Diocese of Kumbakonam
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Population

The total population is 2,627. The Tamils form the major ethnic group. Tamil is the language used in the diocesan territory.

History

The Diocese of Kumbakonam was carved out of the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and was erected on Sept. 1, 1899, by the apostolic letter of Pope Leo XIII. The first two bishops were from Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP): Monsignor Hugo M. Bottero, who led the diocese from 1899 to 1913, and Monsignor Marie Augustine Chapuis who led the diocese from 1913 to 1930. 

After a year of able guidance by Monsignor M. A. Xavier as its apostolic administrator, Monsignor Peter Francis became the first indigenous bishop in 1931 and was followed by Monsignor D. Paul Arulsamy in 1955. In his tenure of 33 years (1955-1988), the diocese witnessed the liturgical and theological renewal of the Second Vatican Council. At his resignation in 1988, Monsignor Antony David, led the diocese as diocesan administrator. The fifth bishop, Monsignor Peter Remigius, was ordained bishop on Jan. 3, 1990.

Political

The towns are managed by municipalities. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called panchayats.

Transportation

The diocesan area is well connected in terms of transport infrastructure by roads and railways. The nearest airport is in Trichy city.

Geography

The diocese covers 7,823 square kilometers, including 18 civil administration units called taluks cutting across five civil districts. Kumbakonam is the largest town in the diocese. Srigangam and Perambular are other important towns in the diocese.

Economy

Rupees 17,339 (US$375 as of September 2006) is the per capita income in the diocesan territory. Farming, especially paddy cultivation, is the most common occupation. The diocese is part of an area called the "rice bowl of Tamil Nadu." Kumbakonam is also famous for its betel nuts.

Telecommunication

Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese is well connected by local cable TV networks.

Education

The diocese has a literacy rate of 66.07 per cent.