Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

The Diocese of Brooklyn is a 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 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.

Diocese of Brooklyn

Dioecesis Bruklyniensis et Reginae
Cathedral Basilica of St. James
Coat of arms
CountryUnited States
TerritoryBrooklyn and Queens
Ecclesiastical provinceArchdiocese of New York
Metropolitan310 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, New York, 11215
Area179 sq mi (460 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of July 2017)
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedJuly 29, 1853
CathedralCathedral Basilica of St. James
Co-cathedralCo-Cathedral of St. Joseph
Secular priests472
Current leadership
BishopNicholas Anthony DiMarzio
Metropolitan ArchbishopTimothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Auxiliary BishopsOctavio Cisneros
Paul Robert Sanchez
Raymond Francis Chappetto
James Massa
Witold Mroziewski
Neil Edward Tiedemann

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 and Queens, Bishop Anthony 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 and Queens 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 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 Archdiocese of New York. The 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 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 improve 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 Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens agreed to a record $27.5 million settlement for sex abuse allegations.[5] On February 15, 2019, the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens made public a list of 108 clergy who were "credibly accused" of committing [6][7][8] some of whom have also been convicted for there crimes.[9][8] Along with the list, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio also issued a letter of apology, asking for forgiveness.[10]


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 and Queens

  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)

Auxiliary Bishops



Other priests of the diocese who became bishops

(Leo Joseph White, prefect of Garissa, Kenya, 1976-1984, was incardinated in this diocese 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. Three Diocesan and/or parish high schools are under the auspices of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens.

High schools

There are three Diocesan and/or parish high schools under the auspices of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens. While the Catholic high schools below may geographically lie within the diocese, most are run independently of it. [11]



Elementary schools

There were 116 Diocesan and parish elementary schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens including Saint Patrick Catholic Academy located at 9707 4th Ave NewYork. In March 2009. In the fall of 2009, a new free tuition school called the Pope John Paul II Family Academy [12] opened [13] at St. Barbara's School in Bushwick, Brooklyn.


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



  • 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. Lafort, Remigius. "The Diocese of Brooklyn", The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X, Vol. 3: (New York City: The Catholic Editing Company, 1914), p.525 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  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. "Brooklyn diocese reaches record 27.5M settlement with four victims of abuse by lay educator", NBC News
  6. "Clergy Sexx Abuse Response", diocese of Brooklyn
  11. "Catholic High Schools". Diocese of Brooklyn website. Archived from the original on May 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  12. NY Daily News (2009-02-27). "Rich donor aids new Catholic school for poor fams". Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  13. Pope John Pall II Family Academy official site

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