In a land area of 24,409 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the town of Malang and other areas in East Java including Jember, Banyuwangi, Madura, Lumajang, Pasuruan, Probolinggo, Purworejo, Situbondo.
In the diocesan territory the population was 15,463,829 at end of 2007. As a province, East Java has the greatest population density. People are from different ethnic backgrounds including Javanese, Chinese, Dayak, and Flores.
Javanese with different dialects is in use in the diocesan territory, also Madurese language.
Diocese of Malang appeared in history, tied in time and space. As the Society of People of God, open and popular in the community, the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Malang needs to have sensitivity to the needs of the people, for the present and future.
Pioneering the way of God's Kingdom in the eastern part of Java began in 1580, when the Portuguese shipping in a storm had to anchor in Panarukan. It is not clear whether there was already a preaching effort since the visit of the Portuguese, who brought Father Bernardino Ferrari. They left Panarukan and sailed to the Moluccas. A few years later, the priests of the Dominican Order tried to spread the Gospel in Panarukan and Banyuwangi. Recorded are the names of Fathers Emmanuele, Pascuale, Pietro and Giorgio. There is no information regarding the work of the Dominican Order in the 16th century, until they were reportedly drawn to Malacca, leaving Pascuale as a martyr.
- Society of Jesus (SJ), 1800-1923
In the beginning of 1800, the priests of the Society of Jesus began to work in Surabaya. One of them was Father H. Waanders. They tried to visit the northern regions, among others, Pasuruan. Chronicle History of Mission noted the arrival of Father Van der Elzen, SJ and Father Palinckx, SJ, in 1850 and a layman, AM Anthonijsz, in 1895. A small church, then donated, is still in use, the Church of St. Anthony in Pasuruan. Father G. Jonckbloet, SJ was the first missioner who carried out an evangelization work in Malang since 1896. He opened a parish located in Kayutangan, Malang, on July 2, 1896, and founded the Church of the Sacred Heart. From here, the mission movement seeped into Lawang, where a servant of the church was founded in 1915. In 1900, the Order of the Sisters (OSU) built houses in Celaket monastery, Malang, and opened a school (Cor Jesu), which is still in use. The work of the priests of the Society of Jesus is recognized as the foundation's mission in Malang, which stretches between the Church of the Sacred Heart in Kayutangan, Lawang, and St. Anthony Church in Pasuruan.
From the centers in Kayutangan, Lawang and Pasuruan, Carmelites Fathers Van der Pas, Henckens and Brenkel moved to the region of Malang, among others and founded the church in Probolinggo in 1924, the church in the poor southern Balearjosari. Father Van der Pas even crossed by boat from Probolinggo to Madura (Sumenep) in 1927. Meanwhile, the waves of migration moved from Kalibawang, Kulonprogo and Boro to the plantations along the southern coast of East Java. The first generations of Catholics baptized in 1904 were among them. Lay people participated in sowing the seeds of God's Kingdom in new places like Sumberjati and Glagahagoeng, south of Banyuwangi, and Sukoreno (between Lumajang and Jember), preparing the ground for the mission work in the area of the eastern tip of Java.
- Apostolic Prefecture
In April 1927, the administrative status of the Mission of Malang was converted into an apostolic prefecture. With this status, change in the spread and development of all activities of the Catholic faith was released from the responsibility of the Dutch Catholic Church and taken over by the Vatican. Father Clemens Vander Pas, OCarm was appointed as the leader (Prefect of Malang), which was confirmed by Bishop Antonio Pietro Francesco Van Velzen, SJ, Vicar Apostolic of Jakarta (Batavia).
The land, sea and air transportations are available in the diocese. Villages can be accessed from the main asphalted roads. Almost every island has harbor connecting one another, and every day the sea transportations are available.
People make up of civil servants, farmers, traders and mostly employees.
The telecommunication in the diocese is very good. Almost all parts in the diocese can be reached by phone, the Internet, television and radio.
Malang is known as the City of Education, because it has many reputable universities. Besides universities, there are also reputable senior high schools.
The ethnic and cultural richness adds to the traditional arts. One of these traditional arts is Topeng Malangan puppet show. The styles of the arts can be traced back to the three cultures of Central Java, Madura and Tengger. People in Malang are known for their dynamics and hard work.
There is also a center for the appreciation of local arts, which is called Taman Krida Budaya Jawa Timur. Here, various local arts are often performed, such as Ludruk, Ketoprak, Wayang Orang, Wayang Kulit, Reog, Kuda Lumping and Sendra Tari.