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DIOCESE OF PUNO (PUNIENSIS)
Suffragan of the Archdiocese of Lima in Peru. Its jurisdiction extends over the whole territory of the Department of Puno, with a Catholic population (1900) of 260,810 souls ; 85 priests ; 62 parishes ; 320 churches and chapels. The residence of the bishop is at the City of Puno. The bishopric was created by the law of the republic, 26 November, 1832, and by a Bull of Pius IX of 6 Nov., 1861, approved by executive resolution, 6 Sept., 1865. Dr. Marriano Chaco y Becerra was nominated the first Bishop of Puno on 17 June, 1861, and consecrated 7 April, 1862, but resigned before assuming his duties. His successor, Dr. Juan Ambrosio Huerta was nominated 17 June, 1865, and in 1875 transferred to the see of Arequipa. He was succeeded by Mgr. Pedro José Chavez, whose consecration took place on 25 July, 1875. The next Bishop of Puno was Mgr. Juan Estebánes y Seminario, a Discalced Recollect, who was consecrated on 26 Feb., 1881, and died in the same year. The diocese was then left vacant until 1909, its last Apostolic administrator being Mgr. Ismael Puirredon, until Sept., 1909, when the present bishop, Mgr. Laisson, was consecrated.
The Diocese of Puno is divided into 9 ecclesiastical provinces, viz.: Cereado; Baja de Chucuito; Alta de Chucuito; Lampa ; Baja de Lampa ; Huancani; Azangaro; Carabaya, and Sandia. There is in the City of Puno a seminaro conciliar for the education of the priesthood. The diocese is well-supplied with public and private schools, some of the latter connected with the parishes. (See PERU.)
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