Brief History

→ Introduction of the Diocese
History is record of past events. It is always good to know the history of our past events which will help us to trace and to know the great works, sufferings, hard labours of beginners and drive out the inspiration to repeat the same thing in the present. Because history is always a repeatable possibility. Hence it is good to know our origin, birth, development of the diocese of kurnool up to now. The Diocese of Kurnool comprises the two civil districts of Kurnool and Anantapur. On June 12th, 1967, with the appointment of Bishop Joseph Rajappa, the first bishop of Kurnool, these two districts were separated from the Diocese of Nellore and formed into the diocese of Kurnool. The diocese is historical in its essence because it has the credit of giving birth to the church of Christ in Andra Pradesh and also the first priest from the diocese parish Onteddupalle, Rev. Fr.John Emmanuel Balandhar, who was ordained in the year 1871.

→ Historical Background of the Diocese
The Indian history Christianity reveals that Rayalaseema is the cradle of Catholicism in Andrah Pradesh. The two districts of this region Anantapur and kurnool witness or gave birth to Catholicism in Krishnapuram and Onteddupalle, Polur and Cowlur respectively. The Karnatic Jesuit missionaries sowed the seeds of Christianity in these villages from 1700. They also contributed extensively to Telugu Christian literature. It is recorded that the 1st person accepted Christ in Andra Prades was Rangappa of Sale Caste. Later in 1718 Thumma Rayaappa Reddy was baptized by Fr. LeeGac. As the Holy relics of the Carnatic mission today, we have three tombs of Jesuit missionaries in Krshnapuram. as well as the tombs of three Jesuit missionaries are witnessese for the rise of Catholicism in Andra Pradesh. Because of the Marathas war and persecution and looting of Christians in these areas, the people have left to Guntur, Nalgonda, and to some parts of the Tamil nadu. The diocese is proud to be beginner for the origin of Catholicism in Andhra Pradesh.

After the withdrawal of the Jesuits in 1773, the Paris Foriegn Missionary Society took over the missionary task and kept alive the faith of the people. From 1875 onwards, the Mill Hill Fathers also labored in the Western parts of the diocese for some time. As a result of their hard work, kurnool was erected as Diocese in 1967. Most Rev. Joseph Rajappa, Most Rev. Matthew Cheriankunnel, Most Rev. S. A. Aruliah and Most Rev. G. Johannes initiated many developmental activities in the fields of evangelization, education, health and social development. Many religious congregations of men and women have taken up activities in these fields. Bishop Johannes gave a new impetus to the pastoral activities in the diocese. The new parishes of Premagiri, Kosigi, Raptadu, Kodumur Mission, Chapirevula and Bandi Atmakur were established. The Siani Retreat Center at Premagiri, and ST. John's Jubilee Memorial Hall at Pastoral Center are promising evangelization and religious education. St. John's Major Seminary at Dinnedevarapadu, Kurnool, run by the Heralds of the Good New Fathers is another land mark in the history of the Kurnool Diocese. The dreams of Bishop Johannes to have major seminary is now realized. Keeping in mind the call of the Holy Father for "Yesu Christu Jayanti 2000", the diocese of kurnool has launched a pastoral program for "Jubilee 2000" with a special committee named Yesu Christu Jayanti 2000". All priests, Religious, Catechists and the people at all levels and worked for the meaningful celebration "Yesu Christu Jayanti 2000"and its effective follow-up. In order to prepare the priests, religious and the laity, the Diocesan Senate conducted the Diocesan Synod. This will help the Church of Kurnool to plan out pastoral, spiritual and human developmental activities in the diocese. With the Eucharistic Congress, the Jubilee Celebration in the Diocese has been formally concluded.

Hats off to all those who worked marvelously and invincibly in the vineyard of Lord and hope that the forthcoming generations will live up to expectations and dreams of our predecessors.

After the sudden demise of Bishop Gorantla Johannes on 20th January, 2007 the Diocese of Kurnool has been waiting for the new Bishop. It was on 8th February, 2008 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Rev. Msgr. Anthony Poola as the Bishop of Kurnool and on 19th April, 2008 he was consecrated as bishop of kurnool.

Good news to the poor” is the motto of Bishop Poola Anthony and he earnestly looks forward for the whole hearted cooperation and collaboration of all to realize his motto and to develop the dioese in all levels.
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Address : Bishop of Kurnool
                Bishop's House
                B. Camp, Kurnool - 518 002
                Andhra Pradesh

Phone    : (08518) 27 03 93 (O), 27 68 12 (P)
Fax         : (08518) 27 03 13
E-mail    :