Diocese of Nashik
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In a land area of 57,592 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the civil districts of consist of the civil revenue districts of Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nandurbar and Ahmednagar in Maharastra.

Nashik is the biggest city in the diocese. Jalgaon, Dhule and Ahmednagar are other important towns in the diocese.

Population

3,000,000 is the total population. Marathas are the major ethnic groups. Marathi, Hindi, Konkani, English, Tamil and Malayalam are the languages used in the diocesan territory.

History

In 1987, Pope John Paul II erected the Catholic Diocese of Nashik consisting of the territory detached from the Diocese of Poona. The Catholic Diocese of Nashik consists of the civil revenue districts of Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nandurbar and Ahmednagar. The diocese is spread over an area of 57,532 square kilometers. All these five districts are in the State of Maharashtra.

130 years ago, in 1878 the mission in the villages of Ahmednagar district was started. During the first 25 years of the Jesuit engagements in India, more of the new-arriving fathers were needed to take care of the old Christian communities in the bigger towns in India and to build up good schools and colleges. Finally in 1878, the time was ripe and some German Jesuits could be spared for a new venture, namely to start the mission in the villages of the district of Ahmednagar. The concrete beginning of the Ahmednagar mission started with the establishment of a Mission station in Valan, near Kendal.

Inspite of all difficulties, hardships and sacrifices, slowly but steadily the mission was growing in numbers. Stations like Songaon, Rahata and Harigaon in the Ahmednagar district and Deolali, Nashik Road and Nashik were coming up.

The diocese has about 76,182 Catholis (out of the 20 million overall population in the 5 districts). They are spread out by 10 to 200 kilometers away from the Residence /office of the Bishop. It is a missionary diocese which comprises of small and big parishes and Mass centres. Most of the parishes extend to villages where the majority of people live. These villages are sometimes 40 kilometers away. Priests and Religious are able to reach these villages once a week, fortnight or month.

Apart from the 32 diocesan priests, the diocese has also a number of religious men and women who are entrusted some parishes for pastoral work. However, the financial responsibility rests on the Bishop. There exist a fruitful collaboration with the religious fathers, brothers and sisters.

Political

The City is managed by Corporation. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called Panchayats and municipalities respectively.

Transportation

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

Economy

Rupees 11,762 (USD260 as of February 2011) is the per capita income in the diocese territory. Farming especially Sugare cane and vineyards provide jobs in the diocesan area.

Telecommunication

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

Education

70.9 per cent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.

Interreligious marriage, India's main concern at Synod

Interreligious marriage, India's main concern at Synod Although other countries might not share the pastoral difficulties caused by interreligious marriages, Indian priests observed that “this is a big issue in Asia because we are a minority.”