Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle
|Archdiocese of Seattle|
|Ecclesiastical province||Archdiocese of Seattle|
|Area||64,269 km2 (24,814 sq mi)|
|(as of 2016)|
|Established||May 31, 1850 (as Diocese of Nesqually)|
Elevated to Archdiocese June 23, 1951
|Cathedral||St. James Cathedral|
|Patron saint||St. James the Greater|
|Archbishop||J. Peter Sartain|
|Auxiliary Bishops||Eusebio L. Elizondo Almaguer|
Daniel Henry Mueggenborg
|Emeritus Bishops||Alexander Joseph Brunett|
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle is a Latin Metropolitan archdiocese of the Catholic Church, in the U.S. state of Washington. Headquartered in Seattle, the archdiocese encompasses all counties in the state west of the Cascade Range.
The archdiocese succeeded to the Diocese of Nesqually headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, established in 1850 as a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Oregon City. In 1903, the episcopal see was moved to Seattle, and the diocese's name was changed to Diocese of Seattle in 1907. The diocese was elevated to metropolitan archdiocesan status in 1951.
The Archbishop of Seattle concurrently is the Metropolitan Archbishop of two suffragan daughter dioceses within the Ecclesiastical Province of Seattle, which together cover the entire state of Washington :
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, carved out of the Archdiocese of Seattle territory in 1913
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima, carved out of the Archdiocese of Seattle territory in 1951.
Statistics and extent
As per 2014 it pastorally served 997,000 Catholics (18.6% of 5,350,045 total) on 64,269 km² in 147 parishes with 298 priests (204 diocesan, 94 religious), 116 deacons, 476 lay religious (109 brothers, 367 sisters) and 800 lay ecclesial ministers.
The Archdiocese encompasses all of Western Washington, 64,269 km², stretching from the Canadian to the Oregon border and from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, including 19 counties.
In this area, 972,000 people identify as Catholic, almost 19% of the total population of 5,202,500.
There are 144 parishes, and an additional 37 missions, stations, and pastoral centers. Only 106 of these have resident priest-pastors.
These parishes and other centers are served by 115 active diocesan priests, 118 diocesan deacons, approximately 800 diocesan lay ecclesial ministers, and 530 religious women and men (including priests). The archbishop is assisted by two auxiliary bishops, and there are two retired archbishops still living.
There are 11 Catholic Hospitals, 2 Health Care Centers, 19 Homes for the elderly, 3 day care centers, 10 specialized homes, and 111 centers for social services.
There are 2 Catholic universities, 11 high schools, 62 elementary schools.
16,831 elementary students are served through parochial and private schools; 29,850 through parochial religious education programs.
2420 high school students are served through diocesan and private schools; 6580 through parochial religious education and youth ministry programs. 
The Catholic Church presence in the present-day state of Washington dates to the 1830s, when missionary priests François Norbert Blanchet and Modeste Demers traveled from Quebec and arrived in what was then known as the Oregon Country. On December 1, 1843, the Holy See established the Vicariate Apostolic of the Oregon Territory and named Blanchet its vicar apostolic. In 1846 Pope Gregory XVI established an ecclesiastical territory in the region, and the apostolic vicariate was split into three dioceses: Diocese of Oregon City with François Blanchet as bishop; Diocese of Vancouver Island, with Demers as bishop, and Diocese of Walla Walla at Walla Walla, Washington, with François Blanchet's brother, Augustin-Magloire Blanchet, as bishop.
The Whitman massacre in 1847 and the ensuing Cayuse War increased tensions between Christians and the native population of the Oregon Territory, and as a result by 1850 the Diocese of Walla Walla was abandoned and its merged-in territory administered from Oregon City.
On May 31, 1850, Pope Pius IX created the Diocese of Nesqually out of the defunct Walla Walla diocese, with Augustin Blanchet as bishop. In January 1851, Augustin Blanchet dedicated St. James Church near Fort Vancouver as the new diocese's cathedral. A new St. James Cathedral was built in Vancouver, Washington in 1885.
In 1903 Bishop Edward O'Dea, realizing that Vancouver was no longer the economic and population center of the region, moved the episcopal see to Seattle and began construction on a new cathedral in 1905. The bishopric changed its name to Diocese of Seattle on September 11, 1907, and the present-day St. James Cathedral was dedicated on December 22, 1907.
