Category: Dioceses

Diocese of Dindigul

The diocesan territory stretches over a land area of 6,266 square kilometers and covers the civil district of Dindigul. Dindigul and Palani are the largest towns in the diocese.

The total population in the diocesan area was 1,923,014 as of the end of 2005. Tamils form the majority ethnic group here.

Political structure:
Towns are governed by municipalities, while villages and small towns are administered by local bodies called Panchayats.

The per capita income in the diocesan territory is 18,983 rupees (US$408 as of August 2006). Agriculture, especially paddy cultivation, is done extensively. Dindigul is also famous for its locks and tanneries.

Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese enjoys local cable TV networks.

Tamil and English are the languages used.

The diocesan area is well connected in terms of roads and railways. The nearest airport is in Madurai, the second largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu.

The literacy rate here is 69.35 percent.

About Diocese:

The Holy Father, John Paul II, erected the new Diocese of Dindigul on November 10, 2003 bifurcating the diocese of Tiruchirapalli and Most. Rev. Antony Pappusamy was installed at the first Bishop of the diocese on December 28, 2003.

Dindigul the 17th diocese in Tamilnadu consists of 37 parishes. In addition to 31 parishes from Tiruchirapalli, 6 parishes were carved out of Madurai Archdiocese and added to the new Dindigul diocese. And there are 56 diocesan priests working in 3 Vicariates which are, Dindigul consisting of 8 parishes, Kosavapatty consiting of 8 parishes and Panjampatty consisting of 11 parishes. After the erection of the diocese 3 more parishes have been created anew. The geographical area of the newly formed Dindigul Diocese is almost co-extensive with the civil administrative area of the Dindigul District in the South Indian State of Tamilnadu. The enumerated catholic population is 1,03,049.

After the death of Bishop Canoz at the age of 83 in 1888, Msgr. John Barthe, S.J. who was consecrated the Bishop of Tiruchirapalli. In 1914, when Bishop Barthe resigned, Msgr. Augustine Faisandier, S.J. who had been his Coadjutor from 1909 succeeded him. In 1923, a portion of the Fishery Coast with 70,000 Catholics was detached from Tiruchirapalli diocese to form the new diocese of Tuticorin and was entrusted to the care of the Diocesan clergy with Msgr. Tiburtius Roche, S.J. as its first Bishop. After the death of Msgr. Augustine Faisandier, S.J. in 1935, Msgr. John Peter Leonard, S.J. was appointed Bishop of Tiruchirapalli in 1936.


In !938, on the centenary year of the New Madurai Mission, the diocese was again divided. The diocese of Tiruchirapalli retained the five civil taluks of Palani, Dindigul, Kulithalai, Tiruchi and Kolathur with a Catholic population of 98,000 with Msgr. James Mendonca as the First Diocesan Bishop of Tiruchi. The rest of the old diocese with 1,60,0000 Catholics was erected as the new diocese of Madurai with Msgr. J.P.Leonard, S.J. as its first Bishop. Fifteen years later in 1953 Madurai diocese was raised to the status of an Archdiocese with Tiruchi, Tuticorin and Kottar as its suffragan Dioceses.

At the time of bifurcation of Madurai Archdiocese from Tiruchirapalli, the Dindigul town and the church in Mettupatti, though still in the Madurai district, remained part of the Tiruchirapalli diocese. Bishop James Mendonca found his diocese large enough to launch the idea of dividing it. Again this idea got strengthened under his successors Bishops Thomas Fernando who was the Apostolic Admistrator of Tiruchirapalli and the division was finally decided by the Holy See during the time of Bishop Antony Devotta on Nov.10, 2003.

Bishop Antony Pappusamy:

Bishop Antony Pappusamy was born on Oct. 1, 1949 in Marambady in Dindigul diocese. He was ordained a priest on July 7, 1976, and ordained Titular Bishop of Zaba on Feb. 4, 1999. He was appointed the first Bishop of Dindigul on Nov. 10, 2003. He was the auxiliary bishop of Madurai Archdiocese before becoming the bishop of Dindigul. He is the chairman of Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council’s commission for Clergy and Religious.

For information or donation contact
Bishop’s House, P.B. No: 62 St.Joseph’s Cathedral Campus, Dindigul – 62400. Tamilnadu, India.
PHONE: 0451-2441405, 2436712 FAX : 0451-2424405


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Thanjavur Diocese

A Brief History of the Diocese of Thanjavur

The Diocese of Thanjavur was created on November 22, 1952 through the papal bull “Ex Primaevae Ecclesiae” when it was bifurcated from the ancient See of Mylapore. It had to wait for four more months for the nomination of its new bishop. Most Rev. Dr.R.A.Sundaram, an illustrious son of the soil, was nominated the first Bishop of Thanjavur on February 4, 1953 and was consecrated at Chennai on 19th March 1953. It is interesting to note that in 1843 itself, the then Apostolic Prefect of Pondicherry, Msgr.Bonnand proposed that Thanjavur be erected an Apostolic Vicariate.

Thanjavur Diocese

Historical Notes

Mylapore had become a diocese in 1606 and was the third oldest diocese of India till it was amalgamated with Madras in 1952. Its jurisdiction extended from the present Diocese of Thoothukudi in Tamilnadu to what is now known as West Bengal. Many missionaries including Franciscans, Augustinians, Dominicans and Jesuits like Robert de Nobili (the Father of Tamil Prose), Balthasar da Costa (the founder of Thanjavur Mission), John de Britto (the first Jesuit saint in India), Antam de Proenca (whose Tamil Portuguese, Dictionary was the first of its kind to be printed) and Costanzo Giosseffo Beschi (fondly called by the Tamils Veeramamunivar, who was the author of the Tamil Catholic epic Thembavani, the first European scholar to scientifically study Tamil grammar and compose new Tamil grammar both in Tamil as well as in Latin and the first to compile a Tamil Tamil Dictionary called Saduragarathi) had toiled laboriously in the area presently covered by Thanjavur Diocese.

