Roman Catholicism in the United States

Roman Catholicism in the United States

Overview

The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

 with the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States
Christianity in the United States
Christianity is the largest and most popular religion in the United States, with around 77% of those polled identifying themselves as Christian, as of 2009. This is down from 86% in 1990, and slightly lower than 78.6% in 2001. About 62% of those polled claim to be members of a church congregation...

, comprising about 22 percent of the population. According to a new 2011 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, "The US Catholic population is currently 77.7 million." The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 has the fourth largest Catholic population in the world, after Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Catholicism arrived in what is now the United States during the earliest days of the European colonization of the Americas
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

.
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The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

 with the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States
Christianity in the United States
Christianity is the largest and most popular religion in the United States, with around 77% of those polled identifying themselves as Christian, as of 2009. This is down from 86% in 1990, and slightly lower than 78.6% in 2001. About 62% of those polled claim to be members of a church congregation...

, comprising about 22 percent of the population. According to a new 2011 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, "The US Catholic population is currently 77.7 million." The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 has the fourth largest Catholic population in the world, after Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Catholicism arrived in what is now the United States during the earliest days of the European colonization of the Americas
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

. The first Catholic missionaries were Spanish
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

, having come with Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 to the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 on his second voyage in 1493. They established missions in what are now Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. French colonization
French colonization of the Americas
The French colonization of the Americas began in the 16th century, and continued in the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America...

 came later, in the early 18th century, with the French establishing missions in the Louisiana Territory
Louisiana Territory
The Territory of Louisiana or Louisiana Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1805 until June 4, 1812, when it was renamed to Missouri Territory...

 districts: St. Louis, New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, the Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

s, Natchez
Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez is the county seat of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. With a total population of 18,464 , it is the largest community and the only incorporated municipality within Adams County...

, Yazoo
Yazoo lands
The Yazoo lands were the sparsely-populated central and western areas of the U.S. state of Georgia, when its western border stretched back to the Mississippi River. It was named for the Yazoo tribe of Native Americans. Several other places and things were named Yazoo, either for or along with the...

, Natchitoches
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Natchitoches is a city in and the parish seat of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, the community was named after the Natchitoches Indian tribe. The City of Natchitoches was first incorporated on February...

, Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, and Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

.

The number of Catholics has grown during the country's history, at first slowly in the early 19th century through some immigration and through the acquisition of territories (formerly possessions of France, Spain, and Mexico) with predominately Catholic populations. In the mid-19th century, a rapid influx of Irish and German immigrants made Catholicism the largest religion in the United States. This increase of Catholics was met by widespread prejudice and hostility, often resulting in riots and the burning of churches. Many Protestants believed that the United States was a Protestant nation and the influx of Catholics threatened its purity and mission, even its very existence. The nativist Know Nothing party was first founded in the early 19th century in an attempt to restrict Catholic immigration.

Beginning in the late 20th century, the large numbers of newly arrived legal and illegal Hispanic immigrants
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 maintained the Catholic Church at its current percentage in America.

Organization


The Catholic Church has the third highest total number of individual parishes in the US, behind Southern Baptists
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

 and United Methodists
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

. However, because the average Catholic parish is significantly larger than the average church from those denominations, there are more than four times as many Catholics as Southern Baptists and more than eight times as many as United Methodists.
In the United States, there are 195 archdioceses/dioceses and one 1 apostolic exarchate:
  • 145 Latin Catholic dioceses
  • 33 Latin Catholic archdioceses
  • 15 Eastern Catholic dioceses
  • 2 Eastern Catholic archdioceses
  • 1 apostolic exarchate for Syro-Malankara Catholic Church


Currently, 9 dioceses are vacant (sede vacante):
  • Baker, Oregon
  • Baltimore
  • Denver
  • Fresno, California
  • Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida
  • Pittsburgh (Ruthenian)
  • Salina, Kansas
  • Steubenville, Ohio
  • Tyler, Texas


There are several dioceses in the nation's other four overseas territories. In Puerto Rico, the bishops in the six dioceses (one metropolitan archdiocese and five suffragan dioceses) form their own episcopal conference, the Conferencia Episcopal Puertorriqueña. The bishops in US insular areas in the Pacific Ocean—the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Territory of American Samoa, and the Territory of Guam—are members of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific.

, five dioceses out of 195 are vacant (sede vacante
Sede vacante
Sede vacante is an expression, used in the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, that refers to the vacancy of the episcopal see of a particular church...

). Another 14 bishops, including two cardinals, are past the retirement age of 75.

The central leadership body of the Catholic Church in the United States is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, made up of the hierarchy of bishop
Bishop (Catholic Church)
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders and is responsible for teaching the Catholic faith and ruling the Church....

s (including archbishop
Archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

s) of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands, although each bishop is independent in his own diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

, answerable only to the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

. The USCCB elects a president to serve as their administrative head, but he is in no way the 'head' of the Church or of Catholics in the United States (few Catholics could even name the USCCB president). In addition to the 195 dioceses and one exarchate
Syro-Malankara Catholic Exarchate in the United States
The Syro-Malankara Catholic Exarchate in the United States is an apostolic exarchate for Syro-Malankara Catholics in the United States of America....

 represented in the USCCB, there are several dioceses in the nation's other four overseas dependencies. In the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the bishops in the six dioceses (one metropolitan
Metropolitan bishop
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.Before the establishment of...

 archdiocese and five suffragan dioceses) form their own episcopal conference
Episcopal Conference
In the Roman Catholic Church, an Episcopal Conference, Conference of Bishops, or National Conference of Bishops is an official assembly of all the bishops of a given territory...

, the Conferencia Episcopal Puertorriqueña. The bishops in US insular area
Insular area
An insular area is a United States territory, that is neither a part of one of the fifty U.S. states nor the District of Columbia, the federal district of the United States...

s in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

—the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Territory of American Samoa, and the Territory of Guam—are members of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific.

No primate
Primate (religion)
Primate is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority or ceremonial precedence ....

 exists for Catholics in the United States. In the 1850s, the Archdiocese of Baltimore was acknowledged a Prerogative of Place, which confers to its archbishop some of the leadership responsibilities granted to primates in other countries. The Archdiocese of Baltimore was the first diocese established in the United States, in 1789, with John Carroll
John Carroll (bishop)
John Carroll, was the first Roman Catholic bishop and archbishop in the United States — serving as the ordinary of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He is also known as the founder of Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic university in the United States, and St...

 (1735–1815) as its first bishop. It was, for many years, the most influential diocese in the fledgling nation. Now, however, the United States has several large archdioceses and a number of cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

-archbishops.

