Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown

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Diocese of Allentown
Dioecesis Alanpolitana
Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown.svg
The coat of arms of the Diocese of Allentown
Country United States
Territory Pennsylvania counties of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill, in the United States
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Area 2,773 sq mi (7,180 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2006)
272,640 (23.5%)
Parishes 104
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established January 28, 1961
Cathedral Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena
Patron saint Saint Catherine of Siena
Secular priests 210
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop John Oliver Barres
Bishop of Allentown
Metropolitan Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, OFM Cap
Archbishop of Philadelphia
Emeritus Bishops Edward Peter Cullen
Diocese of Allentown map 1.jpg

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown (Latin: Dioecesis Alanpolitana) is a Roman Catholic diocese comprising the Pennsylvania counties of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill, in the United States. Its cathedral is the Cathedral Church of Saint Catharine of Siena, located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The diocese has a Catholic population of 273,599 as of 2006, approximately 23.5% of the total population; it maintains 104 parishes, 48 Catholic elementary schools, 7 Catholic high schools and two Catholic colleges, as well as 291 priests (Active & Retired & Religious).


The diocese was founded on January 28, 1961 by Pope John XXIII by splitting the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; the first bishop, Joseph Mark McShea, was installed on April 11 of that year.


The bishops of the diocese and their terms of service:

  1. Joseph Mark McShea (1961–1983)
  2. Thomas Jerome Welsh (1983–1997)
  3. Edward Peter Cullen (1998–July 30, 2009)
  4. John Oliver Barres (July 30, 2009–Present)

Priests who became bishops[edit]

Joseph Edward Kurtz, current Archbishop of Louisville, and Ronald William Gainer, current Bishop of Lexington, both began as priests in Allentown. (Bishop Gainer was appointed Bishop of Harrisburg on Jan. 24, 2014.)

David B. Thompson, who eventually became Bishop of Charleston (South Carolina), became chancellor of the then-new Allentown diocese after having been ordained for the archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Diocese today[edit]

The Vicar General of the Diocese is the Reverend Monsignor Alfred A. Schlert, J.C.L., V.G. The Judicial Vicar of the Diocese is the Very Rev. John J. Paul, V.J., M.S.C., S.T.L., J.C.D.

Currently, the Diocese of Allentown is undergoing the implementation phase of their Synod. The desire of the Synod is to strengthen the life of the Catholic Church in Allentown for the future. Among the numerous topics being studied are the Restructuring and Consolidation of Parishes, Fiscal Feasibility of Catholic Schools, Catholic Youth, Vocations, Family Life, and Catechetical Programs. The Vicar for the Implementation of the Synod is the Reverend Monsignor David L. James, V.E.

On June 1, 2008, the Diocese of Allentown unveiled the first section of restructuring of parishes for the five counties. Due to the shift in population, waning number of priestly vocations, and other reasons, the Diocese closed 47 parishes effective reducing its parishes from 151 to 104. The Diocese plans to finish its efforts with restructuring over the next year where 15 or more parishes will be consolidated or merged.

Deaneries & Vicars Forane[edit]

  • Schuylkill Deanery: The Reverend Monsignor William J. Glosser, V.F.
  • Berks Deanery: The Reverend Monsignor Dennis T. Hartgen, V.F.
  • Carbon Deanery: The Reverend Monsignor John G. Chizmar, V.F.
  • Lehigh Deanery: The Reverend Monsignor Daniel J. Yenushosky, V.F.
  • Northampton Deanery: The Reverend Monsignor Stephen J. Radocha,V.F.

Parishes (As of July 16, 2008)[edit]

A cross (+) indicates a new parish formed from the merger or consolidation of two or more parishes.

