The Diocese of Marbel comprises the civil provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani and some parts of Sultan Kudarat. It has a land
area of 10,000 square kilometers and a population of 1,094,770, of which 80 per cent are Catholics. Marbel was made a prelature on December 17, 1960. On November 15, 1982 it was elevated into a diocese,
remaining a suffragan of the Diocese of Cotabato. Its titular patron is Christ the King, whose feast is celebrated toward the end of November.
South Cotabato occupies the southern portion of what used to be the
entire province of Cotabato. This resulted from a political participation of the province into two Cotabatos in 1967. The territory is bounded on the east by Davao del Sur, on the west by what is now
Cotabato Province and the Moro Gulf, on the north by Cotabato alone and on the south by the Celebes Sea and Sarangani Bay. Its capital town is Koronadal.
South Cotabato is where the rim of Mt. Parker broke off
in September of 1995, inundating surrounding areas with mud and water from its interior lake, causing heavy casualties in life and property. It is also where Dole Philippines has over 80 square kilometers of
pineapple plantations, and a sister company is involved in the production of Cavendish bananas. The pineapple cannery alone employs thousands of workers and is a major activity of the province. The fishing
industry is also extensive from the surrounding waters of Sarangani Bay and the Celebes Sea.
The vision of the Church in South Cotabato is a community of Christ's disciples living the Kingdom values, and journeying
forward to the Kingdom of God. It also envisions a more humane and peaceful society which is maka-diyos, maka-tao and maka-bayan – just, respectful of the integrity of creation, and oriented toward world
Its mission is integral evangelization: massive education in the faith, contextualized worship, and social apostolate.
The thrust of its program is geared to the building and
strengthening of mga gagmay nga Kristohanong katilingban or small Christian communities (BECs) toward integral liberation and development in order to bring about the "New Self," and the "New Earth,"
thereby glorifying God.
The Diocese of South Cotabato has 22 parishes and 2 missions attended to by 65 priests. It has 15 religious brothers and 93 religious sisters doing varied works in the community.
Among its Catholic institutions are 1 university, 2 colleges, 24 high schools, 34 elementary schools and 9 kindergarten schools. It also has 2 hospitals, 3 homes for dependent children, 1 home for adults, and 8
retreat centers. The total number of BECs has now reached 1,242.
The diocesan pastoral offices include the Commissions on Christian Formation, Social Action, Worship and Liturgy. The diocesan lay
associations include those of the Lay Liturgical Leaders, the Lay Liturgists, the Knights of Columbus, the Parish Pastoral Councils, the BCC/GKK Practitioners, the Kriska Alagads, the Catholic Youth Ministry, the Family
and Life Ministry, and the Catechists.