Ecclesiastical Details

Diocese of Coimbatore
Heirarchy of the Diocese
Rite:
Latin
Population: 9204247
 
Status:
Diocese
Catholics: 147503
 
Founded:
Diocesan Priests: 125
  Total area:
9622 sq kms
Religious Priests:
 
Province:
Madras-Mylapore
Religious Sisters: 686
 
Region:
Tamil Nadu
Seminarians: 2
  Patron:
St Michael the Archangel Immaculate Conception of Our Lady
  Languages: Tamil Malayalam Telugu Kannada and English
  Civil States:

Tamilnadu: Coimbatore Erode parts of Trichy

Contact Diocese of Coimbatore:
Bishops House Post Box No 6 Coimbatore - 641 001 TAMIL NADU
Telephone 1:
0422-23 90 430 23 82 806 / 23 94 530
Fax:
23 94 530
 
E-Mail Office:
cbebishophouse@gmailcom
Website:
 
Most Rev Thomas Aquinas, Bishops of Coimbatore
Name:
Most Rev Thomas Aquinas
Designation:
Bishops     E-mail (P):
Canonical Possession:
    Telephone (P): 0422-23 05 084 23 05 361
 
Other Present & Retired Ordinaries of the Diocese of Coimbatore
 
Pilgrim Centres in theDiocese of Coimbatore
 
Ecclesiastical Institutions
 
Social / Charitable Institutions / Care Centres
Educational Institutions
Parishes:
75
 
Hospitals:
7
   
Degree Colleges:
3
Major Seminaries:
 
Orphanages:
8
   
Technical Training Centres:
3
Minor Seminaries:
 
Special Schools:
3
   
High Schools:
24
Monastries:
 
Crches:
   
Lower Primary Schools:
Convents:
 
Counselling Centres:
   
Presses & Media Centres:
Formation Houses:
10
 
Social Centres:
15
   
Professional Colleges:
Retreat Centres:
 
Dispensaries / Clinics:
9
   
Parallel Colleges:
 
Physically Challenged:
   
Higher Secondary :
24
       
Boarding Houses:
   
Upper Primary Schools:
10
       
HIV / AIDS Centres:
   
Nurseries/Pre-Primary :
4
       
De-addiction Centres:
       
          Aged & Destitute: 4        
     
       
History of the Diocese of Coimbatore
 
From the early 16th century the definite and historical history of the Coimbatore mission starts as part of the Madurai Mission of the Jesuits Fr BALTHAZAR Da COSTA a Jesuit Missionary of Madurai Mission came to Sathyamangalam ( then in the territory of Coimbatore in 1643 and obtained the permission of the Nauvab of Sathyamangalam to preach the faith He had also a Catechist Peter Xavier to help him Fr EM MARTINEZ SJ took charge of this new mission in July 1648 These Two were the pioneers of Coimbatore Mission with other Jesuit missionaries though in a trickle Catholic faith began to spread in the area rapidly inspite of great opposition from the Linkayat Yogis

This Missionaries had their head-quarters at Kanuvakarai near Sathyamangalam and from there they spread the faith to Karrumathampatty Coimbatore Savaripalayam etc by 1650 with great success But with the suppression of the society of Jesus by Pope Clement XIV in 1773 and forced the departure of the Jesuit missionaries ƒ?? the flourishing mission and its flock were left without shepherds To make matters worse the persecution and Mysore wars of Tippu Sultan destroyed all the churches and Christians were either scattered or also many forced to embrace Islam Thus the early Christians of our mission had their early Baptism of Blood


It is to remedy this sad situation the Society of the Propagation by its decree of 1775 asked the Paris Foreign Mission Society to take charge of the whole area looked after by the Jesuits to gather the scattered flock and to rebuild a new the mission till 1845

On 3rd April 1845 Karumathampatty came to be the Headquarters of Coimbatore diocese Coimbatore which had been the part of Pondicherry Archdiocese so far was separated and given an identity of its own as Pro-Vicariate in Karumathampatty from 4th October 1846

s a hallmark Most Rev Dr Marion Bresillac was consecrated as the first Bishop of Coimbatore on 4 10 1846 In remembrance of his native patron St Michael he decided to dedicate the diocese and its Cathedral to St Michael and so it is the St Michaelƒ??s Cathedral now He also planned to construct the Cathedral as the replica of St Peterƒ??s Basilica in Rome When the design was planned accordingly His Lordship laid the foundation stone for the Cathedral in 1850 in Coimbatore The construction of the Cathedral took 17 long years and it was successfully completed with the help of ƒ??Propaganda Fideƒ? ƒ??which offered 50000 franks and it was blessed by Most Rev Dr Depomier the third bishop of Coimbatore on 28th April 1867

When the Coimbatore diocese was still an infant in 1846 there were no Indian priests no institutions and no establishments The diocese had only four foreign missionary priests namely Rev Frs Metral Goust Bacreau De Gelis who found it very tiresome to visit the Catholics and administer Sacraments to them for they had to travel long distances without proper conveyance