It was elevated on June 23, 1951 as Metropolitan Archdiocese of Seattle and Bishop Thomas Arthur Connolly became the first archbishop. Simultaneously it lost territory to establish the Diocese of Yakima, its second suffragan.
In 1983, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), initiated an apostolic visitation to the Archdiocese of Seattle. The visitation was largely prompted by concerns over whether the archdiocese under Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen was adhering to church teachings on matters including contraception in Catholic hospitals, and its treatment of homosexuals and divorced people. Archbishop James Hickey of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC was sent to Seattle to gather information on behalf of the CDF. As a result of the CDF's findings, on December 3, 1985, the Vatican under Pope John Paul II named Donald Wuerl auxiliary bishop of Seattle, with the authority to overrule Hunthausen in several areas. This unconventional arrangement proved untenable and unpopular among the people of the archdiocese, and Wuerl was replaced with Thomas Murphy on May 26, 1987. Murphy was appointed as coadjutor bishop with immediate right of succession to Hunthausen; he became archbishop upon Hunthausen's retirement on August 21, 1991.
Under Archbishop Murphy the archdiocese saw an increase in registered Catholics and an increase in lay ministries and outreach for women and various ethnic groups. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 1996, and died on June 26, 1997. Father George Leo Thomas was appointed administrator of the archdiocese until the installation of Archbishop Alexander Joseph Brunett in December 1997. Brunett later appointed and consecrated George Thomas as auxiliary bishop, a post he held until his appointment as Bishop of Helena in 2004. Eusebio L. Elizondo Almaguer and Joseph J. Tyson were appointed as auxiliary bishops and consecrated in 2005; Elizondo still serves in that capacity, while Tyson departed in 2011 to become Bishop of suffragan see Yakima. Brunett served as archbishop until his retirement in 2011 and was succeeded by the incumbent bishop, J. Peter Sartain.
Bishops of Nesqually
Bishops of Seattle
- Edward John O'Dea (1907-1932)
- Gerald Shaughnessy, S.M. (1933-1950)
- Thomas Arthur Connolly (1950-1951)
Archbishops of Seattle
- Thomas Arthur Connolly (1951-1975)
- Raymond Hunthausen (1975-1991)
- Thomas Joseph Murphy (1991-1997)
- Alexander Joseph Brunett (1997-2010)
- J. Peter Sartain (2010-present)
- Thomas Edward Gill (1956-1973)
- Nicolas Eugene Walsh (1976-1983)
- Donald Wuerl (1985-1987), appointed Bishop of Pittsburgh and later Archbishop of Washington (elevated to Cardinal in 2010)
- George Leo Thomas (1999-2004), appointed Bishop of Helena and later Bishop of Las Vegas
- Joseph J. Tyson (2005-2011), appointed Bishop of Yakima
- Eusebio L. Elizondo Almaguer, M.Sp.S. (2005-present)
- Daniel Henry Mueggenborg (2017-present)
Catholic High schools
- Archbishop Murphy High School* - Everett
- Bellarmine Preparatory School* - Tacoma
- Bishop Blanchet High School - Seattle
- Eastside Catholic School* - Sammamish
- Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart* - Bellevue
- Holy Names Academy* - Seattle
- John F. Kennedy Catholic High School - Burien
- O'Dea High School - Seattle
- Pope John Paul II High School* - Lacey
- Seattle Preparatory School* - Seattle
- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic High School* - Vancouver
- * Operationally independent of Archdiocese
- Catholic Church in the United States
- Global organisation of the Catholic Church
- List of Catholic dioceses (alphabetical) (including archdioceses)
- List of Catholic dioceses (structured view) (including archdioceses)
- List of Catholic dioceses in the United States
- Paulist Press Ordo 2010
- "The Archdiocese". Archdiocese of Seattle.
- "Table of Statistics" (PDF). Archdiocese of Seattle.
- "Local Catholic History". Archives and Records, Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- "Raymond Hunthausen". People. 1986-12-22.
- Seattle Catholic Journal: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's Report Issued on Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, September 30, 1985
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle Official Site
- GCatholic - Seattle see, with Google map and satellite photo - data for most sections
- Northwest Catholic - diocesan magazine
- St. James Cathedral