Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Diocese of Rochester
Dioecesis Roffensis
Country United States
Territory Counties of Monroe, Cayuga, Livingston, Wayne, Tioga, Tompkins, Ontario, Seneca, Schuyler, Yates, Steuben and Chemung, New York
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of New York
Metropolitan 1150 Buffalo Road
Rochester, New York
Area 8,772 sq mi (22,720 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2014)
350,000 (23%%)
Parishes 106
Churches 172
Congregations 172
Schools 27
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established March 3, 1868
Cathedral Sacred Heart Cathedral
Patron saint St. John Fisher
Secular priests 251
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Salvatore Ronald Matano
Metropolitan Archbishop Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Vicar General Very Rev. Paul J. Tomasso
Emeritus Bishops Matthew H. Clark
Sacred Heart Cathedral

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester is a diocese of the Catholic Church in the Greater Rochester region of New York State in the United States. The region that the Diocese comprises extends from its northern border on the south shore of Lake Ontario through the Finger Lakes region to its southern border at the New York-Pennsylvania border.

The Diocese of Rochester comprises 12 counties in New York, with approximately 350,000 Catholics and over 125 faith communities (parishes and chapels), 22 diocesan elementary schools and 7 independent parochial high schools. The metropolitan for the diocese is the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, currently Timothy Cardinal Dolan. The cathedral parish for the diocese is Sacred Heart Cathedral.


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester began on March 3, 1868, when Pope Pius IX entrusted eight counties (Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, Cayuga, Yates, and Tompkins) within the Diocese of Buffalo to Bernard J. McQuaid, the first bishop of Rochester. The new diocese had about 54,500 Catholics in 35 parish churches and 29 mission churches.

In 1896, the counties of Schuyler, Tioga, Chemung, and Steuben were added to the Diocese of Rochester from the Diocese of Buffalo, forming the current boundaries.

The diocese grew as Catholic immigrants came to western New York, peaking in the 1960s. Since then, the Catholic population has stabilized while the numbers of ordained presbyters (priests) and women religious (sisters) has fallen.[1]


The following are lists of ordinaries and their years of service:


  1. Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid (1868 - 1909) Died
  2. Bishop Thomas Francis Hickey (1909 - 1928) Resigned and was appointed titular Archbishop
  3. Bishop John Francis O'Hern (1929 - 1933) Died
  4. Bishop Edward Mooney (1933 - 1937) Appointed Archbishop of Detroit; Cardinal in 1946
  5. Bishop James E. Kearney (1937 - 1966) Retired
  6. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (1966 - 1969) Retired and appointed titular Archbishop of Newport, Wales
  7. Bishop Joseph Lloyd Hogan (1969 - 1978) Retired due to health
  8. Bishop Matthew H. Clark (1979 - 2012) Retired at age 75
  9. Bishop Salvatore Ronald Matano (2014–present)

Coadjutor Bishop

  1. Bishop Thomas Francis Hickey (1905 - 1909) Succeeded to see

Auxiliary Bishops

  1. Bishop Lawrence B. Casey (1953 - 1966)
  2. Bishop John Edgar McCafferty (1968 - 1980)
  3. Bishop Dennis Walter Hickey (1968 - 1990)


Superintendents of the Monroe County Catholic School System
Name Tenure
Sr. Roberta Tierney, SSND[2] 1976 – 1978
Br. Brian Walsh, CFC[3] July 1986 – 1 July 1991
Sr. Mary Ann Binsack, RSM[4] 1991 – 1992
Timothy W. Dwyer[4] 1992 – 2001
Sr. Elizabeth Meegan, OP[5] 2001 – 2006
Sr. Elaine Poitras, CSC[5] 2006 – January 2008
Sr. Janice Morgan, CSJ[6] January 2008 – August 2008
Anne Willkens Leach August 2008 – July 2013
Anthony S. Cook III[7] 1 July 2013 – present

