Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

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Diocese of Rochester
Dioecesis Roffensis
CoA Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.svg
Country United States
Territory Counties of Monroe, Cayuga, Livingston, Wayne, Tioga, Tompkins, Ontario, Seneca, Schuyler, Yates, Steuben and Chemung, New York
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of New York
Metropolitan 1150 Buffalo Road
Rochester, New York
Area 8,772 sq mi (22,720 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2014)
350,000 (23%%)
Parishes 106
Churches 172
Congregations 172
Schools 27
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established March 3, 1868
Cathedral Sacred Heart Cathedral
Patron saint St. John Fisher
Secular priests 251
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Salvatore Ronald Matano
Metropolitan Archbishop Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Vicar General Very Rev. Paul J. Tomasso
Emeritus Bishops Matthew H. Clark
Diocese of Rochester map 1.png
Sacred Heart Cathedral

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester is a diocese of the Catholic Church in the Greater Rochester region of New York State in the United States. The region that the Diocese comprises extends from its northern border on the south shore of Lake Ontario through the Finger Lakes region to its southern border at the New York-Pennsylvania border. The Diocese of Rochester comprises 12 counties in New York, with approximately 350,000 Catholics and over 125 faith communities (parishes and chapels), 22 diocesan elementary schools and 7 independent parochial high schools. The metropolitan for the diocese is the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, currently Timothy Cardinal Dolan. The cathedral parish for the diocese is Sacred Heart Cathedral.


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester began on March 3, 1868, when Pope Pius IX entrusted eight counties (Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, Cayuga, Yates, and Tompkins) within the Diocese of Buffalo to Bernard J. McQuaid, the first bishop of Rochester. The new diocese had about 54,500 Catholics in 35 parish churches and 29 mission churches.

In 1896, the counties of Schuyler, Tioga, Chemung, and Steuben were added to the Diocese of Rochester from the Diocese of Buffalo, forming the current boundaries.

The diocese grew as Catholic immigrants came to western New York, peaking in the 1960s. Since then, the Catholic population has stabilized while the numbers of ordained presbyters (priests) and women religious (sisters) has fallen.[1]

  • In 1909, there were 121,000 Catholics in 93 parishes, 36 missions and 53 parish schools with 18,000 pupils. There were 164 priests and more than 500 sisters.
  • In 1938, there were 223,657 Catholics in 129 parishes, 36 missions and 72 parish schools serving 23,796 pupils. There were 289 active diocesan priests.
  • In 1966, there were 361,790 Catholics in 155 parishes, 36 mission churches and 99 elementary parish schools serving 45,540 pupils. There were 371 active diocesan priests and 1,549 sisters.
  • In 1978, there were 358,850 Catholics in 161 parishes, 29 mission churches and 75 schools serving 19,526 pupils. There were 311 active diocesan priests and 1,095 women religious.
  • In 1992, there were 361,384 Catholics in 162 parishes and 58 elementary schools serving 11,992 pupils. There were 208 active diocesan priests and 842 sisters.


The following are lists of ordinaries and their years of service:


  1. Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid (1868 - 1909) Died
  2. Bishop Thomas Francis Hickey (1909 - 1928)
  3. Bishop John Francis O'Hern (1929 - 1933) Died
  4. Bishop (later Cardinal) Edward Mooney (1933 - 1937) Transfer to Archdiocese of Detroit
  5. Bishop James E. Kearney (1937 - 1966)
  6. Bishop (later Archbishop) Fulton J. Sheen (1966 - 1969) Retired and appointed to titular see of Newport, Wales
  7. Bishop Joseph Lloyd Hogan (1969 - 1978) Retired due to health
  8. Bishop Matthew H. Clark (1979 - 2012) Retired at age 75
  9. Bishop Salvatore Ronald Matano (2014–present)

Coadjutor Bishop[edit]

  1. Bishop Thomas Francis Hickey (1905 - 1909)

Auxiliary Bishops[edit]

  1. Bishop Lawrence B. Casey (1953 - 1966)
  2. Bishop John Edgar McCafferty (1968 - 1980)
  3. Bishop Dennis Walter Hickey (1968 - 1990)


Superintendents of the Monroe County Catholic School System
Name Tenure
Timothy W. Dwyer 1992 – 2001
Sr. Elizabeth Meegan 2001 – 2006
Sr. Elaine Poitras 2006 – January 2008
Sr. Janice Morgan January 2008 – August 2008
Anne Willkens Leach August 2008 – July 2013
Anthony S. Cook III[2] July 1, 2013 –

Primary schools[edit]

