Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlottetown

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlottetown (Latin: Dioecesis Carolinapolitanus) is a Roman Catholic diocese which comprises the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island. It is currently led by Bishop Richard John Grecco (the 13th ordinary of the see). Its current Chancellor is Gerald Gabriel and its Vicar General is Father Eric J. Dunn, JCL.

Diocese of Charlottetown
St. Dunstan's Basilica, Charlottetown
Country Canada
Ecclesiastical provinceRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax
- Catholics

62,700 (44.1%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteRoman Rite
CathedralSt. Dunstan's Basilica
Secular priests48
Current leadership
BishopRichard John Grecco

It became a Diocese when it was separated from the Archdiocese of Quebec on August 11, 1829, and it is the second oldest English speaking diocese in Canada.

As of 2004, the diocese contains 47 parishes, 53 active diocesan priests, 6 religious priests, and 61,000 Catholics. It also has 132 Women Religious, 7 Religious Brothers, and 1 permanent deacon.

The cathedral of this diocese is St. Dunstan's Basilica in Charlottetown.


Prince Edward Island was initially part of the vast Diocese of Quebec. In the spring of 1721 Sulpicians René-Charles de Breslay and Marie-Anselme de Metivier arrived at Port-LaJoye and built a small church dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. After two years they handed over the parish to the Franciscans of Louisbourg.[1] By 1752 four small parishes were established, until 1758 when British authorities expelled the French.

A further expansion of the Church on P.E.I. (then ) began In 1772 when the first band of about 200 Scottish Catholic immigrants arrived on St. John's Island, led by laymen John MacDonald of Glenaladale,[2] the idea having been conceived and the financing arranged by two bishops of the Scottish Catholic Church, John MacDonald and George Hay in order to relieve the persecution of Catholics on Uist. They were accompanied by Father James MacDonald, cousin to John of Glenaladale. Father MacDonald was well suited to the assignment as he was fluent in Gaelic, English, Latin, and French.[3]

Another group of Highlanders settled in 1790, and with them came Father Angus MacEachern to join his family who had emigrated earlier. MacEachern too was fluent in English, French, and Gaelic. He traveled extensively throughout The Maritimes as a missioner. He built the original St. Dunstan's in 1816. MacEachern served as auxiliary bishop of Quebec from 1821 and in 1829 he became the first Bishop of Charlottetown.[4] The Diocese of Saint John, New Brunswick was split off in 1842.


In 1831 Bishop MacEachern established St. Andrew's College. He was succeeded by Bernard Donald Macdonald. Although Bishop MacDonald closed St. Andrew's College in 1844, he supervised the construction of St. Dunstan's College in Charlottetown in 1848. 1969 St. Dunstan's merged with Prince of Wales College and is now part of the University of Prince Edward Island.[5] Peter McIntyre was the third bishop of Charlottetown. He was responsible for erecting St. Patrick's School for Boys next to St. Dunstan's Cathedral, and brought the Sisters of Notre Dame to teach on Prince Edward Island.


Charlottetown Hospital was established in 1879 under the leadership of Bishop McIntyre. It was the first hospital in Charlottetown. In 1982, after 102 years of service, the Charlottetown Hospital closed its doors when the Queen Elizabeth Hospital opened.

Religious ordersEdit

  • Congregation of Notre Dame (1857-present)
  • Brothers of the Christian Schools (1870-1877)
  • Grey Nuns of Quebec (1879-1925)
  • the Jesuits (1880-1881)
  • Filles de Jésus (1903-1909)
  • Little Sisters of the Holy Family (1909-1916)
  • Sisters of St. Martha (1916-present)
  • Sisters of the Precious Blood (1929-2012)
  • the Redemptorists (1929-1975)
  • Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur (1959-1979)
  • Saint-Coeur de Marie (1977-1989)[6]
  • Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Ragusa (2018-present)


The following is a list of the bishops of Charlottetown, and their terms of service:

Other priest of this diocese who became bishopEdit


  1. ^ Macmillan, John C., The Early History of the Catholic Church in Prince Edward Island, Evenement Printing Company, 1905  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ McDonell, James K; Campbell, Robert Bennett (1997). Lords of the North. pp. 53–54. ISBN 1896182712.
  3. ^ Bumsted, J. M., “MacDONALD, JAMES (1736-85)” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 4, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003
  4. ^ Mullally, Emmet J. "Life of Angus Bernard MacEachern, First Bishop of Charlottetown". CCHA Report. pp. 71–106.
  5. ^ Bolger, Francis. "University of Prince Edward Island", The Canadian Encyclopedia, March 4, 2015
  6. ^ "History", Diocese of Charlettetown

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 46°14′02″N 63°07′30″W / 46.2338°N 63.1251°W / 46.2338; -63.1251