Diocese of Tanjore
The Diocese of Thanjavur is a Catholic Diocese created in the year 1952. It was bifurcated from the Diocese of Mylapore (at present Chennai). Most Rev. Dr.R.A.Sundaram, an illustrious son of Thanjavur Town, became the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Thanjavur on February 4, 1953. He was a visionary and with his foresight he bought land at Thanjavur where St.John De Britto College of Education is located. That is why this large campus of about 95 acres of land is known as Bishop Sundaram Campus. He was succeeded by Most Rev.Pakiam Arokiaswamy who upgraded many middle schools to high schools and high schools to higher secondary schools. Most Rev.Dr. M. Devadass Ambrose succeeded him as the third bishop of the Diocese of Thanjavur. As a well known professor, educationalist and visionary, he uplifted the educational standards and governance of all the schools under the management of the Diocese. Under his leadership and guidance the diocese has started institutions of higher education. Bishop M. Devadass Ambrose is the Founder and President of St. John De Britto College of Education, Thanjavur.
Bishop R.A.Sundaram, the first bishop of Thanjavur, paid special attention towards education of the rural population in the diocese of Thanjavur which covers six civil districts (Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai, and Cuddalore). Under his leadership and motivated by his initiatives, the priests, religious and laity cooperated in the service of education. Hence, primary and middle schools were started in several remote villages. People of all castes and religions received opportunity to get good standard education. Later they got jobs in government and private companies. There was a tremendous social upliftment through the educational ministry of the Diocese of Thanjavur. Bishop Sundaram was succeeded by Bishop Packiam Arokiaswamy in 1986 who continued the vision of his predecessor. He upgraded many middle schools to high schools and high schools to higher secondary schools. In 1997, Most Rev. Dr. M. Devadass Ambrose became the third Bishop of the diocese. As a great visionary, educationalist and Professor he paid very special attention to improve the standard and management of the schools in the diocese to provide quality education according to modern standards and demands. In 1953 St. Antony’s High School was the only High school run by the diocese. But, at present, there are more than 30 Higher Secondary Schools, High Schools, CBSE and Matriculation Schools under the management of the diocese. Besides these schools managed by the diocese, the Religious Congregations working in the diocese have more than 20 higher secondary and high schools. There are 95 parishes in the diocese and practically all the Parishes have primary or middle schools. About half of them have orphanages attached to them. There are two Industrial Training Schools under the management of the diocese. With the great vision of Bishop Devadass Ambrose and his guidance the diocese ventured into the field of higher education. At present the Diocese of Thanjavur is doing wonderful service in the field of higher education. St. John De Britto College of Education, Annai Vailankanni Arts and Science College, and Our Lady of Health Nursing College are doing educational ministry with excellent performance.
John De Britto College of Education is one among many institutions of “The Diocese of Tanjore Society” the diocese of Tanjore (Thanjavur) was bifurcated from the Arch diocese of Chennai- Mylapore on 23rd November 1952, and was erected as a new diocese.