By far, most Catholics in the United States belong to the Latin Church
Latin Church
The Latin Church is the largest particular church within the Catholic Church. It is a particular church not on the level of the local particular churches known as dioceses or eparchies, but on the level of autonomous ritual churches, of which there are 23, the remaining 22 of which are Eastern...

 and the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. Rite generally refers to the form of worship ("liturgical rite") in a church community owing to cultural and historical differences as well as differences in practice. However, the Vatican II document, Orientalium Ecclesiarum ("Of the Eastern Churches"), acknowledges that these Eastern Catholic communities are "true Churches" and not just rites within the Catholic Church. There are 14 other Churches in the United States (23 within the global Catholic Church) which are in communion with Rome, fully recognized and valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church. They have their own bishops and eparchies
Eparchy
Eparchy is an anglicized Greek word , authentically Latinized as eparchia and loosely translating as 'rule over something,' like province, prefecture, or territory, to have the jurisdiction over, it has specific meanings both in politics, history and in the hierarchy of the Eastern Christian...

. The largest of these communities in the U.S. is the Chaldean Catholic Church
Chaldean Catholic Church
The Chaldean Catholic Church , is an Eastern Syriac particular church of the Catholic Church, maintaining full communion with the Bishop of Rome and the rest of the Catholic Church...

. Most of these Churches are of Eastern European and Middle Eastern origin. Eastern Catholic Churches are distinguished from Eastern Orthodox, identifiable by their usage of the term Catholic.


Clergy, lay ministers and employees


The Church has over 41,406 diocesan and religious-order priests
Priesthood (Catholic Church)
The ministerial orders of the Catholic Church include the orders of bishops, deacons and presbyters, which in Latin is sacerdos. The ordained priesthood and common priesthood are different in function and essence....

 in the United States; over 30,000 lay ministers
Lay Ecclesial Ministry
Lay ecclesial ministry is the term adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to identify the relatively new category of pastoral ministers in the Catholic Church who serve the Church but are not ordained...

 (80 percent of them women); 17,000 men who are ordained as permanent deacons in the United States (a permanent deacon is a man, either married or single, who is ordained to the order of deacons, the first of three ranks in ordained ministry; they assist priests in administrative and pastoral roles); 63,032 sisters; 5,040 brothers
Brother (Catholic)
A religious brother is a member of a Roman Catholic religious order who commits himself to following Christ in consecrated life of the church by the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience. A layman , he usually lives in a religious community and works in a ministry that suits his talents and gifts...

; 16 US cardinals; 424 active and retired US bishops; and 5,029 seminarians enrolled in the United States.
Overall, it employs more than one million employees with an operating budget of nearly $100 billion to run parishes, diocesan primary and secondary schools, nursing homes, retreat centers, diocesan hospitals, and other charitable institutions. Catholic schools
Catholic schools in the United States
Catholic schools in the United States are accredited by independent and/or state agencies, and teachers are generally certified. Catholic schools are supported through tuition payments and fund raising.-Operation:...

 educate 2.7 million students in the United States, employing 150,000 teachers.

Leadership in the Church in the United States falls to its bishops. They are the shepherds of particular cities and their surrounding areas, called dioceses or sees. There is one non-territorial diocese in the United States for Catholics in the armed forces. There are approximately 430 bishops and archbishops who shepherd the nation's 195 dioceses and archdioceses. Each diocese is led by one bishop, known as its ordinary. Some dioceses (usually those that are larger) also have auxiliary bishops who help the ordinary. Some also have a retired bishop still in residence. It is possible for a diocese to be temporarily without a bishop (called a "vacant see") if the ordinary is transferred to a new diocese or dies without a named successor. Dioceses are grouped together geographically into provinces, usually within a state, part of a state, or multiple states together (see map below). A province comprises several dioceses which look to one ordinary bishop (usually of the most populous or historically influential diocese/city) for guidance and leadership. This lead bishop is their archbishop
Archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

 and his diocese is the archdiocese. The archbishop is called the 'metropolitan' bishop who oversees his brother 'suffragan' bishops. The subordinate dioceses are likewise called suffragan dioceses. There are currently 33 metropolitan archbishops in the United States. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops's website, there are 270 active Catholic bishops in the United States (5 Cardinal Archbishops, 1 Coadjutor Archbishop, 154 Diocesan Bishops, 73 Auxiliary Bishops, and 9 Apostolic or Diocesan Administrators) and there are 180 retired Catholic bishops in the United States (10 retired Cardinal Archbishops, 24 retired Archbishops, 94 retired Diocesan Bishops, 52 retired Auxiliary Bishops). Also according to the USCCB's website, there are 18 U.S. cardinals (four cardinals currently lead U.S. archdioceses, three cardinals are not currently diocesan bishops, and eleven cardinals are retired).

Some bishops are created Cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

s by the pope. These are usually conferred upon bishops of influential or significant dioceses - or upon bishops who have distinguished themselves in a particular area of service. , there are 19 American cardinals. Not all reside in the United States or are diocesan ordinaries. Four are sitting archbishops: of Boston, Chicago, Galveston-Houston, and Washington, DC. Eleven are retired archbishops ("emeritus"): of Baltimore, Denver, Detroit (two), Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia (two), San Juan, and Washington, DC (two). Three work in Rome with the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

, and one is retired from service in Rome without serving as a diocesan ordinary in the US.

Seminaries

See: List of Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States

Universities and colleges



According to the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, there are approximately 230 Roman Catholic universities and colleges in the United States with nearly 1 million students and some 65,000 professors. The national university of the Church, founded by the nation's bishops in 1887, is The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America is a private university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the only institution of higher education founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops...

 in Washington, DC.

Parochial schools



The Catholic parochial school system developed in the early-to-mid-19th century. Most states passed constitutional amendments, called Blaine Amendments, forbidding the use of tax money to fund parochial schools. In 2002, the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 partially vitiated these amendments, in theory, when they ruled that vouchers were constitutional if tax dollars followed a child to a school, even if it was religious. However, as of 2009, no state's school system has changed its laws to allow this.

Healthcare system


In 2002, Catholic health care systems, overseeing 625 hospitals with a combined revenue of 30 billion dollars, comprised the nation's largest group of nonprofit systems. In 2008, the cost of running these hospitals had risen to $84.6 billion, including the $5.7 billion they donate. According to the Catholic Health Association of the United States
Catholic Health Association of the United States
The Catholic Health Association of the United States was founded in 1915 as the Catholic Hospital Association of the United States and Canada. The association has offices in Washington, D.C. and St. Louis, Missouri....

, 60 health care systems, on average, admit one in six patients nationwide each year.

