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to Christianity, there were few conversions. Bishop Miche established the diocesan centre at Pinhalu (near Phnom Penh). Tragedy soon struck the young diocese with the premature deaths of Father Basset in 1853 and Father Triaire in 1859. In 1867, another priest, Father Barreau, was killed by pirates. In 1865, after the death of Bishop Dominique Lefebvre, Bishop Miche was transferred to Saigon as his successor, and at his departure there were 2,500 Christians. Given the small number of Catholics in the Cao Mien diocese, Bishop Miche proposed to the Holy See to detach the two provinces of Ha Tien and Chau Doc from the diocese of Saigon and annex them to the diocese of Cao Mien, thus adding to it some 6,000 Catholics. Louis Ausoleil was made vicar general of the diocese (1869-74). He was succeeded by Marie-Laurent Cordier (1874-82), who was made apostolic vicar (1882-95).

In 1892, the diocese had one bishop (Cordier), twenty-nine missionaries, twelve Vietnamese priests, thirty catechists, one seminary with seventy-five students, thirty-five Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, eighty-six Sisters of Providence (twenty-six French, sixty Vietnamese and Cambodian), and 21,130 Christians.

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