Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco

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Archdiocese of San Francisco

Archidioecesis Sancti Francisci

Arquidiócesis de San Francisco
St Mary's Cathedral - San Francisco.jpg
Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption
Coat of arms of the Archdiocese of San Francisco
Coat of arms
CountryUnited States of America
TerritoryCounties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin
Ecclesiastical provinceProvince of San Francisco
Area6,023 km2 (2,325 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2017)
441,736 (24.9%)
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedJuly 29, 1853
CathedralCathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption
Co-cathedralOld Saint Mary's Cathedral
Patron saintSt. Francis of Assisi
Current leadership
ArchbishopSalvatore Cordileone
Bishops emeritusIgnatius C. Wang
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of San Francisco
William J. Justice
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of San Francisco
Archdiocese of San Francisco map 1.png

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco (Latin: Archdioecesis Sancti Francisci; Spanish: Archidiócesis de San Francisco) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in the northern California region of the United States. It covers the City and County of San Francisco and the Counties of Marin and San Mateo.[1] The Archdiocese of San Francisco was canonically erected on July 29, 1853, by Pope Pius IX and its cathedral is the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption.

This archdiocese is the metropolitan see of a province which also has the dioceses of Honolulu (Hawaii), Las Vegas (Nevada), Reno (Nevada), Salt Lake City (Utah), Oakland (California), San Jose (California), Santa Rosa (California), Sacramento (California), and Stockton (California).


The first church in the Archdiocese of San Francisco is older than the Archdiocese itself; Mission San Francisco de Asís was founded on June 29, 1776 by Franciscan Friars. The mission church that stands today was completed in 1791 and attached next door is Mission Dolores Basilica. The Franciscans who founded the mission also are credited with naming the City and County of San Francisco, and the entire region, after their patron, Saint Francis of Assisi.[2][3]

From his installation on February 15, 2006, until the acceptance of his resignation on July 27, 2012, the archdiocese was led by Archbishop (now Emeritus) George Hugh Niederauer, formerly the bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. The auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese was William J. Justice;[4] until his retirement in November 2017.[5] Robert W. McElroy [6] was auxiliary bishop from 2010 to 2015 before leaving to become Bishop of San Diego. On July 27, 2012, the Holy See announced that it had accepted the retirement of Niederauer and appointed Salvatore J. Cordileone as new archbishop of San Francisco, installed on October 4, 2012, the patronal Feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption.[7][8] He had previously been Bishop of Oakland, California.

The See of San Francisco is administered by the Archbishop of San Francisco, who as metropolitan oversees the entire ecclesiastical province of San Francisco. Its suffragans include the Dioceses of Honolulu, Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Stockton.

San Francisco once included among its suffragans the now-Metropolitan Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam and the former dioceses of Grass Valley, Roman Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles-San Diego, Monterey, Monterey-Fresno, and Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles.

The Chancellery Office of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, originally located in 1853 at California and Dupont Streets, moved in 1891 to 1100 Franklin Street, in 1955 re-located to 445 Church Street, on the Mission Dolores Basilica property. The present headquarters, as of 2001 of the Archdiocese of San Francisco are located at One Peter Yorke Way, a short street in San Francisco named after Father Peter Yorke, an Irish-American Catholic priest. Peter Yorke Way and Starr King Way are off of Geary Street as it becomes Geary Boulevard.

From May to December 2019, the Archdiocese of San Francisco provided numerous documents to California State Attorney Xavier Becerra in preparation for a series of pending lawsuits which are expected to be filed after a new California law which will temporarily remove the statute of limitations goes into effect on January 1, 2020.[9][10] The Archdiocese of San Francisco is one of six Catholic dioceses throughout the state of California which is expected to be subpoenaed in the upcoming lawsuits.[9][10]


The lists of archbishops, coadjutor archbishops, and auxiliary bishops and their terms of service, followed by other priests of this diocese who became bishops:

Archbishops of San Francisco[edit]

  1. Joseph Sadoc Alemany y Conill, O.P. (1853–1884)
  2. Patrick William Riordan (1884–1914)
  3. Edward Joseph Hanna (1915–1935)
  4. John Joseph Mitty (1935–1961)
  5. Joseph Thomas McGucken (1962–1977)
  6. John Raphael Quinn (1977–1995)
  7. William Joseph Levada (1995–2005), appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (elevated to Cardinal in 2006)
  8. George Hugh Niederauer (2006–2012)
  9. Salvatore Joseph Cordileone (2012–present)[11]

Coadjutor Archbishops[edit]

  • Patrick William Riordan (1883–1884)
  • George Thomas Montgomery (1902–1907), did not succeed to see
  • John Joseph Mitty (1932–1935)

Auxiliary bishops[edit]

Other priests of this diocese who became bishops[edit]



Each county of the Archdiocese of San Francisco is divided into several deaneries, or parish groups.

Secondary schools[edit]

All full-time faculty, librarians, and counselors at Archbishop Riordan, Junipero Serra, Marin Catholic, and Sacred Heart Cathedral high schools are represented by The San Francisco Archdiocesan Federation of Teachers, Local 2240, a labor union affiliate of the California Federation of Teachers (AFT, AFL-CIO), and have a collective bargaining agreement with the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The CBA governs the terms of their employment.

Marin County[edit]

San Francisco County[edit]

San Mateo County[edit]


Recognized lay ecclesial movements[edit]

  • Fraternity of Communion and Liberation (CL). CL is an ecclesial association of Pontifical Right. Meetings are held weekly at St. Thomas More Church and the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Province of San Francisco[edit]

See List of the Catholic bishops of the United States
Ecclesiastical Province of San Francisco map.png

The Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Province of San Francisco covers Northern California north of the Monterey Bay, as well as all of Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. The Archbishop of San Francisco, who is ex officio metropolitan bishop of the Province of San Francisco, has limited oversight responsibilities for the dioceses of Honolulu, Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Stockton.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Catholic Hierarchy profile of the Archdiocese of San Francisco". Retrieved April 7, 2007.[self-published source]
  2. ^ "Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption". Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  3. ^ "Mission Dolores Basilica". Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  4. ^ "Archdiocese of San Francisco announcement of Justice becoming Auxiliary Bishop".[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Justice of San Francisco".
  6. ^ "Msgr. Robert McElroy, San Mateo pastor and San Francisco native, to be auxiliary bishop". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
  7. ^ Kuruvila, Matthai (July 27, 2012). "New S.F. archbishop appointed by pope". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ "The Catholic Voice - an online publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland".

External links[edit]

Media related to Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 37°47′08″N 122°25′27″W / 37.78556°N 122.42417°W / 37.78556; -122.42417