Catholic Charities


Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities is a network of charities whose aim is "to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire church and other people of good will to do the same." It is one of the largest charities in the United States...

 is active as one of the largest voluntary social service networks in the United States. In 2009, it welcomed in New Jersey the 50,000th refugee to come to the United States from Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar. Likewise, the US Bishops' Migration and Refugee Services has resettled 14,846 refugees from Burma since 2006. In 2010 Catholic Charities USA was one of only four charities among the top 400 charitable organizations to witness an increase in donations in 2009, according to a survey conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Catholic Church and Labor



The church had a role in shaping the U.S. labor movement, due to the involvement of priests like Charles Owen Rice
Charles Owen Rice
Monsignor Charles Owen Rice was a Roman Catholic priest and an American labor activist.He was born in Brooklyn, New York, USA to Irish immigrants...

 and John P. Boland. The activism of Msgr. Geno Baroni was instramental in creating The Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Catholic Campaign for Human Development
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the domestic antipoverty and social justice program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ....

.

Demographics


There are 68,503,456 registered Catholics in the United States (22% of the US population) according to the American Bishops' count in their Official Catholic Directory 2010. This count primarily rests on the parish assessment tax which pastors evaluate yearly according to the number of registered members and contributors. Estimates of the overall American Catholic population from recent years generally range around 20% to 28%. According to Albert J. Menedez, research director of "Americans for Religious Liberty," many Americans continue to call themselves Catholic but "do not register at local parishes for a variety of reasons." Based on Pew Research Center surveys conducted from January 2006 to September 2006, 25.2% of the American population claim to be followers of the Catholic Church (of a national population of 300 million residents). According to a new survey of 35,556 American residents (released in 2008 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life), 23.9% of Americans identify themselves as Catholic (approximately 72 million of a national population of 306 million residents). The study notes that 10% of those people who identify themselves as Protestant in the interview are former Catholics and 8% of those who identity themselves as Catholic are former Protestants. Nationally, more parishes have opened than closed.

The northeastern quadrant of the US (i.e., New England, Mid-Atlantic, East North Central, and West North Central) has seen a decline in the number of parishes since 1970, but parish numbers are up in the other five regions (i.e., South Atlantic, East South Central, West South Central, Pacific, and Mountain regions). Catholics in the US are about 6% of the church's total worldwide 1.1 billion membership.

A poll by The Barna Group in 2004 found Catholic ethnicity to be 60% non-Hispanic white (mostly Irish, Italian, German, Polish), 31% Hispanic
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 of any race, 4% Black
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

, and 5% other ethnicity (mostly Filipino
Filipino American
Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy",Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century...

s and other Asian American
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

s, and American Indians
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

).

Between 1990 and 2008, there were 11 million additional Catholics. The growth in the Latino population accounted for 9 million of these. They comprised 32% of all American Catholics in 2008 as opposed to 20% in 1990.

Catholicism by state

RankState%Largest
denomination
1 Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

63 Catholic
2 Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

53
3 Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

44
4 New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

39
5 California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

37
6 New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

36
7 New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

35
8 Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

34
9 Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

32
10 Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

31
11 Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

30
Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

14 Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

29 Catholic
15 Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

28
16 Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

26
New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

19 Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

25
Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

Lutheran
22 Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

24 Catholic
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

27 Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

23
Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

30 Washington 22
31 Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

20
Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

34 Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

18
35 Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

15 LDS
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

Catholic
Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

Baptist
38 Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

14
39 Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

13
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

41 Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

10 Methodist
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

Baptist
43 Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

9
Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

LDS
48 West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

8 Baptist
49 Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

7
50 Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

6

Politics



There has never been a Catholic religious party in the United States, either local, state or national, similar to Christian Democratic parties in Europe and Latin America. Since the election of the Catholic John F. Kennedy as President in 1960
United States presidential election, 1960
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

, Catholics have split about 50-50 between the two major parties. On social issues the Catholic Church takes strong positions against abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

, which was partly legalized in 1973 by the Supreme Court
Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade, , was a controversial landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. The Court decided that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion,...

, and same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

, which is currently legal in six states. The Church has allied with Protestant evangelicals on these issues.

Colonial era (1513–1776)



Catholicism first came to the territories now forming the Continental United States before the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 and Catholic Reformation with the Spanish explorers and settlers in present-day Florida (1513) and the southwest United States. The first Christian worship service held in the current United States in 1559 was a Catholic Mass celebrated in Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida, United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,255 and as of 2009, the estimated population was 53,752...

. (St. Michael records) Not long after that, the first permanent European colony was established at St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is a city in the northeast section of Florida and the county seat of St. Johns County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United...

, in 1565. The influence of the Spanish missions in California
Spanish missions in California
The Spanish missions in California comprise a series of religious and military outposts established by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order between 1769 and 1823 to spread the Christian faith among the local Native Americans. The missions represented the first major effort by Europeans to...

 (1769 and onwards), in Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 (1718) and New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 (1590) form a lasting memorial to part of this heritage. In the French territories, Catholicism was ushered in with the establishment of colonies, forts and missions in Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
Sault Ste. Marie is a city in and the county seat of Chippewa County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is in the north-eastern end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, on the Canadian border, separated from its twin city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, by the St. Marys River...

 (1668), Biloxi, Baton Rouge (1699), Detroit (1701), Mobile, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

 (1702), New Orleans (1718), and St. Louis (1763). As early as 1604, the French established a site in Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 on Saint Croix Island
Saint Croix Island, Maine
Saint Croix Island , long known to locals as Dochet Island, is a small uninhabited island in Maine near the mouth of the Saint Croix River that forms part of the International Boundary separating Maine from New Brunswick....

, but it was short-lived. Catholicism in the Spanish (East and West Florida) and French (eastern Louisiana/Quebec) colonies was undisturbed under later administration by Britain.

Thirteen original colonies


Anti-Catholicism was official government policy for the English who settled the colonies along the Atlantic seaboard.

Most English colonies had official established churches; none of which were Catholic. In fact, some English colonies had anti-Catholic laws and anti-Catholicism was rampant. Maryland was founded by Lord Baltimore as the first 'non-denominational' colony and was the first to tolerate Catholics. In 1650, the Puritans in the colony rebelled and repealed the Act of Toleration. Catholicism was outlawed and Catholic priests were hunted and exiled. By 1658, the rebellion had been suppressed and the Act of Toleration was reinstated.

English Catholics reintroduced Catholicism with the settling of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 (1634). This was a rare example of religious toleration in a fairly intolerant age. In 1649 the Maryland Toleration Act
Maryland Toleration Act
The Maryland Toleration Act, also known as the Act Concerning Religion, was a law mandating religious tolerance for trinitarian Christians. Passed on April 21, 1649 by the assembly of the Maryland colony, it was the second law requiring religious tolerance in the British North American colonies and...

 was enacted; it was repealed five years after passage, in 1654. There were no persecutions or executions of Catholics in the 13 colonies. In Maryland in 1690 Cecilius Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore came under attack for sponsoring Catholics and his failure to declare for William III and Mary II. Later, Baltimore was stripped of his political power (but not his property rights). The Calvinist and Anglican majority in Maryland assured Protestant control. By 1785, Catholics in the U.S. numbered 35,000 , less than two percent of the white population.

