Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Vicariate apostolic ; comprises the group of that name, besides the islands of Ellice and Panapa. The most important members of the group, which consists of sixteen low atolls, are Tapiteuca, Arorai, Apemama, Maiana, Marakei, and Nonouti, which cluster near the Equator, and constitute the most easterly link in the chain of islands which make up Micronesia. The natives are of Malay in type, and until the advent of the white man were given over to savagery and, in some instances, cannabalism. Nominally under the protection of Great Britain, the islands are practically self-governed, and a sort of republicanism prevails. The principal industry is the preparation and exportation of copra, which is very plentiful, although there is some little traffic in shark fins.

Upon the partition of the Vicariate of Micronesia, the Gilbert Islands were erected into an independent vicariate by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda, dated 17 July, 1897, and the present vicar Apostolic, Mgr. Joseph Leray, titular bishop of Remesiana, was placed at its head, and, with several missionary priests from the Congregation of the Sacred Heart, he entered upon the evangelization of the islands. The population of the vicariate is estimated at between 30,000 and 40,000, of whom 14,000 are Catholics. There are 12 churches and 56 chapels under the care of 19 priests, 96 parochial schools, with an attendance of 1700 boys and 1500 girls, 2 schools for catechists with a combined attendance of 50, 12 orphanages which shelter 400 orphans, 11 houses of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart, with 35 religious, and 8 houses of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart with 20 nuns.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter