Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln (Latin: Dioecesis Lincolnensis) is a Catholic diocese in Nebraska, United States, and comprises the majority of the eastern and central portions of the state south of the Platte River. It is a suffragan see to the archdiocese of Omaha. The episcopal see is in Lincoln, Nebraska. Bishop James D. Conley is the current ordinary of the Diocese. The Cathedral of the Risen Christ is the cathedral parish of the diocese.

Diocese of Lincoln

Dioecesis Lincolnensis
Cathedral of the Risen Christ (Lincoln, Nebraska) from SE 1.JPG
Cathedral of the Risen Christ
Coat of Arms of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln.svg
Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Lincoln
Country United States
TerritoryNebraska The territory that lies south of the Platte River across southern Nebraska
Ecclesiastical provinceOmaha
Area23,844 sq mi (61,760 km2)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2020)
95,104 (15.3%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedAugust 2, 1887 (135 years ago)
CathedralCathedral of the Risen Christ
Patron saintImmaculate Conception
Current leadership
BishopJames D. Conley
Metropolitan ArchbishopGeorge Joseph Lucas
Bishops emeritusFabian Bruskewitz
Diocese of Lincoln map 1.png


St. Mary's Church in Lincoln was the first cathedral

The diocese was established on August 2, 1887, by Pope Leo XIII from the territory taken from the Diocese of Omaha.[1][2]

In 1996, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz issued a statement forbidding Catholics in the diocese to join a number of organizations, including the Society of St. Pius X, Call to Action, Planned Parenthood, Catholics for a Free Choice, the Hemlock Society, and various Masonic groups, under pain of excommunication.[3]

In 2006, the Diocese rejected the proposed undertaking of an audit by the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - which would have examined whether the Diocese had effectively implemented national guidelines on sex-abuse programs[4] In June 2014, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Review Board for the protection of children reported that the Lincoln diocese was the only one in the United States that had yet to comply with the USCCB's charter requiring every diocese to submit its procedures for the protection of children to the Review Board for an audit.[5] According to a 2015 statement by Conley, the Lincoln Diocese has complied with all church and civil laws on child-abuse reporting and child protection. He stated that the audit process had been improved and that the diocese would now therefore participate.[6]

The Diocese of Lincoln was the only diocese in the United States that does not allow female altar servers, after the only other holdout ended its prohibition on females in 2006.[7] It was joined by a church in the diocese of Phoenix in August 2011, when it announced that girls would no longer be allowed to serve at the altar.[8]

The diocese of Lincoln was one of the last American Catholic dioceses not to have a permanent diaconate,[9] although there were a few permanent deacons who served in Lincoln who came from other diocese. In 2016, Conley gave permission for lay married men to begin discerning the permanent diaconate in cooperation with the archdiocese of Omaha's diaconate program.[10] On May 28, 2021, Matthew Hecker became the first permanent deacon to be ordained for the diocese.[11]

Demographics and statisticsEdit


  • Diocese patron: Immaculate Conception
  • Priests: 174
  • Deacons: 1 permanent; 4 transitional
  • Seminarians: 30
  • Religious priests: 10
  • Religious sisters: 141
  • Religious brothers: 8


The bishops of the diocese and their years of service:[13]

  1. Thomas Bonacum (1887-1911)
  2. John Henry Tihen (1911-1917), appointed Bishop of Denver
  3. Charles Joseph O'Reilly (1918-1923)
  4. Francis Beckman (1924-1930), appointed Archbishop of Dubuque
  5. Louis Benedict Kucera (1930-1957)
  6. James Vincent Casey (1957-1967), formerly auxiliary bishop, appointed Archbishop of Denver
  7. Glennon Patrick Flavin (1967-1992)
  8. Fabian Bruskewitz (1992-2012)
  9. James D. Conley (2012–present)

Priests who became bishops elsewhereEdit

High schoolsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Brief History of the Diocese of Lincoln". Archived 2015-03-19 at the Wayback Machine Catholic Diocese of Lincoln. Retrieved 2015-03-19. Archived 2015-03-19 at Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Archdiocese History". Archived 2014-12-14 at the Wayback Machine Archdiocese of Omaha. Retrieved 2015-03-19. Archived 2014-12-14 at Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Bruskewitz, Fabian. "Statement of Bishop Bruskewitz Excommunicating Certain Groups". Reproduced at 1996-03-19. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
  4. ^ "Bishop Bruskewitz shoots back at National Review Board",Catholic World News, April 2, 2006.
  5. ^ Roewe, Brian (2014-06-12). "Bishops talk sex abuse complacency, not accountability at annual meeting". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  6. ^ Jones, Kevin J (September 11, 2015). "For Diocese of Lincoln, Audit Will Strengthen Its Effective Child-Protection". National Catholic Register. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  7. ^ "Neb. diocese is lone U.S. holdout on allowing altar girls". USA Today. 22 March 2006. Archived from the original on 9 November 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  8. ^ Clancy, Michael. "Phoenix diocese cathedral won't allow girl altar servers". The Arizona Republic. The Arizona Republic. Archived from the original on 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  9. ^ Graves, Jim (August 25, 2016). "A thriving Midwestern diocese's secrets to success". The Catholic World Report. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Scott, Reagan (3 January 2020). "Deacon: service to the ministry of charity". Lincoln Diocese. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  11. ^ Porter, Randy (11 June 2021). "Diocese celebrates ordination of first permanent deacon". Lincoln Diocese. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  12. ^ "Statistics".
  13. ^ "Bishops of Lincoln". Archived 2015-03-19 at the Wayback Machine Diocese of Lincoln. Retrieved 2015-03-19. Archived 2015-03-19 at Wayback Machine.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 40°48′35″N 96°40′31″W / 40.80972°N 96.67528°W / 40.80972; -96.67528