A Brief History
A BRIEF NOTE ABOUT THE DIOCESE OF DHARMAPURI, TAMILNADU, INDIA
Before the British Rule in India, the town Dharmapuri was ruled by many kings and now it is the District Head Quarter of Dharmapuri. The District of Dharmapuri is considered as the most backward district in the State of Tamilnadu. There are good numbers of poor people living in this area. It is not easy to figure out their number but what makes this town is its central position amidst other towns and villages that refer to Dharmapuri for all the interest of the civil life: the offices of the district, the markets, trade centres, the schools and Colleges are part of this town.
A. History of the Dharmapuri Diocese:
The history and the evangelization work of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Dharmapuri, started almost in the year 1650. The first missionaries to spread the Word of God and to establish the Catholic Faith were the "Jesuits" from Mysore. Since in the year 1773 the Jesuits winded up their work, the same task was taken care by the congregation called "Paris Evangelists". Keeping Pondicherry as the center, till the year 1930, the Paris Evangelists carried their missionary work in Dharmapuri.
In the year 1930, the Diocese of Salem was installed. For 67 years, the Diocese of Salem was brought up, groomed and guided under 3 Bishops.
The Diocese of Dharmapuri, South India was erected on 24th January 1997. It is the 15th Catholic Diocese in Tamilnadu region, India, having been bifurcated from the Diocese of Salem.
The Most. Rev. Dr. Joseph Antony Irudayaraj, SDB, DD, was the first Bishop of the Diocese. He was ordained Bishop on the 24th April 1997 and was installed in the new Diocese on the 25th April 1997. After having served in the diocese for 15 years he has retired on 13th January 2013. The Second Bishop is the Most Rev. Dr. Lawrence Pius, transferred from the Archdiocese of Madras- Mylapore where he was the Auxiliary Bishop. He was installed as Bishop of the Diocese on 20th February 2012.