The Diocese of Gulbarga was erected by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI on 24th June 2005 as a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Bangalore. It was formally inaugurated on 18th August 2005 on the occasion of the Episcopal Ordination of Mons. Robert Miranda the first bishop of the newly formed diocese. This Diocese consists of four civil districts of North Karnataka, namely Bidar, Gulbarga, Bijapur and Yadgir – all considered to be the most backward area of the state. At present we have 7,729 Catholics as against 7.2 million people in the diocese. The Christians are mostly from the poor socio-economic background, from a Dalit background depending on agriculture for their livelihood. We have 29 diocesan clergy(22 ordained for Gulbarga and 7 from diocese of Mangalore) 45 Religious priests, 220 Religious Sisters working in this mission.
The diocese has made a commendable progress in the past 13 years of its fruitful service. It has now the basic infra structure such as : the bishop’s house, Pastoral Centre, the Cathedral, a minor seminary, new mission centres and churches and chapels blessed, registered bodies for education, social development work and education and health services. Thanks to the Pontifical Society of Propagation of Faith, Pontifical Society of Holy Childhood, MISSIO, Church in Need, General Vicariate, Koln, and others who supported us throughout ever since the inception of the diocese. Even now the diocese is dependent on the funding agencies for its maintenance and expansion.
Diocesan Pastoral Plan: Gulbarga Diocese 2025 evolved by the active participation of all the priests, sisters and lay representative is implemented in all the mission centres. Our thrust areas are : faith-formation, Social Development, Education, Health and Environment Protection. There is also a system of planning, monitoring and evaluation at each mission centre and at the diocesan level twice a year.
The diocese believes in the Integrated and a Participatory Approach to Mission work and Team Work at all the mission centers. This has worked well, and all the priests, sisters and lay staff cooperate very well. In fact, this has been the strength of this mission diocese. The reach out to people through various evangelization programmes has doubled ever since the formation of the diocese in 2005. The generous and active cooperation of the Religious has been a great support for this growing diocese. By the grace of God, there has been a considerable increase in the catholic population too, and more people want to be received into the catholic faith.
It is a joy to see all the priests, sisters and lay staff doing a good Team Work and working hard united as a family. Joy to see the community of the faithful growing in faith having its own identity among people of all faiths. Joy to see priests and sisters witnessing to the Joy of the Gospel. The church is recognized both by the Government and the general public for its service in the field of education and social development , humanitarian service especially among the poor and the marginalized . Finding adequate personnel and finance to run this mission diocese and its expansion has been the major concern of the diocese. Thanks to the Pontifical Societies and other donor agencies for their unfailing support. I am glad, we are able to progress year after year. God has been always there with us opening new avenues of Evangelization and helping us to reach out to more and more people.
Most Rev Robert Miranda
Bishop of Gulbarga
Kripalaya, Bishop’s House
28 Dec 2018