Diocese of Jamshedpur
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History

The Diocese of Jamshedpur was erected on July 2, 1962 in Jharkhand state. It comprises the district of East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum (excluding the parish of Bandgoan), Saraikela - Kharswan, Dhanbad, a portion of Bokaro district (namely the Chandankiayari Block and the Chas Block which lie East of National Highway no.32) and in West Bengal it covers the District of Purulia.

The Districts of West Singhbhum and Saraikera - Kharswan were formerly part of the Archdiocese of Ranchi. The district of East Singhbhum, Bokaro, Dhanbad and Purulia were part of the Archdiocese of Calcutta.

Most Rev. Lawrence T. Picachy, SJ, (1962 - 1969) and Most Rev. Joseph R. Rodericks, SJ, (1971 -1996) were the former prelates. Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ, was consecrated on September 27, 1997 as its third Bishop.

The Work of the Church in Chotanagpur was initiated by the Belgian Jesuits of Calcutta province at Chaibasa in the year 1868. Manbhum (now Purulia, Dhanbad and Bokaro districts) and Singhbhum (now East and West Singhbhum and Saraikela - Kharswan) were entrusted in the year 1947 to the care of American Jesuits of Maryland Province.

In the year 1962, at the time of the erection of the diocese only 8 parishes were existing. In the year 1964, among these 8 parishes, the parishes of Bandgoan and Anandpur were transferred to the Archdiocese of Ranchi. At the re-organization of the Archdiocese of Ranchi, the parish of Anandpur was once again transferred back to Jamshedpur in the year 1997.

The majority of the people in the diocese are living in villages which belong to the Hos, Mundas and Santhal tribes. The cosmopolitan towns of Jamshedpur, Purulia and Dhanbad have a floating population which comes for work from all the states of India. The languages of liturgical celebrations in the towns are Hindi and English. In the villages - Ho, Mundari and Santhali are used.

The evangelization work among these villages has been making a steady progress. In the year 1962 there were only 8 parishes. Now the number of parishes in the diocese are 29. There are approximately 60,000 Catholics in the diocese. Over the years, Religious Congregations of men (5) and women (21) have come to the diocese. There are 146 priests and 318 Religious Sisters working in the diocese. The main thrust of the diocese along with the proclamation of the Gospel is the apostolates of education, health and Justice & peace".

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