Primary schools

School Parish Location Established Grades
All Saints Academy St. Mary Corning, Steuben County Pre-K through Grade 8
Holy Cross School Holy Cross Rochester, Monroe County 2011 Pre-K through Grade 6
Holy Family Primary School St. Mary Elmira, Chemung County Pre-K through Grade 6
Immaculate Conception School Immaculate Conception Ithaca, Tompkins County 1884 Pre-K through Grade 5
St. Agnes School St. Agnes Avon, Livingston County 1878 Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Francis de Sales - St. Stephen School Our Lady of Peace Geneva, Ontario County Pre-K through Grade 8
St. John Neumann School St. John the Evangelist Irondequoit, Monroe County Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Joseph Elementary School St. Joseph Auburn, Cayuga County Pre-K through Grade 5
St. Joseph School St. Joseph Penfield, Monroe County 1960 Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Kateri School Christ the King Irondequoit, Monroe County Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Lawrence School St. Lawrence Greece, Monroe County Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Louis School St. Louis Pittsford, Monroe County Pre-School through Grade 6
St. Mary School St. Mary Canandaigua, Ontario County 1849 K through Grade 8
St. Mary Our Mother School St. Mary Our Mother Horseheads, Chemung County Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Michael School St. Michael Penn Yan, Yates County 1882 Pre-K through Grade 5
St. Patrick School St. Patrick Owego, Tioga County Pre-K through Grade 5
St. Pius X School St. Pius X Chili, Monroe County 1954 Pre-K through Grade 6
St. Rita School St. Rita Webster, Monroe County 1957 K through Grade 6
Seton Catholic School Our Lady of Lourdes/St. Anne Brighton, Monroe County 1948 Pre-K through Grade 6
Siena Catholic Academy St. Thomas More Brighton, Monroe County 1993 Grade 7 and 8
Ss. Peter and Paul School Ss. Peter and Paul Auburn, Cayuga County 1941 K through Grade 8

Former primary schools

Over the years, as Catholic populations moved to the suburbs, the Diocese has closed parishes and their schools. These include the former Holy Apostles, Holy Redeemer, Holy Rosary, Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Victory, Sacred Heart, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Augustine, St. Casimir, St. Francis Xavier, St. Helen, St. John the Evangelist, St. Joseph, St. Lucy, St. Mary, St. Michael, St. Patrick, Ss. Peter and Paul, St. Stanislaus, and St. Theresa.

In 2008, facing growing deficits and declining enrollments, the Diocese closed the following schools:[9]

High schools

There remain five traditionally Catholic high schools (or combined junior/senior high schools) in the diocese. These schools were founded by various Roman Catholic religious orders and operate independently of the diocese itself.

School Founding Religious Order Location Established Grades
Aquinas Institute Basilian Rochester, Monroe County 1902 Grades 6 through 12
Bishop Kearney High School Christian Brothers, Sisters of Notre Dame Irondequoit, Monroe County 1962 Grades 7 through 12
McQuaid Jesuit High School Jesuits Brighton, Monroe County 1954 Grades 6 through 12
Notre Dame High School Sisters of Mercy Elmira, Chemung County 1955 Grades 7 through 12
Our Lady of Mercy High School Sisters of Mercy Brighton, Monroe County 1928 Grades 6 through 12

Former high schools

Former seminaries

Former liberal arts colleges

Former charitable institutions


This is a list of the counties in New York State that fall into the Diocese of Rochester:



  1. Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester - Diocesan History
  2. "Sr. Roberta Tierney; directed education - Catholic Courier". Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  3. "New schools head brings fresh ideas - Catholic Courier". Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  4. 1 2 Cullivan, Rob (May 28, 1992). "Schools superintendent to stress long view" (PDF). Catholic Courier. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  5. 1 2 "New schools head brings fresh ideas - Catholic Courier". Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  6. "DOR Catholic: Update on Sister Janice Morgan". DOR Catholic. 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  8. "Discover Our Schools". Catholic Schools Diocese of Rochester. Rochester, New York: Diocese of Rochester. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
  9. "As Bishop Announces Closures, Catholic High Schools Plan to Expand", Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, 2008-01-19, ISSN 1088-5153, archived from the original on 2008, retrieved 2013-01-02
  10. "The History of St. Joseph's Villa". Organization website. Rochester, New York: St. Joseph's Villa. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-02.

Coordinates: 43°09′56″N 77°36′41″W / 43.16556°N 77.61139°W / 43.16556; -77.61139

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