Florida, 1565


As noted above, the first permanent European Catholic settlement in what is now continental United States was St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is a city in the northeast section of Florida and the county seat of St. Johns County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United...

. Spain established it in 1565 to thwart the attempt by French Huguenots, under Jean Ribaut, to establish a colony near the mouth of the St. Johns River
St. Johns River
The St. Johns River is the longest river in the U.S. state of Florida and its most significant for commercial and recreational use. At long, it winds through or borders twelve counties, three of which are the state's largest. The drop in elevation from the headwaters to the mouth is less than ;...

. It also established it to support Spain's Treasure Fleets as they made their way through the Straits of Florida, a favorite place for French, Dutch, and English corsair
Corsair
Corsairs were privateers, authorized to conduct raids on shipping of a nation at war with France, on behalf of the French Crown. Seized vessels and cargo were sold at auction, with the corsair captain entitled to a portion of the proceeds...

s to lie in wait. Finally, the Spanish felt a moral imperative to convert the native Peoples to Christianity. After founding St. Augustine and destroying the fledgling Huguenot colony, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés was a Spanish admiral and explorer, best remembered for founding St. Augustine, Florida in 1565. This was the first successful Spanish foothold in La Florida and remained the most significant city in the region for several hundred years. St...

, prominent mariner, entrepreneur and head to the Spanish colony, proceeded to establish various forts around the coast of Florida, including one at Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is a large natural harbor and estuary along the Gulf of Mexico on the west central coast of Florida, comprising Hillsborough Bay, Old Tampa Bay, Middle Tampa Bay, and Lower Tampa Bay."Tampa Bay" is not the name of any municipality...

, another at Charlotte Harbor, three on the St. John's River and one, Santa Elena, on Port Royal Sound
Port Royal Sound
Port Royal Sound is a coastal sound, or inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, located in the Sea Islands region, in Beaufort County in the U.S. state of South Carolina...

. Missions were established in all these areas.

The period 1635–1675 proved to be the most successful mission period. During these years Franciscans operated between forty and seventy mission stations, catering for perhaps 26,000 Hispanicized natives, who were organized into four provinces: Timucua in central Florida, Guale along the Georgia coast, Apalachee
Apalachee
The Apalachee are a Native American people who historically lived in the Florida Panhandle, and now live primarily in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Their historical territory was known to the Spanish colonists as the Apalachee Province...

 on the northeastern edge of the gulf, and Apalachicola
Apalachicola, Florida
Apalachicola is a city in Franklin County, Florida, on US 98 about southwest of Tallahassee. The population was 2,334 at the 2000 census. The 2005 census estimated the city's population at 2,340...

 to the west.

California, 1602


Beginning in 1768, the Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 order, under the leadership of Fray Junipero Serra
Junípero Serra
Blessed Junípero Serra, O.F.M., , known as Fra Juníper Serra in Catalan, his mother tongue was a Majorcan Franciscan friar who founded the mission chain in Alta California of the Las Californias Province in New Spain—present day California, United States. Fr...

, founded 21 California missions along the coast, notably San Diego, Sonoma
Sonoma, California
Sonoma is a historically significant city in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA, surrounding its historic town plaza, a remnant of the town's Mexican colonial past. It was the capital of the short-lived California Republic...

, Santa Clara
Mission Santa Clara de Asís
Mission Santa Clara de Asís was founded on January 12, 1777 and named for Santa Clara de Asis , the foundress of the order of the Poor Clares. Although ruined and rebuilt six times, the settlement was never abandoned.-History:...

, Carmel, Mission Hills, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

New Mexico, 1607


Like Florida, the colonizing of New Mexico began as a result of the "twin impulses" of conquistador greed and missionary zeal. The area was extensively explored by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado y Luján was a Spanish conquistador, who visited New Mexico and other parts of what are now the southwestern United States between 1540 and 1542...

 in 1540–1542, in an attempt to find the seven cities of Cibola
Seven Cities of Gold (myth)
The Seven Cities of Gold is a myth that led to several expeditions by adventurers and conquistadors in the 16th century. It also featured in several works of popular culture.-Origins of myth:...

, a fabled Indian kingdom. In his search, Coronado marched through present day Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. In he early 1590s, Juan de Onate
Juan de Oñate
Don Juan de Oñate y Salazar was a Spanish explorer, colonial governor of the New Spain province of New Mexico, and founder of various settlements in the present day Southwest of the United States.-Biography:...

 approached King Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 for a commission to colonize the area of New Mexico and convert the Native Peoples. Within a ten year period, the original expedition of 500 people, including 130 soldiers, ten Franciscans, and the remaining Spanish colonists—men, women and children—founded Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is the capital of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the fourth-largest city in the state and is the seat of . Santa Fe had a population of 67,947 in the 2010 census...

.

Texas, 1657


Because the Spanish feared that the French crown might establish an overland route from the Mississippi to New Mexico to siphon off its trade, they established missions in the area that came to be known as Texas (especially East Texas), using the Franciscans to win over the Native Peoples. The Spanish had already founded El Paso
El Paso
El Paso, a city in the U.S. state of Texas, on the border with Mexico.El Paso may also refer to:-Geography:Colombia:* El Paso, CesarSpain:*El Paso, Santa Cruz de TenerifeUnited States:...

 in 1657, but needed to expand east. Eventually they founded a new town called San Antonio in 1718 and other settlements.

Louisiana, 1718


From 1682 onwards, the French had tried to establish themselves in the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 and the Mississippi Valley. By 1673, Fr. Jacques Marquette
Jacques Marquette
Father Jacques Marquette S.J. , sometimes known as Père Marquette, was a French Jesuit missionary who founded Michigan's first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, Michigan...

, the Jesuit in charge of the mission at Michilimackinac, and Louis Joliet, a trader and explorer, had explored much of the upper and middle Mississippi Valley, encouraging further exploration. It took another nine years before the entire course of the Mississippi River was explored by Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. Not until 1718, however, did the French establish permanent towns in Louisiana, which encompassed much of the Mississippi Valley and beyond, dividing the region into nine districts with New Orleans the designated the capitol.

Compared to the Spanish, the French were more practical in their attitudes toward the Native Peoples. While they attempted to convert the natives, they did not have the same need to impose absolute obedience and conformity. The priests, mainly Jesuits, were content to introduce them to Christianity in stages, allowing them to keep their traditional customs to emphasize the similarities between their Native beliefs and Christianity. In work or labor, there was no attempt to extract forced labor, encouraging Natives to bring their furs for French goods. There was intermarriage between the French and Native Peoples. This symbiotic relationship helped align most of the Natives west of the Allegheny mountains to the French.

