Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg

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Diocese of Ogdensburg
Dioecesis Ogdensburgensis
Diocese of Ogdensburg CoA.jpg
Country United States
Territory St. Lawrence, counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, and northern Hamilton and Herkimer, New York
Ecclesiastical province New York
Metropolitan Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Area 12,036 sq mi (31,170 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
143,000 (31.1%)
Parishes 119
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established February 15, 1872 (145 years ago)
Cathedral St. Mary's Cathedral
Patron saint St. Mary
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Terry Ronald LaValley
Diocese of Ogdensburg map 1.png

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg (Latin: Dioecesis Ogdensburgensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in New York. It was founded on February 15, 1872. It comprises the entirety of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties and the northern portions of Hamilton and Herkimer counties.

On February 23, 2010, the Most Reverend Terry Ronald LaValley was appointed diocesan bishop by Pope Benedict XVI on February 23, 2010, and was installed on April 30, 2010.



The area covered by the Diocese of Ogdensburg was originally inhabited by the Iroquois. The 1600s saw the arrival of French, Dutch, and English fur-traders. Initially Catholics in the North Country was served by priests from Quebec.[1]

In 1749, the Mission of The Holy Trinity was established by Sulpician Abbé François Picquet from Montreal, who built a mission fort named Fort de La Présentation near the junction of the Oswegatchie River and the St Lawrence River. Bishop de Pontbriand of Quebec visited in 1752. During the French and Indian War the fort was garrisoned by French-Canadian military, but abandoned in favor of Fort Lévis.[2]

Diocese of Baltimore[edit]

During the Colonial Period and until the end of the American Revolution, the Church in New York State was under the jurisdiction of the Vicariate of London. The first settlers in the region were Protestants from New England. It was only towards 1790 that Acadian Catholic immigrants occupied lands around Corbeau, now Coopersville, near Lake Champlain, where they were occasionally visited by missionaries from Fort Laprairie, Canada.[2] After the Revolution the area came under the Apostolic Prefecture of the United States, which became in 1789 the Diocese of Baltimore.

Diocese of New York[edit]

In 1808 the area became part of the new Diocese of New York. In 1818, a colony of French and German Catholics was brought to Jefferson County by Jacques Leray, son of Count Jacques-Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont, who built for them, and also for an Irish settlement, several Catholic churches. At the same time Irish and French Canadian immigrants began to arrive and soon there arose several Catholic missions.[2] By 1833 there were congregations established in Ogdensburg, Carthage, and Plattsburg, although Carthage did not as yet have a church. Each of them served a number of mission stations, while Minerva, New York was served by Father J. Quinn, who travelled from Troy, New York, 100 miles away.

Diocese of Albany[edit]

In 1847 the northern section of the Diocese of New York was split off to become the newly created Diocese of Albany, and an influx of Irish immigrants saw an increase in parishes throughout the area. Missions were established at Antwerp, Belleville, Canton, and many other places. Under Bishop John McCloskey new parishes were founded at Cape Vincent, Hogansburg, Keeseville, and elsewhere. In 1860, Bishop McCloskey put the parish at Carthage under interdict for two years, when disputes between factions resulted in violent confrontations. In 1864 McCloskey established St. Joseph's Provincial Seminary at Troy, which trained priests for the Archdiocese until it was relocated to Dunwoodie in 1896.[3]

On February 16, 1872 the Diocese of Ogdensburg was established.


St. Mary's Cathedral

The list of bishops and their years of service:

  1. Edgar Philip Prindle Wadhams (1872–1891)
  2. Henry Gabriels (1891–1921)
  3. Joseph Henry Conroy (1921–1939)
  4. Francis Joseph Monaghan (1939–1942)
  5. Bryan Joseph McEntegart (1943–1953)
  6. Walter P. Kellenberg (1954–1957)
  7. James Johnston Navagh (1957–1963)
  8. Leo Richard Smith (1963)
  9. Thomas Andrew Donnellan (1964–1968)
  10. Stanislaus Joseph Brzana (1968–1993)
  11. Paul Stephen Loverde (1993–1999)
  12. Gerald Michael Barbarito (1999–2003)
  13. Robert Joseph Cunningham (2004—2009)
  14. Terry R. LaValley (2010—Present)


Stained glass window in the cathedral

There are eight deaneries in the diocese:[4]

  1. Adirondack
  2. Clinton
  3. Essex
  4. Franklin
  5. Hamilton/Herkimer
  6. Jefferson
  7. Lewis
  8. St. Lawrence

High schools[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°42′02″N 75°28′52″W / 44.70056°N 75.48111°W / 44.70056; -75.48111