In 1570 Caesar Frederick, who visited Thanjavur, describes it as a great city and very populous of Portuguese and Christians of the country and many gentiles. The local Christians must have been settlers from the southern districts of Tamilnadu where Christianity was already established in 1536. Fr.Francisco do Oriente, O.F.M., who made an attempt in 1585 to found a church at Thanjavur was not permitted to do so by the Nayak of Thanjavur. The Nayak was not averse to Christians living in his kingdom but would not allow any missionary to work there or construct churches.

In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries, though Thanjavur was mentioned as a parish or mission centre in the Annual letters of the Jesuits, the local princes, who were opposed to the Christian faith and often persecuted the Christians, did not allow the missionaries to stay and do their ministry there. Therefore the Catholics, living within the Thanjavur kingdom, had to go to priests residing in Nandavanampatti or Koonampatti or Elakurichi for their Christian obligations. Fr.Balthazar da Costa speaks about Nandavanampatti, for the first time, in his letter dated 29.10.1644. He preached the Gospel in that area, converted many and constructed a church there. Later he was able to enter Thanjavur Town, convert many and construct churches within the town itself. In 1654-56 there were 985 Catholics in Thanjavur, up from 180 in 1647. Soon Christian communities were formed in Vallam and Sellappanpatti.

Nandavanampatti and Koonampatti are presently substations of the Parish of Muthandipatti in our Diocese, while Elakurichi belongs to the Diocese of Kumbakonam and is a famous Marian Shrine of the area. Beschi mentions Koonampatti in many of his letters. There was until recently a small chapel, which, according to the Jesuit Annual Letter of 1667, was constructed by a local Catholic lady named Margaret during the time of Fr.Domingo de Almeida. It was known as the Chapel of Five Wounds and had a small presbytery attached to it. It has now been replaced by a new construction. The tombs of two Jesuit Priests are still found in the village tank. We are informed that the Marattas imprisoned two of the Jesuit missionaries, Fr. Joseph Carvalho and Fr.Charles Michael Bertholdi, a dear friend and compatriot of Beschi, at Vallam or Thanjavur and one of them, Fr.Carvalho died in prison in 1701. Fr.Emmanuel Machado was arrested at Vallam, spent about 23 months in prison and freed on 06-06-1717.

We first hear of Christians living in Nagappattinam when Ludovico de Varthema visited it in 1505 which was much before the Portuguese had settled there. When St.Francis Xavier stayed with the Vicar of Nagappattinam in 1545 on his way to Mylapore, the Portuguese were well established there. Nagappattinam had about 3000 Christians in 1577. The Franciscans were the only religious in the place till almost the very end of the 16th century. Later the Jesuits came in 1597 and started a college in 1618 which was preceded by a school in 1602. The Dominicans came there in 1604 and the Augustinians in 1625. The priests, who stayed in Nagappattinam, often visited the Catholics in Tranquebar, where a chapel, dedicated to the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, had been constructed around 1597. In 1620, Tranquebar had a resident priest. In 1642, there were five churches in Nagappattinam, administered by the Franciscans, Jesuits, Augustinians and Dominicans while the main church was always administered by a diocesan priest. Besides, the Franciscans ran a Mercy Home and a hospital there. By 1642, there were 7000 Christians above the age of seven in the town. In 17th Century, six persons born at Nagappattinam of Portuguese parents became Jesuits. A church, dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, was erected in Sathangudi, presently a substation of Tranquebar, in 1726.

Among the ancient missionary centres, now under the jurisdiction of Thanjavur, the following are to be mentioned: Pillavadanthai and Kozhai (both of which were served by St.John de Britto 1847), Mannargudi, Pattukkottai, Vedaraniam, and Kozhai near Palayamkottai (served by many Jesuits including St. John de Britto), Moolangudi (where, according to a local tradition, St. Francis Xavier had erected a chapel to Our Lady at Serugalathur), Kottaikkadu, Sammanasur,(ancient parishes in Pudukkottai area), Mayiladuthurai (served by St. John de Britto ) and Eylur (a substation of Kattumannarkoil now and mentioned in the letters of Beschi who constructed some buildings there). Most of these were served by Jesuits and some by Franciscans and later by M. E.P. Fathers to whom Thanjavur mission was entrusted by the Holy See after the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1759. Many priests from Goa and Kochi were sent to work in the area.

The Jesuits of the New Madurai Mission came to Thanjavur in 1845 and served in various parishes like the Sacred Heart Church (the present Cathedral), Vallam, Sammanasur, Pudukkottai and Nagappattinam. They had to hand over these parishes to the Diocese of Mylapore in 1893.

Initial struggles of the New Diocese

With such a hoary past and rich missionary traditions, the new diocese came into being with the Sacred Heart Church in Thanjavur as its Cathedral. It is to be noted that the new bishop was a Parishioner of this Church.

As there was no Bishops House, a portion of the Cathedral Presbytery served as the Bishops House and the Diocesan Office. After eight months, the Baroda Villa on the Tiruchi Road was purchased and converted into the Bishops house. In 1957 a new Bishops House was constructed in the adjacent land.

When the Diocese was started, it had only 41 Parishes served by 51 Priests. Of these, Fr.Januario L. DSouza is alone with us today. Though a good number of them were advanced in age, there was no dearth of zeal and pastoral commitment among them. There were a good number of Goan priests serving in the Diocese at the beginning so much so two of the four Vicars Forane in the Diocese used to be Goans. To foster vocations in the new diocese, the Bishop started St. Marys Minor Seminary in a small room in the St. Xaviers Boys Home in 1953. It was then shifted to a rented house in New Town (presently VOC Nagar) and when a new Bishops House was constructed, the Baroda Villa became the Minor Seminary. It is a matter of notable pride that practically all the Priests serving in the diocese today, including the Bishop, are the products of this Minor Seminary. Since 2002 a new building at Bishop Sundaram Complex, Arulanandammal Nagar in Thanjavur, houses the Minor Seminary.

