The Diocese of Amravati
The Diocese of Amravati created by decree “Cum Petierit” dated May 8, 1955, was formerly a part of the Archdiocese of Nagpur. It comprised of four districts of Vidarbha Viz. Amravati, Akola, Buldhana & Yavatmal and the three districts of Marathwada Viz. Aurangabad, Parbhani and Nanded.
By another decree “Patescit Ubique” dated May 8, 1955, pope Pius XII appointed Rt. Rev. Joseph Albert Rosario, MSFS , the first bishop of Amravati.
Holy Father Pope Paul VI by the Decree ‘Qui Arcano’ of 17th December 1977, created the diocese of Aurangabad for which the three districts, Aurangabad, Parbhani and Marathwada region, got separated from the Diocese of Amravati.
Thus the present Diocese of Amravati consists of five civil districts of Vidarbha region of Maharashtra state viz., Amravati Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal and Washim.
When Bishop Joseph Rosario retired, His Holiness appointed Rt. Rev Bishop Edwin Colasso as second Bishop of Amravati on 12th May 1995.His Episcopal Ordination was held in Amravati on 30 July 1995.
On the transfer of Bishop Edwin Colasso to the vacant post at Aurangabad, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Rt. Rev. Lourdes Daniel, then Vicar General of Pune, as the third Bishop of Amravati on 8-06-2007. His Episcopal Ordination took place in Amravati on 2 August 2007.In 2010 Bishop Lourdes Daniel is also appointed Apostolic Administrator of the vacant see of Nashik.
On 11th November 2010 The Holy Father appointed Bishop Lourdes Daniel as the Bishop of Nashik Diocese and Apostolic Administrator of Amravati.
On 11th June 2012 at 3.30 IST, The Holy Father appointed Rev. Fr. Elias Gonsalves of Vasai, Bombay Diocese as the new Bishop of Amravati. His Episcopal Ordination was organized on 29 September 2012.
Civil Districts: Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal,& Washim
Location : between 76.5° E & 78.5°E Longitude and 20° N & 21.5° N Latitude.
Total Area: 46,447 Sq. kms.
Total population: 1,01,41,903
Catholics: 6037 less than 1 per thousand or 0.01 % of the total population.
Occupation and Migration
The majority of people of our area follow the agricultural profession either as farmers or as farm labourers. Because of educational facilities and employment opportunities available in the cities, there is a constant flow of people from the rural areas to the urban areas.
Therefore in our city parishes, the Sunday Congregation is steadily increasing whereas in the traditional mission centres it is decreasing.
Since India is a democratic country, At the Village, District, State and National levels the administration is carried out by elected representatives of the people.
Major Non-Christian Religions.
Hinduism is the religion of the majority of the people of India. They form almost 80% of the population in our area. Most of their religious duties are performed at home. They keep their faith by reading their sacred scriptures, singing devotional hymns, attending religious discourse delivered by some scholars of their religion. Celebration of some of their major festival for several days at a stretch helps them remain a closely-knit community. Non-violence, truthfulness, tolerance, detachment, fasting and penance, respect for others and for all creatures are characteristic features of the basic Hindu Culture. In recent times Hindu fundamentalism is on the increase. This has affected the church and its mission adversely.
The French missionaries belonging to the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS) started their mission work in this area about 150 years ago. Because of their goodness and tireless efforts some of the oppressed classes in some villages received improvement.
The Neo-Buddhist- Movement
This is a religio-political movement started by a leader named Dr. Ambedkar who was also responsible for drafting the Constitution of India. Most of the oppressed class joined this movement in 1950’s. Many Christians also followed suit. Thus the oppressed class got many benefits yet they remain downtrodden in the society because of their dalit origin.
Muslims account for 6% of the total population. They are a vibrant community. They do not practice family planning. They start madrasas (schools) in every town to impart religious instruction to the younger generation. Muslim mosques are constructed all over in the villages, towns and cities. And their prayers are heard through loud speakers at regular intervals.
Copyright © 2012 - 2013 Amravati Diocese, All Rights Reserved. Powered by Fr. Subhash David Maghade