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Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston: Wikis


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Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Archidioecesis Galvestoniensis Houstoniensis
St Mary's Cathedral Basilica, Galveston.jpg

St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica, mother church of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Basic information
Location Southeastern Texas, United States
Territory Counties of Galveston, Harris, Austin, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Grimes, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker, and Waller
Population 1,045,030 Catholics[1]
Rite Roman Rite
Patron Mary, the Immaculate Conception
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Established May 4, 1847[2]
Cathedral St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica [2]
Co-cathedral Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
Bishop Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Current leadership
Pope Benedict XVI
Metropolitan Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
Diocesan Bishop Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
Auxiliary bishops Most Rev. Joe S. Vasquez
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas.jpg

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston (Latin: Archidioecesis Galvestoniensis Houstoniensis) encompasses 8,880 square miles (23,000 km2) of ten counties in the southeastern area of Texas: Galveston; Harris; Austin; Brazoria; Fort Bend; Grimes; Montgomery; San Jacinto; Walker; and Waller.

The Archdiocese's cathedral church is St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica in Galveston[2] with a co-cathedral, the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, located in Houston.



The archdiocesan history began with the erection of the prefecture apostolic of Texas in 1839, thus making Galveston the "Mother Church of Texas". The prefecture was elevated to a vicariate apostolic on July 10, 1841. On May 4, 1847, the vicariate became the Diocese of Galveston in the Province of New Orleans and St. Mary's Church was designated Cathedral.[3]

In 1926 the diocese was placed in the newly created Province of San Antonio.

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 had devastated the city of Galveston. After the hurricane, the city of Houston began to expand after the Port of Houston was completed. At the request of the Most Reverend Wendelin J. Nold, fifth bishop of Galveston, Pope John XXIII permitted the construction of co-cathedral of convenience in Houston and on July 25, 1959, the name of the diocese was changed to Galveston-Houston. Sacred Heart, a parish church located in downtown Houston, was named the co-cathedral of the diocese. This change made Houston an Episcopal See city as well, and permitted full episcopal ceremonies to be held in both Galveston and Houston.[4]

Twenty years later, in 1979, Pope John Paul II recognized the importance the diocese's cathedral played in the development of Texas and the western United States, and elevated the status of St. Mary's Cathedral by naming it a minor basilica.[4]

By the end of the 20th Century, the diocese had become one of the largest in the United States with its episcopal see cities becoming internationally important. Recognizing this, in December, 2004, Pope John Paul II created the new Ecclesiastical Province of Galveston-Houston and elevated the See of Galveston-Houston to a Metropolitan See. Bishop Joseph Fiorenza, who had led the diocese for 20 years, became the first Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, and Bishop Daniel DiNardo became Coadjutor Archbishop.[5]

The suffragans of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston include the dioceses of: Austin; Beaumont; Brownsville; Corpus Christi; Tyler; and Victoria in Texas.

Within the archdiocese, many famous landmarks are contained. Most prominent is St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica, the motherchurch of Texas, and one of the few buildings and only church to survive the 1900 Galveston Storm. Other landmarks include the 1887 Bishop's Palace, the former 1912 Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral, and Annunciation Church, one of the oldest churches in Texas.[6]


The current Archbishop of Galveston-Houston is Daniel Cardinal DiNardo. He became archbishop on February 28, 2006, upon Pope Benedict XVI's acceptance of Joseph Fiorenza's retirement.

On October 17, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI designated Archbishop DiNardo a cardinal. He was elevated at a consistory ceremony in Rome on November 24, 2007, becoming the first cardinal representing a diocese from the American South.

There is one auxiliary bishop, the Most Rev. Joe S. Vasquez, who serves as chancellor.

Here is a complete list of all ordinaries of the see:

  • Prefecture Apostolic of Texas
  • Vicariate Apostolic of Texas
  • Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston (elevated to archdiocese in 2004)

Coat of arms

Coat of Arms as displayed on St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica

The coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston are composed of a blue fielded shield on which is displayed a scattering of silver and white roses and topped with a helm in the form of a golden bishop's mitre.

The roses are used to represent the Blessed Virgin Mary, in her title of the Mystical Rose, titular of the Cathedral-Basilica in the See City of Galveston. The red cross stands for The Faith, with a square center that contains a single silver star to represent Texas, the “Lone Star State."[7]


About 1.3 million Catholics live within archdiocesan boundaries, making the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston the largest in the state of Texas and the eleventh largest in the United States. Catholics make up about 21.4% of the total population. There are about 447 priests, 200 diocesan, 206 religious, and 33 other, which means there are about 2,297 Catholics per priest. the archdiocese has about 378 permanent deacons. All these clergy serve about 150 parishes. [1]


The front entrance to the Saint Agnes Academy campus

See: List of schools in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Historical structures

Province of Galveston-Houston

See List of the Catholic bishops of the United States

See also


External links



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