Frs.R.Savarimuthu and S.T. Amalnather (former Bishop of Thoothukkudi), who were serving in the Seminary in Mylapore as well as Fr.Paul K.F. Belevendram, then serving in Kovalam, joined the new diocese. Similarly Brothers S.A.Arulaiah (former Bishop of Cuddappah), P.M. Joseph and Y. Leo Michael, belonging to the Archdiocese of Madras – Mylapore and studying in Sacred Heart Seminary, Poonamallee joined the Diocese later. This helped to solve the problem of the initial scarcity of Priests. The Diocese now has 182 Priests and 86 Parishes. The parishes, which became part of the diocese in 1953, were full of old buildings -churches, presbyteries, schools and convents. Almost all of them wear a new look today with new buildings -some renovated and some replaced by new and modern structures.

Religious Congregations

There were only a few convents in the new diocese in 1953; but over the past 57 years, many new congregations have established their houses and have taken up new ministries. This has contributed to the establishment of many educational and other institutions in the diocese. It is to be noted that, in addition to many convents, quite a few men religious congregations are functioning in the diocese. At present, 8 men religious congregations and 41 women religious congregations are working in the diocese.


In 1953 St. Anthonys High School was the only High school run by the diocese. Today we have 7 Higher Secondary Schools, 9 High Schools and three Matriculation Schools under the management of the diocese and 10 Higher Secondary Schools, 17 High Schools and Matriculation Schools run by various religious congregations. Practically all the Parishes have a school and about half of them have orphanages attached to them. While there was only one Industrial School (St.Xaviers Industrial School, Thanjavur) in the diocese in 1953, the diocese is presently running three Industrial Centers in Thanjavur, Namanasamudram and Vanamadevi. To cater to the needs of the time, the Diocese now runs a Teacher Training Institute, a College of Education offering B.Ed. and M.Ed. courses, a Nursing School and a Nursing College as well as an Arts and Science College.

Many of the diocesan Priests have high academic qualifications in religious and/ or in secular studies. On account of this, many of them are able to serve in schools and Industrial Centers in the diocese or as professors in various Major Seminaries.

Homes for the Aged

Two Charitable Trusts, established by individual Catholics of erstwhile Perumpannaiyur parish and entrusted to the Diocese, one in Pannaivilagam and the other in Elanthavanancherry, are running Homes for the Aged, both for men and women. The diocese has started one such Home in Vailankanni. There is also a Home for the Aged in Thanjavur run by St.Vincent De Paul Society. Many a destitute are able to find shelter in these Homes in their old age.

The Marian Shrine at Vailankanni

Our Lady of Health, Vailankanni is the second Patroness of the diocese. Though no historical records exist, according to an age old and strong tradition Our Lady appeared to two poor boys besides saving the Portuguese sailors from shipwreck in Vailankanni and this led to the origin of a Marian Shrine at Vailankanni centuries back. A Chronicle of 1635 and a letter of 1642 mention a Christian centre at Vailankanni with a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Health. The Franciscan priests of Nagappattinam were looking after Vailankanni which in course of time had a Franciscan priest stationed there. Later it came under the administration of the Diocese of Mylapore.

In 1933, a spacious Gothic church replaced the old church, constructed by the sailors, though part of the old altar can be seen even today. The shrine was raised to the status of a Minor Basilica in 1963 and a two-storied extension church was added to it in 1975 to accommodate the ever growing number of pilgrims. On the way to Our Ladys Tank, Stations of the Cross and Mysteries of the Rosary were constructed. The Shrine now has many quarters with convenient rooms at affordable rates of rent for the benefit of the pilgrims. The Shrine Retreat House and the Institute of Mariology are milestones in the development of the Shrine. It is also to be mentioned that perpetual Eucharistic adoration and counseling centre were started and confessions in different languages are heard. The administration was reformed to give better service to the pilgrims.

The Apostolate of the Laity

Parish Councils have been formed in sixty seven parishes and Basic Ecclesial Communities (Anbiams) are functioning in sixty eight parishes. This helps the laity to play an active role in the life of the church. The Catholic Association, Legion of Mary, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Vaazhvurimai Iyakkam and Third Order of St. Francis are some of the lay organizations, which are active in the diocese. It is a matter of great pride that Thanjavureans have distinguished themselves by holding high offices at the national level in the lay organizations.

The Bishops

Most Rev. Dr. R.A. Sundaram served as the first Bishop of Thanjavur from 1953 to 1986 and has left a long record of great achievements. He built the Diocese from scratch and put it on a sound track. It was due to his strenuous efforts that the Marian Shrine at Vailankanni became a Basilica in 1963 and many buildings were constructed to provide proper accommodation to the growing number of pilgrims. After reorganizing the Thanjavur Multipurpose Social Service Society in 1978 and making it more democratic, he started the Pudukkottai Multipurpose Social Service Society in 1984 to concentrate on the social development of the area. He wanted every parish to have a decent church, presbytery, school and a convent so that the people of the area can be served with great effect. With future vision he bought 130 acres of land in the heart of the town for future development of the diocese. He spent his retired life in the Sacred Heart Home for Retired Priests in Arulananda Nagar, Thanjavur and died peacefully in the Lord in August 1998 at the ripe age of 94.

Archbishop Packiam Arockiasamy succeeded him in 1986. He created many new parishes and constructed necessary parish churches and other necessary infrastructure in the rural areas. He started new High Schools in Palayamkottai, Vichoor and K.Aranthangi as well as Industrial Centres in Namanasamudram and Vanamadevi. He encouraged the Charismatic Movement in the Diocese and started the Diocesan Charismatic Centre at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Mangalapuram, Thanjavur. It was during his time that the Diocese of Thanjavur Society was reorganized and many Committees were formed for the better functioning of the Diocese. He retired in 1997 and died peacefully in the Lord in May 2003.

