The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester is the visible presence of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church in this 12-county region in western New York. In communion with the Apostolic See of Rome and our Holy Father, Pope Francis, we are bound together in the unity of faith and strengthened by the Sacraments. Served by the pastoral care of His Excellency, Bishop Salvatore R. Matano, we continue to share in the Church’s original constitution and mission which was given to us by our Savior, Jesus Christ: to love God above all things, and to serve our neighbors in need, for love of Him.
More than 340,000 Catholics reside in the Diocese of Rochester, which was established in March 1868. The Diocese encompasses the Greater Rochester metro area on the shores of Lake Ontario, the verdant Finger Lakes region and the rolling hills of the Southern Tier of New York State. The 12 counties within the Diocese are Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, Cayuga, Yates, Tompkins, Schuyler, Tioga, Chemung and Steuben. Along with Rochester, the largest city, the Diocese has within its borders the cities of Elmira, Ithaca, Auburn, Canandaigua, Corning, Geneva and Hornell.
The Mother Church of the Diocese and seat of the Bishop is Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester. The Pastoral Center is located at 1150 Buffalo Road, in the Rochester suburb of Gates. The official newspaper is the Catholic Courier.
The Diocese has 90 parishes. It is also home to St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. Our Catholic Charities agencies provide a wide range of services to people in need throughout the Diocese, serving more than 250,000 people annually. Nearly 4,000 children attend 18 diocesan Catholic schools.
List of the eight bishops of the Diocese of Rochester:
- Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid: 1868 – 1909 (death)
- Bishop Thomas Francis Hickey: 1909 – 1928
- Bishop John Francis O’Hern: 1928 – 1933 (death)
- Archbishop (later Cardinal) Edward Mooney: 1933 -1937 (transfer to Archdiocese of Detroit)
- Bishop James E. Kearney: 1937 – 1966
- Bishop (later Archbishop) Fulton J. Sheen: 1966 – 1969 (retired)
- Bishop Joseph Lloyd Hogan: 1969 -1978
- Bishop Matthew Harvey Clark: June 1979 – September 2012. Bishop Clark resides in the Diocese and has the title Bishop Emeritus.
- Bishop Salvatore Ronald Matano, named the 9th Bishop of Rochester by Pope Francis on Nov. 6, 2013 Bishop Matano was installed on Jan. 3, 2014.