All India Catholic Union was established in 1919, registered under Societies Registration Act 1860 and it is the representative of the Catholic Laity, of India with affiliated units nationwide.
When the first All India Catholic Conference was held in 1919, under the eminent leadership of Prof. A. Soares, F.A.C. Rebello & Prof. C. J. Varkey, plans for the formation of this organization were laid down and in 1930 an organized union of the Catholic Laity the All India Catholic League was formed at a National Level and under it's patronage the first All India Catholic Congress was convened at Pune in 1934.
In 1940, this organized body was named Catholic Union of India and Prof. M. Ratnaswamy, the then Vice - Chancellor, Anna Malai University was the first National President and Prof. A. Soares was the first Secretary General.
In 1966 Catholic Union of India was registered at Chennai, under the Societies Registration Act (Act XXI of 1860). Subsequently the name was changed to All India Catholic Union
AICU is the forerunner in all legitimate causes for Catholics in India. Its prime aim is to protect national, political and social interest and rights of the Catholics. The united strength of the Catholics in India successfully fought under the leadership of Catholic Union of India (CUI) against Niyogi Committee Report, O.P. Tyagi Bill in 1978, Kerala Education Bill. Christmas satyagraha for justice, peace and national integration in 1990, Census awareness campaign in 1991, Dalit Christian Rally in the Capital in 1993 & 1996, litigation relating to the Supreme Court's 50% Minority Institutions Judgement in 1993. A recent cause taken by the Union is equal rights for the Dalit Christians, the Christian Personal Laws, and representation against the atrocities on Churches and Christian Institutions starting with Gajraula and Jogeshwari nuns incident, till date taking place in Orissa, Bihar, UP, MP, Gujarat and various other parts of the Country.
AICU now established a voice and presence with the "powers that be" across the Country. AICU works in the area of Human Rights and social justice. AICU's protests against atrocities on Minorities and Human Rights have been quoted in Parliament during the confidence motion debate in February 1998 and in India Today (August 15, 1998). AICU with the active involvement of CBCI has forged a National Christian Front of all mainline Churches to deal with protection and promotion of rights and interests.