Dr. M. Devadass Ambrose, who hails from the Diocese of Thanjavur, was nominated the Bishop of Thanjavur in July 1997 and was consecrated in September of the same year. He continues to tread the path paved by his predecessors and concentrates on the overall development of the people. He has erected new parishes in Anna Nagar, Amaradakki, Siluvaipuram, Kuthalam, Machuvadi, Veerakurichi, Adaikalamatha(Thanjavur), Adhanur, Arasadipatty, Parithiur, Nagore, and Munnayampatti. Bishop added more commissions like anbiams, women etc. He has sent many priests for both religious and secular studies within India and abroad. He has started an Educational Fund and asks the people to contribute to it monetarily instead of honouring him with shawls and garlands during his visits to parishes. He has regularized the contracts with many Religious Congregations working in the Diocese. Bishop also had upgraded many schools according to the need of the people. He upgraded Primary school into Middle School in Moovanur, Middle School into High School in Pattukkottai and Thirukkanurpatti, High Schools as Higher Secondary Schools at Palayamkottai, Pudukottai and Vichoor. Realizing the need for higher education for the youth, he started six institutions of higher education which is very much appreciated by the people. In order to have decent place of worship for the villagers, Bishop is constructing many village chapels.

When the Tsunami hit the shores of the diocese on 26th December 2004, the Bishop rose to the occasion; he arranged to feed and shelter thousands of victims in Vailankanni. Through the TMSSS, he constructed many temporary shelters and distributed clothes, utensils etc. to the affected with the help of many donors from India and abroad. Then he constructed more than 2400 houses with the help of the State Government and donor agencies like the Caritas-India, CRS, CNEWA and the Carmelite Society. It is also to be noted that from the time of tsunami, Caritas Poland has been helping the orphan children with scholarships and the orphan children have benefitted from this assistance.


In fine, the Diocese of Thanjavur, under the patronage and protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Health, Vailankanni is making great strides in spreading the kingdom of God in the area entrusted to it by the Divine Providence. It has contributed its share to the growth and development of the Church in the region of Tamilnadu and India by generously lending the services of its priests. It is extending its ministry in educational, cultural, social, economic and pastoral fields, thus contributing to the overall growth and development of the people of the area, irrespective of caste or creed.



Bishop’s House, 
P.B. No. 204,
Thanjavur 613 007
Phone : + 91 4362 23 5524

Salem Diocese – List of Parishes

Agraharam (Est: 1880)
Holy Spirit Church,
A.N. Mangalam (P.O.), Karippatty Via, Salem – 636 106
Tel: +91 427 2482526

Alagapuram (Est: 1997)
St. Michael’s Church,
Convent Road, Alagapuram, Salem-636016
Tel: +91 427 2440216

Arisipalayam (Est: 1991)
Infant Jesus Cathedral,
Omalur Main Road, Salem – 636 009.
Tel: +91 427 2352526

Attur (Est: 1939)
St. Mary’s Church,
Attur (P.O.), Salem–636102
Tel: +91 4282 250101

Chinnagollapatti (Est: 2008)
Our Lady of Perpetual Help,
Mount Mary Matic. School, Chinnagollapatti, Peryal Nagar, Salem – 636 008
Tel: +91 427 2405520

Elanagar (Est: 1939)
St. Paul’s Church,
Elanagar (P.O.), Via Vela-gaundamppatty Namakkal (Dt) – 637212
Tel: +91 4286 268646

Gangavalli (Est: 1935)
Christ the King Church,
Gangavalli (P.O.), Attur (Tk), Salem – 636105
Tel: +91 4282 232122

Idappadi (Est: 1870)
St. Selvanayagi Church,
Vellandivalasai (P.O.), Salem (Dt) – 637105
Tel: +91 4283 222260

Jayarakkini Nagar (Est: 2007)
Annai Jayarakkini Church,
Jayarakkini Nagar, Naranampalayam Pudur, Kamalapuram P.O.
Salem – 636309

Johnsonpet (Est: 1924)
St. Antony’s Church,
Johnsonpet, Salem-636007
Tel: +91 427 2416563

Kakkaveri (Est: 1880)
Our Lady Mt. Carmel Church,
Kakkaveri(P.O.), Namakkal (Dt) – 637 415
Tel: +91 4287 223620

Karumandurai (Est: 2008)
St.Francis of Assisi Church,
Assisi Institute, Sagayapuram, Karumandurai P.O, Karlrayan Hills – 636138, Salem Dt.
Tel: +91 4292 239170

Koneripatti (Est: 1900)
St. Mary’s Church,
Koneripatty(P.O), Salem (Dt) – 636113,
Tel: +91 4282 226004

Kongrapatti (Est: 1997)
St. Sebastian Church,
V.Kongarapatty, Via Kadayampatty Salem (Dt), 636 351
Tel: +91 9443516910

Kootatturpatti (Est: 2010)
St. Sabastian Church,
Kootatturpatti P.O. Valapadi TK, Salem Dt – 636139.

Kosavampatti (Est: 1934)
St. Francis Xavier’s Church,
S.Udupam(P.O.), Namakkal (Dt) – 637019
Tel: +91 4286 244313

Kumarapalayam (Est: 2012)
Our Lady Of Rosary Church,
J.K.K. Natarajar Nagar, Kumarapalayam – 638 183
Namakkal Dt.

Kunnamalai (Est: 1936)
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church,
Kunnamalai (P.O.), Kandampalayam Via, Namakkal (Dt) – 637203
Tel: +91 4268 260632

Manjakultai (Est: 2012)
St. Joseph’s Church,
Graigmore, Manjakultai P.O, Yercaud – 636602
Salem Dt.

