Pasto, Diocese of (PASTENSIS, PASTOPOLITANA), a Colombian see, suffragan of Popayàn, from which it was separated by the Bull of Pius IX, “In excelsa militantibus ecclesia”, April 10, 1859. Situated in the State of Cauca, it is bounded on the north by the Dioceses of Garzon and Popayàn, and on the south by the Vicariate Apostolic of Napo, Ecuador. The present bishop, Msgr. Adolfo Perea, b. 1853 in the Diocese of Popayan, elected December 16, 1907, succeeded Msgr. Ezequiel Moreno, O.S.A. (b. at Alfaro, Tarazona, April 9, 1838, made titular Bishop of Pinara, October 23, 1893, transferred to Pasto December 2, 1893). The diocese contains 315,640 Catholics, 41,000 pagan Indians, 68 parishes, 90 secular and 23 regular priests, 133 churches or chapels. The town of Pasto, containing about 12,000 inhabitants, is well built and is a busy trade center between Colombia and Ecuador. It is situated at the eastern base of the volcano La Galera at an altitude of 8650 feet. Founded in 1539, it was captured by Bolivar during the War of Independence in 1822, and suffered severely from an earthquake in 1834. It contains many churches, a seminary, a Jesuit college, and an hospital under the care of the Sisters of Charity. On December 23, 1904, the Apostolic Prefecture of Caqueta (q.v.) was separated from Pasto.
A. A. MACERLEAN