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Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee (Latin: Archidioecesis Milvauchiensis) is a Roman Catholic archdiocese headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the United States. It encompasses the City of Milwaukee, as well as the counties of Dodge, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha, all located in Wisconsin. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is the metropolitan see of the ecclesiastical province of Milwaukee, which includes the suffragan dioceses of Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, and Superior. As of 2018, Jerome Edward Listecki is the Archbishop of Milwaukee.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Archidioecesis Milvauchiensis
Coat of arms of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
CountryUnited States
TerritoryThe City of Milwaukee and the counties of Dodge, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha in the state of Wisconsin
Ecclesiastical provinceMilwaukee
Area4,758 sq mi (12,320 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
673,000 (28.4%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteLatin Rite
EstablishedNovember 28, 1843 (175 years ago)
Elevated to Archdiocese on February 12, 1875
CathedralCathedral of St. John the Evangelist
Patron saintSt. John the Evangelist
Secular priests334
Current leadership
ArchbishopJerome Edward Listecki
Auxiliary BishopsJeffrey Robert Haines
James Thomas Schuerman
Bishops emeritus
Map of Wisconsin indicating counties of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee



The Diocese of Milwaukee was constituted November 28, 1843 by Pope Gregory XVI. It was elevated to Archdiocese on February 12, 1875 by Pope Pius IX.[1] The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist is the episcopal see.

Sexual abuse scandal and BankruptcyEdit

Lawrence Murphy was a priest who taught at the former St. John School for the Deaf in the Milwaukee suburb of St. Francis from 1950 to 1974. He is believed to have molested up to 200 deaf boys before the mid-1970s.[2] Local law enforcement agencies, including the Milwaukee Police Department, the St. Francis police, and the Milwaukee County District Attorney, were informed of the abuse in 1974 by adult graduates of the St. John School for the Deaf, but expressed doubts about the credibility of the allegations and the statute of limitations, and did nothing.[3] Then-Archbishop William Cousins afterwards transferred Murphy to the suffragan Diocese of Superior.[4]

In a report released by the Wisconsin State Senate in 2003, a total of 58 priests were revealed to have been accused of sexually abusing children while serving in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.[5] According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a deposition released in 2009 revealed that former Archbishop Rembert Weakland shredded reports about sexual abuse by priests.[6] Weakland admitted allowing priests guilty of child sex abuse to continue as priests without warning parishioners or alerting the police.[7] Weakland stated in his autobiography that in the early years of the sexual abuse scandal he did not understand that child sexual abuse was a crime.[8]

17 July 2011: "The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is launching a national advertising campaign to notify sex abuse victims of their deadline to file claims. The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January after it failed to reach a settlement with two dozen victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy."[9] About 550 people are asking for restitution for alleged sexual abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.[10]

Removal of Cousins and Weakland from ArchdioceseEdit

On March 18, 2019, it was announced that former Archbishops William Cousins and Rembert Weakland would have their names removed from buildings in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee due to their poor handling of sex abuse cases.[11] The renaming of Archdiocese of Milwaukee office centers which were named in their honor commenced on March 22, 2019.[12]


The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has a membership of 591,890 Catholics in 198 parishes, representing the most heavily Catholic region of the state. There are 322 diocesan priests, 370 religious priests, and 147 permanent deacons. Religious orders include 82 brothers and 994 women religious.[13]

The archdiocese houses one provincial seminary (St. Francis de Sales Seminary) educating 56 seminarians.[14] It oversees 94 elementary schools, 13 high schools, and five colleges and universities.

Also included in the archdiocese are 12 Catholic hospitals and 9 Catholic cemeteries.[13]


The following are lists of the Roman Catholic Bishops and Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and their years of service.

Archbishops of MilwaukeeEdit

  1. John Martin Henni (1844–1881)
  2. Michael Heiss (1881–1890)
  3. Frederick Katzer (1890–1903)
  4. Sebastian Gebhard Messmer[15] (1903–1930)
  5. Samuel Stritch (1930–1940), appointed Archbishop of Chicago and later Pro-Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (elevated to Cardinal in 1946)
  6. Moses E. Kiley[16] (1940–1953)
  7. Albert Gregory Meyer (1953–1958), appointed Archbishop of Chicago (elevated to Cardinal in 1959)
  8. William Edward Cousins (1959–1977)
  9. Rembert Weakland, O.S.B. (1977–2002)
  10. Timothy Michael Dolan (2002–2009), appointed Archbishop of New York (elevated to Cardinal in 2012)
  11. Jerome Edward Listecki (2010–present)

Auxiliary BishopsEdit

Other priests of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who became bishopsEdit

The following men began their service as priests in Milwaukee before being appointed bishops elsewhere:





Ecclesiastical provinceEdit

Ecclesiastical Province of Milwaukee

The ecclesiastical province of Milwaukee comprises the state of Wisconsin and includes these suffragan dioceses.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Archdiocese of Milwaukee. About Us.
  2. ^ "Vatican defends decision not to defrock priest accused of molesting deaf boys in Wisconsin". Associated Press. 25 March 2010.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Bruce Vielmetti, "Weakland shredded copies of sex abuse reports, documents say" Archived April 18, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 3, 2009.
  7. ^ Archbishop Rembert Weakland, Former Catholic Bishop Of Milwaukee, Says He's Gay Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ " Archdiocese ads notify abuse victims of claim deadline, 17 July 2011". Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Milwaukee Archdiocese faces 550 sex abuse claims". Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b "About". Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Archbishop Sebastian Gebhard Messmer.
  16. ^ Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Archbishop Moses Elias Kiley.

Further readingEdit

  • Avella, Steven M. Confidence and Crisis: A History of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 1959–1977 (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2014. 344 pp.

External linksEdit