Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

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Archdiocese of St.Paul and Minneapolis

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (Latin: Archidioecesis Pauloplitana et Minneapolitana) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. It is led by the prelature of an archbishop which administers the archdiocese from the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The archbishop is concurrently pastor of the mother church, the Cathedral of Saint Paul in the city of Saint Paul, and its co-cathedral, the Basilica of Saint Mary in the city of Minneapolis. Its official newspaper is The Catholic Spirit.

The archdiocese has 222 parish churches in twelve counties of Minnesota. It counts in its membership an approximate total of 750,000 people. It has two seminaries, the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity and Saint John Vianney College Seminary.


Prior to the founding of the diocese, the territory that made up the diocese at the time of its founding was under the jurisdiction of a number of different Catholic prelates. Most of these were purely academic as there was no Catholic presence in the area. Among the more notable of these was the Archdiocese of Saint Louis and the Dubuque Diocese. During this later period the church first came into the area with the arrival of missionaries and European settlers.

The original see was canonically erected by Pope Pius IX on July 19, 1850 as the Diocese of Saint Paul of Minnesota. The Diocese's territory was taken from the Dubuque diocese, and its authority spread over all of Minnesota Territory, which consisted of the area which now composes the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, which consist the modern archdiocese's ecclesiastical province. The Diocese was originally erected as a suffragan see of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. Its first Ordinary was Bishop Joseph Crétin, whose name, along with that of another notable early bishop, John Ireland, has since become embedded into the culture of the region. In February, 1875 it was transferred from the ecclesiastical province of St. Louis to that of Milwaukee. Pope Leo XIII elevated the see to the rank of archdiocese on May 4, 1888 and its name was changed to reflect this. Pope Paul VI once again instituted a name change for the see on July 11, 1966. Reflecting the growth of the Roman Catholic Church in the region, it became the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the name it retains today. The present diocesan bishop of the Archdiocese is His Excellency, the Most Reverend Archbishop John Nienstedt, who succeeded to the post on the retirement of his predecessor, Archbishop Harry Flynn, on May 2, 2008.



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