Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

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Diocese of Portland

Dioecesis Portlandensis
Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.svg
CountryUnited States
TerritoryThe state of Maine
Ecclesiastical provinceBoston
Coordinates43°41′05″N 70°16′13″W / 43.68472°N 70.27028°W / 43.68472; -70.27028Coordinates: 43°41′05″N 70°16′13″W / 43.68472°N 70.27028°W / 43.68472; -70.27028
Area33,040 sq mi (85,600 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
193,228 (14.5%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedJuly 29, 1853
CathedralCathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Current leadership
BishopRobert Deeley
Metropolitan ArchbishopSeán Patrick O'Malley
Bishops emeritusRichard Joseph Malone
Diocese of Portland map.png

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the New England region of the United States comprising the entire state of Maine. It is led by a bishop, and its cathedral, or mother church, is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the city of Portland.

Pope Pius IX erected the Diocese of Portland by canon on July 29, 1853. Its territories were taken from the present-day Archdiocese of Boston in the nearby state of Massachusetts.

Richard. J. Malone was installed March 31, 2004, as the eleventh bishop of the diocese. On May 29, 2012, Malone became bishop of Buffalo, New York and on December 18, 2013, Pope Francis named Robert Deeley, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston, to succeed Malone as Bishop of the Diocese of Portland. He was installed in a Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on February 14, 2014.[1]



  1. David William Bacon (1855–1874)
  2. James Augustine Healy (1875–1900)
  3. William Henry O'Connell (1901–1906), appointed Coadjutor Archbishop and later Archbishop of Boston (elevated to Cardinal in 1911)
  4. Louis Sebastian Walsh (1906–1924)
  5. John Gregory Murray (1925–1931), appointed Archbishop of Saint Paul
  6. Joseph Edward McCarthy (1932–1955)
  7. Daniel Joseph Feeney (1955–1969)
  8. Peter Leo Gerety (1969–1974), appointed Archbishop of Newark
  9. Edward Cornelius O'Leary (1974–1988)
  10. Joseph John Gerry, O.S.B. (1988–2004)
  11. Richard Joseph Malone (2004–2012), appointed Bishop of Buffalo
  12. Robert Deeley (2014-present)


  • Daniel Joseph Feeney (1946-1955), appointed Bishop of Portland
  • Edward Cornelius O'Leary (1970-1974), appointed Bishop of Portland
  • Amédée Wilfrid Proulx (1975-1993)
  • Michael Richard Cote (1995-2003), appointed Bishop of Norwich

Other priest of this diocese who became Bishop[edit]


Bishop Richard J. Malone was installed March 31, 2004, as the eleventh bishop of the diocese. On May 29, 2012, Malone became bishop of Buffalo, New York. Subsequently, Pope Francis named him as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Portland pending selection of his successor.[2] On December 18, 2013, Pope Francis appointed Robert Deeley, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston as twelfth Bishop of Portland. His installation took place on February 14, 2014.


The Diocese is currently divided into 30 Clusters/Parishes.[3]

Notable churches[edit]

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland


The Diocese's cathedral is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.


The Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is located in Lewiston. The parish traces its roots to 1872 and grew due to a wave of late 19th century immigration by French Canadians. Construction of the current church began in 1906 and continued until 1936, by which time it was the second largest church in New England. Construction languished because the diocese split the parish in 1905 and 1923 and the new congregations took a portion of the parish treasury to establish and construct their own churches. In 1983, the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2004, Pope Benedict XVI named the church a minor basilica.

Historic places[edit]

St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church is located in Bangor, Maine. John Bapst oversaw construction of the church beginning in 1855, and in 1973 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


High schools[edit]

Public affairs[edit]

Diocesan Pastoral Center

On January 6, 2000, the Associated Press reported that the Diocese of Portland had negotiated with and supported a Maine lawmakers' bill that barred discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; this bill aimed to overcome the results of the Maine election in February 1998 that repealed the gay marriage law that Maine Governor Angus King signed into law. The Diocese did not have a position on the February 1998 vote, citing ambiguities in the law while acknowledging discrimination as unjust.[4][5]

In November 2009 it was reported that the Diocese of Portland had contributed $550,000, or 20% of the total cash contributed to Stand For Marriage Maine, a successful campaign to prevent then-impending legalization of same-sex marriage in Maine.[6][7] Roughly 55% of the funds donated by the Diocese came from other out-of-state dioceses who donated money to the Diocese of Portland's PAC.[8]

Ecclesiastical province[edit]

See: List of Catholic bishops of the United States#Province of Boston

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pope picks Bishop Robert Deeley to lead diocese in Maine". The Boston Globe. December 18, 2013. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  2. ^ "Bishops of the Diocese". Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Cluster Configurations". Diocese of Portland. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  4. ^ "Catholic Diocese Supports Rights Proposal". Associated Press. January 6, 2000.
  5. ^ Meara, Emmet (November 8, 2000). "Failure looms for gay rights". Bangor Daily News. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  6. ^ Harrison, Judy (March 2, 2012). "Portland bishop says Catholic Church won't actively campaign against gay marriage". Bangor Daily News.
  7. ^ "Maine Ethics Commission Public Disclosure Site". Archived from the original on 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  8. ^ Cassels, Peter (November 10, 2009). "Analysis reveals Roman Catholic dioceses poured money into anti-marriage campaign in Maine". Edge Media Network.

External links[edit]