Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo

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Diocese of Fargo
Dioecesis Fargensis
CoA Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo.svg
Country  United States
Territory 30 counties in eastern North Dakota
Ecclesiastical province Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Area 35,786 sq mi (92,690 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2006)
82,891 (21.8%)
Parishes 138
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established November 10, 1889 (127 years ago)
Cathedral Cathedral of St. Mary
Patron saint Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop John Thomas Folda
Metropolitan Archbishop Bernard Hebda
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Vicar General Joseph Goering
Diocese of Fargo.jpg

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo (Latin: Dioecesis Fargensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in the American state of North Dakota.

Fargo is the episcopal see of the diocese. It is a suffragan see of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The Cathedral parish of the diocese is the Cathedral of St. Mary.


The diocese was founded on November 10, 1889 by Pope Leo XIII as the Diocese of Jamestown. The name of the diocese was changed to the Diocese of Fargo on April 6, 1897.

It lost territory when the Diocese of Bismarck was established by Pope Pius X in 1909.[1][2]


Diocesan bishops[edit]

The bishops who have served the Diocese of Fargo as diocesan bishop and their terms of service:

  1. John Shanley (1889–1909)
  2. James O'Reilly (1909–1934)
  3. Aloisius Joseph Muench (1935–1959); later, Cardinal (1959-1962)
  4. Leo Ferdinand Dworschak (1960–1970)
  5. Justin Albert Driscoll (1970–1984)
  6. James Stephen Sullivan (1985–2002)
  7. Samuel Joseph Aquila (2002–2012)
  8. John Thomas Folda (2013–present)

Other bishops who once were priests of the Diocese of Fargo[edit]


St Mary's Cathedral, Fargo

The Diocese of Fargo operates a number of departments serving the various needs of the bishop and parishes. The departments include:

  • Archives
  • Catholic Education and Formation Office (CEF)
  • Catholic Schools
  • Cemeteries
  • Communications
  • Education for Parish Service (EPS)
  • Evangelization and Catechesis
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Marriage & Family Life
  • Marriage Tribunal
  • Properties Management
  • Respect Life
  • Stewardship & Development
  • Technology
  • Youth & Young Adult


A partial list of parishes of the Diocese of Fargo follows.



School Location Established Affiliation(s)
Primary and middle schools
Holy Family–St. Mary's Catholic School Grand Forks 2005
Holy Spirit Catholic Elementary School Fargo 1953
Nativity Elementary School Fargo 1961 Sisters of the Presentation of Mary (former)
St. Alphonsus School Langdon 1941
St. Ann's Native American Catholic Elementary School Belcourt 1999 Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity
St. Catherine Elementary School Valley City
St. John's Academy Jamestown
St. Joseph Catholic School Devils Lake 1957 Sisters of Mercy (former)
St. Michael's Catholic School Devils Lake 1916 Sisters of St. Joseph (former)
St. Therese the Little Flower Catholic Elementary School Rugby 1943
Sullivan Middle School Fargo
Secondary schools
Shanley High School Logo.pngShanley High School Fargo 1882 De La Salle Christian Brothers (former)

Presentation Sisters (former)

Former schools[edit]

The Diocese of Fargo operated Cardinal Muench Seminary, established in 1962, for the formation of men to the priesthood. The seminary was closed in May 2011 due to increased cost of operation and lack of funding.[3]

  • St. Alphonsus High School
  • St. Mary's Elementary School

Coat of arms[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Diocese of Fargo". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Diocese of Fargo". GCatholic. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  3. ^ Cardinal Muench Seminary Closed,

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°52′38″N 96°47′22″W / 46.87722°N 96.78944°W / 46.87722; -96.78944