Carbon Deanery[edit]

  • St. Joseph, Summit Hill
  • +St. Katherine Drexel, Lansford
  • +St. Francis of Assisi, Nesquehoning
  • +Our Lady of Lourdes, Weatherly
  • Immaculate Conception, Jim Thorpe
  • St. Joseph, Jim Thorpe
  • St. Peter the Fisherman, Lake Harmony
  • Ss. Peter and Paul, Lehighton
  • Sacred Heart, Palmerton

Lehigh Deanery[edit]

  • Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena, Allentown
  • St. Francis of Assisi, Allentown
  • St. Paul, Allentown
  • Sacred Heart, Allentown
  • St. Stephen of Hungary, Allentown
  • Our Lady, Help of Christians, Allentown
  • Immaculate Conception, Allentown
  • St. John the Baptist, Allentown
  • Ss. Peter and Paul, Allentown
  • St. Thomas More, Allentown
  • St. Joseph the Worker, Orefield
  • St. Ann, Emmaus
  • +Queenship of Mary, Northampton
  • Assumption BVM, Northampton
  • +St. John Neumann, Catasauqua
  • Assumption BVM, Slatington
  • St. Peter, Coplay
  • St. John the Baptist, Whitehall
  • Holy Trinity, Whitehall
  • St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Whitehall

Northampton Deanery[edit]

  • Sacred Heart, Bath
  • Holy Family, Nazareth
  • St. Nicholas, Berlinsville
  • St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Pen Argyl
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Roseto
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel, Bangor
  • St. Rocco, Martins Creek
  • +Incarnation of our Lord, Bethlehem
  • Holy Ghost, Bethlehem
  • Holy Infancy, Bethlehem
  • St. Ursula, Fountain Hill
  • +Our Lady of Mercy, Easton
  • St. Bernard Public Oratory, Easton
  • St. Anthony of Padua, Easton
  • Saint Joseph, Limeport
  • Assumption BVM, Colesville
  • Notre Dame, Bethlehem
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bethlehem Township
  • Sacred Heart, Bethlehem Township
  • Saint Anne, Bethlehem
  • Saint Theresa, Hellertown
  • Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Palmer Township
  • Saints Simon and Jude, Bethlehem

Berks Deanery[edit]

  • Saint Joseph, Reading
  • Saint Peter the Apostle, Reading
  • Saint Margaret, Reading
  • Saint Paul, Reading
  • Holy Guardian Angels, Muhlenberg Township
  • Saint Mary, Kutztown
  • Saint Mary, Hamburg
  • Saints Cyril and Methodius, Reading
  • Saint Mary, Reading
  • Holy Rosary, Reading
  • Sacred Heart, West Reading
  • Saint Ignatius Loyola, Whitfield
  • Saint Francis de Sales, Robesonia
  • Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Shillington
  • Saint Anthony, Reading
  • Saint Benedict, Mohnton
  • Saint Catharine of Siena, Mt. Penn (Chapel)/Exeter Township
  • Immaculate Conception, Douglasville
  • Saint Columbkill, Boyertown
  • Most Blessed Sacrament, Bally

Schuylkill Deanery[edit]

  • St. Jerome, Tamaqua
  • Ss. Peter and Paul, Tamaqua
  • +All Saints, McAdoo
  • +Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Mahanoy City
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Shenandoah
  • Saint Casmir, Shenandoah
  • Saint George, Shenandoah
  • Saint Stephen, Shenandoah
  • Saint Stanislaus, Shenandoah
  • Annunciation, Shenandoah
  • Saint Mary Magdalene, Lost Creek
  • Saint Joseph, Sheppton
  • Saint Mary, Ringtown
  • Saint Joseph, Girardville
  • Saint Vincent de Paul, Girardville
  • Saint Joseph, Ashland
  • Saint Mauritius, Ashland
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel, Gordon
  • Saint Ann, Frackville
  • Annunciation, Frackville
  • Saint Joseph, Frackville
  • St. Patrick, Pottsville
  • St. John the Baptist, Pottsville
  • St. Ambrose, Schuylkill Haven
  • St. Stephen, Port Carbon
  • +St. Michael the Archangel, Minersville
  • +St. Matthew, Minersville
  • +St. Clare of Assisi, St. Clair
  • +Holy Cross, New Philadelphia
  • +Most Blessed Trinity, Tremont

High schools[edit]

See also[edit]


[better source needed]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°36′06″N 75°28′38″W / 40.60167°N 75.47722°W / 40.60167; -75.47722