Cardinal Filoni releases CBCI's Catholic Directory of India
Bangalore, Feb 17: Fernando Cardinal Filoni, Prefect, Congregation for The Evangelisation 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, a religious publishing house of the Missionary Sons of Immaculate Heart of Mary (CMF), who popularly known as the Claretian Missionaries, 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 Evangelisation 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.
The CDI is an attempt to trace the footprints, spread and reach of the Catholic Church in India in its diverse missions of propagation of faith, education, healthcare and social service, Fr Benny Kanjirakatt, Director of Claretian Publications and Editor-in-Chief of the CDI, said and explained that the latest Edition incorporated several new features and elaborate data, presented in a very compact and user-friendly format.
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. ''We have made our best efforts to provide accurate, reliable and up-to-date data to the maximum extent possible and confident that all the Church leaders and even lay readers will find the CDI useful.”
The CDI, incidentally, has a long and chequered history. The first CDI was probably published 162 years ago in 1851, according to experts based on available data, and the current Edition CDI 2013 is probably the 106th Edition. The CDI 2013 has a detailed article on the provisional history of Catholic Directory of India written by Fr George Gispert-Sauch, SJ, of Vidyajyothi College, New Delhi. The CDI 2013 also has exclusive article on Blessed Mother Teresa by former Chief Election Commissioner of India, New Delhi and also on the first Indian Woman Saint, Sister Alphonsa by Gabriel Vaz.
While the last Edition of CDI 2005-06, which was considered quite elaborate and exhaustive tome of data pertaining to Indian Catholic Church with several innovative features running to 1740 pages, the latest CDI 2013 offers further improvements in terms of content and wealth of data and touches some 2540 pages and weighs almost 3 kgs, marking an increase of nearly a kg in weight. While the CDI 2005-06 had data pertaining to 153 Catholic Dioceses/Archdioceses belonging to the three rites of Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara, the present CDI 2013 gives data pertaining to 166 Dioceses/Archdioceses.
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.
While the CDI 2005-06 was accompanied with a CD providing the entire data, Fr Benny Kanjirakatt disclosed that the latest Edition will mark its entry into the Digital Age with the entire data proposed to be uploaded on to the Internet through the launch of the Online Edition – www.indianchristiandirectory.com --- from July 16, 2013.
Copies of the CDI 2013, priced at Rs 1450 per copy (with Rs 200 extra for packing and postal charges) will be available at leading Catholic Bookstalls & Claretian Publications, PB 5566, 28/12, 18th Cross, 14th Main, Malleswaram West, Bangalore 560 055. Karnataka, India. Tel: 080- 23446977, 23564477, 23560707 email: firstname.lastname@example.org.