History

The early history of the Church goes back to 1537 A.D. when there were Catholics in the Portuguese settlements in areas that now form part of the Diocese of Chittagong. The first Churches were set up in 1600 in what now forms Diang and the city of Chittagong.

Father Francesco Fernandez, S.J. who came to Chittagong in 1598, and who was blinded and tortured and died in captivity on November 14, 1602, is the Bengal’s first martyr.

monument

Monument in Chittagong Cathedral: Established in 2000 A.D. in memory of Fr. Francesco

In 1845 Chittagong became the seat of the first Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Bengal, and later the administration was transferred to Dhaka.

Noahkhali was also the first place to have the Holy Cross Missionaries who arrived there in June 1853.

The Diocese of Chittagong was Canonically erected on May 25, 1927, taking away a good half of the territory that comprised the then Diocese of Dhaka. The Diocese then comprised of Chittagong, Noakhali, Barisal, Gournadi, Narikelbari and other parts in India and Myanmar.

The newly erected Diocese of Chittagong in 1927 was entrusted to the care of the Canadian Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross. When the new ecclesiastical province of Dhaka was created in July, 1950, Chittagong became a sufragan of Dhaka. Later in 1952, portions of the Diocese of Chittagong that were situated in Assam (India) were detached to form a separate ecclesiastical unit, called the Prefecture of Haflong, and later the Diocese of Silchar, which is called now the Diocese of Agartola and the Diocese of Aijwal.

Since the erection in 1927, the geographical map of Chittagong Diocese is changed two times in the past. It is recently changed in 29th December 2015 to give birth the Barisal Catholic Diocese as the 8th Diocese in the country. Barisal is emerged as a separate Diocese on the same day taking away 17,516 square kilometers from 9 civil districts from the territory of Chittagong Diocese.

His Holiness Pope Francis has established the second Ecclesiastical Province in Chittagong, making Khulna and Barisal as its suffragan dioceses on 2nd February 2017. This means that the Supreme Pontiff has raised Chittagong to the rank of Metropolitan Archdiocese. At the same time Pope Francis appointed His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Moses Costa, CSC as the first Archbishop of the new Metropolitan See of Chittagong.