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Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is a particular church of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. It comprises the District of Columbia and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George's and Saint Mary's counties in the state of Maryland.

Archdiocese of Washington
Archidioecesis Vashingtonensis
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.svg
Country United States
Territory District of Columbia plus counties of Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, Calvert, and Charles in Maryland[1]
Ecclesiastical province Washington
Area 2,104 sq mi (5,450 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2014)
630,823[2] (22.0%)
Parishes 139
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established November 15, 1947[3] (70 years ago)
Cathedral Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
Patron saint St. Matthew
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Metropolital Archbishop Cardinal Donald Wuerl
Auxiliary Bishops Mario E. Dorsonville
Roy Edward Campbell
Emeritus Bishops Theodore Edgar Cardinal McCarrick
Francisco González Valer
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C.
The Pastoral Center in Hyattsville, Maryland

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to The Catholic University of America, the only national university operated by the bishops conference of the United States[4] and Georgetown University, the oldest Jesuit institution of higher education in the country.

In addition, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a minor basilica dedicated to the nation's patroness, is located within and administered by it, and, although it is not the Archdiocesan cathedral (nor even a parish of the Archdiocese), it is the site of its Easter and Christmas Masses.



The ordinary of the Archdiocese of Washington is an archbishop whose cathedra is the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in the City of Washington and who is metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Washington. Its sole suffragan see is the Diocese of Saint Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands.

The first Archbishop of Washington was Michael Joseph Curley in 1939. Eight years later, on November 15, 1947, the archdiocese received its first residential archbishop, with the appointment of Patrick Aloysius O'Boyle. Currently, Donald William Cardinal Wuerl serves as the ordinary of the Archdiocese.


The Archdiocese of Washington often prides itself in sharing the fact that the Society of Jesus celebrated the first Mass in British North America on its shores in 1634.[5] During the colonial era, however, Catholics would remain a persecuted people suffering the wrath of oppression allowed by local penal laws.[5]

Upon the founding of the United States, a Jesuit priest, Father John Carroll, was elected head of the missionary territory (later Prefecture Apostolic) of the United States. In 1789 the Diocese of Baltimore (later the Archdiocese of Baltimore) was established with Carroll as its first bishop, and given ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the entire nation.[6]

On July 22, 1939, Pope Pius XII separated the cities of Washington and Baltimore, creating two archdioceses (Baltimore and Washington), under the oversight of one archbishop in persona episcopi.[3][5] This process of separation was officially concluded on November 15, 1947, with the appointment of Washington's first residential archbishop.[3][5] The Archdiocese of Washington became a metropolitan see on October 12, 1965, when the Diocese of Saint Thomas became its first (and, so far, only) suffragan see.


The lists of archbishops, auxiliary and affiliated bishops and their terms of service.


  1. Michael Joseph Curley (1939–1947; simultaneously Archbishop of Baltimore);[3] died in office
  2. Patrick Aloysius Cardinal O'Boyle (1947–1973; first residential archbishop[3]); retired; died 1987
  3. William Wakefield Cardinal Baum (1973–1980); appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education (1980–1990) and Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary (1990–2001); died 2015
  4. James Aloysius Cardinal Hickey (1980–2000); retired; died 2004
  5. Theodore Edgar Cardinal McCarrick (2000–2006); retired; removed from ministry 2018.[7]
  6. Donald William Cardinal Wuerl (since 2006)

