Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar
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History

The archdiocese of Cuttack–Bhubaneswar comprises nine civil districts of Boudh, Cuttack, Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Khurda, Jagatsingpur, Jajpur, Nayagarh and Puri in the State of Orissa, eastern India.

The diocese of Cuttack was part of the diocese of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) since 1845, when missionaries of St. Francis de Sales, (MSFS) established parishes and took care of the pastoral needs of the region. During the First World War most French Missionaries went back to France. On 10 January 1922 a group of four Spanish Vincentian priests (Congregation of Mission or CM) came to Orissa and they replaced the French MSFS missionaries.

On 18 July 1928 Pope Pius XI declared the Mission of Cuttack “Missio Sui Juris.” Fr. Valerian Guemes, CM was appointed its administrator and later as the Ecclesiastical Superior. In 1937, Cuttack Mission was elevated to a diocese and made a suffragan of Ranchi archdiocese and Rev. Msgr. Florencio Sanz Esperanza, CM, was appointed first bishop of Cuttack diocese in 1938.

In 1948 he retired and Rt. Rev. Msgr. Paul Tobar Gonzalves, CM became his successor. On 18 April 1971 Bishop Tobar died and Fr. Vincent Urbaneja, CM was elected administrator of the Diocese.

On 24 January 1974 Cuttack Mission was divided into the Metropolitan See of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar and the diocese of Berhampur. Most Rev. Msgr. Henry D’Souza was appointed the first archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar. He was ordained on 5 May 1974 in Calcutta. In the same year the bishop’s residence was moved from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar, the state capital.

In April, 1984 Archbishop D’Souza was called back to the archdiocese of Calcutta. On 11 of August, 1985, Bishop Raphael Cheenath, SVD of the Diocese of Sambalpur succeeded him as the Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.

Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, SVD retired and bishop John Barwa was announced as Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar on February 11, 2011. Archbishop Barwa was installed Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar on April 2, 2011 at our Lady of Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, Cuttack.

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