Diocese of Barisal

Brief History: The Barisal Catholic Diocese was created by a papal bull of His Holiness, Pope Francis on the 13th of December, 2015. The news was published on the 29th of December, 2015 and the installation of the first Bishop Lawrence Subrato Howlader, CSC took place on the 29th of January, 2016. The Barisal Catholic Diocese was a part of the Chittagong Catholic Diocese.   This diocese was geographically divided by a mighty river called Meghna which falls in the Bay of Bengal. Barisal was a pastoral region of Chittagong diocese, located on the west side of Meghna.

Bishop Lawrence Subrata Howlader, C.S.C.

Early history of the Catholic faithful of this area goes back to 1537 AD when there were Catholics in the Portuguese settlements in both Chittagong and Barisal area. In 1845 Chittagong became the seat of the first Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Bengal, and later the administration was transferred to Dhaka. The Diocese of Chittagong was canonically erected on May 25, 1927, taking away a good half of the territory that comprised the then Diocese of Dhaka. The Diocese then comprised of eastern part of Meghna river along with the hill tracts area. In western part, there were Barisal, Gournadi and Narikelbari which now falls in Barisal diocese. The newly erected Diocese of Chittagong in 1927 was entrusted to the care of the Canadian Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross. When the new ecclesiastical province of Dhaka was created in July, 1950, Chittagong became a suffragan of Dhaka. On the 2nd February, 2017, a second ecclesiastical province of Bangladesh is created by Pope Francis; Barisal diocese became a suffragan of the new Archdiocese of Chittagong.