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Diocese of Quilon



(QUILONENSIS)

Diocese of Quilon, in India on the Malabar coast, suffragan of Verapoly, comprises the southern half of the native state of Travancore, and the British territories of Tangacherry and Anjengo. It stretches from the northern branch of the River Ranee down to Cape Comorin, is bounded on the east by the slope of the Ghauts, and on the west by the Indian Ocean, on the coast of which, however, there is one narrow strip belonging to the Diocese of Cochin. Out of a total population of 1,600,000, the Catholics number 116,090, having 161 churches and 29 chapels, served by 59 priests, of whom 17 are Discalced Carmelite Fathers from various provinces of Europe, the rest being native clergy. The bishop's residence, cathedral, and the preparatory seminary with 32 students are all at Quilon, and there are 9 candidates for the priesthood at Kandy Seminary, Ceylon.



HISTORY

Down to 1838 the territory comprised by this diocese formed part of the Padroado Diocese of Cochin (see COCHIN, DIOCESE OF). In that year, by the Brief "Multa Præclare", jurisdiction was withdrawn from the See of Cochin, and this portion of its territory was placed under the Vicar Apostolic of Malabar (Verapoly). In 1845 its separation into a distinct vicariate was decreed by the Holy See. This arrangement was effected in 1853, and on the establishment of the hierarchy in 1886 it was finally elevated into an episcopal see, suffragan to Verapoly.

List of prelates (all Carmelites):



  • Bernardino Baccinelli of St. Teresa, pro-vicar Apostolic, 1845-53;

  • Bernardino Pontanova of St. Agnes, nominated 1853 but died shortly after;

  • Maurice of St. Albert, nominated 1854 but died shortly after;

  • Charles Hyacinth Valerga, 1854-64;

  • Marie Ephrem Garrelon, 1866-68;

  • Ildephonsus Borgna, 1871-83;

  • Ferdinand Maria Ossi, 1883, became first bishop in 1887, died 1905;

  • Aloysius Maria Benziger, present bishop from 1905.

RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES Discalced Carmelite missionaries, 17; Convent of Discalced Carmelites at Trivandrum, 5 fathers; Sisters of the Third Order Apostolic of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 37 (of whom five are Europeans) and 2 novices, for the education of girls and the care of orphans, with convents at Trivandrum, Quilon, and Tangacherry; Missionary Canonesses of St. Augustine, 14 European sisters and 13 native lay sisters, for the education of girls and the care of orphans, with convents at Mulagamude, Cape Comorin, and Nagercoil; Sisters of the Holy Cross (from Menzingen), 9 sisters, for nursing the sick in government hospitals at Trivandrum and Quilon; Sisters of the Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary (from Pondicherry), 8 sisters, 3 novices, and 5 postulants, for instruction of girls in vernacular schools, with convent and novitiate at Cagneracode.



BOYS' SCHOOLS

The Children's Friend Normal School, Quilon, for training Malayalam schoolmasters, with 59 students; St. Francis's Normal School, Nagercoil, for training Tamil schoolmasters, with 72 students; St. Joseph's English High School, Trivandrum, with 633 pupils; St. Aloysius's English High School, Quilon, with 413 pupils.



GIRLS' SCHOOLS

Under Sisters of Third Order of Carmel: Holy Angels' Convent, Trivandrum, boarding establishment with 32 boarders, English. high school with 435 pupils, industrial and technical school with 37 pupils; St. Joseph's Convent, Quilon, boarding establishment with 27 boarders, English middle school with 173 pupils, industrial school with 37 pupils; Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Tangacherry, boarding establishment with 15 boarders, English middle school with 71 in the English and 39 in the Malayalam department, industrial school with 31 pupils.

Under Canonesses of St. Augustine:

Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, Mulagamude, vernacular school with 350 pupils, industrial school with 276 pupils, besides 1250 outdoor lace-workers; Convent of the Immaculate Conception, Cape Comorin, vernacular and industrial schools with 120 pupils; St. Joseph's School, Nagercoil, with 200 pupils.

Under Sisters of the Holy Heart of Mary:

Blessed Margaret's Home, Cagneracode, vernacular school with 60 pupils.

Besides these there are two mixed schools, viz., St. Joseph's Middle English School, Anjengo, with 173 pupils; St. Leo's vernacular middle school, Tekekaray, with 113 pupils. In other places, 132 vernacular primary schools with 7060 pupils. Total number of schools in the diocese, 144; total of pupils, 10,857.



CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS

Orphanage for boys at Mulagamude, with 15 inmates; Holy Angels' Orphanage, for girls, Trivandrum, with 83 inmates; St. Joseph's Orphanage, for girls, Quilon, with 47 inmates; Mount Carmel Orphanage, for girls, Tangacherry, with 21 orphans; Infant Jesus Orphanage, Mulagamude, with 276 inmates, foundling home and widows' home; dispensary at Mulagamude; nursing department in general hospital, Trivandrum women and children's hospital, Trivandrum, and district hospital, Quilon, under Sisters of the Holy Cross.

Madras Catholic Directory (1910).

Ernest R. Hull.








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