CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF NELLORE

DIOCESE WORKING AMONG THE POOREST

Diocese of Nellore is working among the poorest of the poor in the society. It interacts and renders its services without any cultural, linguistic and religious barriers. There are 130 ordained priests, 150 Religious, 400 catechists and 250 teachers rendering their services in the Diocese. Besides the evangelization and pastoral care in 400 villages with 70 parishes the Diocese of Nellore is carrying out a number of charitable and humanitarian services to the poorest of the poor, namely, the landless agricultural laborers (daily wage winners) and their children.

LOCATION

Catholic Diocese of Nellore is located in the south east of India along the sea coast of Bay of Bengal, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is 175 kmts north of Chennai (Madras). It has over 300 kmts of sea coast on one side. It is constituted of two civil districts viz. Nellore and Prakasam. It has 35,000 square kilometers of geographical area. There is a total population of 6 millions living in this area. Only 85,000 are Catholics. There are other Christians belonging to different denominations. Most of the people are Hindus and Muslims. Here all religions live in harmony and peace.

CLIMATE

In general it is very hot throughout the year. In summer the heat reaches up to 47 Celsius. Even in winter it records up to 35. Rice is the major crop that is cultivated but it depends on monsoon rains and the availability of water in the reservoirs. When monsoons are regular one can find the fields in flush green with rice and other plantations. However often it is a gambling for the poor farmers. The landless agricultural laborers suffer the most both when the monsoons fail and also when it rains excessively. Comparatively drought occurs more often than rains which cause seasonal migration. This disrupts the family and damages heavily the education and the future prospects of the children. The western part of the Diocese is dry area which constantly suffers from lack of rain and is prone to draught and famine. Costal side is affected by cyclones and floods. In 2004 it was severely hit by Tsunami.

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