Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

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Diocese of Brooklyn

Diœcesis Bruklyniensis
James Cathedral north jeh.jpg
Cathedral Basilica of St. James
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.svg
Coat of arms
Flag of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.svg
Country  United States
Territory Brooklyn and Queens
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of New York
Headquarters310 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, New York, 11215
Area179 sq mi (460 km2)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of July 2017)
Denomination Catholic
Sui iuris church Roman Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
EstablishedJuly 29, 1853
Cathedral Cathedral Basilica of St. James
Co-cathedral Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph
Secular priests472
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio
Metropolitan Archbishop Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Auxiliary Bishops Paul Robert Sanchez
Raymond Francis Chappetto
James Massa
Witold Mroziewski
Neil Edward Tiedemann
Bishops emeritus Guy Sansaricq (Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus)
Octavio Cisneros (Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus)
Diocese of Brooklyn map 1.png
Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is a Latin Rite diocese of the Catholic Church in the U.S. state of New York. It is headquartered in Brooklyn and its territory encompasses the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. It is a suffragan diocese of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. The diocesan cathedral is the Cathedral Basilica of St. James in Downtown Brooklyn and its co-cathedral is the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights. The current diocesan bishop is Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio.

Brooklyn is one of the few dioceses in the United States that is made up of 100% urban territory. [1]

The Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, presides from both the Cathedral Basilica of St. James and the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph. This atypical arrangement was required due to the small size of the Cathedral Basilica of St. James. St. Joseph's Church was designated as a Co-Cathedral for the Diocese of Brooklyn on February 14, 2013, by Pope Benedict XVI after Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio petitioned the Vatican.


The diocese was established in 1853 out of the territory of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, at a time when Brooklyn was still a separate city from New York City. It originally included all of Long Island, but its present-day territory was established in 1957 when Nassau and Suffolk counties were split to form the Diocese of Rockville Centre. [2]

The opening of the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1801 drew a number of immigrants, largely Catholics from Northern Ireland, especially from Derry and Donegal. They would cross the East River to attend services at St. Peter's Church on Barclay Street. Periodically, Rev. John Power or others would come to celebrate Mass at the home of William Purcell or at Dempsey's Blooming Grove Garden on Fulton St. The Church of St. James was erected in 1822. In July, 1841, Father Johann Stephen Raffeiner, from the Tyrol, began the German parish of the Most Holy Trinity on a part of the farm of the old Dutch Meserole family in the Bushwick section. Holy Cross Cemetery was opened in 1849. In 1853, Archbishop John Hughes appointed his vicar-general, Irish-born John Loughlin, former pastor of St. Patrick's on Mulberry St. as bishop of the new diocese. Loughlin chose St. James as his cathedral. [3]

During his episcopate, Loughlin founded 120 parishes. Plans to build the larger Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception were deferred in favor of orphanages, schools, and hospitals. He was succeeded in 1892, by Bishop Charles Edward McDonnell, former chancellor of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn served at that time 250,000 Catholics. With the increase in the number of immigrants of various nationalities, McDonnell founded a number of national churches which ministered to parishioners in their own language. To this end, he invited several religious institutes into the diocese, including the Redemptorists, Benedictines, Franciscans (including the Minor Conventuals and Capuchins), Jesuits, Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Daughters of Wisdom, and Sisters of the Holy Infant Jesus. [4] He also built three hospitals. Camp Wycoff and Camp Black, set up during the Spanish–American War were attended by local clergy.

Thomas Edmund Molloy was named the third Bishop of Brooklyn on November 21, 1921. In 1930 Bishop Molloy established the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre was split off from Brooklyn April 6, 1957. Ten days later, Bryan Joseph McEntegart became the next Bishop of Brooklyn. He built six high schools, Cathedral Preparatory Seminary, and a hospital. He improved outreach to the growing Hispanic population, he sent priests and religious to study Spanish language and culture. Bishop Francis Mugavero experience as former head Brooklyn's Catholic Charities was reflected in his episcopate. In 1971, Mugavero established the Catholic Migration Office to serve the needs of immigrants and refugees living in Brooklyn and Queens. The Nehemiah project produced affordable housing in Brownsville.

In September 2018, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn agreed to a record $27.5 million settlement for sex abuse allegations. [5] On February 15, 2019, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens made public a list of 108 clergy who were "credibly accused" of committing sexual abuse, [6] [7] [8] some of whom have also been convicted for their crimes. [9] [8] Along with the list, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio also issued a letter of apology, asking for forgiveness. [10] In June 2020, the FBI arrested Rev. Francis Hughes, a priest serving in Queens, on child pornography charges and sex-related charges involving underage minors. [11] Hughes, who was also caught sharing explicit texts and photos with an underage 15 year old boy, admitted to having a sexual encounter with a teen boy on school grounds in Queens and also making numerous previous attempts to meet other teens for sex. [11]



The lists of the bishops and auxiliary bishops of the diocese and their years of service, followed by other priests of the diocese who became bishops:

Bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn

  1. John Loughlin (1853–1891)
  2. Charles Edward McDonnell (1892–1921)
  3. Thomas Edmund Molloy (1922–1956), elevated to Archbishop (ad personam) in 1951
  4. Bryan Joseph McEntegart (1957–1968), elevated to Archbishop (ad personam) in 1966
  5. Francis Mugavero (1968–1990)
  6. Thomas Vose Daily (1990–2003)
  7. Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio (2003–present)

Current auxiliary bishops

Former auxiliary bishops

Other priests of the diocese who became bishops

Priests "equivalent to diocesan bishops" affiliated with this diocese

  • Father Leo Joseph White, Apostolic Prefect of Garissa, Kenya, 1976-1984 - incardinated in 1990.


