Indian Catholic News

Diocese of Alleppey

Bishop Stephen Athipozhiyil

Image of Bishop Stephen Athipozhiyil
  • Date of Birth : 1944-05-18
  • Mob : +91 477 2244011/ (+91)477 224 3363/3362
  • Email :
  • Diocese image of Alleppey


Former Alleppy bishop dies
India (Kerala): He will be remembered for his social service initiatives aimed at improving the lives of his people.
April 19, 2013, 8:03 AM
One killed as church collapses in Kerala
India (Kerala): The building collapsed as concrete works of the roof progressed. Some 20 workers were inside when the accident happened.
April 8, 2013, 7:40 PM

Short History of Alleppey Diocese

Group: : Latin-rite
Phone : +91 477 2243363, 2243362
Address : Bishop's House,
P. B. No. 4804,
Alleppey - 688 012,
Kerala, India
Website :

The diocese of Alleppey belongs to the Latin rite. It was erected on June 19, 1952, by bifurcating the diocese of Cochin. It lies along the Arabian Sea between the dioceses of Cochin and Quilon, covering an area of 333 square kilometers.

However, the ecclesial mission in the area goes back to 1570, when Jesuit missionaries started to work among the St. Thomas Christians and built their first church, Holy Cross Church in Purakkad. They also built St Andrew's Church in Arthunkal (1581), St. Michael's Church in Kattor (1590) and Holy Cross Church in Kadakkarappally (1620).

A section of the St. Thomas Christians revolted against the Portuguese missionaries, and they left the Catholic Church after the 1653 Coonam Cross Oath. In 1662, St. Thomas Christians of the mission of Arthungal reconciled with Rome. Even after the capture of Cochin by the Dutch, Jesuits continued to look after Catholics in this area until the 18 century. When the Rome suppressed the Jesuits, Carmelite missionaries took their place. The mission remained under the Vicariate of Verapoly until the restoration of the Cochin diocese in 1886.

Bishop Michael Arattukulam was the first bishop of Alleppey. Bishop Chenaparambil succeeded him on April 28, 1984. When Bishop Chenaparambil retired on Feb. 11, 2001, Bishop Athipozhiyil assumed office.

Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, was once described as the Venice of the East. A great commercial port in the past, it had trade relations with ancient Greece and Rome. Today it is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha district. The name "Alappuzha" means "the land between the sea and the network of rivers flowing into it."


The total population of the diocesan territory is 700,000. It is been a multi-ethnic and multi-religious area. Hindus form the largest community followed by Christians and Muslims.


Malayalam and English are the main languages in use.


The territory is well connected by roads and rail. The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport.


The climate is moist and hot along the coast and slightly cool and dry in the interior of the district. Summers, from March to May, are hot, with temperatures peaking in May at around 34° Celsius. But with the advent of the southwest monsoon, which lasts from June to August, rains lash the area. The northeast monsoon extends from the second half of October through November. The average annual rainfall in the district is 2,763 mm.


The economy of Alleppey is mainly based on coir and cashew nut. More recently it has become a prominent tourist destination too.


The level of telecommunications infrastructure is high. Almost everyone has a mobile phone. Most homes have television, telephone and Internet, although Internet access is limited in rural areas. There are no television broadcasting stations in the territory, but a few radio stations operate.


Name Type
Hospitals 13
Publications 2
Hostels 5
Parishes 77
Catholic Population 1,65,680
Diocesan Priests 87
Total Priests 113
Religious Priests 26
Religious Brothers 4
Religious Sisters 362
Colleges 2
Ecclesiastical Institutions 1
Technical Schools 6
Schools 47
Professional Colleges 1
Orphanages 4

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