Auxiliary bishopsEdit

  1. John Michael McNamara (1947–1960) died
  2. Patrick Joseph McCormick (1950–1953) died
  3. Philip Matthew Hannan (1956–1965) appointed Archbishop of New Orleans
  4. William Joseph McDonald (1964–1967) appointed Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco
  5. John Selby Spence (1964–1973) died
  6. Edward John Herrmann (1966–1973) appointed Bishop of Columbus
  7. Thomas William Lyons (1974–1988) died
  8. Eugene Antonio Marino S.S.J. (1974–1988) appointed Archbishop of Atlanta
  9. Thomas Cajetan Kelly O.P. (1977–1981) appointed Archbishop of Louisville
  10. Alvaro Corrada del Rio S.J. (1985–1997) appointed Apostolic Administrator of Caguas, Puerto Rico, appointed Bishop of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
  11. William George Curlin (1988–1994) appointed Bishop of Charlotte
  12. Leonard James Olivier S.V.D. (1988–2004) retired
  13. William Edward Lori (1995–2001) appointed Bishop of Bridgeport
  14. Kevin Joseph Farrell (2001–2007) appointed Bishop of Dallas
  15. Francisco González Valer S.F. (2001–2014) retired
  16. Martin David Holley (2004–2016) appointed Bishop of Memphis
  17. Barry Christopher Knestout (2008-2018) appointed Bishop of Richmond
  18. Mario E. Dorsonville (since 2015)
  19. Roy Edward Campbell (since 2017)
  20. Michael William Fisher (Bishop-Elect, 2018)

Other affiliated bishopsEdit

The following clergy began their service as priests for the Archdiocese, before being appointed bishops elsewhere:

Churches by DeaneryEdit


=== Montgomery County Deaneries ===

Upper Montgomery East Deanery

  • Burtonsville: Resurrection
  • Derwood: St. Francis of Assisi
  • Olney: St. Andrew Kim
  • Olney: St. Peter
  • Rockville: Our Lady of China (Pastoral Mission)
  • Rockville: Shrine of St. Jude
  • Rockville: St. Mary
  • Rockville: St. Patrick
  • Silver Spring: Our Lady of Grace (Leisure World)
  • Silver Spring: Saint Andrew the Apostle (McCarrick Center)
  • Wheaton: St. Catherine Labouré

Upper Montgomery West Deanery

  • Barnesville: St. Mary
  • Damascus: St. Paul
  • Darnestown: Our Lady of the Visitation
  • Gaithersburg: St. John Neumann (Mother of God)
  • Gaithersburg: St. Martin of Tours
  • Gaithersburg: St. Rose of Lima
  • Germantown: Mother Seton
  • Poolesville: Our Lady of the
  • Presentation

Middle Montgomery County Deanery

  • Bethesda: German Pastoral Mission
  • Bethesda: Little Flower
  • Bethesda: Our Lady of Lourdes
  • Bethesda: St. Bartholomew
  • Bethesda: St. Jane Frances de Chantal
  • Garrett Park: Holy Cross
  • Kensington: Holy Redeemer
  • Potomac: Our Lady of Mercy
  • Rockville: St. Elizabeth
  • Rockville: St. Raphael

Lower Montgomery County Deanery

  • Silver Spring: Christ the King
  • Silver Spring: Our Lady, Queen of Poland and St. Maximilian Kolbe
  • Silver Spring: Our Lady of Vietnam
  • Silver Spring: St. Bernadette
  • Silver Spring: St. Camillus
  • Silver Spring: St. John the Baptist
  • Silver Spring: St. John the Evangelist
  • Silver Spring: St. Michael the Archangel
  • Takoma Park: Our Lady of Sorrows

Prince George’s County Deaneries

Upper Prince George’s County Deanery

  • Beltsville: St. Joseph
  • Bowie: Ascension
  • Bowie: Sacred Heart
  • Bowie: St. Edward
  • Bowie: St. Pius X
  • Greenbelt: St. Hugh
  • Lanham: St. Matthias
  • Laurel: St. Mary of the Mills
  • Laurel: St. Nicholas

Middle Prince George’s County Deanery

  • Cheverly: St. Ambrose
  • Chillum: St. John Baptist de La Salle
  • College Park: Holy Redeemer
  • Hyattsville: St. Jerome
  • Hyattsville: St. Mark the Evangelist
  • Landover Hills: St. Mary
  • Largo: St. Joseph
  • Mt. Rainier: St. James
  • Seat Pleasant: St. Margaret
  • Riverdale Park: Our Lady of Fatima
  • Riverdale Park: St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Lower Prince George’s County  Deanery