Marilapalayam (Est: 2010)
St. Sebastian Church,
Marilapalayam, Via. Mettur Dam – 636 452, Salem Dt

Mathiyampatti (Est: 1927)
St. Mary Magdalene Church,
Mamundi (P.O.), Namakkal (Dt) 637 503
Tel: +91 4287 260223

Mettur Dam (Est: 1902)
Our Lady of Assumption Church,
Mettur dam (p.o.), Salem (dt) – 636401
Tel: +91 4298 244345

Nagalur (Est: 2010)
Sagayamatha Church,
Nagalur P.O, Yercaud – 636 602. Salem Dt

Namagiripettai (Est: 2011)
St. Joseph’s Church,
Namagiripettai P.O. Via. Rasipuram – 637406. Namakkul Dr.

Namakkal (Est: 1928)
Christ the King Church,
Namakkal (Dt), 637 001
Tel: +91 4286 223537

Pallipalayam (Est: 2008)
St. Antony’s Charch,
TVS Medu, Thiruchengode Road, Pallipalauam P.O. Erode – 638 006
Tel: +91 9442749177

Paramathi (Est: 2001)
Amala Annai Church,
Velur Road, Paramathi, Namakkal-Dt
Tel: +91 4268 251699

Perunkurrichi (Est: 1942)
Our Lady of Lourdes Church,
Perunkurichy(P.O.), Paramathi (Tk), Namakkal (Dt) – 637201
Tel: +91 4288 242080

Pettaipalayam (Est: 1975)
Pettaipalayam (P.O.), Namakkal (Dt) – 637015
Tel: +91 4286 255852

Pudupalayam (Est: 1973)
Assumption Church,
Pudupalayam (P.O.), Rasipuram (Tk), Namakkal (Dt) 637408
Tel: +91 4287 – 223732

Pungavadi (Est: 2004)
Our Lady of Headlth Church,
Pungavadi (P.O), Attur Talik, Salem Dt – 636 141
Tel: +91 4282 275111

Rasipuram (Est: 1989)
Our Lady of Lourdes Church,
Rasipuram (P.O.), Namakkal (Dt) – 637408
Tel: +91 4287 226766

Sadayampalayam (Est: 1972)
St. Sebastian Church,
Samiampalayam (P.O.) Salem (Dt) – 638183
Tel: +91 4288 263022

Salem Camp (Est: 1947)
St. Joseph Church,
Salem Camp, Salem (Dt) 636 456
Tel: +91 4298 – 240758

Sankari (Est: 1975)
St. Antony’s Church,
Sangagiri (P.O.), Salem (Dt) – 637301
Tel: +91 4283 – 241234

Sanyasigundu (Est: 1990)
St. Joseph Church,
Sanyasigundu, Kichipalayam (P.O.), Salem – 636015
Tel: +91 427 – 2261557

Savariyarpalayam (Est: 1980)
St. Francis Xavier Church,
Saveriarpalayam (P.O.), Mettur (TK), Salem (Dt) – 636303
Tel: +91 4298 – 251891

Settipatti (Est: 1890)
St. Peter and Paul Church,
R.C. Settipatti (P.O.), Salem (Dt) 636 455
Tel: +91 4290 – 222285

Semmedu (Est: 2004)
Infact Jesus Church,
Karayankadu (P.O.), Vasalur Road, Kolli Hills – 637411. Namakkal Dt
Tel: +91 4286 – 247497

Sendamangalam (Est: 2004)
Arockia Matha Church,
Ghandhipuram, Sendamangala – 637 409. Namakkal Dt
Tel: +91 4286 – 292088

Sendarapatti (Est: 1990)
Sacred Heart Church,
Siluvaigiri, Thagarapudur (P.O.). Salem (Dt) – 636110
Tel: +91 4290 – 228777

Shevapet (Est: 1858)
St. Mary’s Co- Cathedral,
Shevapet (P.O.), Salem – 636 002.
Tel: +91 427 – 2218882

Siluvaigiri (Est: 2006)
R.C. Church,
Siluvaigiri, Thagarapudhr P.O. Gangavalli Tk, Salem – 636110
Tel: +91 42828 – 295234

Solasiramani (Est: 2005)
Our Lady of Good Health Church,
Solasiramani, Pachampalayam (P.O.), Paramathi Taluk, Namakkal Dt – 637 210
Tel: +91 4288 – 222164

S.P.B Colony (Est: 1982)
Holy Trinity Church,
Spb Colony, Erode – 638010, Namakkal (Dt)
Tel: +91 4286 – 223537

Steel Plant (Est: 1993)
St. Jude’s Church,
Mohan Nagar, Salem – 636 030
Tel: +91 427 – 2383587

Suramangalam (Est: 1924)
Sacred Heart Church,
Suramangalam (P.O.), Salem – 636005
Tel: +91 427 – 2445480

Thalaivasal (Est: 2004)
St. Joseph’s Church,
Thalaaivasal P.O. Salem – 636112
Tel: +91 4282 – 230461

Tharamangalam (Est: 1980)
St. Charles Boromeo Church,
Tharamangalam (P.O.), Salem – (Dt) 636502
Tel: +91 4290 – 252210

Thirumanur (Est: 2010)
John the Baptist Church,
Thirumanur – 636202, Via Mangalapuram, Salem Dt

Thumbal (Est: 1978)
St. Mary’s Church,
Thumbal (P.O.), Salem (Dt) 636 114
Tel: +91 4292 – 245949

Thiruchengode (Est: 1936)
St. Mary’s Church,
Tiruchengode (P.O.), Namakkal (Dt) – 637211
Tel: +91 4288 – 284900

Udayapatti (Est: 1997)
Our Lady of Good Health Church,
Udyappatty – Salem.
Res: Jyothi Dharshan,
Ayothiapatnam (P.O.), Salem – 636 103
Tel: +91 427-243032

Valapaddy (Est: 1958)
St. Pius X Church,
Valappady (P.O.), Salem (Dt) – 636115
Tel: +91 4292 – 222342

Vellapalayam (Est: 1970)
St. Mary Magdalene Church,
Thevur (Via), Kaveripatty (P.O.), Salem (Dt) – 637104
Tel: +91 4283 – 232494

Yercaud (Est: 1934)
Sacred Heart Church,
Yercaud (P.O.), Salem (Dt) – 636601
Tel: +91 4281 – 222348

Salem Diocese

The Diocese of Salem comprises of civil districts of Salem and Namakkal. In 1623 Southern Kongunadu, part of Salem District, under Madurai Nayakkars accepted Christianity, through Fr. Robert De Nobili, S.J. and his successors, the Portuguese Jesuits of the Madurai Mission. About 1654, the Italian Jesuits of the Mysore mission had a residence near Hosur. In 1687, the Mysore Mission laboured in the entire area of the present diocese. Fr. De Cunha died in 1711 at Kapiganathi near Hosur. Even after the suppression of their Society, the Jesuits under the jurisdiction of Cranganore, worked to the last in the field.

