Roman Catholic Diocese of Poona

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pune (Latin: Poonen(sis)) is a diocese located in the city of Pune in the Ecclesiastical province of Mumbai in India.

Diocese of Poona

Dioecesis Poonensis

पुणे धर्मप्रांत
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Poona.JPG
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Poona
Area49,687 km2 (19,184 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2005)
64,234 (0.3%)
RiteLatin Rite
CathedralSt. Patrick’s Cathedral
Current leadership
BishopThomas Dabre
Metropolitan ArchbishopOswald Gracias
Website of the Diocese

The Poona Diocee consists of the civil districts of Pune, Satara, Solapur, Sangli & Kolhapur city. In about 1790 the Archbishop of Goa at the request of Dom Manuel Noronha, a Portuguese officer working in the Peshwa's army, sent Fr. Vincent Joaquim Menezes to minister to the Catholics working in the army of Peshwas.

Fr.Menezes resided and said Mass in the house of Dom Noronha. In 1794, with the contribution of the Catholics in the army, a small chapel was built at Nana Peth on a plot offered by the Peshwa. The first Mass was celebrated in this chapel on Christmasday. These were the beginning of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, commonly known as the City Church.

Around 1800 the Vicar Apostolic of Bombay started sending his priests to minister to the Catholics in the Scindia's army but he stopped this about 1804. In 1835 Fr.Britto, a Goan priest working under the Vicar Apostolic acted as Military Chaplain in a chapel built at Right Flank Lines, Wanwadi. In 1850, St. Patrick's Church, the present cathedral, was built.

Poona was erected into a Vicariate Apostolic by dismemberment from Bombay on March 8, 1854, and entrusted to the society of Jesus. The Vicar Apostolic of Bombay remained Administrator till the Hierarchy was established in 1886. Rt.Rev.Bernard Bieder-Linden SJ was appointed its first Bishop.

On October 20, 1953, the Catholics of Ratnagiri District and those of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Pune, who formerly belonged to the Archdiocese of Goa, were placed under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Poona. On November 30, 1953 the districts of Dharwar and Bijapur, formerly in the Poona Diocese were attached to the newly constituted Diocese of Belgaum.

On June 9, 1987, the Diocese of Nashik was created, comprising four districts - Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar - of the Poona Diocese. Jesuit Thomas Bhalerao became its first bishop. St.Patrick's Cathedral was rededicated on October 22, 1987. The roof of the old Cathedral collapsed shortly before midnight on July 15, 1984. The outer walls and facade have been retained, but there is now a vault roof of concrete.

The Eparchy of Kalyan, which is contiguous with the Archdiocese of Bombay and the Dioceses of Poona and Nashik, was created on May 19, 1988. On August 24, 1988, Paul Chittilapilly was ordained Eparch of Kalyan, and the new diocese was formally inaugurated. All Catholics of the Syro-Malabar rite in the diocese came under his jurisdiction.

The First Diocesan Synod was held at Ishvani Kendra, Pune, from 11 to 14 February 2003. 144 delegates from all the 7 districts attended.


  • 1854: Established as Apostolic Vicariate of Poona from the Apostolic Vicariate of Bombay
  • September 1, 1886: Promoted as Diocese of Poona

Roman Catholic Churches in PuneEdit

  • St Patrick's Cathedral
Catholics: 11,850
  • St. John Paul II Church - Wakad (Wakad Mass Centre)[1]
Catholics: 60 Families
C/o Prerna Bhavan, S. No. 93, Tathwade Village,
Near Indira College,
Wakad, Pune 411033.
Mobile: 99233 17352, 94232 17352
Clergy: Rev. Fr. Simon Almeida (Priest-in-charge)
Deacon Roy Dmonte'
  • Church Of Our Lady Of Perpetual Help
Catholics: 1,220
  • St. Anne's Church
Catholics: 1,220
Solapur Bazaar
Pune 411 001 Tel : 26362614
  • St. Joseph's Church
Catholics: 3, 800
  • Good Shepherd Church
Catholics: 3,030
  • St. Xavier's Church
Catholics: 1,300
  • Immaculate Conception Church (City Church)
Catholics: 3,214
  • St. Teresa's Church
Catholics: 1,450
  • St. Ignatius Church
Catholics: 6,964
  • Sacred Heart Church
Catholics: 7,625
  • Holy Cross Church
Catholics: 2,823
  • St. Francis de Sales Church
Catholics: 4,200
  • St. Anthony's Church
  • Our Lady Consoler of the Afflicted Church
  • St. Francis Xavier's Church
Catholics: 3,200
  • Infant Jesus Church
Catholics: 1,220
  • St. Sebastian's Church
Catholics: 940
  • St. Jude Church
Catholics: 1,035
  • St. Joseph's Church
Catholics: 1,000
  • Divine Mercy Church
  • Christ The King Church
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
  • St. Sebastian Chapel
NDA, Khadakvasla,
Pune 411 023 c/o 25675681
  • Holy Family Chapel
  • Resurrection Chapel
  • Mother Teresa Centre
  • God The Holy Spirit Chapel - Sinhagad road , vitthalwadi

Bishops (Latin Rite)Edit

Bishops of PoonaEdit

Crypt of William Zephyrine Gomes, located in the mausoleum of St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Bernhard Beiderlinden, S.J. (20 Dec 1886 - 1907 )
  • Heinrich Döring, S.J. (7 Sep 1907 - 16 Jun 1921), appointed titular archbishop; later returned here as Archbishop (personal title) (14 Jul 1927 - 15 Jan 1948)
  • Andrew Alexis D'Souza (12 May 1949 - 12 Jun 1967 )
  • William Zephyrine Gomes (12 Jun 1967 - 1 Dec 1976 )
  • Valerian D'Souza (7 Jul 1977 - 2009)
  • Thomas Dabre (2009 -)

Other priests of this diocese who became bishopsEdit


External linksEdit

Coordinates: 18°30′32″N 73°53′52″E / 18.5088°N 73.8979°E / 18.5088; 73.8979