DIOCESE OF SALEM, INDIA- GROUP 1873
Salem Diocese comprises two administrative districts, namely Salem and Namakkal. According to the census (2011), the total population of Salem District is 34,82,056 and the total population of Namakkal District is 17,30,000. The first seed of the Word of God was sown by the famous Missionary Jesuit Priest, Fr. Robert De Nobili in 1623. After 30 years Italian Jesuits of Mysore Mission took over this new mission.
The diocese of Salem was erected on 26 May 1930 by. Pope Pius XI with territories taken from the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and from the dioceses of Kumbakonam and Mysore. The Diocese has so far had five bishops as follows: Msgr. Henry Prunier (of Missions Etrangéres de Paris) (1930-49); Msgr. Venmani Selvanather (1949-73); Msgr. Michael B. Duraisamy (1974-99) and Msgr. S. Singaroyan (2000-2020), whose resignation was recently accepted by His Holiness Pope Francis. Currently, the diocese of Salem is administered by Most Rev. Dr. Lawrence Pius Dorairaj as the Apostolic Administrator.
The Diocese of Salem has 86,846 Catholics. The Diocese of Salem has now 60 parishes in which 86 diocesan priests do their ministry. Besides, the Diocese has 183 mission stations. It consists of 5 vicariates (Salem, Attur, Mettur, Namakkal and Tiruchengode). Each vicariate has 12 parishes and each parish has several substations or mission stations. Almost all the Catholics of Namakkal District belong to the lowest caste in the caste hierarchy of India and hence are poor. Most of the Catholics in Salem Diocese are poor and marginalized. So also most of the Catholics in Salem District belong to backward classes and so are poor.
The Catholics of the diocese depend mostly on owners of land for their work in agriculture. Agriculture being seasonal, work is not assured all through the year. The Diocese of Salem is providing empowerment projects to these target groups: Our Pastoral priority is Mission and Evangelization throughout the diocese and especially in the mission stations. Mission and Evangelization: The Pastoral centre is the heart of Salem diocese where all pastoral animation and faith formation takes place in the Diocese of Salem.
Education is the top priority: We run 3 higher grade schools and 11 middle Schools and 30 Primary Schools in villages. We run 3 big Homes for Children hailing from families below poverty line and orphans. Nearly 500 children in these three Homes are helped by the Salem Diocese at a total cost of 95,000 USA dollars per year. This could be possible only through generous contribution of sponsors of good will. Socio-political empowerment of Rural Dalit (Oppressed) Women is another important ministry.
- Awareness building seminars for Dalit Women, providing training in Right to the Information Act to sensitize this target group about Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence and educate them to take appropriate action.
- Health Education through medical camps and formation of Health Clubs is being promoted. Awareness programs on Tuberculosis prevention, HIV/Aids preventive education and elimination of denial, Stigma and discrimination are provided by the Diocese.
- Low Cost Housing for Sri Lankan Victims of War (Refugees) and Widows. Every year we try to build at least 30 houses in different parishes of the diocese. We spend around $ 4,000 for each house.
- Home for Aged: Our diocese runs two homes for the aged. We take care of abandoned aged people.
Our Diocese is not financially sound to support these projects. Hénce, we request your kind self to help us by providing sufficient financial aid to meet these projects and share the Good news. We appreciate your generous contribution. We assure our special prayers for your ministry and for your parishioners. In a largely Non-Christian country compassion and service to the poor is the way to preach Christ and share God’s love with the unfortunate. Kindly make your contribution in the name of PROPAGATION OF FAITH and send a memo to DIOCESE OF SALEM, TAMILNADU, INDIA. For more information, visit our website at www.salemdiocese.org.
Looking forward to your favorable consideration. Thanking you.
Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Dr. Lawrence Pius Dorairaj, Apostolic Administrator
To support the Diocese of Salem, India, please click on the button below to donate and either select your parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and/or type Group 1873 in the memo box. God bless!