Discover the Archdiocese of Portland

The Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon (Archidioecesis Portlandensis in Oregon) is anarchdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It encompasses the western part of the state of Oregon, from the summit of theCascades to the Pacific Ocean. The Archbishop of Portland serves as the Ordinary of the archdiocese and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Portland whose suffragandioceses cover the entire three states of OregonIdaho, & Montana. The dioceses of the province include Baker (eastern Oregon), Boise (Idaho), Helena (western Montana), andGreat Falls-Billings (eastern Montana).

As published in the 2013 "Oregon Catholic Directory," this archdiocese serves 412,725 Catholics (out of more than 3.3 million people). There are 150 diocesan priests, 144 religious priests, 79 permanent deacons, 388 women religious, and 78 religious brothers. The archdiocese has 124 parishes, 22 missions, 1 seminary, 40 elementary schools, 10 secondary schools, and 2 Catholic colleges.


The origins of the Catholic Church in the Oregon Country derive from a July 3, 1834, petition by French Prairie settlers to priests in Canada. In response to this petition, missionary priests, Rev. Francis Xavier Norbert Blanchet and Rev. Modeste Demers arrived at Fort Vancouver on November 24, 1838. The first Mass was celebrated on January 6, 1839 at St. Paul.

On December 1, 1843, the Vatican established the Vicariate Apostolic of the Oregon Territory with Rev. Msgr. Blanchet as its first Vicar Apostolic. A Vicar Apostolic is a bishop in a territory which has not yet been organized as a diocese. The following year, Rev. Pierre-Jean DeSmet, S.J., and fellow priests and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur arrived in Astoriafrom Belgium.

On July 24, 1846, Pope Pius IX divided the existing vicariate apostolic into three dioceses:Oregon City (Oregonopolitanus); Walla Walla (Valle Valliensis); and Vancouver Island(Insula Vancouver). On July 29, 1850, the Diocese of Oregon City was elevated to an archdiocese with Archbishop Blanchet continuing to serve as its first archbishop.

Rapid growth in the Pacific Northwest led to the loss of territory of the Archdiocese of Oregon City from which the Vatican created the Vicariate Apostolic of Idaho and Montana on March 3, 1868, and the Diocese of Baker City on June 19, 1903.

The Archdiocese was renamed by the Vatican as Portland in Oregon on September 26, 1928.

On January 29, 2013, bishop Alexander Sample was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be the new archbishop of Portland, to succeed John George Vlazny, whose resignation was accepted at the same time.

Historic parish churches

Historic parish churches in the archdiocese include:


From 1843 to 1846, the Oregon Country was an apostolic vicariate, led by Francis Norbert Blanchet. Once established as a diocese and later an archdiocese, it was led by the following:


Bishop of Oregon City

Archbishops of Oregon City

Archbishops of Portland in Oregon

Auxiliary bishops

High schools


Our Sponsors

This site is sponsored by Mendicant Marketing, a Catholic company specializing in Internet Marketing: Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, and more.