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A Brazilian see, suffragan of Porto Alegre. The latter, formerly known as the See of Sao Pedro do Rio Grande do Sul, was recently made an archdiocese and divided, three new sees, Pelotas, Santa Maria, and Uruguayana, being separated from it by Pius X on 15 August, 1910. Santa Maria, containing twenty-two parishes, comprises the central and northern portions of the State of Rio Grande do Sul. The climate is mild, the country well wooded and fertile, and there are many colonies of German and Italian emigrants among the inhabitants, who are chiefly engaged in agriculture and cattle-raising. The population is almost entirely Catholic. The most important town is Cachoeira or the Rio Jacuhy, 120 miles west of Porto Alegre, with which it communicates by steamboat and rail. The other main centres of population are Rio Pardo, Santa Maria, Passo Fundo, and Cruz Alta. By a Decree of the S. C. of the Consistory, 6 Feb., 1911, Mgr. Lima de Valverde was appointed first Bishop of Santa Maria.
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