In 1785, during Tippu Sulttan’s rule, Msgr. Champenois, Superior of the Malabar Mission, was entrusted by Rome with the Mysore Mission, which took care of Salem. He was the first Bishop to visit Salem. Salem Mission was brought under the Brirtish rule, and he left in charge there “Fr. Abbe Dubois”, who strove to restore the devastated mission. From 1797, Kartenaras from Cranganore intruded into Salem till they left about 1833.

The area continued to depend on the Coromandal mission. Later it came under the Vicariate Apostolic of Pondicherry, which in 1886 became an Archdiocese. This set up continued till 1930 except for Hosur Taluk which had been entrusted from 1861 to the area of Mysore and for the southeast which was joined in 1899 to the Diocese of Kumbakonam.

On May 26, 1930 the Diocese of Salem was erected from the parts of Salem District and from parts under the jurisdiction of Pondicherry Diocese (6 parishes), Kumbakonam Diocese (3 parishes), Mysore Diocese (1 parish) and in 1943 the Western portion of Mettur Taluk (2 parishes) was added.

In 1949, the Diocese of Salem was entrusted to an Indian, its second Bishop Rt. Rev. V.S. Selvanather. Diocese of Dharmapuri was bifurcated from the Diocese of Salem according to the communique released on February 28,1997. The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Joseph Antony Irudaya Raj, SDB as the first Bishop of Dharmapuri.


Salem Cathdral

The parish of Arisipalayam was bifurcated from Shevapet in 1953 and was erected as St. Francis Xavier’s parish. The chapel of St. Francis Xavier’s Minor Seminary served as the parish church till 1991.

The New Cathedral was consecrated on 27th November 1991, and dedicated to Infant Jesus. This magnificent Cathedral was meticulously planned and carefully constructed with strenuous efforts by late Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Michael B. Duraisamy, as his last monument and gift to the diocese of Salem. Very Rev. Fr. S. Amalraj was asked to continue as the first Parish Priest of the Infant Jesus Cathedral parish, since he was already the Parish Priest of St. Xavier’s Church at Arisipalayam. He was in-charge of the Parish till to 13th June 1992. Rev. Fr. S. Savari was appointed as the second Parish Priest. He continued to be the parish Priest up to 20th July 1998. Rev. Fr. M.S. Martin succeeded Fr. S. Savari from 1998 till 2004. Fr. S. Pushpanathan was parish priest till 2009. Fr. A. Singarayan is the Present parish priest.

The cathedral Parish can be divided into two main areas: Arisipalayam and Peramanur. Omalur main Road is dividing these two areas. There are five sectors in Arisipalayam area: Arisipalayam, Mullakkadu, Saminathapuram, Angammal Colony and Pallapatti-Meiyanur. In Peramanur area also there are five sectors Peramanur, Chinnapudur, Sankar Nagar, Fairlands and Alagapuram.

Mostly teachers, Government Employees, Business people, a few doctors, lawyers and Engineers live in Peramanur area. Carpenters, Masons, Daily Coolies, Merchants, Teachers with few doctors and engineers reside at Arisipalayam area.

Parish Administration

Parish Priest is Responsible for the administration of the parish. He shares his responsibility with the assistant Parish Priest. Apart from this, there is the parish council with 25 members, representatives of various sections of the parish. Every month in the second week, the parish council meets to plan and discuss the matters that pertain to the parish.
Bishop’s House
P.O.Box 703, 2, Court Road,
Maravaneri, Salem – 636 007
Tamilnadu, INDIA

Bishop’s House (Office) 0427 2415641

Fax 0427 2411517
Procurator 0427 2420148

For more information please visit:

Kumbakonam Diocese

History of Kumbakonam Diocese

The diocese of Kumbakonam was born on September 01, 1899. It was bifurcated from the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and it was entrusted to the able leadership of MEP. The Diocese is very proud to say that the first two Bishops were from the MEP.

Most Rev. Hugo M. Bottero was appointed as the first Bishop on September 01, 1899. He showed a keen interest in the establishment of the diocese which was facing many challenges and difficulties. Being a Tamil scholar, he translated the entire Bible into Tamil.

Most Rev. Marie Augustine CHAPUIS was appointed as the co-adjustor to the Prelate, Hugo M. Bottero on July 25, 1911. When Most Rev. Hugo M. Bottero rested in his eternal abode, Bishop Augustine Marie Chapuis succeeded him in 1913. He promoted native vocation to priesthood and religious life. By his foresight, he prepared the diocese to be handed over to the indigenous clergy. At his resignation, Msgr. M.A. Xavier was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese in 1930.

Most Rev. Peter Francis was nominated by Pope Pius XI as the first indigenous Bishop of the diocese of Kumbakonam. He was consecrated on the feast of his patron St Peter (June 29, 1931). He promoted evangelization through the mission stations established at Ariyalur, Kulumur and Thiruvalanthurai. There was increase in the number of conversions in large numbers in the above mission centers. He celebrated his Episcopal Silver Jubilee and the Golden Jubilee of the diocese. He rested in peace on May 4, 1973.

