Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon
|Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon
Archidioecesis Portlandensis in Oregon
|Territory||The Counties West of Wasco, Crook, and Klamath.|
|Ecclesiastical province||Province of Portland|
|Area||76,937 km2 (29,706 sq mi)|
|(as of 2010)
|Cathedral||Saint Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception|
|Patron saint||Immaculate Conception|
|Archbishop||Alexander King Sample|
|Vicar General||Rev. Fr. Peter Leslie Smith, Auxiliary Bishop-elect|
The Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon (Archidioecesis Portlandensis in Oregon) is an archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It encompasses the western part of the state of Oregon, from the summit of the Cascades to the Pacific Ocean. The Archbishop of Portland serves as the Ordinary of the archdiocese and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Portland whose suffragan dioceses cover the entire three states of Oregon, Idaho, & Montana. The dioceses of the province include Baker (eastern Oregon), Boise (Idaho), Helena (western Montana), and Great Falls-Billings (eastern Montana).
As published in the 2013 "Oregon Catholic Directory," this archdiocese serves 412,725 Catholics (out of more than 3.3 million people). There are 150 diocesan priests, 144 religious priests, 79 permanent deacons, 388 women religious, and 78 religious brothers. The archdiocese has 124 parishes, 22 missions, 1 seminary, 40 elementary schools, 10 secondary schools, and 2 Catholic colleges.
The origins of the Catholic Church in the Oregon Country derive from a July 3, 1834, petition by French Prairie settlers to priests in Canada. In response to this petition, missionary priests, Rev. Francis Xavier Norbert Blanchet and Rev. Modeste Demers arrived at Fort Vancouver on November 24, 1838. The first Mass was celebrated on January 6, 1839 at St. Paul.
On December 1, 1843, the Vatican established the Vicariate Apostolic of the Oregon Territory with Rev. Msgr. Blanchet as its first Vicar Apostolic. A Vicar Apostolic is a bishop in a territory which has not yet been organized as a diocese. The following year, Rev. Pierre-Jean DeSmet, S.J., and fellow priests and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur arrived in Astoria from Belgium.
On July 24, 1846, Pope Pius IX divided the existing vicariate apostolic into three dioceses: Oregon City (Oregonopolitanus); Walla Walla (Valle Valliensis); and Vancouver Island (Insula Vancouver). On July 29, 1850, the Diocese of Oregon City was elevated to an archdiocese with Archbishop Blanchet continuing to serve as its first archbishop.
Rapid growth in the Pacific Northwest led to the loss of territory of the Archdiocese of Oregon City from which the Vatican created the Vicariate Apostolic of Idaho and Montana on March 3, 1868, and the Diocese of Baker City on June 19, 1903.
The Archdiocese was renamed by the Vatican as Portland in Oregon on September 26, 1928.
On January 29, 2013, bishop Alexander Sample was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be the new archbishop of Portland, to succeed John George Vlazny, whose resignation was accepted at the same time.
Historic parish churches
Historic parish churches in the archdiocese include:
- St. Boniface Church, Sublimity, Oregon, erected 1889;
- St. Mary's Church, Mount Angel, Oregon, erected 1912;
- St. Paul Church, St. Paul, Oregon, erected 1846
The church's sex abuse scandal led the archdiocese to file for Chapter 11 reorganization on July 6, 2004, hours before two abuse trials were set to begin. Portland became the first Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy. An open letter to the archdiocese's parishioners explained the archbishop's motivation.
Bishop of Oregon City
- François Norbert Blanchet (1846–1850)
Archbishops of Oregon City
- François Norbert Blanchet (1850–1880)
- Charles John Seghers (1880–1884)
- William Hickley Gross, C.SS.R. (1885–1898)
- Alexander Christie (1899–1925)
- Edward Daniel Howard (1926–1928)
Archbishops of Portland in Oregon
- Edward Daniel Howard (1928–1966)
- Robert Joseph Dwyer (1966–1974)
- Cornelius Michael Power (1974–1986)
- William Joseph Levada (1986–1995)
- Francis George, OMI (1996–1997)
- John George Vlazny (1997–2013)
- Alexander King Sample (2013 – )
- Blanchet Catholic School, Salem
- Central Catholic High School, Portland
- De La Salle North Catholic High School, Portland
- Jesuit High School, Portland
- La Salle High School, Milwaukie
- Marist Catholic High School, Eugene
- Regis High School, Stayton
- St. Mary's Academy, Portland
- St. Mary's High School, Medford
- Valley Catholic School, Beaverton
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, including its bankruptcy proceedings
- Catholic Sentinel - official newspaper
- Committee of Parishioners in Western Oregon, formed to participate in the Archdiocese's bankruptcy case
- October 2005 update on the status of Chapter 11 reorganization
- Catholic Hierarchy.org - Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon