Diocese in Southern Ecuador, suffragan of Quito, created by Pius IX , 29 December, 1862, out of the provinces of Carchi and Imbabura, previously within the Archdiocese of Quito. Francesco Jabani, the Apostolic Delegate, named as executor of the Bull the Bishop of Antioquia (Colombia), Antonio Riaño, at that time in exile at Quito, under whom the canonical erection of the Diocese of Ibarra took place 6 August, 1865. For two months Bishop Riaño took charge of the diocese as administrator Apostolic, and was succeeded by José María Jerovi, later Archbishop of Quito, and Arsenio Andrade, afterwards Bishop of Riobamba. Finally, in April, 1867, José Ignacio Checa y Barbo was appointed first Bishop of Ibarra, but in June of the following year was transferred to the archiepiscopal see of Quito, being succeeded in June, 1869, in the diocese of Ibarra by Tomás Antonio Iturralde, who resigned in 1875. The next two bishops, Pedro Rafael González Calixto (1876-93) and Federico González Francisco Suárez (1895-1906), were later appointed Archbishops of Quito. The present (fifth) incumbent is Ulpiano Pérez Quiñonez, born 4 August, 1863, at Quito, ordained in 1887, later professor and rector of the seminary at Atocha, in 1895 made canon, in 1898 vicar-general of Quito, and appointed to the Bishopric of Ibarra, 11 January, 1907, being consecrated on 19 May of the same year at Quito.
According to a communication from the bishop dated 23 May, 1907, the diocese has an area of 3661 sq. miles, with a Catholic population of 104,000, including 36,000 in the province of Carchi (Tulcan, the capital, alone comprising 5000), and 68,000 in the province of Imbabura (Ibarra, the capital and seat of the diocese, numbering 5600). The 28 parishes of the diocese are divided among 8 deaneries ( vicariatos foraneos ): Tulcan, S. Gabriel and Mira, in the province of Carchi; Otavalo, Cotacachi, Urcuqui, Hatuntaqui, and Ibarra ( foraneo central ), in the province of Imbabura. In addition to the 55 secular priests, 2 Dominicans and 2 Mercedarians devote themselves to the care of souls, each order having a church at Ibarra. The Discalced Carmelite Sisters have a community of 14 sisters at Ibarra; the Bethlehemites, an academy for girls at Ibarra and one at Tulcan; the Sisters of Mercy , schools for girls at Ibarra and Otavalo and a hospital and orphan asylum at Ibarra. In addition to the primary grammar schools there are at Ibarra a preparatory seminar (Seminario Conciliar S. Didaco) and the national college of S. Alfonso, besides a national college at Tulcan. Candidates for the priesthood study in the seminary at Quito. The cathedral chapter, erected 18 June, 1866, consists of 12 canons, including 2 dignitaries (dean and archdean) and 4 officials ( theologalis, doctoralis, magistralis, poenitentiarius ). The city of Ibarra, founded 28 September, 1606, which in 1906 celebrated the tercentenary of its foundation, with great splendour, was repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes, and on the night of 15-16 August, 1868, razed to the ground. It has since partially recovered from the catastrophe, and contains, besides the cathedral, the parish church of S. Augustin and the churches connected with the monasteries of the Dominicans (S. Domingo) and the Mercedarians (Nuestra Señora de la Merced), the church formerly in charge of the Capuchins (S. Francisco), and that of S. María del Cármen. There are also 6 public chapels. The confraternities which have been canonically erected at Ibarra include those of the Perpetual Adoration, of the Immaculate Conception (for young ladies), of St. Joseph, of Bl. Maria Ana of Quito. The Third Orders of St. Francis and St. Dominic have members in almost every parish of the diocese.
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