The sitting bishop is also the true principal of the diocese's pre-seminary high school, Cathedral Preparatory Seminary. As of March 2009, Cathedral Preparatory Seminary is the only full-time high school seminary in the nation[ citation needed]. Three Diocesan and/or parish high schools are under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens[ citation needed]. As of 2019, only 36 Diocese of Brooklyn schools were still not scheduled to close, compared to the 102 which were operational in the 1980s. [12] Between the mid-2000s and 2019, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn permanently closed 45 of its schools. [12]

High schools

There are three diocesan and/or parish high schools under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. While the Catholic high schools below may geographically lie within the diocese, most are run independently of it. [13]



Elementary schools

Queen of All Saints School, Fort Greene

There were 116dDiocesan and parish elementary schools in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. In March 2009. In the fall of 2009, a new free tuition school called the Pope John Paul II Family Academy [14] opened [15] at St. Barbara's School in Bushwick, Brooklyn..png In 2019 two diocesan elementary schools– Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Academy in Bensonhurst, and Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Academy in Mill Basin - permanently closed, and two Bushwick schools, St Brigid and St. Frances Cabrini, merged. [12]


  • Bay Ridge Catholic Academy
  • Blessed Sacrament Catholic Academy - Brooklyn
  • Brooklyn Jesuit Prep
  • Good Shepherd Catholic Academy
  • Midwood Catholic Academy
  • Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy - Brooklyn
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy of Brooklyn
  • Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy
  • Saint Saviour Catholic Academy
  • Salve Regina Catholic Academy
  • St Catherine of Genoa ~ St Therese of Lisieux Catholic Academy
  • St. Athanasius Catholic Academy
  • St. Bernadette Catholic Academy
  • St. Bernard Catholic Academy
  • St. Brigid-St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Academy
  • St. Edmund Elementary School
  • St. Ephrem Catholic Academy
  • St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy - Brooklyn
  • St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy
  • St. Mark Catholic Academy
  • St. Patrick Catholic Academy
  • St. Peter Catholic Academy
  • St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy
  • Visitation Academy


  • Divine Mercy Catholic Academy
  • Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy
  • Holy Child Jesus Catholic Academy
  • Holy Family Catholic Academy, Fresh Meadows
  • Immaculate Conception Catholic Academy - Astoria
  • Immaculate Conception Catholic Academy - Jamaica
  • Incarnation Catholic Academy
  • Notre Dame Catholic Academy
  • Our Lady of Fatima
  • Our Lady of Hope
  • Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy -S.O.P
  • Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Academy
  • Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy
  • Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Academy
  • Resurrection-Ascension Catholic Academy
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Academy - Bayside
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Academy - Cambria Heights
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Academy - Glendale
  • St. Adalbert Catholic Academy
  • St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy
  • St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy
  • Ss. Joachim and Anne
  • St. Andrew Avellino Catholic Academy
  • St. Bartholomew Catholic Academy
  • St. Clare Catholic Academy
  • St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy
  • St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy - Astoria
  • St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy - Bellerose
  • St. Helen Catholic Academy
  • St. Joan of Arc Catholic School
  • St. Joseph Catholic Academy
  • St. Kevin Catholic Academy
  • St. Leo Catholic Academy
  • St. Luke Catholic School
  • St. Margaret Catholic Academy
  • St. Matthias Catholic Academy
  • St. Mel Catholic Academy
  • St. Michael's Catholic Academy
  • St. Nicholas of Tolentine Catholic Academy
  • St. Rose of Lima Catholic Academy
  • St. Sebastian Catholic Academy
  • St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy of Queens


There are nine Catholic cemeteries serving the diocese; two in Brooklyn, five in Queens and three outside the diocese.



  • Saint John Cemetery
  • Mount St. Mary Cemetery
  • St. Monica Cemetery
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cemetery

Outside of the Diocese of Brooklyn

  • St. Charles / Resurrection Cemeteries
  • Trinity Cemetery
  • St. Mary Star of the Sea Cemetery



  1. ^ Coen, Joseph W.; McNamara, Patrick, J.; Vaccari, Peter I. Diocese of Immigrants: The Brooklyn Catholic Experience 1853-2003, Éditions du Signe, 2004. ISBN  2-7468-0912-5. p. 120
  2. ^ Who We Are," Diocese of Rockville Centre website (accessed 2009-November–02).
  3. ^ "The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X. V. 1-3 ..." Catholic editing Company. Jul 1, 1914. Retrieved Jul 1, 2020 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Meehan, Thomas. "Diocese of Brooklyn." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 30 August 2019 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ "Diocese of Brooklyn reaches record $27.5M settlement with four victims of abuse by former lay educator". NBC News. Retrieved Jul 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis Response". Retrieved Jul 1, 2020.
  7. ^ "Brooklyn Diocese lists names of 108 clergy accused of sexually abusing minors". WPIX. Feb 15, 2019. Retrieved Jul 1, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "List of Diocesan Clergy for whom the Diocese received allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor". Retrieved Jul 1, 2020.
  9. ^ "Database of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse". Retrieved Jul 1, 2020.
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ a b c McGibney, Megan (Jun 21, 2019). "With Schools Closing, Is Catholic Education Disappearing in Brooklyn?". Retrieved Jul 1, 2020.
  13. ^ "Catholic High Schools". Diocese of Brooklyn website. Archived from the original on May 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  14. ^ NY Daily News (2009-02-27). "Rich donor aids new Catholic school for poor fams". Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  15. ^ Pope John Paul II Family Academy official site

External links

Latitude and Longitude:

40°41′49″N 73°59′11″W / 40.69694°N 73.98639°W / 40.69694; -73.98639