Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston

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Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston
Dioecesis Vhelingensis–Carolopolitanus
Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston.svg
Country United States
Territory State of West Virginia
Ecclesiastical province Baltimore
Metropolitan Baltimore
Area 24,282 sq mi (62,890 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2018)
77,874 (4%)
Parishes 111
Denomination Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established July 19, 1850 (168 years ago)
Cathedral Cathedral of Saint Joseph (Wheeling)
Co-cathedral Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Charleston)
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Sede vacante
Metropolitan Archbishop William E. Lori
Apostolic Administrator William E. Lori
Emeritus Bishops Michael Joseph Bransfield
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston map.png

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston (Latin: Dioecesis Vhelingensis–Carolopolitanus) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church comprising the U.S. state of West Virginia. The diocese was recently led by Bishop Michael Joseph Bransfield who served as pastor of the mother church, the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in the Wheeling, West Virginia. He is also pastor of the Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in the Charleston, West Virginia. Bransfield resigned as Bishop on September 13, 2018 following allegations that he assisted in sex abuse.[1]


The Diocese of Wheeling was canonically erected on July 19, 1850, by Pope Pius IX. Its territory was taken from the Diocese of Richmond. Its name was changed to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston on August 21, 1974, by Pope Paul VI.[2][3] At the same time, its boundary was shifted to coincide with the state of West Virginia.

The Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston is home to Wheeling Jesuit University, an institution of higher learning administered by the Society of Jesus.

On September 13, 2018, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Bransfield and appointed the Metropolitan Archbishop William E. Lori as apostolic administrator. Pope Francis then instructed Archbishop Lori to investigate allegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield.[4]


Bishop of Wheeling[edit]

  1. Richard Vincent Whelan (1850–1874)
  2. John Joseph Kain (1875–1893), appointed Coadjutor Archbishop and later Archbishop of Saint Louis
  3. Patrick James Donahue (1894–1922)
  4. John Joseph Swint (1922–1962), appointed Archbishop (personal title) in 1954

Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston[edit]

  1. Joseph Howard Hodges (1962–1985)
  2. Francis B. Schulte (1985–1988), appointed Archbishop of New Orleans
  3. Bernard William Schmitt (1989–2004)
  4. Michael Joseph Bransfield (2004–2018)

Sede vacante.

Auxiliary bishops[edit]

Coadjutor bishops[edit]


St. Joseph Cathedral
Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

There are seven vicariates in the Diocese:

  • Wheeling Vicariate
  • Parkersburg Vicariate
  • Charleston Vicariate
  • Beckley Vicariate
  • Weston Vicariate
  • Clarksburg Vicariate
  • Martinsburg Vicariate [1]

Parishes by Vicariate[edit]

There are 111 Parishes and 23 missions in the Diocese.

Wheeling Vicariate[edit]

There are 18 parishes and 2 missions in the Wheeling Vicariate.

  • Cathedral of St. Joseph Parish, Wheeling
  • Corpus Christi Parish, Wheeling
  • Immaculate Conception Parish, New Cumberland
  • Our Lady of Peace Parish, Wheeling
  • Sacred Heart Parish, Chester
  • Sacred Heart of Mary Parish (Polish), Weirton
  • St. Alphonsus Parish, Wheeling
  • St. Anthony Parish, Follansbee
  • St. Francis Xavier Parish, Moundsville
  • St. James Parish, McMechen
  • St. John Parish, Benwood
  • St. John the Evangelist Parish, Wellsburg
  • St. Joseph Parish, Proctor
  • St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Weirton
  • St. Jude Parish, Glen Dale
  • St. Martin of Tours Parish, Cameron
  • St. Michael Parish, Wheeling
  • St. Paul Parish, Weirton
  • St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Wheeling
  • Holy Family Mission, Beech Bottom
  • Our Lady of Seven Dolors Mission, Triadelphia [2]

Martinsburg Vicariate[edit]

There are 11 parishes and 1 mission in the Martinsburg Vicariate.

Charleston Vicariate[edit]

There are 23 parishes and 7 missions in the Charleston Vicariate.

Beckley Vicariate[edit]

There are 15 parishes and 2 missions in the Beckley Vicariate.

Clarksburg Vicariate[edit]

There are 21 parishes and 3 missions in the Clarcksburg Vicariate.

Parkersburg Vicariate[edit]

There are 11 parishes and 3 missions in the Parkersburg Vicariate.

Weston Vicariate[edit]

There are 12 parishes and 5 missions in the Weston Vicariate.

High schools[edit]


Former schools[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston". Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  3. ^ "Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston". Giga Catholic. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  4. ^ Keane, Judy. "Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield; Archbishop Lori Instructed to Conduct Investigation into Allegations of Sexual Harassment". USCCB. Retrieved 13 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°04′13″N 80°41′55″W / 40.07028°N 80.69861°W / 40.07028; -80.69861