The Prefecture Apostolic of Hualien was established in 1952, carved out from Kaohsiung Prefecture Apostolic. Hualien was made a diocese in 1963.
Hualien diocese comprises Hualien city and county as well as Taitung city and county on the eastern coast of Taiwan.
Taitung is home to Ami, Bunun, Paiwan, Puyuma, Rukai and Yami tribes. At present, there are 10 aboriginal priests serving.
Before Hualien diocese was established, Hualien county was under the jurisdiction of Taipei archdiocese and Taitung was under the jurisdiction of Kaohsiung diocese. Since Taipei and Kaohsiung were faraway from the eastern part of Taiwan, there were only one priest and eight nuns serving there and there were little or no Church activities in most part of Hualien and Taitung.
In 1951, Bishop André-Jean Vérineux, MEP (1897-1983) recognized that the people in the eastern part of Taiwan did not have a religious faith and live in a backward environment. He felt merciful to the simple live of the unsophisticated indigenous and suggested to the Holy See to create a new diocese there. In 1952, Hualien diocese was thus established.
The geographical locations had motivated many missioners such as Swiss Bethlehem missioners there to live on the mountains to preach among aboriginals. The diocese of Hualien covers 8,144 square kilometers.
Hualien County covers 4,629 square kilometers and has a population of 342,400 as of July 2008. Including Hualien city, there are 25 parishes in the county. It is the largest county in Taiwan, which locates on the mountainous eastern coast of Taiwan. It faces the immense Pacific Ocean in the east and leans against the grand Central Mountain Range in the west. It is famous for its beautiful scenery. The natural resources in Taroko National Park, East Coast National Scenic Area, East Rift Valley Scenic Area and Yushan National Park make Hualien the most beautiful county in Taiwan.
Taitung County covers 5,315 square kilometers and has a population of 232,452 as of July 2008. There are 20 parishes in the county. Taitung accounts for about one tenth of the area of Taiwan, representing the third largest county in Taiwan. It is located on the boundary between the Philippine and Eurasian plates and its spectacular landform of the mountains and coasts was the result of the collision between these plates for millions of years and the resulting organic events and also the erosion caused by the rivers and waves.