Roman Catholic Diocese of Chittagong
|Diocese of Chittagong
|Area||44,195 km2 (17,064 sq mi)|
|(as of 2011)
|Cathedral||Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Cathedral|
|Bishop||Moses Costa, CSC|
|Auxiliary Bishops||Lawrence Subrato Howlader, CSC|
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Chittagong (Latin: Dioecesis Chittagongensis) is a diocese located in the city of Chittagong in the Ecclesiastical province of Dhaka in Bangladesh. The Diocese of Chittagong comprises the 17 Civil Districts of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachori, Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur, Bhola, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Barisal, Jhalakathi, Borguna, Gopalganj, Madaripur and Shariatpur.
The early history of the Church goes back to 1537 A.D. when there were Catholics in the Portuguese settlements in areas that now form part of the Diocese of Chittagong. The first Churches were set up in 1600 in what now forms Diang and the city of Chittagong. Father Francesco Fernandez, SJ, who came to Chittagong in 1598, and who was blinded and tortured and died in captivity on November 14, 1602, is the Bengal's first martyr. In 1845 Chittagong became the seat of the first Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Bengal, and later the administration was transferred to Dhaka. Noakhali was also the first place to have the Holy Cross missionaries who arrived there in June, 1853. The Diocese of Chittagong was canonically erected on May 25, 1927, taking away a good half of the territory that comprised the then Diocese of Dhaka. The Diocese then comprising Chittagong, Noakhali, Barisal, Gournadi, Narikelbari, Haflong, Badarpur, Akyab, Sandoway, Gyeithaw and Chaugtha. Akyab, Sandoway, etc. was handed over to the La Salette Fathers in the Diocese of Akyab in 1937-38. The newly erected Diocese of Chittagong in 1927 was entrusted to the care of the Canadian Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross. When the new ecclesiastical province of Dhaka was created in July, 1950, Chittagong became a sufragan of Dhaka. Later in 1952, portions of the Diocese of Chittagong that were situated in Assam (India) were detached to form a separate ecclesiastical unit, called the Prefecture of Haflong, and later the Diocese of Silchar which is called now the Diocese of Agartola and the Diocese of Aijwal.
- Bishops of Chittagong (Roman rite)
- Bishop Moses Costa (since April 6, 2011)
- Bishop Patrick D’Rozario, C.S.C. (February 3, 1995 – November 25, 2010); named Coadjutor Archbishop of Dhaka by Pope Benedict XVI
- Bishop Joachim J. Rozario, C.S.C. (August 3, 1968 – June 30, 1994)
- Bishop Raymond Larose, C.S.C. (March 20, 1952 – August 3, 1968)
- Bishop Alfredo Le Pailleur, C.S.C. (June 18, 1927 – 1952)
Diocese of Chittagong stands on the Southern part of the Country. The area of the Diocese covers 33% of the total surface of the Country. So, this is the biggest Diocese in Bangladesh. Total land area of the Diocese is 46,331 square kilometers. Boundaries in the North with the Archdiocese of Dhaka and Tripura State of India, in the West with Khulna Diocese and East with Myanmar and Mizoram State of India. The Diocese comprises 17 Civil Districts of Chittagong, Cox’sbazar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachori, Noakhali, Feni, Luxmipur, Bhola, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Barisal, Jhalkathi, Barguna, Gopalganj, Madaripur and Shariatpur. Total Catholic Population of the Diocese is 39,664. The Diocese is separated by Meghna, one of the principal rivers of the Country. Chittagong Region is in the South-east part and the Barisal Region is in the other side. Chittagong region is an area of natural beauties of many differences. Barisal Region is the place of Paddy and River.
Culture, race and language
In the territory of the Diocese Bengalis count 31,700,000, that is 97.5%, who speak Bangla the National Language. The tribals are about 800,000, i.e. 2.5% of the total population. Among the tribal people, a total of 13 tribes are found within the territory mainly concentrate in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and two tribes in the plain. Tribals have their own language although not all written. Among the tribals the Chakmas comprise 50%, Marma 30%, Tripura 10%, Murung 4%, Tangchayanga 3% and rest 3%. Recently many Garo Christians (about 1200) from Mymensingh Diocese in the North migrated to Chittagong City, the Second Capital of the Country, the biggest Seaport City.