In Louisiana, black slaves managed to develop their own culture, consisting of a mixture of European and African backgrounds. Many blacks became Catholic, adopting the religion of their masters.

American Revolution and aftermath (1776–1800)


When the English colonies declared independence in 1776 — the 13
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 English-speaking colonies
British colonization of the Americas
British colonization of the Americas began in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia and reached its peak when colonies had been established throughout the Americas...

 on the eastern seaboard
Eastern seaboard
An Eastern seaboard can mean any easternmost part of a continent, or its countries, states and/or cities.Eastern seaboard may also refer to:* East Coast of Australia* East Coast of the United States* Eastern Seaboard of Thailand-See also:...

 — only a small fraction of the population was Catholic (largely in Maryland) Legislated anti-Catholicism was eventually voided by the First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

 when the Bill of Rights was held to apply to the states as well as the federal government, in 1890. In the meantime virulent anti-Catholic sentiment continued.

At the time of the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, Catholics formed 1.6% of the population of the thirteen colonies.

Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic is a term used to describe people who are both Roman Catholic and Irish .Note: the term is not used to describe a variant of Catholicism. More particularly, it is not a separate creed or sect in the sense that "Anglo-Catholic", "Old Catholic", "Eastern Orthodox Catholic" might be...

s (unlike Lord Baltimore and the Earl of Ulster
Earl of Ulster
The title of Earl of Ulster has been created several times in the Peerage of Ireland and Peerage of the United Kingdom. Currently, the title is a subsidiary title of the Duke of Gloucester, and is used as a courtesy title by the Duke's son, Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster...

/Duke of York, their English Catholic landlords) were initially barred from settling in some of the colonies (before 1688, for example, Catholics had not arrived in New England), though "New York had an Irish Catholic governor, Thomas Dongan
Thomas Dongan, 2nd Earl of Limerick
Thomas Donegan, 2nd Earl of Limerick was a member of Irish Parliament, Royalist military officer during the English Civil War, and governor of the Province of New York...

, and other Catholic officials." Middleton also notes: at one time or another, five colonies "specifically excluded Catholics from the franchise: Virginia, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, and South Carolina." Throughout the Revolution American Catholic priests remained under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of the London District
Vicar Apostolic of the London District
The Vicar Apostolic of the London District was the title given to the bishop who headed an ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church in England, the Vicariate Apostolic of the London District, from 1688 to 1850.-Background:...

. But even during the colonial period the successive bishops had accepted the charge reluctantly, and were too far away to exercise much control. During the war, however, when the jurisdiction was in the hands of Bishop James Talbot, the brother of the Earl of Shrewsbury and coadjutor to Bishop Richard Challoner
Richard Challoner
Richard Challoner was an English Roman Catholic bishop, a leading figure of English Catholicism during the greater part of the 18th century. He is perhaps most famous for his revision of the Douay Rheims translation of the Bible.-Early life:Challoner was born in the Protestant town of Lewes,...

, he refused to have any communication with those who were his American ecclesiastical subjects. This was because neither he nor Challoner had any sympathy with the American rebel Catholics. They did not realize that American Catholics (though rebels) were rendering, as John Carroll said later, a service to their English Catholic brethren. This lack of communication, technically at least, proved a blessing in disguise, and removed all possibility of the accusation that American Catholics were receiving orders from an English Catholic bishop. At the close of the war, however, Bishop Talbot went so far as to refuse to give faculties to two Maryland priests who asked to return home. This eventually enabled Rome to make entirely new arrangements for the creation of an American diocese under American bishops.

The question often arises as to what proportion of Catholics served in the American armies. John Carroll's says this about Catholic participation: "Their blood flowed as freely, in proportion to their numbers, to cement the fabric of independence as that of their fellow citizens. They concurred with perhaps greater unanimity than any other body of men in recommending and promoting from whose influence America anticipates all the blessings of justice, peace, plenty, good orders, and civil and religious liberty." Some Catholics were more prominent than others. Thomas Fitzsimmons was Washington's secretary and aide-de-camp. General Moylan was quartermaster general and afterwards in command of a cavalry regiment. John Barry
John Barry (naval officer)
John Barry was an officer in the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War and later in the United States Navy. He is often credited as "The Father of the American Navy"...

 is regarded as the father of the American navy. Another notable was Thomas Lloyd (stenographer)
Thomas Lloyd (stenographer)
Thomas Lloyd , known as the “Father of American Shorthand,” was born in London on August 14 to William and Hannah Biddle Lloyd. Lloyd studied at the College of St. Omer in Flanders, where he first learned his method of shorthand...

.

The French alliance had a considerable effect upon the fortunes of the American Catholic Church. Washington, for example, issued strict orders in 1775 that "Pope's Day," the colonial equivalent of Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in England. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding...

, was not to be celebrated, lest the sensibilities of the French should be offended. Massachusetts sent a chaplain to the French fleet when it arrived. And when the French fleet appeared at Newport, Rhode Island, that colony repealed its act of 1664 that refused citizenship to Catholics. Foreign officers who served, either as soldiers of fortune in the American army or with the French allies, put the Revolution in debt to Catholics, especially owing to Count Casimir Pulaski, Tadeusz Kosciuszko
Tadeusz Kosciuszko
Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko was a Polish–Lithuanian and American general and military leader during the Kościuszko Uprising. He is a national hero of Poland, Lithuania, the United States and Belarus...

, De Grasse, Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau
Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau
Marshal of France Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau was a French nobleman and general who participated in the American Revolutionary War as the commander-in-chief of the French Expeditionary Force which came to help the American Continental Army...

, Charles Hector, comte d'Estaing
Charles Hector, comte d'Estaing
Jean Baptiste Charles Henri Hector, comte d'Estaing was a French general, and admiral. He began his service as a soldier in the War of the Austrian Succession, briefly spending time as a prisoner of war of the British during the Seven Years' War...

, and Marquis de Lafayette. Likewise, Bernardo de Galvez, the Governor of Louisiana, who prevented Louisiana's seizure by the British. His efforts prevented the British from gaining a position on the west bank of the Mississippi, crucial for keeping the British out of that area at the end of the war. Galveston, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. , the city had a total population of 47,743 within an area of...

 is named after him.

In 1787 two Catholics, Daniel Carroll
Daniel Carroll
Daniel Carroll was a politician and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a prominent member of one of the United States' great colonial Catholic families, whose members included his younger brother Archbishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States and...

 and Thomas Fitzsimmons, were members of the Continental Congress that met in Philadelphia to help frame the new United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. Four years later, in 1791, the First Amendment to the American Constitution was ratified. This amendment included the wording, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." This amendment officially granted freedom of religion to all American citizens, and began the eventual repeal of all anti-Catholic laws from the statute books of all of the new American states.

