rev. Dr. Ambrose Abasolo, ocd,(1950 - 1971) and the first Indian to take up the reign of the diocese was Rt. Rev. Dr. Cornelius Elanjickal (1971 - 1987) and the present one is Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Thuruthikonam.

Former Bishops

Most Rev. Peter ThuruthikonamBishop1987-2006
Most Rev. Cornelius ElanjickalBishop1971-1987
Most Rev. Ambrose Abasolo OCD Bishop1950-1971
Most Rev. Peter Bonaventure OCD Bishop1931-1950