Welcome to the Diocese of Chingleput
The Diocese of Chingleput is made out of the entire civil district of Kancheepuram in the State of Tamil Nadu, India. The diocese of Chengleput when carved out from the Archdiocese of Madras Mylapore had 64 parishes and has grown over the years to 84 parishes along with 2 independent shrines viz. St. Thomas National Shrine and Mazhai Malai Madha Shrine.
Chengleput was declared as an independent new diocese by His Holiness late John Paul II on the 19th July 2002. Preparations for the carving out the new diocesan territory was initiated in 1987 by Most Rev. Dr. G. Casimir Gnanathikam SJ, the then Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Madras Mylapore. The bifurcation became a reality during the tenure of Most Rev. Dr. Arul Das James, the then Archbishop of Madras Mylapore in succession.
Most. Rev. Dr. A. Neethinathan, was appointed as the first Bishop of Chingleput and continue to carry out the pastoral ministry with the help of 117 diocesan priests, 59 religious priests and 74 religious congregations.
The diocese is the home for historically renowned St. Thomas Mount Shrine where Apostle Thomas was martyred and the shrine of the Miraculous Mother Mary – Mazhai Malai Madha at Acharapakkam. The diocese is guided by St.Joseph the Worker as Chief Patron, Arokia Mazhai Malai Madha as secondary patroness and St.Thomas as its special patron.
Spread across an area of 4,394.39 Sq Kms the diocese has Catholic population of 1,49,872.
‘Realization of the Kingdom dream of Jesus that all of us must live and live to the full’ (Jn. 10:10).
The vision statement was developed following an extensive consultative process that includes Diocesan level survey, the suggestions from various groups and the action plan proposed by Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Conference for an Integrated Development of Dalit Christians.
- We shall foster in our people a spirituality of participation like Anbiams (SCC) that will respond to the signs of times and thus work towards a New Society.
- We are forced to face the challenges of the non-fulfillment of the basic necessities of life, the oppressive and discriminative caste system, unemployment, inadequate educational opportunities etc.
- We shall band together with a singular vision to realise the values of the Gospel, through a life of sharing as demanded by the Holy Eucharist in the path of the Cross. May the preferential option of Jesus expressed in his saying “only the sick need the doctor and not those who are well” (Mt 9:12) and his vision of bringing liberty to the oppressed (Lk 4:16) enable us to find God in the suffering brethren.
- While standing against all forms of slavery, let us accept as our target people all the victims of the oppressive situation, in particular the Dalits oppressed by caste hegemony. Let our stand be in favour of taking up the empowerment mission for the integral development of Dalit people and give them priority and preference in all aspects of life. Let Priests and Religious adopt an egalitarian mindset that decries and denies casteism and ‘launch into the deep’ of spirituality.
- We shall continue to work for the unity and collaboration among the bishop, priests, religious and the laity.
- In all the institutions run by the diocese and the religious, preference will be given to the target people in accordance with their percentage.
- We shall foster the participation, involvement and leadership of the laity in the Church and in society.
- We shall make sure of equal opportunities for women in all our structures.
- We shall pave the way for the political life to be influenced by the Kingdom thrust.
- We shall make available quality education up to Standard XII for all the children of our diocese, particularly the Girl Children and help them for higher education and make efforts for employment opportunities for our Youth and thus develop the lives of our people.
- Since the rural populace makes the major portion of our diocese, we shall give special attention and preference to the rural parishes in all economic betterment programs of our diocese.
- We shall pay extra attention to the wellbeing of the Orphans, Widows, the Aged who are helpless and the sick.
- We shall constitute a monitory committee to guarantee the continued execution of this vision statement.
Modelling ourselves on the pattern of the early Church, we who make the diocese of Chingleput, shall continue to journey together as a community of love and justice seeking “Fullness Of Life Through Justice”.