Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette

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Diocese of Marquette

Diœcesis Marquettensis
St. Peter Cathedral
Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette.svg
CountryUnited States
TerritoryCounties of Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, and Schoolcraft
Ecclesiastical provinceDetroit
Area16,281 sq mi (42,170 km2)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2004)
68,360 (21.5%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedJuly 29, 1853 (168 years ago)
CathedralSt. Peter Cathedral
Patron saintSt. Peter
Current leadership
BishopJohn Francis Doerfler
Bishops emeritusJames Henry Garland
Diocese of Marquette map 1.png

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette (Latin: Diœcesis Marquettensis) is a suffragan diocese of the Roman rite, encompassing all of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in the ecclesiastical province of the Archdiocese of Detroit. It encompasses an area of 16,281 square miles (42,152 square kilometers). Its cathedral is St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette, which replaced Holy Name of Mary Pro-Cathedral at Sault Ste. Marie.

As of 2000, the number of registered Catholics in the diocese was 65,500. There were fifty-eight diocesan priests and 11 religious at 74 parishes and 23 missions. There were 10 parish grade schools. Sixty-three women religious were also in service to the diocese.[1]


Pope Pius IX separated territory from the Diocese of Detroit, to create the Vicariate Apostolic of Upper Michigan on July 29, 1853. On January 9, 1857, he raised the Vicarate to the status of a Diocese, as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Sainte Marie. In 1865, Bishop Baraga transferred the See city to Marquette, and requested it be renamed the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette. In 1937 it became simply the Diocese of Marquette, and the Diocese of Sault Sainte Marie became a titular see.[1]

As early as the 17th century, Jesuit missionaries from France traveled to the Upper Peninsula to evangelize the Native American population. The first Catholic Mass in the Upper Peninsula was celebrated in 1641 by St. Isaac Jogues, in the area that would later become Sault Ste. Marie.[2]

The first resident pastor was noted missionary Jacques Marquette, who arrived in 1668.[2] Marquette founded Michigan's first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, Michigan. Other Jesuits would follow, and maintain a presence throughout the years.

Father Frederic Baraga settled at L'Anse in 1843, after forming Catholic missions in Wisconsin. He would devote the rest of his life to evangelizing in the Upper Peninsula. He later would become the first Bishop of the newly formed diocese, in 1857.[2]

In 1953, on the 100th anniversary of the diocese being named a Vicariate Apostolic, a centennial Mass was held in Marquette on August 30.[2]

In 2020, former Diocese of Marquette priest Gary Allen Jacobs was arrested in New Mexico and charged with 10 criminal charges, including eight counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, from his time in the Diocese of Marquette.[3]



Bishops of Sault Sainte Marie–Marquette[edit]

  1. Ireneus Frederic Baraga (appointed, 29 July 1853; died in office, 19 January 1868)
  2. Ignatius Mrak (appointed, 25 September 1868; resigned, 28 April 1879)
  3. John Vertin (appointed, 16 May 1879; died in office, 26 February 1899)
  4. Frederick Eis (appointed, 7 June 1899; resigned, 8 July 1922)
  5. Paul Joseph Nussbaum, C.P. (appointed, 14 November 1922; died in office, 24 June 1935)

Bishops of Marquette[edit]

  1. Joseph Casimir Plagens (appointed, 13 November 1935; appointed Bishop of Grand Rapids, 14 December 1940)
  2. Francis Joseph Magner (appointed, 21 December 1940; died in office, 13 June 1947)
  3. Thomas Lawrence Noa (appointed, 20 August 1947; resigned, 5 January 1968)
  4. Charles Salatka (appointed, 5 January 1968; appointed Archbishop of Oklahoma City, 27 September 1977)
  5. Mark Francis Schmitt (appointed, 21 March 1978; resigned, 6 October 1992)
  6. James Henry Garland (appointed, 6 October 1992; resigned, 13 December 2005)
  7. Alexander King Sample (appointed, 13 December 2005; appointed Archbishop of Portland, Oregon, 29 January 2013[4])
  8. John Francis Doerfler (installed, 11 February 2014; incumbent)

Other priests of this diocese who became bishops[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Who We Are". Diocese of Marquette. Retrieved 2016-03-18.
  2. ^ a b c d Seasons of Faith: A Walk Through the History of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette. Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette. p. 1.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine: Rinuncia Della'Arcivescovo Metropolita di Portland in Oregon (U.S.A.) e Nomina del Successore" [Waivers and Appointements: Waiver of Metropolitan Archbishop of Portland in Oregon (U.S.A.) and Appointment of Successor]. Daily Bulletin (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. January 29, 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°32′28″N 87°23′56″W / 46.54111°N 87.39889°W / 46.54111; -87.39889