Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis
Archdiocese of Saint Louis
Archidioecesis Sancti Ludovici
|Area||5,968 sq mi (15,460 km2)|
|(as of 2015)|
|Established||July 18, 1826 (192 years ago)|
The Archdiocese of St. Louis (
It is currently led by
The first parish of Saint Louis was established in 1770 and it was incorporated into the Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas when it was erected on April 25, 1793. The diocese originally encompassed the entire Louisiana Purchase, from the Gulf of Mexico to British North America, as well as the Florida peninsula and the Gulf Coast. The date of its establishment makes it the second-oldest diocese in the present-day United States: the Diocese of Baltimore was established on November 6, 1789. At the time of its establishment, the territory of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas was part of the Archdiocese of San Cristobal de la Habana, based in Havana, Cuba. The diocese was divided into smaller dioceses several times, and many modern dioceses in the central United States were originally part of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas. The city of Saint Louis was sold to the United States in 1803. The area's first bishop was
Its first bishop,
On July 28, 1837, territory in Iowa, Minnesota, and the Dakotas was taken from the Diocese to form the
Until 1840, the "Old Cathedral" was the only church in the city. By 1850, there were 10: Cathedral of St. Louis, St. Mary of Victories, St. Francis Xavier, St. Patrick, St. Joseph, St. Vincent de Paul, St. John the Apostle, Sts. Peter and Paul, Holy Trinity, and St. Michael.
The St. Louis Diocese was elevated to an Archdiocese on July 20, 1847, by
Because of its strong Catholic identity and having been the mother diocese of many dioceses in the midwest, the archdiocese was often referred to as "the Rome of the west". It is dedicated to
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis contains the largest collection of mosaics in the world and is one of St. Louis' most impressive architectural treasures. The Cathedral of St. Louis was dedicated in 1926 on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of St. Louis as a diocese. An imposing structure – solid, permanent, huge – the building's richly colored interior mosaics are a visual prayer. Built under the direction of Archbishop John Glennon – the last Irish-born Bishop of St. Louis – and completed under the leadership of Archbishop John May, every impressive inch of the Cathedral is used to tell the story of salvation and the history of the Catholic faith lived in St. Louis. Work on the Cathedral mosaics would not be completed for 60 years. The Cathedral of St. Louis was designated a "Basilica" in 1997 on the 150th anniversary of the archdiocese.
St. Louis Preparatory Seminary in the countryside which is now the St. Louis suburb of Shrewsbury was completed in 1931. Later it became Cardinal Glennon College and in 2015 it is home to 125+ from St. Louis and other dioceses all over the world. Today it is called Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.
In January 1999, the archdiocese was host to a two-day visit from