In the second half of the 16th century, there were Catholics in various parts of the territory now comprising Bangladesh. Prominent among these early Christian settlements were Hussainpur of Mymensingh District and Shripur near Sonargaon, the old capital of Eastern Bengal. When Mylapore (Madras, India) was erected into a Diocese in 1606, the Mission stations of Bengal were placed under its jurisdiction. Among the Churches erected by the Augustinians at that time were those at Nagori (1695) and Tejgaon (1677).
In 1834, the Vicariate Apostolic of Bengal was created, under the jurisdiction of the Sacred Congregation for Propaganda Fide. In 1850, this Vicariate was "de jure" divided into two, the Vicariates Apostolic of Eastern and Western Bengal. In 1852, the Vicariate of Eastern Bengal, with headquarter at Dhaka, was entrusted to the newly-founded Congregation of Holy Cross. This Congregation still serves in this territory.
The first Vicar Apostolic was Rt. Rev. Msgr. Thomas Oliffe. He administered the vicariate from 1852 to 1853. The first Holy Cross Missionaries arrived in May 1853. From 1855 to 1859, the Pro-Vicar Apostolic was Rev. Louis Verite CSC. In 1860, Rev. Pierre Dufal CSC was named Vicar Apostolic and was consecrated in France as the Titular Bishop of Delcon. He returned to Dhaka in 1861 and administered till 1876.
From 1876 to 1889, when the Holy Cross Missionaries were recalled by their Superior to France, the Vicariate was administered by the Benedictine monks of the Anglo-Belgian Province. Dom Cuthbert Downey OSB was the Pro Vicar Apostolic. He was later succeeded by Dom Gregory de Groote, OSB, as the Administrator.
In 1889 the Holy Cross Missionaries returned to Eastern Bengal, under Rev. Michael Fallize CSC. Earlier on 1 September, 1886, the Diocese of Dhaka was canonically erected. The new Diocese included the territories of the present day Dioceses of Chittagong (Bangladesh), Silchar (Assam, India), and Prome (Myanmar). Chittagong was separated from the jurisdiction of Dhaka in 1927.
When independence first came in 1947, Dhaka was still a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Calcutta (India). In July 1950, a new Ecclesiastical Province was created, with the See of Dhaka raised to the Archepiscopal status. Chittagong, Dinajpur, and Jessore (presently Khulna) were made the first suffragan Sees. Most Rev. Lawrence Leo Graner CSC of Dhaka was named the first Archbishop of Dhaka.
In September 1960, His Holiness Pope John XXlll gave Dhaka (and in fact Bangladesh) its first Bangalee Bishop in the person of the Most. Rev. Theotonius A. Ganguly CSC, naming him Titular Bishop of Oliva and Auxiliary Bishop of Dhaka. In November 1967, Bishop Ganguly became the first Bangalee Archbishop of Dhaka, and the seventh prelate to grace the See of Dhaka. On his death in 1977, Most Rev. Michael Rozario, Bishop of Dinajpur, succeeded him as the third Archbishop of Dhaka, on 9 April 1978. On the retirement of Archbishop Michael Rozario, Most Rev. Paulinus Costa, Bishop of Rajshahi was elected as the Archbishop of Dhaka on 9 July, 2006 and was installed Archbishop of Dhaka on 9 September, 2005.
When Bangladesh won its independence in December 1971, Dhaka as the Metropolitan See of this new country grew in importance and received greater responsibility. An ancient political capital now became also a spiritual capital of the Catholics of Bangladesh.