Ecclesiastical Details

Diocese of Shimla - Chandigarh
Heirarchy of the Diocese
Rite:
Latin
Population: 17000000
 
Status:
Diocese
Catholics: 15629
 
Founded:
04-Jun-59
Diocesan Priests: 53
  Total area:
15320 Sq. Km
Religious Priests: 65
 
Province:
Delhi
Religious Sisters: 313
 
Region:
North Eastern
Seminarians: 32
  Patron:
St. Joseph & St. Michael
  Languages: Punjabi Hindi Urdu English?
  Civil States:

KinnauvKinnaur Spiti Kullu Mandi Bilsapur Shimla SolanSrimour Panchkula Ambalu Karnal Yamuna NagarKurukshetra Kaithal Panipat Uind Hissar BhiwaniSirsa Patiala Sangrur Mansa Bhatinda Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib.

Contact Diocese of Shimla - Chandigarh:
Bishop's House Post Box No. 709 Sector 19A Chandigarh 160 019. PUNJAB
Telephone 1:
0172-27 75 777 27 73 777 / (01733) 22 01 69
Fax:
(01733) 22 01 69
 
E-Mail Office:
bishophouse2000@yahoo.com
Website:
 
Most Rev. Ignatius Loyola Mascarenhas, Bishops of Shimla - Chandigarh
Name:
Most Rev. Ignatius Loyola Mascarenhas
Designation:
Bishops     E-mail (P):
Canonical Possession:
    Telephone (P):
 
Other Present & Retired Ordinaries of the Diocese of Shimla - Chandigarh
 
Pilgrim Centres in theDiocese of Shimla - Chandigarh
 
Ecclesiastical Institutions
 
Social / Charitable Institutions / Care Centres
Educational Institutions
Parishes:
77
 
Hospitals:
2
   
Degree Colleges:
1
Major Seminaries:
 
Orphanages:
3
   
Technical Training Centres:
1
Minor Seminaries:
2
 
Special Schools:
   
High Schools:
50
Monastries:
 
Crches:
   
Lower Primary Schools:
6
Convents:
25
 
Counselling Centres:
   
Presses & Media Centres:
1
Formation Houses:
 
Social Centres:
1
   
Professional Colleges:
Retreat Centres:
1
 
Dispensaries / Clinics:
14
   
Parallel Colleges:
 
Physically Challenged:
   
Higher Secondary :
15
       
Boarding Houses:
2
   
Upper Primary Schools:
       
HIV / AIDS Centres:
   
Nurseries/Pre-Primary :
50
       
De-addiction Centres:
       
          Aged & Destitute: 6        
     
       
History of the Diocese of Shimla - Chandigarh
 

Shimla-Chandigarh diocese has a long history. The Archdiocese of Shimla was created in 1910 when it was separated from the Archdiocese of Agra the mother diocese of all North India. Very Rev. Fr Anselm E. J. Keneally ofm cap. Superior General of the Friars minor Capuchins was appointed as the first Archbishop of this new Archdiocese and he was consecrated in Rome on January 1 1911. The church of St. Michael and St. Joseph in Shimla built in 1885 by Lord Ripon the Catholic Viceroy of India became the Cathedral of new Archdiocese. The century of history of this Archdiocese witnessed great changes and has been affected. by the changed political and ecclesiastical history of the country as a whole. The greatest of these was the partition and Independence of the country which separated a large portion of the Vicariate of Punjab from our country to form the new diocese of Lahore in Pakistan. The realignment of the states the creation of the new city of the Chandigarh and its Union Territory status have all influenced the history of the diocese and have had their effect in the structure and development of the diocese.
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When the political capital of the country was shifted to Delhi the Catholic population was placed under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Shimla thus becoming the Delhi - Shimla Archdiocese and the See shifting to Delhi. Archbishop Sylvester P. Mulligan was the first Archbishop of Delhi - Shimla Archdiocese which comprised of the present states of Himachal Pradesh Punjab Haryana Delhi and the Union - Territory. Archbishop Sylvester P. Mulligan was succeeded by Archbishop Joseph Alexander Fernandes. In 1959 the Archdiocese of Delhi - Shimla was dismembered to form Shimla as an independent diocese and thus beginning the history of current diocese with Bishop John Burke as its pastor. In the year 1966 Bishop John Burke was succeeded by Bishop Alfred Fernandes the Vicar General of Archdiocese of Hyderabad. He was transferred to the See of Allahabad in 1970.

The foundation of the new city of Chandigarh gave rise to a new concept of urban Punjab and the political and social life of people began to shift and centre around the new city. Even though the bishop kept Shimla as headquarters of the diocese he was forced to remain in Chandigarh to be closer to the people and their lives till finally Bishop Gilbert B. Rego shifted the residence to Chandigarh and the diocese came to be known as Shimla - Chandigarh diocese.
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The present Diocese of Shimla - Chandigarh has a total area of 83560 sq. kms. and is spread in the states of Himachal Pradesh Punjab and Haryana. The Diocese of Shimla-Chandigarh consists .of the civil districts of Kinnaur Lahaul-Spiti Kullu Mandi Bilaspur Shimla Solan and Sirmour in Himachal Pradesh Panchkula Ambala Yamunanagar Kurukshetra Karnal Panipat Kaithal Jind Hissar Bhivani and Sirsa in Haryana state; Patiala Sangrur Mansa Bhatinda Fatehgarh Sahib and Ropar in Punjab state; and the Union Territory of Chandiqarh. This vast area accounts for a population of about 1700000 of which a mere 0.02% is Catholic that is about 13500. There are pockets of other Christian denominations too. The area is the home of Sikhism and the other great religions of India. Hinduism and Islam still predominate the region making it a real mission land.?
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The Catholic community is itself a Kaleidoscopic picture of the variety of ethnic and cultural groups with independent linguistic identity from different socio-economic background yet united together in their faith in Christ around one pastor. Today the diocese has 30 parishes 32 stations and the pastoral activities of these centers are taken care by 85 priests of the diocesan clergy and seven different religious congregations. The pastoral educational and social activities are shared by 22 other congregations of religious brothers and sisters spread in 39 communities.?
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With the appointment of Bishop Gerald John Mathias the Diocese of Shimla -Chandigarh enters into a new phase of its history. May his leadership and guidance be blessed with abundance fruits in this far-flung vineyard of the Lord.


Prelates of the Diocese of Shimla - Chandigarh
Bishop NamePrelate Designation PeriodBishop NamePrelate Designation Period
Bp. Gerald John Mathias 2000 - 2008 Bp. Gilbert Blaize Rego 1971 - 1999
Bp. Alfred Fernandez 1966 - 1970 Bp. John Burke 1959 - 1965