Diocese of Ramanathapuram
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The diocesan territory stretches over 28,490 square kilometers and covers the civil districts of Coimbatore, Erode, Karur and Tirupur in the state of Tamil Nadu. Ramanathapuram is the biggest city in the diocese with more than 1 million people. Erode and Tirupur are other important towns in the diocese.

Population


In Ramanathapuram diocese, the population was 61,978 (according to census 2001). The population of the whole country is about 1,1 billion. Tamilians and Malayalees form the majority groups in the diocese. Tamil, Malayalam, English, Kannada and Telegu are the languages spoken in the territory.

History

The bifurcation of the diocese of Trichur and the erection of its daughter, the diocese of Palaghat was on June 20, 1974. Its territory extended up to civil districts of Palakkad in Kerala and Coimbatore, Erode and Karur in Tamilnadu. According to the dreams and wishes of the diocese of Palaghat the Holy See erected a new eparchy of Ramanathapuram for the Syro-Malabar Catholics in the civil districts of Coimbatore, Erode, Karur and Tirupur in Tamilnadu on Jan. 18, 2010.

The faithful in this area are the migrants from Kerala years back and are either self-employed or employed. A few are yearning from agriculture farming. Coimbatore is well known for its textile glory and too is an industrial area too. It is the second biggest city of Tamilnadu. The people are hard working in nature. The fresh breeze from the Palaghat gap gives a little cooling to the hot climate of Tamilnadu.

The second generation being born and bought up in a new culture adapted to it. They speak Malayalam but hardly write and read. Even if so they keep up the spirit to be a 'malayalee' and gather with cultural events occasionally in all major cities.

There are three forane districts in the eparchy of Ramanathapuram namely, Ramanathapuram, Gandhipuram and Erode. In spite of the migrant faithful there are a large number of 'malayalee' Catholic students who are studying in the various colleges and young girls workers of the textile industry whose pastoral care is a major concern of the diocese.

The center of the Eparchy is Ramanathapuram which is at the heart of city. Ramanathapuram is the oldest Syro-Malabar Catholic center at Coimbatore and is the biggest parish. Within the boundary of the parish there is 4 acres of land which can be used to make the infrastructure.

Political


Coimbatore city is administered by a corporation headed by an elected mayor and council. The towns are managed by municipalities. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called panchayats.

Transportation


The region is well connected by railways and roads. Coimbatore has its own airport.

Economy


The per capita income in the diocesan territory is 23,515 rupees (about US$528 as of April 2008). Textiles, farming, automobile-manufacturing and engineering are the major industries in the diocese. Cash crops such as cashew nuts, coffee, tea and spices are widely produced in the diocesan area.

Telecommunication


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

St. Thomas, Ramanathapuram

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