Archdiocese of Nagpur
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In a land area of 59,024 square kilometers the archdiocesan territory covers the three districts of Maharashtra state: Nagpur, Gondia and Bhandara; and four districts of Madhya Pradesh: Betul, Chhindwara, Seoni and Balaghat.

The total population in the archdiocese is 11,000,000 in 2006 with Catholics numbering 24,446.

Languages spoken are Hindi, English and Marathi.

Important cities are Nagpur, Gondia, Chhindwara, Balaghat, Betul, Bhandara and Seoni.

Kamptee, near Nagpur, was an important British cantonment, where a lot of Anglo-Indian Catholics live. Most of the local people belong to the dalit (former untouchables) and to backward communities. Most of the people are of middle class. Many dalits here have embraced Buddhism and are known as Neo-Buddhists.

Major industries: textiles Small scale industries are: rice mills, oil mills, poultry farm, soap making, steel works etc.

Major economy: Agriculture. Mostly the people cultivate paddy, cotton, maze, wheat, sugarcane etc.

Nagpur is famous for its oranges. It is called the Orange City.

Population

The total population in the archdiocese is 11,000,000 in 2006 with Catholics numbering 24,446.

Language

Languages spoken are Hindi, English and Marathi.

History

Nagpur archdiocese is situated roughly in the middle of India. It was made diocese in 1887 by dismemberment of what was then known as the Central Provinces and Berar from the diocese of Vishakapatnam. It was entrusted to the care of the Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales (MSFS). Carved out of Nagpur, Jabalpur prefecture (now diocese) was formed in 1932. Indore prefecture (now diocese) was formed out of Nagpur in 1935. Amravati diocese was formed out of Nagpur in 1955. Exarchate of Chanda (now a diocese) was formed out of Nagpur in 1962. Prefecture of Raipur (now archdiocese) was formed out of Nagpur in 1964. In 1953 Nagpur was raised to be an archdiocese, with Amravati, Aurangabad and Chanda as its Suffragans. Bishop Eugene D'Souza was the first Indian bishop and later raised to be archbishop of Nagpur.

Church

Most of the Catholics comprise of the south Indian migrants from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, tribals from Jashpur diocese and Anglo-Indians. They live mostly in the urban areas of the diocese. There are very few local Catholics, and they are mostly dalits and of traditional backward castes. The diocese earlier focused on education, mostly in the urban parishes. At present the diocese emphasizes on building Small Christian Communities (SCC) and Human Communities, charismatic renewal programs. Social service programs have been accelerated in the villages and rural parishes by forming self-help groups.

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