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DIOCESE OF CUERNAVACA (CUERNAVACENSIS).
The Diocese of Cuernavaca, erected 23 June, 1891, comprises all the State of Morelos in the Republic of Mexico , and is bounded on the north and the west by the Archdiocese of Mexico, on the east by the Archdiocese of Puebla, and on the south by the Bishopric of Chilapa. It has an area of 7184 square kilometers, with a population of 161,697. The Gospel was first preached in the territory of the present diocese by the Franciscans who founded the convent of Cuernavaca in 1526. In 1529 the Dominicans established themselves at Oaxtepec, and the Augustinians in 1534 at Ocuituco. Motolinia, the Franciscan historian, asserts that in 1536 all the inhabitants of this region had been converted to the Faith. In the eighteenth century the churches founded by the religious of these three orders were secularized, that of Cuautla alone remaining to the Dominicans, but this also finally passed into the hands of the secular clergy . The diocese is now enjoying a period of peace. Agriculture, the manufacture of alcohol, and the sugar industry, form the principal means of livelihood for the inhabitants. The non-Catholics, who are about 500 in number, form small communities and are permitted absolute freedom.
The first bishop, Fortino Hipólito Vera was consecrated 29 July, 1894. He died 23 September, 1898, and was succeeded by Francisco Plancarte y Navarrete, consecrated first Bishop of Campeche, 16 September, 1896, and translated to the vacant see of Cuernavaca, 28 November, 1898. He took possession 16 February, 1899.
The diocese is divided into 34 parishes and has 42 secular and 6 regular priests, who have charge of the seminary. Eight Marist Brothers have charge of the schools for boys, and 20 sisters (Hijas de Maria Inmaculada de Guadalupe) those for the girls. There are 12 parochial schools with an attendance of more than one thousand, boys and girls. Besides these there are in the episcopal city a seminary with about 36 boarders, a college for boys attended by 262 students, both boarders and day scholars, an orphan asylum with 40 regular inmates and 274 girls who attend classes there, and a Catholic hospital supported by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The "Boletín Oficial y Revista Eclesiástica del Obispado de Cuernavaca", published fortnightly, is the only Catholic publication in the diocese. The episcopal residence is in the city of Cuernavaca, whose foundation antedates the thirteenth century. It has a population of 9564. Conquered by the Aztecs about the middle of the fifteenth century, it was taken by the Spaniards in April, 1521. It was the favourite residence of Hernán Cortés and of the unfortunate Emperor Maximilian. since 1870 it has been the capital of the new State of Morelos.
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