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 of America
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 2015)
258,997 (20.4%%)
Parishes 89
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 Alfred Andrew Schlert
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 Latin rite diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the Eastern United States.

Its cathedral is the Cathedral Church of Saint Catharine of Siena, located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It was announced on December 9, 2016 that Pope Francis had transferred Allentown Bishop John O. Barres and that Barres would serve as Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in Long Island, New York.[1]

Statistics and extent[edit]

The diocese covers the Pennsylvania counties of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill. It has a Catholic population of 258,997 as of 2015, approximately 20.4% of the total population; it maintains 89 parishes, 34 Catholic elementary schools, 6 Catholic high schools and two Catholic colleges, as well as 244 priests (active, retired & religious).

As per 2014 it pastorally served 301,000 Catholics (23.3% of 1,291,000 total) on 7,183 km² in 102 parishes and 26 missions with 236 priests (173 diocesan, 63 religious), 93 deacons, 399 lay religious (78 brothers, 321 sisters) and 17 seminarians.


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

Episcopal Ordinaries[edit]

Suffragan Bishops of Allentown[edit]

  1. Joseph Mark McShea (1961-02-11 – retired 1983-02-03), died 1991; previously Titular Bishop of Mina (1952-02-08 – 1961-02-11) as Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Philadelphia (USA) (1952-02-08 – 1961-02-11)
  2. Thomas Jerome Welsh (1983-02-03 – retired 1997-12-15), died 2009; previously Titular Bishop of Inis Cathaig (1970-02-18 – 1974-06-04) as Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Philadelphia (USA) (1970-02-18 – 1974-06-04), Bishop of Arlington (Virginia, USA) (1974-06-04 – 1983-02-03)
  3. Edward Peter Cullen (1997-12-16 – retired 2009-05-27), previously Titular Bishop of Paria in Proconsolare (1994-02-08 – 1997-12-16) as Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia (USA) (1994-02-08 – 1997-12-16)
  4. John Oliver Barres (2009-05-27 – 2016-12-09), next Bishop of Rockville Centre (USA) (2016-12-09 – ...)
  5. Alfred Andrew Schlert (2017-08-31 - ...).

Other priests of this diocese who became bishops[edit]

Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena

Diocese today[edit]

The Vicar General of the Diocese is the Reverend Monsignor David L. James, J.C.L.. The Judicial Vicar of the Diocese is the Very Rev. John J. Paul.

In 2008, the Diocese of Allentown underwent a major restructuring of parishes. Declining Mass attendance, shifts in population, and a decrease in priestly vocations led to these changes. Much of the Northeastern United States is experiencing the same demographic transformation.

Deaneries & Vicars Forane[edit]

  • Schuylkill Deanery: The Reverend Monsignor William J. Glosser, V.F.
  • Berks Deanery: The Very Reverend Thomas P. Bortz, 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 2016)[edit]

A cross (+) indicates a parish formed from the merger or consolidation of two or more former 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. 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 Benedict, Mohnton
  • Saint Catherine of Siena, Mt. Penn (Chapel)/Exeter Township
  • Immaculate Conception, Douglasville
  • Saint Columbkill, Boyertown
  • Most Blessed Sacrament, Bally

Schuylkill Deanery[edit]

  • +St. John XXIII, Tamaqua
  • +All Saints, McAdoo
  • +St. Teresa of Calcutta, Mahanoy City
  • St. Richard, Barnesville
  • +Divine Mercy Parish, Shenandoah
  • Saint Joseph, Sheppton
  • Saint Mary, Ringtown
  • +St. Charles Borromeo, Ashland
  • Saint Ann, 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

Catholic education[edit]

Higher education[edit]

High schools[edit]

See also[edit]


Sources and external links[edit]

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