Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie

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"Diocese of Erie" and "Bishop of Erie" redirect here. It is not to be confused with the former Episcopal Diocese of Erie and her Episcopal Bishop of Erie.
Diocese of Erie
Diocesis Eriensis
Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie.svg
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Erie
Country United States
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Coordinates 42°07′27″N 80°05′13″W / 42.12417°N 80.08694°W / 42.12417; -80.08694Coordinates: 42°07′27″N 80°05′13″W / 42.12417°N 80.08694°W / 42.12417; -80.08694
Area 9,936 sq mi (25,730 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
221,508 (25.7%)
Parishes 120
Rite Roman Rite
Cathedral St. Peter Cathedral
Secular priests 182
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Lawrence Thomas Persico
Metropolitan Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
Emeritus Bishops Donald Walter Trautman
Location of the Diocese of Erie in Pennsylvania
Location of the Diocese of Erie in Pennsylvania
St. Peter Cathedral
St Patrick's is the oldest Catholic parish in Erie, Pennsylvania

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie (Latin: Dioecesis Eriensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in western Pennsylvania. It was founded on July 29, 1853. It is one of seven suffragan sees in Pennsylvania that make up the Ecclesiastical Province of Philadelphia, which is headed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Size of diocese[edit]

Erie is geographically the largest diocese in Pennsylvania, covering 9,936 square miles (25,734.12 km2). Erie diocese covers 13 counties in Northwestern Pennsylvania. About 220,000 Catholics (74,000 families) reside in the diocese. They educate 14,000 children and youth in their religious education programs.[1]

Vicariates and parishes[edit]

The diocese is divided into three vicariates:

The Eastern Vicariate consists of parishes in Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter counties. It has deaneries at Bradford, Clearfield, Dubois, and St. Mary's.
The Northern Vicariate consists of parishes in Erie, part of Forest, and Warren counties. It has Erie East and Erie West deaneries in Erie, Pennsylvania, plus a deanery in Warren
The Western Vicariate consists of parishes in Clarion, Crawford, part of Forest, Mercer, and Venango. It has deaneries in Meadville, Oil City, and Sharon.[2]

Historically significant parishes include:[3]

Oldest Existing Parishes by Church Dedication Dates:[4]

  • St. Francis Assisi, Clearfield (Oldest parish community in diocese; original church dedicated by Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick of Philadelphia in 1832)
  • St. Philip, Crossingville (Original church dedicated by Bishop Kenrick, 1834)
  • St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Crates (Original church dedicated by Bishop Kenrick, 1835)
  • St. Michael, the Archangel, Fryburg (Original church dedicated by Bishop Kenrick, 1836)
  • St. Hippolyte, Frenchtown (Original church dedicated by Bishop Kenrick, 1837)

Other Historically-significant Parishes:

  • St. Mary's, Erie (German origins, pioneer parish)
  • St. Patrick's Pro-Cathedral, Erie (Pioneer parish)
  • St. Peter Cathedral, Erie (Significant edifice)
  • St. Stanislaus, Erie (Polish origins)
  • St. Mary, St. Marys (Bavarian German origins, over 150 years old)

There are 120 parishes in the Erie diocese today, encompassing 151 churches.[1]

Administrative offices[edit]

The diocesan offices are located at St. Mark Catholic Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.[5]


Below are the bishops of the diocese and their tours of service:


  1. Michael O'Connor (1853–1854) [3]
  2. Joshua Maria Young (1854–1866) [4]
  3. Tobias Mullen (1868–1899) [5]
  4. John Edmund Fitzmaurice (1899–1920) [6]
  5. John Mark Gannon (1920–1966) [7] [6]
  6. John Francis Whealon (1966–1968) [8]
  7. Alfred Michael Watson (1969–1982) [9]
  8. Michael Joseph Murphy (1982–1990) [10]
  9. Donald Walter Trautman (1990–2012) [11]
  10. Lawrence Thomas Persico (2012–present) [12]

Auxiliary Bishops[edit]

Religious institutes[edit]

St. Stanislaus is a Polish Catholic parish in Erie, Pennsylvania


Erie Diocese has many charities throughout all of the parishes. There are 9 main charities within the diocese. Better Homes for Erie, Christ the King Manor, Counseling & Adoption Services, Foreign Missions, Harborcreek Youth Services], Saint John XXIII Home Donate to Mission of Friendship, Parish Care and Concern, Prince of Peace Center, Refugee Ministry], St. Martin Center [7]


Elementary and Middle Schools[edit]

Having Catholic schools allows the best way to pass on the Catholic religion through generations. They teach their students the most important values of ever lasting peace and happiness. The focus on teaching the spiritual and secular dimensions of their lives. The schools allow their student to have a place of belonging in a global community. They focus on service within and outside of the school commutnity. The diocese has 33 elementary schools and 2 middle schools.[8]

High schools[edit]


  • Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, 3325 West Lake Road, Erie
  • Gate of Heaven Cemetery and Mausoleum, 5711 West Lake Road, Erie
  • Mary, Queen of Peace Cemetery and Mausoleum, 6000 Lake Pleasant Road, Erie
  • Trinity Cemetery 2971 West Lake Road, Erie

See also Erie Diocesan Cemeteries

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Facts about the Erie Diocese." Faith Magazine CSA 2010: 3.
  2. ^ "Map of the Diocese". Erie Roman Catholic Diocese. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  3. ^ Establishment dates for parishes will vary among sources: some use the arrival date of the first Catholic settlers; others use the date of the congregation's formation, the date of church building dedications, or the arrival date of the first resident priest.
  4. ^ St. Nicholas of Tolentino Church Sesquicentennial Jubilee Commemorative Book, 1978
  5. ^ "About the Diocese". Erie Roman Catholic Diocese. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  6. ^ Named archbishop in 1953 [1]; Gannon University named for Bishop Gannon in 1944 [2]
  7. ^ "Giving". Erie Roman Catholic Diocese. 
  8. ^ "Catholic Schools office". Erie Roman Catholic Diocese. 

External links[edit]