School Parish Location Established Grades
All Saints Academy St. Mary Corning, Steuben County Pre-K through Grade 8
Holy Cross School Holy Cross Rochester, Monroe County 2011 Pre-K through Grade 6
Holy Family Primary School St. Mary Elmira, Chemung County Pre-K through Grade 6
Immaculate Conception School Immaculate Conception Ithaca, Tompkins County 1884 Pre-K through Grade 5
St. Agnes School St. Agnes Avon, Livingston County 1878 Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Francis de Sales - St. Stephen School Our Lady of Peace Geneva, Ontario County Pre-K through Grade 8
St. John Neumann School St. John the Evangelist Irondequoit, Monroe County Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Joseph Elementary School St. Joseph Auburn, Cayuga County Pre-K through Grade 5
St. Joseph School St. Joseph Penfield, Monroe County 1960 Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Kateri School Christ the King Irondequoit, Monroe County Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Lawrence School St. Lawrence Greece, Monroe County Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Louis School St. Louis Pittsford, Monroe County Pre-School through Grade 6
St. Mary School St. Mary Canandaigua, Ontario County 1849 K through Grade 8
St. Mary Our Mother School St. Mary Our Mother Horseheads, Chemung County Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Michael School St. Michael Penn Yan, Yates County 1882 Pre-K through Grade 5
St. Patrick School St. Patrick Owego, Tioga County Pre-K through Grade 5
St. Pius Tenth School St. Pius X Chili, Monroe County 1954 Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Rita School St. Rita Webster, Monroe County K through Grade 6
Seton Catholic School Our Lady of Lourdes/St. Anne Brighton, Monroe County 1948 Pre-K through Grade 6
Siena Catholic Academy St. Thomas More Brighton, Monroe County 1993 Grade 7 and 8
Ss. Peter and Paul School Ss. Peter and Paul Auburn, Cayuga County 1941 K through Grade 8

Former primary schools[edit]

Over the years, as Catholic populations moved to the suburbs, the Diocese has closed parishes and their schools. These include the former Holy Apostles, Holy Redeemer, Holy Rosary, Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Victory, Sacred Heart, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Augustine, St. Casimir, St. Francis Xavier, St. Helen, St. John the Evangelist, St. Joseph, St. Lucy, St. Mary, St. Michael, St. Patrick, Ss. Peter and Paul, St. Stanislaus, and St. Theresa.

In 2008, facing growing deficits and declining enrollments, the Diocese closed the following schools:[4]

  • Holy Family School, Dansville, Livingston County
  • All Saints Catholic Academy, Gates
  • Catherine McAuley, Greece
  • Corpus Christi, Rochester
  • Good Shepherd, Henrietta
  • Holy Cross, Rochester (reopened in 2011)
  • Holy Family, Rochester
  • Holy Trinity, Webster
  • St. Andrews, Rochester
  • St. Boniface, Rochester
  • St. John of Rochester, Fairport
  • St. John the Evangelist, Spencerport
  • St. Margaret Mary, Irondequoit
  • St. Monica, Rochester

High schools[edit]

There remain five traditionally Catholic high schools (or combined junior/senior high schools) in the diocese. These schools were founded by various Roman Catholic religious orders and operate independently of the diocese itself.

School Founding Religious Order Location Established Grades
Aquinas Institute Basilian Rochester, Monroe County 1902 Grades 6 through 12
Bishop Kearney High School Christian Brothers, Sisters of Notre Dame Irondequoit, Monroe County 1962 Grades 7 through 12
McQuaid Jesuit High School Jesuits Brighton, Monroe County 1954 Grades 6 through 12
Notre Dame High School Sisters of Mercy Elmira, Chemung County 1955 Grades 7 through 12
Our Lady of Mercy High School Sisters of Mercy Brighton, Monroe County 1928 Grades 6 through 12

Former high schools[edit]

King's Preparatory, Rochester, Monroe County, 1967-1970

Former seminaries[edit]

Former liberal arts colleges[edit]

Former charitable institutions[edit]

  • St. Ann's Home (now St. Ann's Community)
  • St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum (now St. Joseph's Villa)[5]
  • St. Mary's Boys' Home
  • St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester, Monroe County
  • St. Patrick's Girls' Home


This is a list of the counties in New York State that fall into the Diocese of Rochester:


Arms of Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester
CoA Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.svg
Arms was designed and adopted when the diocese was erected. It was designed in the 1930s by Pierre LaRose
The arms of the diocese are composed of a saltire with a crescent in the center.
The St. Andrew's Cross (saltire) was taken from the coat of arms of the original Diocese of Rochester in England (now an Anglican diocese). The new design is distinguished from the original, by changing a scallop shell in the center to the crescent symbol of the Immaculate Conception. The cross emphasizes the bishop as the successor to the apostles, and the bishop's charge to preach and live the Word of God faithfully and to witness to the Resurrection.


  1. ^ Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester - Diocesan History
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Discover Our Schools". Catholic Schools Diocese of Rochester. Rochester, New York: Diocese of Rochester. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  4. ^ "As Bishop Announces Closures, Catholic High Schools Plan to Expand", Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), 2008-01-19, ISSN 1088-5153, archived from the original on 2008, retrieved 2013-01-02 
  5. ^ "The History of St. Joseph's Villa". Organization website. Rochester, New York: St. Joseph's Villa. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°09′56″N 77°36′41″W / 43.16556°N 77.61139°W / 43.16556; -77.61139