Tellicherry Archdiocese belongs to the Syro Malabar Church of Kerala which covers the territory of Kannur and Kasargode districts of Kerala.
The Metropolitan Archdiocese has an area of approximately 4902 square kilometers and a population of 302,971 Syrian Catholics.
Tellicherry Archdiocese has 278,084 baptized Catholics (as of January 2009), representing 7.71 percent of all 3,605, 000 people in the diocesan territory.
The total population of the diocesan territory is 3,605, 000 (as per the 2001 census). Thalassery diocese has been a multi-ethnic and multi religious region.
Thalassery (Tellicherry) is a city on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, India. It is the 8th largest city of Kerala in terms of population. Once it was a European colony. Thalassery was a major commercial centre during the British rule of India. The name Tellicherry is the anglicized form of Thalassery.
Malayalam and English are the languages used in the diocesan territory.
Tellicherry Diocese was established by Pope Pius XII on Dec. 31, 1953 as a suffragan of Ernakulam Archdiocese by the bull "Ad Christi Ecclesiam Regendam." It was for the catholics of the Syro-Malabar Church who migrated to Malabar region of the erstwhile Travancore and Cochin States. As catholics of Syro-Malabar church migrated even to the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu the boundaries were extended to Mangalore, Chickmangalore, Mysore, Shimoga and Ootacammund.
Bishop Sebastian Valloppilly took charge of the diocese as Apostolic Administrator on March 19, 1954. He was elected the first bishop of Tellicherry on Oct. 16, 1955, and was consecrated on Jan. 8, 1956.
Later the diocese was bifurcated and the new Diocese of Mananthavady was formed on March 1, 1973. When the new diocese of Palghat was erected on June 20, 1974, the parishes of Tellicherry which belonged to the district of Palghat were entrusted to the new diocese. The diocese was again bifurcated on April 28, 1986 and the new Diocese of Thamarassery was formed comprising the districts of Calicut and Malappuram.
On May 1995, Pope John Paul II raised the Diocese of Tellicherry to the status of Metropolitan Archdiocese. The archdiocese was again bifurcated on April 24, 1999 and the new diocese of Belthangady was formed.
The history of the Malabar Migration and that of the ecclesiastical province of Thalassery are closely intervened. Food shortage and the population explosion of the post-war period (1945-1960) forced them to migrate to the fertile lands of Northern Kerala. The eparchy of Tellicherry was established to look after the spiritual needs of the migrated people. The Thalassery Diocese took up the struggle of the settlers and satiated their spiritual as well as material needs.
The territory is well connected with roads and rails. Thalassery railway station is one of the major railway stations in Kerala. The nearest airport is at Kozhikode, about 93 kilometers away from the city.
The district has a humid climate with a very hot season extending from March to May. The most important rainy season is during the South West Monsoon which sets in the first week of June and extends up to September. The Northeast Monsoon extends from the second half of October through November. The average annual rainfall is 3,438 mm. During December to March, practically no rain is received and from October onwards, the temperature gradually increases to reach the maximum in May, which is the hottest month of the year. The maximum temperature in the month of May reaches 36 degrees Celsius.
The economy of Tellichrerry Archdiocese is mainly based on agriculture. Rubber, Coconut, Arconut and pepper are the main cash. Handloom industry is flourishing here.
The level of telecommunications infrastructure is high. Almost everyone has a mobile phone in town areas. Most of the homes have television, telephone and internet. In rural areas access to modern communication is very limited. There are no television broadcasting stations but there are a number of private FM stations and government run AM and FM stations in the diocesan territory.