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My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Psalm 119:28

CHRISTIANITY IN UDAIPUR
The earliest Catholic missionaries to visit Udaipur were the French Capuchin priests, Fr. Jean and Fr. Pius, who came here from Mhow on foot in 1891. But the first Christian missionary to settle down in the town was Dr. Shepherd, a Scottish Presbyterian. He came in 1877. Because of his medical skill and personal qualities he found favour with the royal household. The church near Chetak Circle, now called the Church of North India, is said to have been a gift from the Maharana, to the British engineers who had helped to build the Fateh Sagar Lake.

As far as Catholics are concerned, the mission work in the areas which at present constitute the diocese of Udaipur began towards the end of the 19th century. It was the French Capuchins of the Paris Province who were entrusted with the evangelization of a large part of the Central Provinces and Rajputana, as the area was then known. Capuchin Fr. Charles started work and settled at Thandla in Jhabua district of M.P. in 1896. Through him and Fr. Bernard and other valiant and pioneering missionaries, the work progressed and missions increased in number. The mission stations of Palasdor, Mahuri, Ambapara, Amlipara, Jamburi and others in Kushalgarh were founded in those early years. In 1934 Fr. Charles and Fr. Bernard laid the foundations of the future diocese of Udaipur by setting up the two missions of Ambapara and Mahudi respectively. Later in the late forties Fr. Leopold, Fr. Agathange and Fr. Ignace were instrumental in establishing the missions of Amlipada, Jambudi and Dungarpur.

Originally, parts of the present States of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and the whole of Rajasthan came under one prefecture. It was in 1913 that this prefecture was raised to the status of a diocese and Fr. Fartunatus Caumont, the Prefect Apostolic, was appointed as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Ajmer, as it was then called. In 1935 the major part of the Central Province was separated from Ajmer diocese to form the new Prefecture Apostolic of Indore (It became a Diocese in 1952). It was in 1949 that Dr. Leo D'Mello was appointed the first Indian Bishop of Ajmer Diocese. There was talk about splitting the Ajmer Diocese further, as it was considered too large for close supervision from the point of view of evangelization as well as administration. But it was only in the time of Bishop lgnatius Menezes that the further division came about. By a Papal Bull dated, December 3, 1984 the Ajmer diocese was further bifurcated into (i) The Diocese of Ajmer-Jaipur and (ii) the Diocese of Udaipur. On 14-2-1985 Rev. Joseph Pathalil who had worked in the tribal belt of Udaipur for over two decades, was ordained as the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Udaipur.

In the year 2002 the M.P. portion of Udaipur diocese was separated and joined to parts of the diocese of Indore to form the new diocese of Jhabua. Thus an area that had more Catholics and faith was handed over to the new diocese.

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