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Diocese of Cali
Founded in Colombia, South America, on 7 July, 1910. Cali is a city, district, and province in the Department of Valle. The Province of Valle is bounded on the north by the Province of Arboleda, on the south by Santander (Department of Cauca), on the east by Palmira, and includes the districts of Cali, Jamundi, Pavas, Dagua, Vijes, and Yumbo. Its area is about 4175 square miles, and its chief products are gold, sugar, cacao, coffee, and cattle. The city of Cali, the seat of the new diocese, is situated on a small river of the same name, and possesses a population of about 35,000. It was founded by Captain Miguel Lopez Munoz by order of the Spanish conqueror Sebastian de Belalcazar on 25 July, 1536. Although many of its important buildings were destroyed by an earthquake in 1885, the city quickly recovered, and the recently built railroad connecting it with the port of Buenaventura and the Pacific Ocean has greatly increased its commercial importance and that of the surrounding country. The immense plantations of cacao and coffee, which encircle the city, and its charming suburbs render it a delightful place of residence. It celebrated the centenary of its national independence by an industrial and artistic exhibition on 20 July, 1910. Among its numerous modern buildings of importance the beautiful churches of San Francisco (Ionian style) and San Pedro call for special mention. Notable also are: the magnificent convent of the Franciscan Friars; the Colegio Superior de Santa Librada for women; the Presentation School for girls; the asylum for honest, indigent women; and a splendid hospital. The Catholic population of the new diocese is about 150,000. Mgr. Aladio Perlaza, formerly Vicar-General of Cali, was elected its first bishop on 11 August, 1911.
Moira K. Coyle.