  • Camp Springs: St. Philip
  • Clinton: St. John the Evangelist
  • Clinton: St. Mary, Piscataway
  • Forestville: Holy Spirit
  • Forestville: Mount Calvary
  • Hillcrest Heights: Holy Family
  • Mitchellville: Holy Family
  • Oxon Hill: St. Ignatius
  • Oxon Hill: St. Columba
  • Rosaryville: Most Holy Rosary
  • Suitland: St. Bernardine of Siena
  • Upper Marlboro: St. Mary

Southern Maryland Deaneries

Calvert County Deanery

  • Huntingtown: Jesus the Divine Word
  • North Beach: St. Anthony
  • Owings: Jesus the Good Shepherd
  • Prince Frederick: St. John Vianney
  • Solomons: Our Lady Star of the Sea

Charles County Deanery

  • Aquasco: St. Dominic
  • Baden: St. Michael
  • Benedict: St. Francis de Sales
  • Bryantown: St. Mary
  • Chapel Point: St. Ignatius
  • Hilltop: St. Ignatius Loyola
  • Indian Head: St. Mary
  • Issue: Holy Ghost
  • La Plata: Sacred Heart
  • McConchie: St. Catherine of Alexandria
  • Newport: St. Mary
  • Pomfret: St. Joseph
  • Waldorf: Our Lady Help of Christians
  • Waldorf: St. Peter

St. Mary’s County Deanery

  • Avenue: Holy Angels
  • Bushwood: Sacred Heart
  • Chaptico: Our Lady of the Wayside
  • Great Mills: Holy Face
  • Hollywood: St. John
  • Leonardtown: St. Aloysius
  • Lexington Park: Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • Mechanicsville: Immaculate Conception
  • Medley’s Neck: Our Lady’s Church at Medley’s Neck
  • Morganza: St. Joseph
  • Newtowne: St. Francis Xavier
  • Ridge: St. Michael
  • St. Inigoes: St. Peter Claver
  • St. Mary’s City: St. Cecilia
  • Valley Lee: St. George

Washington, DC Deaneries

Northwest-East Deanery

Northwest-West Deanery

Northeast Deanery

  • Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian
  • Holy Name
  • St. Anthony
  • St. Benedict the Moor
  • St. Dominic
  • St. Francis de Sales
  • St. Joseph
  • St. Peter
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Kidane-Mehret Ge’ez Rite Catholic Church

Southeast Deanery

  • Assumption
  • Incarnation
  • Our Lady, Queen of Peace
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help
  • St. Francis Xavier
  • St. Luke
  • St. Teresa of Avila
  • St. Thomas More

High schoolsEdit

Archdiocesan cemeteriesEdit

In addition to the nearly four dozen of its parishes which have their own cemeteries,[10] the archdiocese owns and operates five major cemeteries:[11]

Two former parish cemeteries are also operated by the archdiocese:

Province of Washington, D.C.Edit

Ecclesiastical Province of Washington map

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Archdiocese of Washington
  2. ^ "Statistics". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Although the archdiocese was created on July 29, 1939, it shared its first archbishop with the Archdiocese of Baltimore — Archbishop Curley — who continued to administer the two archdioceses as a single unit, until Washington's first residential archbishop was appointed on November 15, 1947. Most Rev. Michael J. Curley Archived February 21, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.. Archdiocese of Baltimore. Retrieved on November 19, 2016. Archbishops of the Modern Era Archived November 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. Archdiocese of Baltimore. Retrieved on 2016-11-19.
  4. ^ "About Us". The Catholic University of America. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d About Us. Archdiocese of Washington. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  6. ^ "Prefect Apostolic". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  7. ^ [}
  8. ^ "Most Reverend John F. Donoghue". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta. Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Archdiocesan Offices" (PDF). 
  10. ^ Parish Cemeteries from the official website of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Washington
  11. ^ History from the official website of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Washington

External linksEdit