Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo

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Diocese of Fargo
Dioecesis Fargensis
CoA Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo.svg
Country United States
Territory 30 counties in eastern North Dakota
Ecclesiastical province Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Area 35,786 sq mi (92,690 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2006)
82,891 (21.8%)
Parishes 138
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established November 10, 1889 (125 years ago)
Cathedral Cathedral of St. Mary
Patron saint Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop John Thomas Folda
Metropolitan Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Vicar General Joseph Goering
Diocese of Fargo.jpg

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo (Latin: Dioecesis Fargensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in the American state of North Dakota. Fargo is the episcopal see of the diocese. It is a suffragan see of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The Cathedral parish of the diocese is the Cathedral of St. Mary.


The diocese was founded on November 10, 1889 by Pope Leo XIII as the Diocese of Jamestown. The name of the diocese was changed to the Diocese of Fargo on April 6, 1897. It lost territory when the Diocese of Bismarck was established by Pope Pius X in 1909.[1][2]

Bishops of the diocese of Fargo[edit]

The bishops who have served the diocese of Fargo and their terms of service:

  1. John Shanley (1889–1909)
  2. James O'Reilly (1909–1934)
  3. Aloisius Joseph Muench (1935–1959)
  4. Leo Ferdinand Dworschak (1960–1970)
  5. Justin Albert Driscoll (1970–1984)
  6. James Stephen Sullivan (1985–2002)
  7. Samuel Joseph Aquila (2002–2012)
  8. John Thomas Folda (2013–present)


The Diocese of Fargo operates a number of departments serving the various needs of the bishop and parishes. The departments include:

  • Archives
  • Catholic Education and Formation Office (CEF)
  • Catholic Schools
  • Cemeteries
  • Communications
  • Education for Parish Service (EPS)
  • Evangelization and Catechesis
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Marriage & Family Life
  • Marriage Tribunal
  • Properties Management
  • Respect Life
  • Stewardship & Development
  • Technology
  • Youth & Young Adult


St Mary's Cathedral, Fargo

A partial list of parishes of the Diocese of Fargo follows.

Fargo parishes[edit]

  • Cathedral of St. Mary[3]
  • Holy Spirit Catholic Church[4]
  • Nativity Catholic Church[5]
  • St. Anthony of Padua's Catholic Church[6]
  • Sts. Anne & Joachim's Catholic Church[7]
  • St. Paul's Catholic Newman Center[8]

Grand Forks parishes[edit]

  • Holy Family Catholic Church[9]
  • St. Mary's Catholic Church[10]
  • St. Michael's Catholic Church[11]
  • St. Thomas Aquinas' Newman Center[12]

West Fargo parishes[edit]

  • Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church[13]
  • Holy Cross Catholic Church[14]


Elementary schools[edit]

Middle schools[edit]

  • Sullivan Middle School, Fargo

High schools[edit]


The Diocese of Fargo also operated Cardinal Meunch Seminary, established in 1962, for the formation of men to the priesthood. The seminary was closed in May 2011 due to increased cost of operation and lack of funding.[15]


Arms of Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo
CoA Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo.svg
Arms was designed and adopted when the diocese was erected
The arms of the diocese are composed of a blue field on which is placed a gold cross, that reaches to the four edges of the design. Upon the cross is a blue horseshoe and in the upper left of the diocesan arms (chief dexter) is a golden garb of wheat also known as a "wheatsheaf."
The entire design is rendered in blue and gold, the traditional colors of the Blessed Virgin Mary, titular of the Cathedral-Church in the See City which was named for W.G. Fargo who started the "pony express," symbolized by the horseshoe at the center of the design. In the upper left is a golden wheatsheaf, in heraldry known as a "garb," to signify the major crop of the State of North Dakota, and the material used to make "the Bread of Life," the most blessed Eucharist.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Diocese of Fargo". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Diocese of Fargo". GCatholic. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  3. ^ 1&1 WebsiteBuilder (2012-01-12). "Home". Cathedral of St. Mary. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  4. ^ "Home". Holy Spirit Church. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  5. ^ Find us on Facebook. "Nativity Church of Fargo Homepage". Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  6. ^ "St Anthony of Padua Parish Fargo, ND 58103". 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Holy Family Parish Grand Forks, ND 58201". Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  10. ^ "St Mary Parish Grand Forks, ND 58201". 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  11. ^ "St. Michael's". Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  12. ^ "UND Catholic". Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  13. ^ "Blessed Sacrament at 210 5th Ave West, West Fargo, ND 58078-1799 US - Home". Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  14. ^ "Holy Cross Catholic Church". Holy Cross Catholic Church. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  15. ^ Cardinal Muench Seminary Closed,

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°52′38″N 96°47′22″W / 46.87722°N 96.78944°W / 46.87722; -96.78944