Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington
Archdiocese of Washington
Archidioecesis Vashingtonensis
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 Archdiocese of Washington
Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
- Catholics

567,266 [2]
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established November 15, 1947
Cathedral Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
Patron saint St. Matthew
Current leadership
Pope Benedict XVI
Archbishop Donald Wuerl
Archbishop of Washington
Auxiliary Bishop Francisco González Valer, S.F.
Martin D. Holley
Barry Christopher Knestout
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C.

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.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to The Catholic University of America, the national Catholic university operated by the United States bishops. It is also home to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a minor basilica dedicated to the nation's patron saint, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The Basilica, though not a parish of the Archdiocese of Washington, is the site of Easter and Christmas Masses, which are normally televised nationally on EWTN.



The ordinary of the Archdiocese of Washington is an archbishop whose cathedra is 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. The current Archbishop is Donald Wuerl.


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.[citation needed] During the colonial era however, Catholics would remain a persecuted people suffering the wrath of oppression allowed by local penal laws.[citation needed]

Upon the establishment of the United States by its founding fathers, the Jesuit, John Carroll, was elected the first bishop of the newly created diocese which would later become the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The Prefecture Apostolic of the United States, as the entity was known then, had jurisdiction over all American Catholics, including present-day City of Washington.[citation needed]

In 1858, Mount Olivet Cemetery was established in Washington, D.C., the first Catholic cemetery to serve all the parishes in the area.[3]

In 1939, Pope Pius XII separated the City of Washington from the Archdiocese of Baltimore and created two Archdioceses (Baltimore and Washington) under the oversight of one archbishop. The process of separation was officially concluded on November 15, 1947.[citation needed] The Archdiocese of Washington became a metropolitan see on October 12, 1965, when the Diocese of Saint Thomas became its suffragen see.

To manage Mount Olivet and three other cemeteries, in 1978 the archdiocese created and incorporated Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Washington; 25 years later, All Souls Cemetery in Germantown, Maryland became its fifth archdiosesan cemetery.[3]


  1. Michael Joseph Curley (19391947) simultaneously Archbishop of Baltimore
  2. Patrick O'Boyle (1947–1973) retired
  3. William Wakefield Baum (1973–1980) appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education and Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary
  4. James Aloysius Hickey (1980–2000) retired
  5. Theodore Edgar McCarrick (2000–2006) retired
  6. Donald Wuerl (since 2006)

Auxiliary bishops

  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) assigned Apostolic Administrator of Caguas, 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. (since 2001)
  16. Martin David Holley (since 2004)
  17. Barry Christopher Knestout (since 2008)

Affiliated bishops

The following men began their service as priests in the Archdiocese before being appointed bishops elsewhere (years in parentheses refers to their years in Washington):

High schools


District of Columbia parishes

  • Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
  • Church of the Annunciation
  • Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Church of the Incarnation
  • Church of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus
  • Epiphany Church
  • Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian
  • Holy Name of Jesus
  • Holy Redeemer
  • Holy Rosary
  • Holy Trinity
  • Immaculate Conception
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help
  • Our Lady of Victory
  • Our Lady Queen of Peace
  • Our Lady Queen of the Americas
  • St. Aloysius
  • St. Ann
  • St. Anthony of Padua
  • St. Augustine
  • St. Benedict the Moor
  • St. Dominic
  • St. Francis de Sales
  • St. Gabriel
  • St. Joseph’s on Capitol Hill
  • St. Francis Xavier
  • St. Louis de France
  • St. Luke
  • St. Martin of Tours
  • St. Mary, Mother of God
  • St. Patrick
  • St. Peter
  • St. Stephen, the Martyr
  • St. Teresa of Avila
  • St. Thomas More
  • St. Thomas, the Apostle
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament
  • Shrine of the Sacred Heart

Montgomery County (Maryland) parishes

  • Church of the Resurrection, Burtonsville, MD
  • Christ the King, Silver Spring, MD
  • Holy Cross, Garrett Park, MD
  • Holy Redeemer, Kensington, MD
  • Little Flower, Bethesda, MD
  • Mother Seton, Germantown, MD
  • Our Lady of Grace, Silver Spring, MD
  • Our Lady of Lourdes, Bethesda, MD
  • Our Lady of Mercy, Potomac, MD
  • Our Lady of Sorrows, Takoma Park, MD
  • Our Lady of the Presentation, Poolseville, MD
  • Our Lady of the Visitation, MD
  • Our Lady of Vietnam, Silver Spring, MD
  • Our Lady, Queen of Poland, Silver Spring, MD
  • Shrine of St. Jude, Rockville, MD
  • St. Andrew the Apostle, Silver Spring, MD
  • St. Andrew Kim, Olney, MD
  • St. Bartholomew, Bethesda, MD
  • St. Bernadette, Silver Spring, MD
  • St. Camillus, Silver Spring, MD
  • St. Catherine Labouré, Wheaton, MD
  • St. Elizabeth, Rockville, MD
  • St. Francis of Assisi, Derwood, MD
  • St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Bethesda, MD
  • St. John the Baptist, Silver Spring, MD
  • St. John the Evangelist, Silver Spring, MD
  • St. John Neumann, Gaithersburg, MD
  • St. Martin of Tours, Gaithersburg, MD
  • St. Mary, Barnesville, MD
  • St. Mary, Rockville, MD
  • St. Michael the Archangel, Silver Spring, MD
  • St. Patrick, Rockville, MD
  • St. Paul, Damascus, MD
  • St. Peter, Olney, MD
  • St. Raphael, Rockville, MD
  • St. Rose of Lima, Gaithersburg, MD

