Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati

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Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Archidioecesis Cincinnatensis
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati.svg
Coat of arms
Flag of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati.svg
Country United States
Territory Southwestern and Western Ohio, including the cities of Cincinnati, Dayton, Springfield, and Hamilton
Ecclesiastical province Cincinnati
Area 8,543 sq mi (22,130 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
471,457 (15.3%)
Parishes 214[1]
Schools 115[2]
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established June 19, 1821 (194 years ago)
Cathedral Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral
Patron saint St. Francis de Sales
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Metropolitan Archbishop Dennis Marion Schnurr
Auxiliary Bishops Joseph R. Binzer
Emeritus Bishops Daniel Edward Pilarczyk
Archdiocese of Cincinnati map 1.jpg

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati (Latin: Archidioecesis Cincinnatensis) covers the southwest region of the U.S. state of Ohio, including the greater Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan areas. The Archbishop of Cincinnati is Most Rev. Dennis Marion Schnurr.


St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Downtown Cincinnati
Province of Cincinnati

In total, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati encompasses 230 parishes in 19 counties, as of 2005, with the total membership of baptized Catholics around 500,000.[3] The Archdiocese administers 110 associated parochial schools and diocesan elementary schools. Its mother church is the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains, located at the corner of 8th and Plum Streets in Downtown Cincinnati.

Cincinnati is the metropolis of the Ecclesiastical Province of Cincinnati, which encompasses the entire state of Ohio and is composed of the Archdiocese and its five suffragan dioceses: Cleveland, Columbus, Steubenville, Toledo, and Youngstown.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is bordered by the Diocese of Toledo to the north, the Diocese of Columbus to the east, the Diocese of Covington to the south, and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Diocese of Lafayette to the west.


The Diocese of Cincinnati was erected on 19 June 1821 by Pope Pius VII from territory taken from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bardstown. At the time there was an unwritten prohibition against the building of Catholic churches in Cincinnati.[4] The first church was therefore constructed just outside its boundaries. The diocese lost territory on 8 March 1833 when Pope Gregory XVI erected the Diocese of Detroit and again on 23 April 1847 when Pope Pius IX erected the Diocese of Cleveland.

On July 19, 1850, Pope Pius IX elevated the diocese to an Archdiocese. On March 3, 1868 the archdiocese lost territory when His Holiness erected the Diocese of Columbus.

In November 2003, following a sexual abuse scandal and two-year investigation by the Hamilton County prosecutor's office, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk entered a plea of nolo contendere regarding five misdemeanor charges of failure to report allegations of child molestation.[5] No criminal judgment was rendered on the allegations themselves, only on the diocese's failure to report the allegations.

Bishops and Archbishops[edit]

The following is a list of the Ordinaries of Cincinnati (years of service in parentheses):

  1. Edward Fenwick, O.P. (1822–1833) died
  2. John Baptist Purcell (1833–1883) died
  3. William Henry Elder (1883–1903) died
  4. Henry K. Moeller (1903–1925) died
  5. John Timothy McNicholas O.P. (1925–1950) died
  6. Karl Joseph Alter (1950–1969) retired
  7. Paul Francis Leibold (1969–1972) died
  8. Joseph Bernardin (1972–1982) appointed Archbishop of Chicago, and elevated to Cardinal in 1983
  9. Daniel Edward Pilarczyk (1982–2009) retired
  10. Dennis Marion Schnurr (2009–present)

Auxiliary Bishops[edit]

  1. Sylvester Horton Rosecrans (1861–1868) appointed Bishop of Columbus
  2. William Henry Elder (Coadjutor 1880–1883) succeeded
  3. Henry Moeller (Coadjutor 1903–1904) succeeded
  4. Joseph H. Albers (1929–1937) appointed Bishop of Lansing
  5. George John Rehring (1937–1950) appointed Bishop of Toledo
  6. Paul Francis Leibold (1958–1966) appointed Bishop of Evansville
  7. Edward Anthony McCarthy (1965–1969) appointed Bishop of Phoenix
  8. Nicholas Thomas Elko (Archbishop ad personam 1971–1985) retired as Bishop emeritus of Pittsburgh (Ruthenian)
  9. Daniel Edward Pilarczyk (1974–1982) appointed Archbishop of Cincinnati
  10. James Henry Garland (1984–1992) appointed Bishop of Marquette
  11. Carl Kevin Moeddel (1993–2007) retired
  12. Dennis Marion Schnurr (Coadjutor 2008–2009) appointed Archbishop of Cincinnati
  13. Joseph R. Binzer (2011–present)

Affiliated Bishops[edit]

The following men began their service as priests in Cincinnati before being appointed bishops elsewhere (years in parentheses refer to their years in Cincinnati):


Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Name Gender Location Ownership
Alter Co-ed Kettering Archdiocesan[6]
Badin Co-ed Hamilton Interparochial[7]
Carroll Co-ed Dayton Archdiocesan[8]
Catholic Central Co-ed Springfield Archdiocesan[9]
Chaminade-Julienne Co-ed Dayton Marianists,
Srs. of Notre Dame[10]
DePaul Cristo Rey Co-ed Cincinnati Srs. of Charity[11]
Elder Male Cincinnati Interparochial[12]
Fenwick Co-ed Middletown Archdiocesan
La Salle Male Cincinnati Archdiocesan[13]
Lehman Catholic Co-ed Sidney Archdiocesan[14]
McAuley Female Cincinnati Interparochial[15]
McNicholas Co-ed Cincinnati Interparochial[16]
Moeller Male Cincinnati Interparochial
Mother of Mercy Female Cincinnati Interparochial[17]
Mount Notre Dame Female Cincinnati Interparochial[18]
Purcell Marian Co-ed Cincinnati Archdiocesan[13]
Royalmont Academy[19] Co-ed Mason Independent
Roger Bacon Co-ed Cincinnati Interparochial[13]
Seton Female Cincinnati Parochial
St. Rita Co-ed Cincinnati Independent[20]
St. Ursula Academy Female Cincinnati Independent (Ursulines)
St. Xavier Male Cincinnati Jesuit
Summit Country Day Co-ed Cincinnati Independent
Ursuline Female Cincinnati Independent[21]

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati operates a large school system that is especially well-attended in the Cincinnati area. As of 2011, 43,641 students[1] enroll in the Archdiocese's 115 schools (ACE Consulting 2011, p. 36),[2] making it the sixth largest Catholic school system in the United States.[22] In Hamilton County, where most private schools are run by the Archdiocese, nearly a quarter of students (36,684 as of 2007) attend private schools, a rate only second to St. Louis County, Missouri.[23]

The 23 Catholic high schools in the region operate under varying degrees of archdiocesan control. Several are owned and operated by the Archdiocese, while other interparochial schools are run by groups of parishes under archdiocesan supervision. Most of the interparochial and non-archdiocesan high schools are operated by religious institutes (as noted in the table to the right).[20] Most of the schools' athletic teams belong to the Greater Catholic League, which consists of a co-ed division, the Girls Greater Cincinnati League, and a division for all-male schools.[24]

The Archdiocese also includes 92 parochial and diocesan elementary schools, with a combined enrollment of 30,312, as of 2011 (ACE Consulting 2011, p. 91). These schools can be found in the urban and suburban areas of Cincinnati and Dayton, as well as some of the smaller towns within the Archdiocesan boundaries. Each parochial school is owned and operated by its parish, rather than by the Archdiocese's Catholic Schools Office. However, in March 2011, the Archdiocese announced its intention of eventually unifying the schools under one school system.[25] As of 2015, the interim Superintendent of Catholic Schools is Susie Gibbons.[26][27]

Five of the high schools are named after former archbishops of the diocese. A parochial elementary school in Dayton is also named after Archbishop Liebold.

The Archdiocese sponsors the Athenaeum of Ohio – Mount St. Mary's Seminary of the West seminary in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Cincinnati.


  • Msgr. Carl J. Ryan (1946–1964)[28][29]
  • Fr. Herman H. Kenning (1970–1974)[30]
  • Sr. Kathryn Ann Connelly, S.C. (1983–2002)[31][32]
  • Bro. Joseph Kamis, SM (2002-2010)[33]
  • Dr. Jim Riggs, Ph.D. (2010–2015)[34]
  • Ms. Susie Gibbons (2015–present) Interim[35]



The Archdiocese is served by The Catholic Telegraph, the diocesan newspaper, which is described on its website as the United States' oldest continuously published Catholic diocesan newspaper. Its defunct sister newspaper, Der Wahrheitsfreund, was the first German Catholic newspaper in the country.

Radio stations[edit]

Several area Catholic radio stations, owned by separate entities, serve the Archdiocese:

  • WNOP 740 AM Licensed to Newport, Kentucky. "Sacred Heart Radio" plus a sister station
  • WHSS 89.5 FM in Hamilton, a repeater of WNOP.
  • WULM 1600 AM located in Springfield "Radio Maria" (based at KJMJ in Alexandria, Louisiana)serving portions of the Dayton area...a fifty mile radius in the daytime. (ten mile radius at night)plus a sister station:
  • WHJM 88.7 FM licensed in Anna, transmitting from Botkins with a live studio located in nearby Minster which serves a forty mile radius within the Upper Miami Valley and southern portions of the Lima area.Radio Maria also streams on the internet
  • WLRU-LP 106.9 FM in Hillsboro.

Other stations reach into portions of the Archdiocese:

  • WVSG 820 AM located in Columbus "St. Gabriel Radio" (the former WOSU (AM).
  • WRDF 106.3 FM licensed in Columbia City, Indiana with studio in Fort Wayne as "Redeemer Radio" which can be heard in portions of the northwestern corner of the Archdiocese, plus an audiostream.


  1. ^ a b Amos, Denise Smith (2011-10-05). "Catholic leaders to share assessment of schools". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company). Retrieved 2011-10-28. Schools: 113 schools with 43,641 students enrolled last year. Cincinnati region includes 17 high schools, 66 elementary schools and one K-12 specialty school. 
  2. ^ a b ACE Consulting counts 114 schools, which includes Catholic Central School's two campuses but not DePaul Cristo Rey High School, which opened shortly before publication.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Cincinnati: a Guide to the Queen City and its neighbors", Federal Writer's Project
  5. ^ Coday, Denis (2003-12-12). "Cincinnati archdiocese convicted for failing to report sex abuse". National Catholic Reporter (The National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company). Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  6. ^ Manning, Jim; Nicole Brainard. "About Us". Archbishop Alter High School. Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  7. ^ "About Us". Stephen T. Badin High School. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  8. ^ Karl, J. "Welcome from the Dean". Carroll High School. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  9. ^ "Please Support our Mission". Catholic Central School. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  10. ^ "Society of Mary". Chaminade-Julienne High School. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  11. ^ Jeanne Bessette, OSF. "Welcome from the President". DePaul Cristo Rey High School. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  12. ^ Elder High School Student Handbook 2010–2011 (PDF). Elder High School. 2010-09-23. p. i. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  13. ^ a b c "They Are Not All The Same" (PDF). Reunion (Roger Bacon High School) 38 (3): 11. Spring 2005. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  14. ^ "Director of Development" (PDF). Lehman Catholic High School. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  15. ^ McAuley High School Handbook and Calendar For Parents and Students (PDF). McAuley High School. 2010. p. 8. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  16. ^ Student Planner and Handbook (PDF). Archbishop McNicholas High School. 2010. p. 3. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  17. ^ "History of Mother of Mercy High School". Mother of Mercy High School. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  18. ^ "Basic Information". Mount Notre Dame High School. 2005. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  19. ^ Clark, Michael D. (August 6, 2013). "Catholic high school coming to Mason". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company). Retrieved August 16, 2013. On Tuesday, school officials will announce Royalmont’s addition of grades 9-12 in the 2014-15 school year. 
  20. ^ a b Amos, Denise Smith (2011-03-11). "Q&A with James Rigg, superintendent of schools". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company). Retrieved 2011-03-18. 'With the exception of St. Rita School for the Deaf, which is controlled by an independent board, there are three kinds of Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati...' 
  21. ^ "Development Staff". Ursuline Academy. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  22. ^ Amos, Denise Smith (2011-10-07). "Catholic schools seek to add pupils". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company). Retrieved 2011-10-28. Even so, Cincinnati's archdiocese still boasts the nation's eighth largest Catholic school system, with more than 43,600 students. 
  23. ^ Alltucker, Ken (2002-10-20). "Tristaters put stock in private schools". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio: Gannett Company). p. A1. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  24. ^ Cassano, Rick (August 12, 2013). "GCL formally announces new 18-school alignment". Dayton Daily News (Cox Enterprises). Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  25. ^ Amos, Denise Smith (2011-03-10). "Archdiocese moves to unify 113 schools". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company). Retrieved 2011-03-18. The Cincinnati Archdiocese has for the first time in its 189-year history taken steps to unify its system of Catholic schools under one vision and operation, archdiocesan leaders said Wednesday. 
  26. ^ "Rigg leaves archdiocese, prepares for new challenges in Chicago". The Catholic Telegraph 184 (10) (Archdiocese of Cincinnati). October 2015. p. 22. 
  27. ^ "Archdiocese announces interim superintendent". The Catholic Telegraph (Archdiocese of Cincinnati). September 2, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Ocala Star-Banner - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  29. ^ "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  30. ^ "Former School Superintendent, Chaplain Dead At 90 | Archdiocese of Cincinnati". Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  31. ^ "Toledo Blade - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  32. ^ "Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati / Features". Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Dr. Jim Rigg Leaving as School Superintendent | Archdiocese of Cincinnati". Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  35. ^ "Susie Gibbons Named Interim Superintendent | Archdiocese of Cincinnati". Retrieved 2016-01-07. 


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°06′18″N 84°30′44″W / 39.10500°N 84.51222°W / 39.10500; -84.51222