Following the Revolutionary War the Jesuit Fathers under the leadership of John Carroll, S.J. called several meetings of the clergy for the purpose of organizing the Catholic Church in America. The meetings, called the General Chapters, took place in 1783 and were held at White Marsh Plantation (now Sacred Heart Church in Bowie, MD). Deliberations of the General Chapters led to the appointment of John Carroll by the Vatican as Prefect Apostolic, making him superior of the missionary church in the thirteen states, and to the first plans for Georgetown University. Also at White Marsh, the priests of the new nation elected John Carroll as the first American bishop on May 18,1789.

19th century (1800–1900)



The number of Catholics in the Continental United States increased almost overnight with the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 in 1803, the Adams–Onís Treaty (purchasing Florida) in 1819, and in 1847 with the incorporation of the northern territories of Mexico into the United States (Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
The Mexican Cession of 1848 is a historical name in the United States for the region of the present day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S...

) at the end of the Mexican–American War
Mexican–American War
The Mexican–American War, also known as the First American Intervention, the Mexican War, or the U.S.–Mexican War, was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S...

. Catholics formed the majority in these continental areas and had been there for centuries. Most Catholics were descendants of the original settlers, dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, benefiting in the Southwest, for example, from the livestock industry introduced by Jesuit priest Eusebio Kino
Eusebio Kino
Eusebio Francisco Kino S.J. was an Italian Roman Catholic priest who became famous in what is now northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States in the region then known as the Pimaria Alta...

 in 1687. However, US Catholics increased most dramatically and significantly in the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century due to a massive influx of European immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Germany (especially the south and west), Austria–Hungary, and the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 (largely Poles). Substantial numbers of Catholics came from French Canada
French Canadian
French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

 during the mid-19th century and settled in New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

. Although these ethnic groups tended to live and worship apart initially, over time they intermarried so that, in modern times, many Catholics are descended from more than one ethnicity.

By 1850, Catholics had become the country’s largest single denomination. Between 1860 and 1890, their population in the United States tripled through immigration; by the end of the decade it would reach seven million. This influx would eventually bring increased political power for the Catholic Church and a greater cultural presence, which led simultaneously to a growing fear of the Catholic "menace" among America's Protestants.

Some anti-Catholic
Anti-Catholicism
Anti-Catholicism is a generic term for discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed against Catholicism, and especially against the Catholic Church, its clergy or its adherents...

 political movements like the Know Nothing
Know Nothing
The Know Nothing was a movement by the nativist American political faction of the 1840s and 1850s. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to Anglo-Saxon Protestant values and controlled by...

s, and organizations like the Orange Institution
Orange Institution
The Orange Institution is a Protestant fraternal organisation based mainly in Northern Ireland and Scotland, though it has lodges throughout the Commonwealth and United States. The Institution was founded in 1796 near the village of Loughgall in County Armagh, Ireland...

, American Protective Association
American Protective Association
The American Protective Association, or APA was an American anti-Catholic society similar to the Know Nothings.-History:The APA was founded 13 March 1887 by Attorney Henry F. Bowers in Clinton, Iowa...

, and the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

, were active in the United States. Indeed, for most of the history of the United States, Catholics have been victims of discrimination and persecution. It was not until the time of the Presidency of John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 in the following century that Catholics lived in the US largely free of suspicion. The Philadelphia Nativist Riot, Bloody Monday
Bloody Monday
Bloody Monday was the name given the election riots of August 6, 1855, in Louisville, Kentucky. These riots grew out of the bitter rivalry between the Democrats and supporters of the Know-Nothing Party. Rumors were started that foreigners and Catholics had interfered with the process of voting...

, the Orange Riots
Orange Riots
The Orange riots took place in Manhattan, New York City in 1870 and 1871, and involved violent conflict between Irish Protestants, called "Orangemen", and Irish Catholics, along with the New York City Police Department and the New York State National Guard....

 in New York City in 1871 and 1872, and The Ku Klux Klan-ridden South discriminated against Catholics (as they did the Jews and African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s) for their commonly Irish, Italian, Polish, German, or Spanish ethnicity. Many Protestants in the Midwest and the North labeled Catholics as "anti-American Papist
Papist
Papist is a term or an anti-Catholic slur, referring to the Roman Catholic Church, its teachings, practices, or adherents. The term was coined during the English Reformation to denote a person whose loyalties were to the Pope, rather than to the Church of England...

s", "incapable of free thought without the approval of the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

." During the Mexican-American War, Mexicans were portrayed as "backward" because of their "Papist superstition". In reaction to this attitude, some hundred American Catholics, mostly recent Irish immigrants, fought on the Mexican side in the Saint Patrick's Battalion
Saint Patrick's Battalion
The Saint Patrick's Battalion , formed and led by Jon Riley, was a unit of 175 to several hundred immigrants and expatriates of European descent who fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848. Most of the battalion's members had...

. However, the majority of Catholic soldiers (primarily Irish born), along with their chaplains like John McElroy (Jesuit)
John McElroy (Jesuit)
John McElroy, SJ was born in Ireland in 1782, and came to the United States in 1803. Fr. McElroy enrolled in Georgetown University in 1806, the same year in which he joined the Society of Jesus as a lay brother. His brother Antony also became a Jesuit. Fr. McElroy assumed the management of...

, who later founded Boston College
Boston College
Boston College is a private Jesuit research university located in the village of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA. The main campus is bisected by the border between the cities of Boston and Newton. It has 9,200 full-time undergraduates and 4,000 graduate students. Its name reflects its early...

, proved loyal to the American side as General Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

 noted in a private letter to William Robinson after the war.

In 1850, Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States and is the only President from New Hampshire. Pierce was a Democrat and a "doughface" who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Pierce took part in the Mexican-American War and became a brigadier general in the Army...

, as the US Attorney for the District of New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

, presented resolutions for the removal of restrictions on Catholics from holding office in that state, as well as the removal of property qualifications for voting; however, these pro-Catholic measures were submitted to the electorate and were unsurprisingly defeated. As the 19th century progressed, animosity between Protestants and Catholics waned. Many Protestant Americans came to understand that, despite anti-Catholic
Anti-Catholicism in the United States
Strong political and theological positions hostile to the Catholic Church and its followers was prominent among Protestants in Britain and Germany from the Protestant Reformation onwards. Immigrants brought them to the American colonies. Two types of anti-Catholic rhetoric existed in colonial society...

 rhetoric, Catholics were not trying to seize control of the government. Another reason was that many Irish-Catholic immigrants fought alongside their Protestant compatriots in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 on both sides. Nonetheless, concerns continued into the 20th century that there was too much "Catholic influence" on the government.

William T. Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman, educator and author. He served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War , for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched...

, George Meade
George Meade
George Gordon Meade was a career United States Army officer and civil engineer involved in coastal construction, including several lighthouses. He fought with distinction in the Second Seminole War and Mexican-American War. During the American Civil War he served as a Union general, rising from...

