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Diocese of Parahyba

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(PARAHYBENESIS)

Located in the State of Parahyba, Brazil, suffragan of Bahia, founded 27 July, 1892, having been separated from the Diocese of Olinda . It is coterminous with the State of Parahyba, one of the smallest in Brazil, bordering on the Atlantic Ocean, and is bounded, north by the State of Rio Grande do Norte, south by Pernambuco, and west by Ceará. It has an area of 28,850 square miles. The episcopal city, which is also the state capital, dates from a Portuguese settlement of 1579. It is situated partly on an elevated plateau and partly on the surrounding plain, the latter (and newer) section along the Parahyba comprising, with its port of Cobadello, the business quarter. Sugar, cacao, rice, and tobacco are some of the products of this coast region, while the slopes back of the town are heavily forested. The chief ecclesiastical buildings of the city are the cathedral, Notre Dame dos Neves (Our Lady of the Snows), and the former Jesuit College, now occupied by the State offices. The first and present (1911) bishop of the diocese, Mgr de Miranda Henriques, is a native of Parahyba. Born 30 August, 1855, he studied at the Pio-Latino American College at Rome and received there the degree of Doctor of Canon Law. Ordained priest 18 September, 1880, he was made canon of Bahia 14 August, 1885, and appointed bishop 2 January, 1894. He was consecrated on 7 January, 1894, and assumed his duties the following March. The diocese numbers (1911) 735,572 Catholics ; 1000 Protestants ; 48 parishes ; 52 secular, 10 regular priests ; 1 college.

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