Bishop DEPOMIER ( 1864 - 1874 ) was succeeded by Mgr BARDOU ( 1874 - 1903 ) who was the first Bishop to be consecrated at the new St Michaelƒ??s cathedral on 30041874 as the Vicar Apostolic of Coimbatore When the hierarchy of India was established by Pope Leo XIII on 1091886 the Vicariate Apostolic of Coimbatore was erected into a Diocese and thus Mgr J BARDOU became the First Bishop of Coimbatore The first diocesan Synod was held at St Michaels Cathedral on 24- 25 August1891 The Silver Jubilee of his Episcopal Consecration of Mgr BARDOU was celebrated in 1899 and as mark of honor the Holy Father appointed him as Assistant Prelate to the Pontifical Throne He died on 7021903 Mgr DENIS PERYARMALE was elected to succeed him lost he died on 17081903 before he could be consecrated

MsgrAUGUSTIN ROY was consecrated as the Bishop of Coimbatore on 12021904 After ruling the Diocese for 27 fruitful years he resigned due to ill - health and he died on 21121937 at Theodore Sanitarium and buried there His mortal remains were brought to Coimbatore and buried in the Cathedral on 25051897 as a gesture of gratitude

MsgrLTOURNIER was consecrated on 13041932 and due to ill - health he resigned on 2031938 and died at St Marthaƒ??s hospitalBangalore on 18051935 His body was interred at St Michaelƒ??s Cathedral Very Rev Fr L BECHU was elected as Vicar Capitular and it was his privilege to realize the dream of the Paris Mission Society to plant to develop each Mission and then hand it over to the native Clergy After dividing Coimbatore Diocese by attaching the territory North of River Bhavani and Moyar to Mysore the rest of the territory was handed over to the indigenous clergy by the Decree of S C of Propaganda dated 13021940

A new beginning dawned to the Diocese when Most Rev Dr Ubagarasamy a priest of the Archdiocese of Pondicherry became the Bishop of Coimbatore He was consecrated on 25071940 at Coimbatore He was the first Indian Bishop to be appointed in Coimbatore He founded the workers association and arranged Sundays be declared as government holidays by all the mills He encouraged the Presentation Sisters to take up the medical work and founded many schools and hospitals in the diocese The diocese started to see a new dimension when Most Rev Francis M Savari Muthu a native of Coimbatore was consecrated as the Bishop of Coimbatore on 26041950 The Bishop participated in the 2nd Vatican Council

In 1947 in remembrance of the diocesan centenary celebration the Grotto of the Sacred Heart was built on the western side of the cathedral In 1962 the present cathedral took its form with the extension on both the eastern and to the western sides A crypt in honor Our Lady of Sorrows on the western side and altar of the Sacred Heart on the eastern side of the altar were built He erected many new parishes in the diocese and in compliance with his will he was buried in front of the Sacred Heart Altar at his death in 1971

Next the Most Rev C M Visuvasam a priest of Madurai Archdiocese was consecrated as the Bishop of Coimbatore on 351972 As a man of vision and action he planed and laid the foundation stone for Jeeva Jothi Ashram which stands as the pride of our diocese to this day He bought many new lands and built many new buildings and presbyteries He tried to re-organize the Ecclesiastical administrative structure The diocesan Pastoral center was his great achivement to give a new life to the Pastoral Ministry He encouraged and helped the Presentation Sisters and Brothers of St Michael to stand on their own legs He died in Belgium on 261979 His body was brought back to India and buried in the Cathedral

In 1980 Most Rev M Ambrose the second son of the soil belonging to the cathedral Parish was installed as the new Bishop of Coimbatore He was transferred from the Diocese of Tuticorin and under his guidance the diocese found a bright dawn in all spheres He celebrated his Episcopal Silver jubilee on 8121996 To commemorate his silver anniversary and the 150th year jubilee of the diocese the portico of our cathedral was constructed and blessed on 26011997 He was the first Indian bishop to get retired after shepherding the diocese for 22 years At the age of 75 he submitted his resignation to the Holy See in July 2000 which was accepted in July 2002 at the appointment of the new Bishop Most RevL Thomas Aquinas on 10th July 2002

The diocese has just commenced a new age of growth under the guidance of the New Bishop He was consecrated on 28082002 Most RevLThomas Avinas in a grand consecration ceremony which took place in the Cathedral
Prelates of the Diocese of Coimbatore
Bishop NamePrelate Designation PeriodBishop NamePrelate Designation Period
Bp. Ambrose Mathalaimuthu 1980-2002 Bp. C.M. Visuvasam 1972-1980
Bp. Francis M. Savarimuthu 1950-1971 Bp. A. Joseph 1949-1950
Bp. B. Oubagaraswamy 1940-1949 Bp. L. Bechu 1938-1940
Bp. L. Tournier 1932-1938 Bp. A. Roy 1903-1932
Bp. J. Bardou 1874-1903 Bp. J. Bardou 1874-1886
Bp. C. Depommier 1865-1873 Bp. J.I.Godelle 1857- 1865
Bp. M. de Bresillac 1845-1855