Prince George's County (Maryland) parishes

  • Ascension, Bowie, MD
  • Holy Family, Hillcrest Heights, MD
  • Holy Family, Mitchellville, MD
  • Holy Redeemer, College Park, MD
  • Holy Spirit, Forestville, MD
  • Most Holy Rosary, Rosaryville, MD
  • Mount Calvary, Forestville, MD
  • Our Lady of Fatima, Riverdale Park, MD
  • Sacred Heart, Bowie, MD
  • St. Ambrose, Cheverly, MD
  • St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Riverdale, MD
  • St. Bernardine of Siena, Suitland, MD
  • St. Columba, Oxon Hill, MD
  • St. Dominic (Mission), Aquasco, MD
  • St. Edward the Confessor Church, Bowie, MD
  • St. Hugh, Greenbelt, MD
  • St. Ignatius, Oxon Hill, Fort Washington, MD
  • St. James, Mt. Rainer, MD
  • St. Jerome, Hyattsville, MD
  • St. John Baptist de la Salle, Chillum, MD
  • St. John the Evangelist, Clinton, MD
  • St. Joseph, Beltsville, MD
  • St. Joseph, Largo, MD
  • St. Margaret of Scotland, Seat Pleasant, MD
  • St. Mark, Hyattsville, MD
  • St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Upper Marlboro, MD
  • St. Mary of the Mills, Laurel, MD
  • St. Mary, Landover Hills, MD
  • St. Mary, Piscataway, Clinton, MD
  • St. Matthias, Lanham, MD
  • St. Michael, Brandywine, MD
  • St. Nicholas, Laurel, MD
  • St. Phillip the Apostle, Camp Springs, MD
  • St. Pius X, Bowie, MD

Calvert County (Maryland) parishes

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

St. Mary's County (Maryland) parishes

  • Holy Angels, Avenue, MD
  • Holy Face, Great Mills, MD (Old Holy Face Church now part of the Cecil's Mill Historic District)
  • Immaculate Conception, Mechanicsville, MD
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary, Lexington Park, MD
  • Our Lady of the Wayside, Chaptico, MD
  • Our Lady's Church at Medley's Neck, Leonardtown, MD
  • Sacred Heart, Bushwood, MD
  • St. Aloysius, Leonardtown, MD
  • St. Cecilia, St. Mary's City, MD
  • St. Francis Xavier, Newtowne, Leonardtown, MD
  • St. George, Valley Lee, MD
  • St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, St. Inigoes, MD
  • St. John, Hollywood, MD
  • St. Joseph, Morganza, MD
  • St. Michael, Ridge, MD
  • St. Peter Claver, St. Inigoes, MD
  • St. Xavier (Mission), Piney Point, MD

Charles County (Maryland) parishes

  • Holy Ghost, Newburg, MD
  • Our Lady Help of Christians, Waldorf, Waldorf, MD
  • Sacred Heart, La Plata, MD
  • St. Catherine of Alexandria, McConchie, Port Tobacco, MD
  • St. Francis de Sales, Benedict, MD
  • St. Francis de Sales (Mission), Newburg, MD
  • St. Ignatius, Chapel Point, Port Tobacco, MD
  • St. Ignatius Loyola, Hilltop, La Plata, MD
  • St. Joseph, Pomfret, MD
  • St. Mary, Bryantown, MD
  • St. Mary Star of the Sea, Indian Head, MD
  • St. Mary, Newport, MD
  • St. Peter, Waldorf, MD
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
Sacred Heart Church in Bowie, Maryland, established in 1729
St. Augustine Catholic Church
St. Ignatius Church at St. Thomas Manor
St. Mary's Church, Newport, Maryland, built about 1840
St. Mary's Church on Rockville Pike in Rockville, Maryland, built in 1817
St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.

Archdiosesan cemeteries

In addition to the nearly four dozen parishes which have their own cemeteries,[4] the archdiocese centrally operates five major cemeteries:[3]

Two former parish cemeteries are also operated by the parish:

Province of Washington, D.C.

See List of the Catholic bishops of the United States#Province of Washington, D.C.

See also

Portal icon District of Columbia portal
Portal icon Catholicism portal


  1. ^ Archdiocese of Washington
  2. ^ Catholic Hierarchy page
  3. ^ a b c History from the official website of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Washington
  4. ^ Parish Cemeteries from the official website of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Washington

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries: