Ecclesiastical Details

Diocese of Ootacamund
Heirarchy of the Diocese
Rite:
Latin
Population: 1460000
 
Status:
Diocese
Catholics: ?84900
 
Founded:
03-Jul-55
Diocesan Priests: 122
  Total area:
49678 Sq km
Religious Priests: 17
 
Province:
Madras-Mylapore
Religious Sisters: 550
 
Region:
Tamil Nadu
Seminarians:
  Patron:
Sacred Heart of Jesus
  Languages: Tamil Badaga Urali Malayalam Kannada and English.?
  Civil States:

Nilgiris and Erode.

Contact Diocese of Ootacamund:
Bishop's House P. B. No. 5Udhagamandalam 643 001 The Nilgiris. TAMIL NADU
Telephone 1:
0423-24 42 366 / 24 47 996
Fax:
24 47 996
 
E-Mail Office:
bishopooty@ootacamunddiocese.org
Website:
 
Most Rev. Araulappan Amalraj, Bishops of Ootacamund
Name:
Most Rev. Araulappan Amalraj
Designation:
Bishops     E-mail (P):
Canonical Possession:
    Telephone (P): 0423-24 41 604
 
Other Present & Retired Ordinaries of the Diocese of Ootacamund
 
Pilgrim Centres in theDiocese of Ootacamund
 
Ecclesiastical Institutions
 
Social / Charitable Institutions / Care Centres
Educational Institutions
Parishes:
61
 
Hospitals:
9
   
Degree Colleges:
1
Major Seminaries:
 
Orphanages:
16
   
Technical Training Centres:
2
Minor Seminaries:
4
 
Special Schools:
   
High Schools:
19
Monastries:
6
 
Crches:
   
Lower Primary Schools:
Convents:
79
 
Counselling Centres:
   
Presses & Media Centres:
2
Formation Houses:
5
 
Social Centres:
   
Professional Colleges:
Retreat Centres:
1
 
Dispensaries / Clinics:
28
   
Parallel Colleges:
 
Physically Challenged:
   
Higher Secondary :
15
       
Boarding Houses:
   
Upper Primary Schools:
7
       
HIV / AIDS Centres:
   
Nurseries/Pre-Primary :
       
De-addiction Centres:
       
          Aged & Destitute: 4        
     
       
History of the Diocese of Ootacamund
 
The Diocese of Ootacamund came into being by the Apostolic Constitution Nuntiatur in Psalmis of Pope Pius XII which was promulgated on July 3 1955. It came into being by partition from the mother diocese Mysore of which it had been a part from 1941-1955. Comprising the whole of the Nilgiris District and a part of Erode District which lies to the north of river Bhavani. The diocese covers an area of 7312 sq. kms and has a population numbering 1460000 of which 84900 are Catholics and 51000 are Christians from other denominations.?

The Paris Foreign Mission: In 1773 when Pope Clement XIII suppressed the Society of Jesus the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of Faith handed over the entire Carnatic Mission to the Fathers of the Paris Foreign Mission in 1776. The Paris Foreign Mission had it's headquarters at Pondicherry and the Fathers being few in number; found it impossible to care for the immense territory which stretched from Pondicherry to Kumbakonam Coimbatore Bangalore and Mysore. Finally despite the difficulties arising from the political situation of those times two M.E.P Fathers succeeded in getting permission in 1836 to settle in Karumathampatty in the Coimbatore district. Two years later one of them took charge of the small nascent out-station of Coimbatore at Ooty Coonoor and Kotagiri in the Nilgiris. In 1842 a small chapel was built in Ooty to cater to the spiritual needs of the Christian community that began steadily increasing after the completion of the ghat road from Mettupalayam to Ooty .?

The New Diocese of Ootacamund: In 1845 Coimbatore and Mysore became separate pro-vicariates apostolic and dioceses with the establishment of the Hierarchy in India by Pope Leo XIII in 1886. Until 1940 the Nilgiris district together with all the territory lying to the North of the river Bhavani was part of Coimbatore Diocese. By a decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of Faith dated 13th February 1940 it was attached to the Diocese of Mysore. In 1941 Mysore Diocese was reconstituted and Nilgiris District and all the territory to the north of river Bhavani became a part of it. Being a part of the diocese of Mysore for fourteen years owing to the difficulties arising out of the differences in language culture and distance Ootacamund was raised to the status of a diocese in it's own right on July 3 1955.?

Bishops of the Diocese: Bishop Antony Padiyara was nominated the first Bishop of the new diocese. He was a great visionary who directed the destinies of the diocese for 15 years. The next bishop was Bishop Packiam Arokiaswamy from the neighbouring Diocese of Coimbatore. He was nominated on February 6 1971. On December 21 1973 Very Rev. Fr Aruldas James was nominated the Bishop of Ootacamund. He led the diocese for more than 20 years.

Bishop Antony Anandarayar: On January 12 1997 Rt. Rev. Dr. Antony Anandarayar was appointed Bishop of Ootacamund. A person endowed with innumerable talents high calibre and great administrative capabilities his zeal and wisdom his devotedness and kindness his piety and efficiency his simplicity and humility his character and competence make him the good shepherd immensely loved and deeply esteemed by his priests and people. After assuming the responsibility of shepherding the diocese the diocese of Ootacamund is going forward and prospering under his able administration and guidance. Magnificent churches beautiful chapels in substations and presbyteries have been constructed. Bishop Antony Anandarayar has created a new parish and has been responsible for inviting a new religious congregation in the diocese to labour for the poor and oppressed in Chimitahalli a remote parish in the diocese. He is also striving to make parishes self-sufficient and has introduced the slab system wherein parishes according to their income have the obligation to contribute a certain percentage to the diocese annually .
?
The diocese is divided into five vicariates each with a Vicar Forane for better co-ordination and administration. His love for the poor and downtrodden is exhibited in his visit to 1500 families in the slums; he is so kind hearted that nobody returns home empty handed after paying him a visit. His primary concern has been providing education to the poor children that they may have a better future. In this venture he has upgraded St. Francis Xavier's High School Kodiveri into a Higher Secondary School. Thousands of poor children look up to him as a loving father for the help he has offered for their betterment and improvement. He educates many children at various levels in schools and colleges. His motto "to serve in faith and love" has become an attainable reality by his extension of maximum help to the poor and downtrodden.
Prelates of the Diocese of Ootacamund
Bishop NamePrelate Designation PeriodBishop NamePrelate Designation Period
Bp. Antony Anandarayar 1997 -2004 Bp. James Masilamony Arul Das 1973 - 1994
Bp. Packiam Arokiaswamy 1971 Bp. Antony Padiyara 1955 - 1970