Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah
Diocese of Savannah
Dioecesis Savannah
Country United States
Territory State of: Georgia
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of Atlanta
Metropolitan Savannah, Georgia
- Total

Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established July 3, 1850
Cathedral Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Patron saint St. John the Baptist
Current leadership
Pope Benedict XVI
Bishop Gregory John Hartmayer
Bishop of Savannah
Metropolitan Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory
Archbishop of Atlanta
Emeritus Bishops Raymond W. Lessard
J. Kevin Boland
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the southern United States comprising the southern counties of the state of Georgia. It is led by a prelate bishop who serves as pastor of the mother church, Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in the City of Savannah.



The diocese was canonically erected on July 3, 1850 by Pope Pius IX, taking its territories from the Diocese of Charleston. Pope Pius XI changed the ecclesiastical territory's name to become the conjoined Diocese of Savannah-Atlanta on January 5, 1937 to reflect the growth of Catholicism in the state. The number of Catholics in the northern counties of Georgia had grown so much that Pope Pius XII divided the ecclesiastical territory on July 2, 1956 and created the Diocese of Savannah and the Diocese of Atlanta. (In 1962 the Diocese of Atlanta was elevated to the status of an archdiocese, becoming the center of the Ecclesiastical Province of the same name.)[1]

Member parishes

  • St. Peter the Apostle
  • Most Blessed Sacrament
  • St. James'
  • St. Michael's
  • Sacred Heart
  • St. Benedict the Moor
  • Our Lady of Lourdes
  • St. Boniface
  • St. William
  • St. Frances Cabrini
  • The Nativity of Our Lord-St. Peter and Paul Parish
  • Immaculate Conception


  • Francis Xavier Gartland (1850–1854)
  • John Barry (1857–1859)
  • Augustin Verot (1861–1870)
  • Ignatius Persico (1870–1874)
  • William Hickley Gross (1873–1885)
  • Thomas Albert Andrew Becker (1886–1899)
  • Benjamin Joseph Keiley (1900–1922)
  • Michael Joseph Keyes (1922–1935)
  • Gerald Patrick Aloysius O'Hara (1935–1959)
  • Thomas Joseph McDonough (1960–1967)
  • Gerard Louis Frey (1967–1972)
  • Raymond W. Lessard (1973–1995)
  • J. Kevin Boland (1995–2011)
  • Gregory John Hartmayer (2011-present)


Today the Diocese of Savannah comprises 90 counties in south Georgia. It covers 37,038 square miles (95,930 km2). There are 54 parishes and 25 missions within the diocese, serving about 75,000 lay Catholics.[2]

Clergy and religious

The current number of priests stands at 105. Of these, 90 are serving actively, while 22 priests are in retirement status. There are 38 men that serve the diocese as members of the permanent diaconate, as well as 103 religious (mostly nuns).[3]

High schools

There are 5 Catholic high schools and 16 elementary schools in the diocese, serving over 6,000 students.

External links

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