New Delhi, India. Feb 17: Fernando Cardinal Filoni, Prefect, Congregation for The Evangelization of Peoples, Rome, unveiled the Catholic Directory of India (CDI) 2013 and presented the first copy to Oswald Cardinal Gracias, president of CBCI and Archbishop of Bombay, at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) office in New Delhi on Friday February 15 evening.
The Bangalore-based Claretian Publications, compiled and published the CDI for the second time after the phenomenal success of their maiden effort in 2005-06, who have been entrusted with the task by the CBCI, New Delhi.
The CBCI president and Archbishop of Bombay Oswald Cardinal Gracias, who received the first copy of CDI from Fernando Cardinal Filoni, Prefect, Congregation for The Evangelization of Peoples, Rome, described the CDI as ”an invaluable source book” of information about the Church in India and a very helpful guide for those who want to study any Diocese or region, adding: ”One is amazed at the detailed information provided.”
Archbishop Salvatore Pinocchio, Apostolic Nuncio, who was present at the short function held at the CBCI Centre along with many of the top prelates of the Indian Catholic Church, has remarked in his message congratulating the CBCI and Claretian Publication for the ”enormous work of cooperation and collaboration” and said: ”The Catholic Directory of India continues to be the official and most referred source book of latest information about the Catholic Church in India.”
Telesphore Cardinal Toppo, president of CBCI and Archbishop of Ranchi, Mar Cardinal Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Most Rev Albert D’Souza, Secretary General of CBCI and Archbishop of Agra, Most Rev Anil Couto, Archbishop of Delhi, Kuriakose Baranikulangara, Archbishop of Faridabad, Most Franco Mulakkal, Auxiliary Bishop of Delhi, Most Rev Mar Barnabas, Apostolic Visitator, Syro-Malabar Church, Most Rev Gerald Almeida, Bishop of Jabalpur, Fr Joseph Chinnayyan, Deputy Secretary General of CBCI, Fr Dr James Kannanthanam, Provincial Superior of Claretians, Bangalore, were among the prelates and dignitaries present at the occasion.
Fr Benny Kanjirakatt expressed his gratitude to CBCI for bestowing the honour of compiling and publishing the CDI on the Claretians for the second time and thanked all the Diocesan, Archdiocesan and other Ecclesiastical authorities as well as religious congregations for their support and cooperation.
As per the data provided and presented in the CDI 2013, which of course is subject to corrections due to the difficulty in collecting accurate information from the thousands of institutions of the Church all over the country, there are around 1.75 crore Catholics with over 22,000 diocesan and religious priests serving as many as 10,715 parishes and mission stations and about 94,000 professed and contemplative sisters. The Church is involved in a big way through its 14,000 plus institutions from nursery to primary, secondary, higher secondary, under-graduate, graduate and post-graduate educational institutions besides running a little over 10,000 social service institutions comprising orphanages, hostels, hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, nursing homes and even publications.