Discover the Diocese of Salt Lake City

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, officially in Latin Dioecesis Civitatis Lacus Salsi, is a diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. It comprises the entire state of Utah. Also known as the Utah Catholic Church or the See of Salt Lake City, its mother church is the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake CityJohn Charles Wester is the current and ninth bishop.

Salt Lake City is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, along with the dioceses ofHonoluluLas VegasOaklandRenoSacramentoSan JoseSanta Rosa and Stockton. The Metropolitan is the former Salt Lake City ordinary, Archbishop George Hugh Niederauer.


In 1871 Fr. Patrick Walsh built the first Catholic Church in Utah, dedicating it to St. Mary Magdalene. Father (later Bishop) Lawrence Scanlan arrived in 1873 to become pastor. He took care of the Catholic military men, immigrant miners and railroad workers who numbered in the hundreds. Small churches, schools, an orphanage and a hospital were built, staffed by clergy and by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, to serve the growing Catholic population. As the nineteenth century came to a close, the Catholic community in Salt Lake City was rapidly outgrowing the small church of St. Mary Magdalene. The Church in Utah became an Apostolic Vicariate in 1887, and a Diocese in 1891. Bishop Lawrence Scanlan was the first Catholic bishop of Utah. Ground was broken for the new church in 1899. Construction for the Cathedral of the Madeleine would last nearly a decade, costing a small fortune for the estimated 3,000 Catholics in Utah at the turn of the century. Assistance was obtained from Catholic Mission Societies.

List of Bishops

  1. Lawrence Scanlan † (November 23, 1886 - May 10, 1915 deceased)
  2. Joseph Sarsfield Glass † (June 1, 1915 - January 26, 1926 deceased)
  3. John Joseph Mitty † (June 21, 1926 - January 29, 1932 appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco)
  4. James Edward Kearney † (July 1, 1932 - July 31, 1937 appointed Bishop of theRoman Catholic Diocese of Rochester)
  5. Duane Garrison Hunt † (August 6, 1937 - March 31, 1960 deceased)
  6. Joseph Lennox Federal † (March 31, 1960 - April 22, 1980 retired)
  7. William Kenneth Weigand (September 9, 1980 - November 30, 1993 appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento)
  8. George Hugh Niederauer (November 3, 1994 - December 15, 2005 appointed Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco)
  9. John Charles Wester from January 8, 2007

High schools


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