, and Philip Sheridan
Philip Sheridan
Philip Henry Sheridan was a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. His career was noted for his rapid rise to major general and his close association with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S...

 were prominent generals during the American Civil War. In 1864, Mrs. Sherman, wife of the general, took up residence in South Bend for the sole purpose of having her young family educated at the University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community north of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States...

 and St. Mary's College
Saint Mary's College (Indiana)
Saint Mary's College is a private Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. It is located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community northeast of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States — as are the University of Notre Dame and Holy...

. After the war, however, the Sherman children were educated elsewhere. Thomas Ewing Sherman
Thomas Ewing Sherman
Fr. Thomas Ewing Sherman, S.J. was an American lawyer, educator, and Catholic priest. He was the fourth child and second son of Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman and his wife Ellen Ewing Sherman....

, the eldest child, studied at Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

 and later became a Jesuit priest. The children of two other notable Americans—General Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

 and Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer.Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in the city of Salem, Massachusetts to Nathaniel Hathorne and the former Elizabeth Clarke Manning. His ancestors include John Hathorne, a judge during the Salem Witch Trials...

 -- also became members of Catholic religious orders: Virginia Scott (who became a member of the Visitation Sisters at Georgetown) and Rose Hawthorne Lathrop
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop was an American Roman Catholic religious sister and social worker.-Biography:Born in Lenox, Massachusetts, to Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia Peabody, she was educated in London, Paris, Rome and Florence. She married author George Parsons Lathrop in 1871; both...

 (who founded her own religious community to care for the incurably ill, mostly cancer patients).


400 Italian Jesuit priests left Italy for the American West between 1848-1919. Most of these Jesuits left their homeland involuntarily, expelled by Italian nationalists in the successive waves of Italian unification that dominated Italy. When they came to the West, they ministered to Indians in the Northwest, Irish-Americans in San Francisco and Mexican Americans in the South West; they also ran the nation's most influential Catholic seminary, in Woodstock, Md. In addition to their pastoral work, they founded numerous high schools and colleges, including Regis University
Regis University
Regis University is a private, co-educational Roman Catholic, Jesuit university in the United States. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1877, it is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities...

, Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University is a private, not-for-profit, Jesuit-affiliated university located in Santa Clara, California, United States. Chartered by the state of California and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, it operates in collaboration with the Society of Jesus , whose...

, the University of San Francisco
University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco , is a private, Jesuit/Catholic university located in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1855, USF was established as the first university in San Francisco. It is the second oldest institution for higher learning in California and the tenth-oldest university of...

, Gonzaga University
Gonzaga University
Gonzaga University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Spokane, Washington, United States. Founded in 1887 by the Society of Jesus, it is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and is named after the young Jesuit saint, Aloysius Gonzaga...

 and Seattle University
Seattle University
Seattle University is a Jesuit Catholic university located in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA.SU is the largest independent university in the Northwest US, with over 7,500 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs within eight schools, and is one of 28 member...

.

In the latter half of the 19th century, the first attempt at standardizing discipline in the American Church occurred with the convocation of the Plenary Councils of Baltimore
Plenary Councils of Baltimore
The Plenary Councils of Baltimore were three national meetings of Roman Catholic bishops in the 19th century in Baltimore, Maryland.During the early history of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States all of the dioceses were part of one ecclesiastical province under the Archbishop of Baltimore...

. These councils resulted in the promulgation of the Baltimore Catechism
Baltimore Catechism
A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Prepared and Enjoined by Order of the Third Council of Baltimore was the de facto standard Catholic school text in the United States from 1885 to the late 1960s....

 and the establishment of The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America is a private university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the only institution of higher education founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops...

.

20th–21st centuries


By the beginning of the 20th century, approximately one-sixth of the population of the United States was Catholic. Modern Catholic immigrants come to the United States from the Philippines, Poland and Latin America, especially from Mexico. This multiculturalism and diversity has greatly impacted the flavor of Catholicism in the United States. For example, many dioceses serve in both English and Spanish. When many parishes were set up in the United States, separate churches were built for parishioners from Ireland, Germany, Italy, etc. In Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, the development of the Archdiocese of Dubuque
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the northeastern quarter of the state of Iowa in the United States. It includes all the Iowa counties north of Polk, Jasper, Poweshiek, Iowa, Johnson, Cedar, and Clinton counties. ...

, the work of Bishop Loras
Mathias Loras
Bishop Mathias Loras was an immigrant French priest to the United States who later became the first bishop of the Dubuque Diocese in what would become the state of Iowa.-Early Life & Ministry:...

 and the building of St. Raphael's Cathedral
St. Raphael's Cathedral (Dubuque)
Saint Raphael's is the Catholic cathedral parish for the Archdiocese of Dubuque, in Iowa. The parish is the oldest church of any Christian denomination in the state of Iowa. It is part of the Cathedral Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.-The first years:The Cathedral...

 illustrate this point.

In the later 20th century "[...] the Catholic Church in the United States became the subject of controversy due to allegations of clerical child abuse of children and adolescents
Catholic sexual abuse scandal in the United States
Catholic sexual abuse scandal in the United States refers to a series of lawsuits, criminal prosecutions, and scandals related to sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests and members of religious orders, that first rose to widespread public attention in the last two decades of the 20th...

, of episcopal negligence in arresting these crimes, and of numerous civil suits that cost Catholic dioceses hundreds of millions of dollars in damages." Because of this, higher scrutiny and governance, as well as protective policies and diocesan investigation into seminaries have been enacted to correct these former abuses of power, and safeguard parishioners and the Church from further abuses and scandals. Many see in these reforms (along with Vatican II) signs of a new era of lay initiative and collaboration.

One initiative is the "National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management
National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management
The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management is a lay-led group born in the midst of the Catholic clergy's sex abuse scandal and dedicated to bringing better administrative practices to dioceses and parishes nationwide.The NLRCM, founded by its current leader, Geoffrey T...

" (NLRCM), a lay-led group born in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal and dedicated to bringing better administrative practices to 194 dioceses that include 19,000 parishes nationwide with some 35,000 lay ecclesial ministers
Lay Ecclesial Ministry
Lay ecclesial ministry is the term adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to identify the relatively new category of pastoral ministers in the Catholic Church who serve the Church but are not ordained...

 who log 20 hours or more a week in these parishes.

Recently John Micklethwait
John Micklethwait
John Micklethwait is the editor-in-chief of The Economist.-Biography:Micklethwait was born in 1962 and educated at the independent school Ampleforth College and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied history. He worked for Chase Manhattan Bank for two years and joined The Economist in 1987...

, editor of The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

and co-author of God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World, said that American Catholicism, which he describes in his book as "arguably the most striking Evangelical success story of the second half of the nineteenth century," has competed quite happily "without losing any of its basic characteristics." It has thrived in America's "pluralism."