On 5th May 1955 Most Rev. D. Paul Arulsamy, the then Parish Priest of Kottapalayam was nominated as the Bishop. He was consecrated as the Bishop on August 24, 1955. He continued the zeal of his predecessor on mission and extended the mission at Thirumanthurai, Fatimapuram, Elakurichy, Vadakkalur and Padalur. His personal interest to improve the Shrine of our Lady of Refuge at Elakurichi had made it known to the Catholics both in and outside Tamilnadu. The contribution of  Fr. C.J. Beschi S.J. to Tamil language was highlighted and the fame of the Shrine spread far and wide. The tenure of the Bishop envisaged the dawn of the Second Vatican Council. He personally participated in the council sessions and was convinced of the changes of the times. He took keen interest to implement the teaching of the Vatican II. He promoted renewal in the fields of Liturgy, Catechesis, Bible etc. The Pastoral Centre was his creation, made in 1979.

After Most Rev. D. Paul Arulsamy’s resignation accepted on 16 August, 1988, Msgr. M. Antony David became the diocesan administrator and continued the mission of the former Bishop until the nomination of the next Bishop.

Most Rev. Peter Remigius, a priest of Kottar diocese was nominated the Bishop of Kumbakonam on December 02, 1989. He was consecrated as the Bishop of Kumbakonam on January 03, 1990. He built chapels in majority of the substations. He gave importance to the education of children and awareness. Many schools were upgraded and new buildings were constructed with the help of the benefactors thanks to the hard efforts of the Bishop. The Shrine of Our Lady of Miraculous Mother of Poondi was raised to the level of Marian Minor Basilica with the approval of the Holy See. His missionary pastoral works came to the highlight during the centenary celebration of the diocese of Kumbakonam on September 01, 1999. He was transferred from Kumbakonam as the Bishop of Kottar on 30th June 2007. He took charge of his diocese on 24th August, 2007.

Msgr. C. Peter Francis was elected to be the diocesan administrator of Kumbakonam on 27th August, 2007. With the help of the College of Consultors he continued and completed the works of the former Bishop. He coordinated the mission of the diocese and prepared the way for the next Bishop.

Most Rev. Antonisamy Francis, a priest of Thanjavur diocese and the Parish Priest of Vailankanni was nominated Bishop of Kumbakonam on 31st May, 2008. He was ordained as the Bishop of Kumbakonam on 09th July, 2008. The diocese is given a focus in all possible ways to improve the mission of the diocese. He renewed the diocesan pastoral council and encouraged the different commissions of the pastoral centre to work more effectively with full time priest secretary to each commission. The statutes of the diocese of Kumbakonam, rules and regulations and memorandum of the diocese are all revised and updated on a par with the other dioceses of Tamilnadu. The centralized educational employments and appointments of the teachers begun by the previous Bishop are brought to the perfection with an independent diocesan secretary for education and diocesan education commission. His focus on evangelization and education and prayer meetings etc. create renewal of Christian faith in the diocese. His spiritual outlook is made clear through his attractive homilies and reflections in the news letters. Apart from the continuation of improving education he shows keen interest in the professional and higher education of the students of our diocese.

List of Parishes:
Vicariate: Jayankondam | Kumbakonam | Lalgudi | Michaelpatty | Perambalur | Pullambadi | Vilagam

Kumbakonam Diocese Map

Diocese of Kumbakonam
Bishop’s House
Post Box No.3
Kumbakonam – 612 001
Thanjavur District., South India.

Office: 0435 – 2432232
Fax: 0435 – 2423679


For more information please visit:

Kumbakonam Diocese – List of Parishes – Pullambadi, Vilagam

List of Parishes (Vicariate: Pullambadi)

St Thomas’ Church,
Alambakkam P.O. Via Pullambadi, Trichy Dt. – 621 711

Adaikala Madha Shrine,
Elakurichy P.O. Via Tirumanur, Ariyalur Dt. – 621 715.

St Xavier’s Church,
Kallakudi S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 651.

St Ignatius Church,
Kokkudi P.O. Via Kallagam, Ariyalur Dt. – 621 653

St James’ Church,
Kovandakurichy P.O. Via Pullambadi, Trichy Dt. – 621 711

St Ignatius Church,
Kulamanickam P.O. Ariyalur Dt. – 621 723.

St Joseph’s Church,
Malathankulam, Via Keelapalur, Ariyalur Dt. – 621 707.

Our Lady of Annunciation Church,
Pudukottai, Tirumalabadi P.O. Ariyalur Dt. – 621 851

St Anne’s Church,
Pullambadi S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 711.

Infant Jesus Church,
Siluvaipatti, Kallagam P.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 653.

St John de Britto Church,
Thirumanur P.O. Ariyalur Dt. – 621 715.

O.L. of Good Health Church,
Vadugarpet P.O. Via Kallakudi, Trichy Dt. – 621 651.

St Xavier’s Church,
Vandalai, Gudalore P.O. Via Pullambadi, Trichy Dt. – 621 711.

O. L. of Seven Dolours’ Church,
Viragalur S.O. Via Pullamabadi, Trichy Dt. – 621 722

List of Parishes (Vicariate: Vilagam)

Vilagam Esanai
St. Antonys Church,
Vilagam Esanai(Post), Via Thirumalapadi, Ariyalur (Dt). Pincode: 621 851.

Kumbakonam Diocese – List of Parishes – Perambalur

List of Parishes (Vicariate: Perambalur)

Our Lady of Fatima Church,
Fatimapuram P.O, Via Valigondapuram, Perambalur Dt. – 621 115

St Thomas’ Church,
Annamangalam P.O. Perambalur Dt. – 621 102.

St Mary Magdalene Church,
Kottapalayam P.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 003.

Noothappur, Nergunam P.O. Via V. Kalathur, Perambalur Dt. – 621 117.

St Francis of Assisi Church,
Padalur S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 109.

St Joseph’s Church,
Palayam P.O. Via Kurumbalur, Perambalur Dt. – 621 107.

