Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette

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Diocese of Marquette

Dioecesis Marquettensis
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
(as of 2004)
68,360 (21.5%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedJuly 29, 1853 (165 years ago)
CathedralSt. Peter Cathedral
Patron saintSt. Peter
Current leadership
BishopJohn Francis Doerfler
Diocese of Marquette map 1.png

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette (Latin: Dioecesis 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.

In 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]


Following the elevation of Bishop Alexander King Sample to Archbishop of Portland in Oregon on January 29, 2013,[3] the Diocese of Marquette was a sede vacante (vacant see) until December 17, 2013, when Pope Francis named Rev. John Francis Doerfler as his successor. Doerfler was Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin when he became the thirteenth and current Bishop. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 13, 1991, in the Diocese of Green Bay.[4] His episcopal Consecration was held at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette on February 11, 2014.[5]


Bishops of Saulte Sainte Marie-Marquette[edit]

  1. Ireneus Frederic Baraga (1853–1868)
  2. Ignatius Mrak (1868–1879)
  3. John Vertin (1879–1899)
  4. Frederick Eis (1899–1922)
  5. Paul Joseph Nussbaum, C.P. (1922–1935)

Bishops of Marquette[edit]

  1. Joseph Casimir Plagens (1935–1940), appointed Bishop of Grand Rapids
  2. Francis Joseph Magner (1940–1947)
  3. Thomas Lawrence Noa (1947–1968)
  4. Charles Salatka (1968–1977), appointed Archbishop of Oklahoma City
  5. Mark Francis Schmitt (1978–1992)
  6. James Henry Garland (1992–2005)
  7. Alexander King Sample (2005–2013)[3] appointed Archbishop of Portland, OR
  8. John Francis Doerfler (2014-)

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. ^ a b "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.
  4. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine: Nomina del Vescovo Marquette (U.S.A.)" [Waivers and Appointements: Appointment of the Bishop of Marquette (U.S.A.)]. Daily Bulletin (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. December 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "New Bishop to be ordained and installed". Daily Press. Escanaba. February 4, 2013.

External links[edit]

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