Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lahore

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Archdiocese of Lahore
Archidioecesis Lahorensis
لاہور کے میٹروپولیٹن
Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore.jpg
Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore
Country Pakistan
Ecclesiastical province Lahore
Area 23,069 km2 (8,907 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
570,000 (2.3%)
Rite Latin Rite
Cathedral Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Metropolitan Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lahore is a Latin Metropolitan archdiocese in Punjab province, Pakistan.

Its cathedral episcopal see is the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, in Lahore.


It was founded in 1880 as Apostolic Vicariate of Punjab, on territory split off from the then Apostolic Vicariate of Agra (now also a Metropolitan Archbishopric).

On 1 September 1886 it was promoted and renamed after its see as Diocese of Lahore.

It lost vast territories repeatedly:

On 23 April 1994 the diocese was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan Archdiocese. Fr. Lawrence Saldanha was appointed Archbishop of Lahore by pope John Paul II.[1][2][3][4]

On 7 April 2011 Archbishop Saldanha retired as Archbishop of Lahore.[5]

On 18 December 2011, the archdiocese began celebrations to mark its 125th anniversary. Seventy-five priests and 200 catechists served then in 608 Mass centres in the archdiocese.[6]

Pope Francis on 3 July 2013 appointed Fr. Joseph Arshad of the Lahore Archdiocese as the bishop of the Faisalabad Diocese.[7]


Apostolic Vicar of Punjab[edit]

Bishops of Lahore[edit]

  1. Symphorien Mouard, OFM Cap. (10 August 1888 – 14 July 1890)
  2. Emmanuel van den Bosch, OFM Cap. (21 November 1890 – 2 May 1892)
  3. Godefroid Pelckmans, OFM Cap. (2 June 1928 – 4 July 1946)
  4. Fabian Antoine Eestermans, OFM Cap. (11 April 1905 – 17 December 1925)
  5. Hector Catry, OFM Cap. (28 March 1928 – 4 July 1946)
  6. Marcel Roger Buyse, OFM Cap. (23 March 1967 – 10 July 1975)
  7. Felicissimus Raeymaeckers, OFM Cap. (12 March 1967 – 10 July 1975)
  8. Armando Trindade (10 July 1975 – 23 March 1994)

Archbishops of Lahore[edit]

  1. Armando Trindade (23 March 1994 – 31 July 2000)
  2. Lawrence Saldanha (24 April 2001 – 7 April 2011)
  3. Sebastian Francis Shaw, OFM (14 November 2013 – )


Its ecclesiastical province comprises the Metropolitan's own archdiocese and the following suffragan bishoprics:


The Sacred Heart Cathedral is the principal church of the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese is also home to St. Joseph’s Church, Lahore, the oldest church of the Punjab, built in 1853.[8]

The Archdiocese also publishes the Catholic Naqib, the oldest Urdu-language Catholic journal, founded in Lahore in 1929.[9]

In 1964 the Diocese opened the 215 bed Bethania Hospital, Sialkot which focuses mainly on preventing and treating TB. In 2008 it was treating 60,000 patients a year.[10]

Lahore archdiocese had 511,226 Catholics, 30 diocesan priests, and 214 nuns, according to the 2001 Annuario Pontificio, the Vatican yearbook.[11] The largest Catholic Archdiocese in Pakistan is divided into 26 parishes.[12]

The Archdiocese is also home to the St. Francis Xavier Seminary.[13]

The country’s 1st National Eucharistic Congress was organised by the local Catholic Church 9–11 September 2005 at the Marian Shrine of Mariamabad, Lahore diocese. It drew 20,000 participants and attracted ample media coverage local and national. The national marian strine of Mariamabad is situated 90 km from Lahore. Every year it draws thousands of clergy, religious and laity, families, other Christians and Muslims. Mariamabad shrine was opened in 1949 by a Belgian Cappuchin Friar Frank who died a martyr.[14]

On 14 Feb 2009 Fr. Sebastian Francis Shah OFM was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Lahore.[15]

The Diocese is also home to Catholic TV, Pakistan the first Pakistani Catholic TV channel launched in 2009.[16]

Schools in the Diocese[edit]

There were 57,744 students in Catholic schools in the archdiocese - 33 primary schools and 59 high schools.[17] Some of the schools are:

See also[edit]


Source and External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°32′N 74°20′E / 31.533°N 74.333°E / 31.533; 74.333