Ecclesiastical Details

Archdiocese of Pondicherry - Cuddalore
Heirarchy of the Diocese
Population: 6152000
Catholics: 385085
Diocesan Priests: 203
  Total area:
7086 sq kms
Religious Priests: 49
Religious Sisters: 1021
Tamil Nadu
Seminarians: 30
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception
  Languages: Tamil English and French
  Civil States:

Pondicherry and Karaikal in Pondicherry state Cuddalore and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu state

Contact Archdiocese of Pondicherry - Cuddalore:
Archbishops House 206 Cathedral StreetPondicherry - 605 001
Telephone 1:
0413-23 34 748 23 39 911 / 42 01 503
42 01 503
E-Mail Office:
Most Rev Anthony Anandarayar, Archbishops of Pondicherry - Cuddalore
Most Rev Anthony Anandarayar
Archbishops     E-mail (P):
Canonical Possession:
    Telephone (P): 0413-23 42 181
Other Present & Retired Ordinaries of the Archdiocese of Pondicherry - Cuddalore
Pilgrim Centres in theArchdiocese of Pondicherry - Cuddalore
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          Aged & Destitute: 5        
History of the Archdiocese of Pondicherry - Cuddalore
The great ancestor of our Archdiocese is the Carnatic Church work which was started around the year 1700 This Carnatic Church work was known as Church work of the Coromandel Coast and also as the Malabar Church work
Before the establishment of the Carnatic Church work in 1700 the Jesuit Fathers of the Madurai Church work especially St John de Britto came into the Gingee Kingdom after 1660 and preached the Gospel up to the Palar river South of Madras Also some religious belonging to various orders looked after the spiritual needs of the European communities to a certain extent in their trading centres along the coastal area like Cuddalore Porto Novo etc The French Capuchins first settled in Pondicherry in 1674 and the French Jesuits expelled from Siam (Thailand) also took refuge in Pondicherry in 1693 But in 1693 the Dutch chased away all the religious from Pondicherry and they could come back only in 1699 While the Capuchins were looking after the Europeans in Pondicherry the French Jesuits organized the Carnatic Church work for the Indian people ?
Boundaries of Carnatic Church work

The boundaries of the Carnatic Church work were as follows: on the south and west the Pennaiyar River beyond which were the Madurai Church work and the Mysore Church work - on the east the Bay of Bengal and on the north Kurnool including the Krishna and Godavari areas near the sea shore
The Church work affected badly
The continual wars in the 18th century the ruin of Pondicherry town in 1761 and the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773 hit badly this vast Carnatic Church work ?
Jesuits replaced by Foreign Church work Fathers
In 1776 the French Jesuit fathers were replaced at the order of Rome by the Foreign Church work French Fathers Although the bishop of these new Fathers had all the power of jurisdiction he was not titled ??Vicar Apostolic? but only ??Superior of the Church work of the Coromandel Coast? Rome successively gave him jurisdiction over the other Church work in the Madurai Coimbatore and Mysore areas affected by the suppression of the Society of Jesus ?So around 1800 the extent of the Carnatic Church work was immense although the workers were very few
The Carnatic Church work was reorganized when new Vicariates Apostolic were created: Vicariate Apostolic of Madras in 1832 of Madurai in 1836 - 46 and the Vicariates of Visakapattnam Mysore and Coimbatore in1845 - 50 ?
The First Vicar Apostolic and First Archbishop?
Pondicherry became a Vicariate Apostolic of the Coromandel Church work on September 1 1836 with Msgr Bonnand as the first Vicar Apostolic This Vicariate Apostolic was raised to an Archbishopric on June 17 1887 with Msgr Laouenan as the first Archbishop
Subdivisions of the Archdiocese ?
Subsequently subdivisions of the Archdiocese took place erecting the new Dioceses of Kumbakonam in1899 of Vellore in 1928 and Salem in 1930 On a reorganization of the diocese by Rome in1969 Kanjeevaram and Madurantagam taluks of Chinglepet district were transferred to the Archdiocese of Madras and the Tiruvannamalai Taluk to Vellore
The New Name
As the Archdiocese of Pondicherry extended over the Pondicherry Union territory and the South Arcot district of Madras state it was given a new title by Rome: ?Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore? on August 7 1953
The extent of the present Archdiocese
Originally this Archdiocese was looking after the ex -French settlements of the Pondicherry Union territory namely Karaikal Chandranagore Mahe Yanam another ex-French settlement which was always looked after by the MSFS Fathers of Vizagapattinam ?Chandranagore was re-allocated to the Archdiocese of Calcutta and Mahe to the Diocese of Calicut in Kerala in 1949 The present Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore extends over the Pondicherry and Karaikal districts of the Pondicherry union territory and the taluks of Cuddalore Panruti Vridhachalam Tittagudi and Chidambaram (exclusive of area south of the river Vellar) of the south Arcot district and the Villupuram Gingee Tindivanam Vanur Tirukovilur Ulundurpet Kallakurichi and Sankarpuram taluks of Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu?
Prelates of the Archdiocese of Pondicherry - Cuddalore
Bishop NamePrelate DesignationPeriodBishop NamePrelate DesignationPeriod
Abp. S. Michael Augustine 1992-2004 Abp. V. S. Selvanathar 1973-1992
Abp. R. Ambrose 1955-1973 Bishop R. Ambrose Coadjutor 1954-1955
Bishop R. Ambrose Auxiliary 1953-1954 Bishop Mark Gopu Auxiliary 1948-1953
Abp. A. S. Colas 1930-1955 Abp. Morel 1909-1929
Abp. Joseph Gandy 1892-1909 Abp. Laouenan 1886-1892
Bp. Joseph Gandy 1883-1889 Bp. Laouenan 1868-1886
Bp. Godelle 1861-1867 Bp. Godelle 1857-1861
Bp. Bonnand 1836-1861 Bp. Bonnand 1833-1836
Bp. Hebert 1810-1835 Bp. Champenois 1791-1810
Bp. Champenois 1786-1791 Bp. Brigot 1776-1791