Our Lady of Snows Church,
Perambalur S.O. Perambalur Dt. – 621 212

St Sebastian’s Church,
Perumalpalayam P.O. Via Sikkathambur, Trichy Dt. – 621 008.

Perumathur Eraiyur
St Antony’s Church,
P.S.M. Ltd. 36, Eraiyur P.O. Perambalur Dt. – 621 133

St Pius X Church,
Thirumanthurai P.O. Via Labbhaikudikadu, Perambalur Dt. 621 108.

St Michael’s Church,
Thondamanthurai P.O. Perambalur Dt. – 621 103.

Sts Peter & Paul Church,
Thuraiyur S.O. Perambalur Dt. – 621 010.

Little Flower Church,
Vadakkalur P.O. Via Labhaikudikadu, Perambalur Dt. – 621 108

Christ the King Church,
Thiruvalenthurai PO. Via Kalathur, Perambalur Dt. – 621 117.

Kumbakonam Diocese – List of Parishes – Michaelpatty

List of Parishes (Vicariate: Michaelpatty)

St Antony’s Church,
Aachanur, Vaithiyanathanpet P.O. Via Thillaisthanam, Thanjavur Dt.-613 203

St Thomas’ Church,
Manathidal P.O. Via Kandiyur, Thanjavur Dt. – 613 101

Our Lady of Refuge Church,
Megalathur P.O. Via Thogur, Thanjavur Dt. – 613 102.

Mela Thirupanthurithy
Arputha Annai Church,
Mela Thirupanthurithy, Via Kandiyur, Thanjavur Dt. – 613 103.

St Michael’s Church,
Michaelpatti P.O. Via Tirukattupalli, Thanjavur – 613 104

St James’ Church,
Pavanamangalam, Vishnampet S.O. Via Poondi, Thanjavur Dt. – 613 105.

Poondi Madha Basilica,
Poondi P.O. Via Tirukkattupalli, Thanjavur Dt. – 613 105

St John’s Church,
Punalvasal P.O. Via Tiruvaiyaru, Thanjavur Dt. – 613 204

St Antony’s Church,
Sukkambar, Koviladi P.O. Thanjavur Dt. – 613 105.

Imm. Heart of Mary Church,
Thiruvaiyaru S.O. Thanjavur Dt. – 613 204.

O. L. of Good Health Church,
Thiruppanthurithy P.O. Via Kandiyur, Thanjavur Dt. – 613 103.

Kumbakonam Diocese – List of Parishes – Lalgudi

List of Parishes (Vicariate: Lalgudi)

Amala Annai Church,
Amalashram, Srirangam S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 006

Sacred Heart Church,
Gabrielpuram P.O. Via Valady, Trichy Dt. – 621 218

St Thomas Church,
Irungalur S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 105

St Mary Magdelene Church,
Kalathilventronpet, Sengaraiyur P.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 792

St Antony of Paduva Church,
Konalai P.O. Via Irungalur, Trichy Dt. – 621 132

St Antony’s Church,
Konnaikudi P.O. Via Anbil, Trichy Dt. – 621 702

St Joseph’s Church,
Tiruvalluvar Nagar, Lalgudi S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 601.

Our Lady of Help of Refuge Church,
Manakkal P.O. Lalgudi S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 601.

Sacred Heart Church,
Musiri S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 211.

Our Lady of Refuge Church,
Periaverseeli P.O. Via Valady, Trichy Dt. – 621 218.

St Xavier’s Church,
Purathakudi S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 111

Ramanathapuram Kattur
O L of Lourdes Church,
K. Ramanathapuram P.O. Via Puvalur, Trichy Dt. – 621 706.

St Mary, the Mother of God Church,
Samayapuram S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 112.


O.L. of Presentation Church,
Tirukavalur, Valady S.O. Trichy Dt. ? 621 218.

O. L. of Victories Church,
Thottiam S.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 215.

Infant Jesus Church,
Tollgate, Pitchandavar Koil P.O. Trichy Dt. – 621 216.

Sts. Paul & Peter Church,
Uthamanur Pudur.P.O. Via Puvalur, Trichy Dt. – 621 712.

Kumbakonam Diocese – List of Parishes

List of Parishes (Vicariate: Kumbakonam)

Our Lady of Refuge Chruch,
Ammanpettai, Anaikudi P.O. Via Veppathur, Thanjavur 612 105.

Guanella Nagar
Our Lady of Divine Porvidence,
O.S.J. Abideen Nagar, Mela Cauvery, Kumbakonam – 612 002.

St Antony’s Church,
Keela Kabisthalam, Kabisthalam P.O. Thanjavur Dt. – 614 203

St Antony of Paduva Church,
Pasupathikoil, Ayyampet, Thanjavur Dt. – 614 206

O.L.of Fatima Church,
Kaniyiruppu, Manalur P.O. Papanasam T.K. Thanjavur Dt. – 614 202

St Mary’s Cathedral,
Post Box No. 3, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur Dt. – 612 001.

Our Lady of Victory Church,
Mathur P.O. Via Natchiarkoil, Thanjavur Dt. – 612 602

St Sebastian’s Church,
Papanasam S.O. Thanjavur Dt. – 614 205

S. Pudur
Our Lady of Good Health Church,
S.Pudur, Via Tiruvaimarudhur, Thanjavur Dt. – 612 205

St Xavier’s Church,
Sembodai, Kumbakonam South P.O. Thanjavur Dt. – 612 001.

R. C. Church,
Sikkalnayakkanpettai P.O. Via Tirupananthal, Thanjavur Dt. – 612 504.

Our Lady of Lourdes Church,
Vadagarai, Mallapuram P.O. Via Konerirajapuram, Thanjavur Dt. – 612 201.

Holy Redeemer Church,
Valangaiman S.O. Thiruvarur Dt. – 612 804

St Sebastin’s Church,
Villiavarambal, Ayyavadi P.O. Thanjavur Dt. – 612 003.