ABOUT DIOCESE

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In 1987, His Holiness Pope John Paul II erected the Catholic Diocese of Nashik consisting of the territory detached from the Diocese of Poona. The Catholic Diocese of Nashik consists of the civil revenue districts of Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nandurbar and Ahmednagar. The diocese is spread over an area of 57,532 sq. kms. All these five districts are in the State of Maharashtra.

130 years ago, in 1878 the mission in the villages of Ahmednagar district was started. During the first 25 years of the Jesuit engagements in India, more of the new-arriving fathers were needed to take care of the old Christian communities in the bigger towns in India and to build up good schools and colleges. Finally in 1878, the time was ripe and some German Jesuits could be spared for a new venture, namely to start the mission in the villages of the district of Ahmednagar. The concrete beginning of the Ahmednagar mission started with the establishment of a Mission station in Valan, near Kendal.

Inspite of all difficulties, hardships and sacrifices, slowly but steadily the mission was growing in numbers. Stations like Songaon, Rahata and Harigaon in the Ahmednagar district and Deolali, Nashik Road and Nashik were coming up.
As in many other places in India, the missionary effort was directed first and foremost towards the poorest of the land. The efforts of these missionaries have been directed towards better education, social upliftment and economic development of the people.

The other districts, Dhule, Jalgaon and Nandurbar are inhabited predominantly by rich farmers. Along the borders of these district a sizeable population of tribals habitat. These Tribals are surrounded by two more states viz, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

The diocese has about 120000 Catholic population (out of the 20 million overall population in the 5 civil districts). It is a missionary diocese which comprises of small and big parishes and Mass centres. Most of the parishes extend to villages where the majority of people live. These villages are sometimes 40 kms. away.