Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Diocese of Sylhet: Bangladesh Gets Its Seventh Catholic Diocese


Map of the districts of Bangladesh
(You may click on the map to see an enlarged version)
Map courtesy:

Pope Benedict XVI, on July 8, created the new Diocese of Sylhet in Bangladesh encompassing a portion of the present Archdiocese of Dhaka. He also appointed Bishop Bejoy Nicephorus D’Cruze, O.M.I., the present bishop of the Diocese of Khulna, as the bishop of the new diocese.

The Diocese of Sylhet, comprising the four civil districts of Sunamganj, Sylhet, Moulavibazar, and Habiganj, will be the seventh Catholic diocese in Bangladesh. The other six dioceses are of Dhaka, Chittagong, Dinajpur, Khulna, Mysemsingh and Rajshahi.The Immaculate Conception Church at Lokkhipur of Moulavibazar District will be turned into the cathedral of the new diocese.

The new diocese has an area of 12,595 sq. kilometers (4,863 sq. miles) with a total population of 8,261,614 -- of which 17,000 are Catholics. Presently, 21 priests and 33 Brothers and Sisters are serving in the region.

The Catholics of the Diocese of Sylhet come from the Khasia, Santal, Telegu, Oraon and Bangali (Bengalee) ethnic groups.

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