VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Wednesday, 11 September created the new ecclesiastical province of Dili in East Timor, elevating the Diocese of Dili to the rank of a metropolitan archdiocese.
The new ecclesiastical province of Dili will have the dioceses of Baucau and Maliana as its suffragans. At the same time, the Pope raised Salesian Bishop Virgílio do Carmo da Silva of Dili to the rank of an archbishop.
The Diocese of Díli has an area of 4,775 sq km, covering 5 districts in the central part of East Timor. Out of a total of population of over 667,000, Catholics number more than 630,000 (94.4%), who are spread across 30 parishes. They are served by 149 priests, 132 men religious and 432 nuns. 98 major seminarians are studying for priesthood. The diocese depends a lot on the service of catechists.