Discover the Archdiocese of New Orleans

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, officially in Latin Archidioecesis Novae Aureliae, is an ecclesiastical division of the Roman Catholic Church administered from New OrleansLouisiana. It is the second-oldest diocese in the present-day United States at the age of 218, having been elevated to the rank of diocese on 25 April 1793 by Pope Pius VIduring Spanish colonial ruleOur Lady of Prompt Succor and St. Louis, King of France are the patron saints of the Archdiocese and Cathedral of Saint Louis is its mother church as St. Patrick's Church serves as the Pro-Cathedral of the Archdiocese.

Led by an archbishop, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is the center of a largerecclesiastical province. The Metropolitan Province of New Orleans include the suffraganDioceses of AlexandriaBaton RougeHouma-ThibodauxLafayetteLake Charles, andShreveport.

Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond is the current metropolitan archbishop of the New Orleans Archdiocese. On Friday, June 12, 2009, it was announced that Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Aymond, of the Diocese of Austin, to be Archbishop of New Orleans. Archbishop Aymond was installed on August 20, 2009 at Saint Louis Cathedral.


The archdiocese encompasses eight civil parishes in the New Orleans metropolitan area:JeffersonOrleansPlaqueminesSt. BernardSt. CharlesSt. John the BaptistSt. Tammany, and Washington. There are 137 church parishes in the archdiocese, ministered by 387 priests (including those belonging to religious institutes), 187 permanent deacons, 84 brothers, and 432 sisters. There are 372,037 Catholics on the census of the Archdiocese, 36% of the total population of the area. The current head of the archdiocese is ArchbishopGregory Michael Aymond. He is assisted by one auxiliary bishop, Shelton Joseph Fabre. There are two Archbishops Emeriti: Archbishop Alfred Clifton Hughes and ArchbishopFrancis Bible Schulte. There is also one Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus: Bishop Dominic Carmon, S.V.D.

Current Politics

In early 2009, the state of Maine passed a law allowing same-sex civil marriage. In July 2009 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans contributed $2,000 of its money to a referendum campaign to overturn that law. According to Maine's "Commission on Governmental Ethics & Election Practices", the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland Maine spent over $553,000 to overturn the law. The Archdiocese of New Orleans' $2,000 was part of that $553,000.


The Catholic Church has had a presence in New Orleans since the founding of the city by theFrench in 1718. New Orleans and the rest ofLouisiana west of the Mississippi weresurrendered to the Spanish in 1763. From then until 1783 the two Floridas were under British control, but as part of the Peace of Paris (1783)the two Florida colonies were regained from Great Britain. Thus, the pioneer parishes of New Orleans and Louisiana were incorporated into the Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas when it was erected on April 25, 1793. The diocese originally encompassed the entire Louisiana Purchase, from the Gulf of Mexico to British North America, as well as the Florida peninsula and the Gulf Coast.

The date of its establishment makes it the second-oldest diocese in the present-day United States: the Diocese of Baltimore was established on November 6, 1789. At the time of its establishment, the territory of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas was part of the Archdiocese of San Cristobal de la Habana, based in Havana, Cuba.

The diocese was divided into smaller dioceses several times, and many modern dioceses in the central United States were originally part of the Diocese of Louisiana. As capital of the Louisiana, the city was sold to the United States in 1803. The diocese was renamed theDiocese of New Orleans in 1826, and encompassed what is now Louisiana and Mississippi. New Orleans was elevated to an archdiocese in 1850. As the population of Louisiana grew, the Archdiocese of New Orleans was further subdivided into several additional dioceses.

In its long history, the Archdiocese and the city of New Orleans have survived several major disasters, including several city-wide fires, aBritish invasion, the American Civil War, multiple yellow fever epidemicsanti-immigration and anti-Catholicism, the New Orleans Hurricane of 1915SegregationHurricane Betsy, and an occasional financial crisis, not to mention Hurricane Katrina. Each time, the Archdiocese rebuilt damaged churches and rendered assistance to the victims of every disaster. More recently, the church has faced an increased demand for churches in the suburbs and a decline in attendance to inner-city parishes. The church has also weathered changes within the Roman Catholic Church, such as the Second Vatican Council, and changing spiritual values throughout the rest of the United States.

The archdiocese sustained severe damage

 from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Numerous churches and schools were flooded and battered by hurricane force winds. In the more heavily flooded neighborhoods
, such as St. Bernard Parish, many parish structures were wiped out entirely.


The Archdiocese of New Orleans is a culturally diverse community within the diverse city of New Orleans. As a major port, the city has attracted immigrantsfrom around the world. Since French and Spanish Catholics ruled the city, they encouraged enslaved Africans to adopt Christianity. The city has a large population of African American Catholics with deep heritage in the area. Later European immigrants, such as the IrishItaliansPolish, and German Bavarianshave also been a part of the Archdiocese throughout its history. In the last quarter of the 20th century, many Vietnamese Catholics from South Vietnamsettled in the city. New waves of immigrants from MexicoHondurasNicaraguaand Cuba have added to the Catholic congregations.


The best known church in the New Orleans Archdiocese

 is the historic St. Louis Cathedral fronting the Spanish Plaza de Armas, now Jackson Square, in the French Quarter. This church was originally built in 1718, shortly after the founding of the city. The modest building was destroyed by fire several times before the current structure was built between 1789 and 1794 during the Spanish domination. During renovations to the cathedral between 1849 and 1851, St. Patrick's Church, the second-oldest parish in the city, served as the pro-cathedral of the archdiocese.


The Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas was erected on April 25, 1793; it encompassed the area claimed by Spain as Luisiana, which was all the land draining into the Mississippi River from the west, as well as Spanish territory to the east of the river in modern-dayMississippiAlabama, and Florida.

In April, 1803, the United States purchased Louisiana from France, which had in 1800 forced Spain to retrocede the territory in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. The United States took formal possession of New Orleans on December 20, 1803, and of Upper Louisiana on March 10, 1804. The then-Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore served as apostolic administrator of the diocese from 1805 to 1812; during this period, the diocese became a suffragan of Baltimore. Archbishop Carroll's successor as apostolic administrator would eventually be the diocese's first resident bishop of the 19th century.

  • † Louis-Guillaume Dubourg — appointed apostolic administrator, August 18, 1812, appointed bishop September 18, 1815 (installed 1818 at St. Louis), resigned February 2, 1825.

In 1823, Joseph Rosati was appointed coadjutor bishop of the diocese. In 1825, the territory of the diocese in what is now Alabama andFlorida was transferred to the new Vicariate Apostolic of Alabama and the Floridas, and in 1826, the diocese was renamed, becoming theDiocese of New Orleans. At the same time, the diocese's territory was further reduced by the creation of the Vicariate Apostolic of Mississippi and the Diocese of St. Louis. Bishop Rosati served as the diocese's apostolic administrator from 1826 to 1829; having been appointed bishop of St. Louis two years previously, he resigned the administration of the New Orleans diocese upon the appointment of Bishop de Neckere.

† = deceased


† = deceased

Auxiliary bishops

† = deceased


Main article: List of churches in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans

The 108 parishes of the archdiocese are divided into 10 deaneries.


Main article: List of schools in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans

There are 5 Roman Catholic colleges and over 20 high schools within the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Many of the churches throughout the archdiocese have primary schools as well.



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