Discover the Diocese of San Jose

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San José; in California (LatinDioecesis Sancti Josephi in California) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Churchin the northern California region of the United States. It comprises Santa Clara County, and is led by a bishop. Its patron saints are Saint Joseph and Saint Clare of Assisi. the diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Its fellow suffragans include the Dioceses of HonoluluLas VegasOaklandRenoSacramentoSalt Lake CitySanta Rosa andStockton.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph in Downtown San Jose is the cathedral church of the diocese. The diocesan offices are located at 1150 North First Street. The diocese serves over 600,000 Catholics in 52 parishes and missions, three university campus ministries, and 38 schools.


The Roman Catholic Church in present-day Santa Clara County dates to the founding ofMission Santa Clara de Asís (a Spanish mission) in 1777, during the era of the Provincias Internas of New Spain. Originally a part of the Diocese of Sonora in Mexico, in 1840 San Jose and the rest of the Californias became part of the Diocese of Alta and Baja California, headquartered in Santa Barbara.

In 1850, two years after the Mexican Cession, the Diocese of Alta and Baja California was split between the American and Mexican territories, and San Jose became a part of theDiocese of Monterey. In 1853, the northern half of the county became part of theArchdiocese of San Francisco, while the areas around Gilroy and Morgan Hill remained in the Diocese of Monterey. In 1922 the American Catholic Church decided to use countyboundaries for dioceses,[citation needed] and the southern half of the county was transferred to the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Pope John Paul II granted the See of San Jose independence on January 27, 1981;[citation needed] the diocese was canonically erected later that year by archbishops Pio Laghi,Apostolic Delegate to the United States, andJohn R. QuinnMetropolitan Archbishop of San Francisco, on March 18, the vigil of the feast ofSaint Joseph. The first Bishop of San Jose wasPierre DuMaine, and the first cathedral of the diocese was Saint Patrick Proto-Cathedral Parish.

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged St. Joseph's Cathedral, resulting in the need for $22 million in repairs; it also damaged Saint Joseph's Seminary of Mountain View, resulting in the death of someone working in the tower. St. Joseph's, a Sulpician seminary at one time affiliated with Saint Patrick Seminary, was subsequently closed and demolished, with the intent to sell part of the land to build luxury homes and use the proceeds to repay a $20 million loan used to repair the cathedral. As part of the deal with the Cupertino City Council, 138 acres (0.56 km2) were donated to the county park system, to be added to Rancho San Antonio County Park.

Bishops of San José in California

Auxiliary Bishops of San José in California


In terms of student population, the diocese is the second largest education provider in the county, trailing only San Jose Unified School District.[citation needed] Most of the primary schools are parochial, or operated by a parish, while all the high schools, with the exception of St. Lawrence Academy, are operated by either the diocese or by a religious instituteSanta Clara University is a Jesuit-run university at the site of Mission Santa Clara.



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