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The diocesan territory was formerly part of the Mysore Mission, which was separated from Pondicherry in 1845 and entrusted to the Paris Foreign Missions Society (Missions Etrangeres de Paris, MEP). The Mysore mission was elevated to an Apostolic Vicariate in 1850 under the leadership of Bishop Charbonnaux, MEP, who had been serving as Coadjutor Bishop of Pondicherry.
In 1886, Mysore was elevated to a Diocese with Bangalore its headquarters. Throughout the second part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, MEP bishops guided fellow missionaries in developing a network of churches, schools, convents and colleges. Thus they prepared for Bangalore's emergence as an archdiocese and a cosmopolitan city.
St Francis Xavier Cathedral (1842) was built by Father Jarrige, Saint Joseph's Church (1852) by Father Bigot-Beauclair and Saint Mary's Basilica (1882) by Father Kleiner, before he was made a bishop. Sacred Heart Church was completed in 1895 by Father Combret. Saint Patrick's Church was completed by Father Gailhot in 1844 and renovated by the illustrious Father Tabard, who served as its parish priest 1891 - 1925 and is buried inside the church. Besides St. Mary's Basilica, Bangalore has another shrine, the Infant Jesus Shrine in Viveknagar.
St. Peter's Seminary in Malleswaram, now a Philosophy and Theology Faculty and center for Canon Law, was established in Pondicherry in 1777 by Bishop Brigot, first MEP Superior of the Malabar Mission. The Seminary was shifted to Bangalore in 1934. Saint Joseph's College was founded by Bishop Charbonnaux as soon as he was appointed Bishop of Bangalore. It was handed over to the Jesuits on June 1, 1937.
The above mentioned Cathedral, Basilica, Churches and Colleges form landmarks of the city of Bangalore.
Mysore was bifurcated on Feb. 13, 1940, to create the Diocese of Bangalore, which became an archdiocese on Sept. 19, 1953. In 1988, it ceded the civil district of Chitradurgathe to newly created Shimoga Diocese. Mysore is now one of Bangalore's suffragan dioceses, along with Belgaum, Bellary, Chikmagalur, Gulbarga, Karwar, Mangalore and Shimoga.
Bangalore Archdiocese houses almost all the Religious congregations working in India, most of them having their formation houses and/or headquarters here. More than 3,000 professed Religious live in Bangalore. Because of this, some call it "Rome of the East." These Religious communities engage in various apostolates, and some run their own theological colleges and seminaries. Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, managed by the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, and Christu Jyothi theological college, run by the Salesians of Don Bosco, serve as formation facilities for numerous congregations. The national Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical centre and several other spirituality centers also have attracted several congregations to base themselves in Bangalore.
The city was founded in the 16th century by a local chieftain, Kempe Gowda, but derives its name from the Kannada words benda kaluru, or "boiled beans." Legend recounts that this is what an old woman in the area gave a 10th-century Hoysala king when he turned up hungry at her doorstep.
The Archdiocese of Bangalore covers 27,014 square kilometers comprising the civil districts of Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Chickballapur, Kolar, Ramnagara and Tumkur. The 2001 census counted 13,539,418 people in these six districts, of whom it identified 409,247 as Christians. As of 2007, the archdiocese counted a Catholic population of 410,604.
Tamil, English, Telugu, Malayalam and Konkani languages all are in use, but the principal language of the Archdiocese is Kannada, the official language of Karnataka state. However Masses and other liturgical services are conducted in other subsidiary languages depending on the need of the congregation. Bangalore being a metropolitan city, Mass and liturgical services in the city and its suburban parishes should be offered also in English. In all parishes of the archdiocese, the principal language is to be encouraged in Masses and liturgical services, and gradually introduced wherever it is not existing.
Industries and more
Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state, is one of Asia's fastest growing cities. It is home to some of India's most advanced high-tech industries and premier scientific establishments, and its thriving information technology industry has earned it the nickname of "Asia's Silicon Valley." Bangalore is India's fifth-largest and fastest-growing city. Until its high-tech boom began in the late 1980s, it was known as the "Garden City," with greenery flourishing in its pleasant, temperate climate.
Bangalore is well connected by air, rail and road to all India's major cities such as Delhi, Madras, Bombay and Calcutta, and to most other important cities and towns.