American Catholic Servants of God, Venerables, Beatified, and Saints


For a full list of Servants of God and other open causes, see List of American saints and beatified people.

The following are some notable American Servants of God, Venerables, Beatified, and Saints of the US:
Servants of God Venerables Beatified Saints
Vincent Robert Capodanno, Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day was an American journalist, social activist and devout Catholic convert; she advocated the Catholic economic theory of Distributism. She was also considered to be an anarchist, and did not hesitate to use the term...

, Demetrius Gallitzin, Isaac Hecker
Isaac Hecker
Isaac Thomas Hecker was an American Roman Catholic Priest and founder of the Paulist Fathers, the North American religious society of men; he is named a Servant of God by the Catholic Church....

, Emil Kapaun
Emil Kapaun
Emil Joseph Kapaun was a Roman Catholic priest and United States Army chaplain who died in the Korean War. The Roman Catholic Church has declared him a Servant of God and he is a candidate for sainthood.-Early life:...

, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop was an American Roman Catholic religious sister and social worker.-Biography:Born in Lenox, Massachusetts, to Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia Peabody, she was educated in London, Paris, Rome and Florence. She married author George Parsons Lathrop in 1871; both...

, Frank Parater, Patrick Peyton
Patrick Peyton
Reverend Father Patrick Peyton, CSC was an Irish-born Roman Catholic priest, devout promoter of the works & inspirations of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is the founder of the post-World War II prayer movement called, "Family Rosary Crusade"...

, Fulton J. Sheen
Fulton J. Sheen
Servant of God Fulton John Sheen, born Peter John Sheen was an American archbishop of the Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio...

, Terence Cardinal Cooke
Terence Cardinal Cooke
Terence James Cooke was an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of New York from 1968 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1969.-Early life and education:...

, Annella Zervas
Annella Zervas
The Servant of God Sister Mary Annella Zervas was an American Benedictine nun who died after a three year battle with the skin disease Pityriasis rubra pilaris. She is known for the most part simply as "Sister Annella".-Early life:Anna Cordelia Zervas was born in Moorhead, Minnesota...

, John Hardon
John Hardon
John A. S. A. Hardon, S.J., Servant of God was a Jesuit priest, writer, and theologian. He is the founder of The Holy Trinity Apostolate.-Early life:...

, Walter Ciszek
Walter Ciszek
Rev. Walter Ciszek, S.J. was a Polish-American Jesuit priest known for his clandestine missionary work in the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1963....

, Simon Bruté
Simon Bruté
Simon William Gabriel Bruté de Rémur, the first bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes, Indiana, was born on March 20, 1779, at Rennes, France. His father was Simon-Guillaume-Gabriel Bruté de Remur, Superintendent of the Royal Domains in Brittany; and his mother, Jeanne-Renee Le Saulnier de Vauhelle...

, Félix Varela
Félix Varela
Félix Varela y Morales was a notable figure in the Roman Catholic Church in both Cuba and the United States.-Life:Varela was born in Havana, Cuba and died in St. Augustine, Florida, United States...

, Stanley Rother
Stanley Rother
Stanley Francis Rother was a Catholic priest and missionary to Guatemala. He was murdered by a death squad, believed to be made up of right-wing extremists and elements of the Guatemalan Army, on July 28, 1981....

Nelson Baker, Solanus Casey
Solanus Casey
Venerable Bernard Francis Casey was born in Oak Grove, Wisconsin. A Capuchin priest, Casey was known for his great faith, humility, and role as spiritual counselor and intercessor...

, Cornelia Connelly
Cornelia Connelly
Cornelia Connelly , born Cornelia Peacock, was the born founder of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order...

, Henriette DeLille
Henriette DeLille
Venerable Henriette DeLille founded the Catholic order of the Sisters of the Holy Family, made up of free women of color, in New Orleans. The order provided nursing care and a home for orphans, later establishing schools as well. In 1989 the order formally opened its cause with the Vatican in...

, Samuel Charles Mazzuchelli
Samuel Charles Mazzuchelli
Father Samuel Charles Mazzuchelli, O.P. was a pioneer Italian Catholic missionary who helped bring the church to the Iowa-Illinois-Wisconsin tri-state area. He founded a number of parishes in the area, and was the architect for a number of parish buildings.-Background:Father Mazzuchelli was born...

, Michael J. McGivney, Pierre Toussaint
Pierre Toussaint
The Venerable Pierre Toussaint was an immigrant to the United States and a successful hairdresser in New York City during the Federal Period. Due to his devout and exemplary life, the Roman Catholic Church has been investigating his life for possible canonization.-Life:Pierre Toussaint was born as...

Marianne Cope, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez
Carlos Manuel Rodríguez
Blessed Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Rodríguez was a layperson of the Roman Catholic Church, who was beatified on April 29, 2001...

, Francis Xavier Seelos
Francis Xavier Seelos
Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was a German-American Roman Catholic priest and Redemptorist missionary....

, Junípero Serra, Kateri Tekakwitha
Kateri Tekakwitha
Kateri Tekakwitha or Catherine Tekakwitha was a Mohawk-Algonquian woman from New York and an early convert to Catholicism, who has been beatified in the Roman Catholic Church.-Her life:...

Frances Xavier Cabrini, Jean de Lalande
Jean de Lalande
Saint Jean de Lalande was a Jesuit missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and one of the eight North American Martyrs....

, Damien De Veuster
Father Damien
Father Damien or Saint Damien of Molokai, SS.CC. , born Jozef De Veuster, was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium and member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a missionary religious order...

, Katharine Drexel
Katharine Drexel
Saint Katharine Drexel, S.B.S., was an American Religious Sister, heiress, philanthropist and educator, later canonized as a Roman Catholic saint.-Life and religious work:...

, Rose Philippine Duchesne
Rose Philippine Duchesne
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, R.S.C.J., was a Catholic Religious Sister and French-American saint. She spent the last half of her life teaching and serving the people of the Midwestern United States....

, René Goupil
René Goupil
René Goupil was a French missionary and one of the first North American martyrs of the Roman Catholic Church....

, Mother Théodore Guérin, Isaac Jogues
Isaac Jogues
Isaac Jogues was a Jesuit priest, missionary, and martyr who traveled and worked among the native populations in North America. He gave the original European name to Lake George, calling it Lac du Saint Sacrement, Lake of the Blessed Sacrament. In 1646, Jogues was martyred by the Mohawks near ...

, John Neumann
John Neumann
Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, C.Ss.R., was a Redemptorist missionary to the United States who became the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia and the first American bishop to be canonized...

, Elizabeth Ann Seton
Elizabeth Ann Seton
Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church . She established Catholic communities in Emmitsburg, Maryland....


Top eight Catholic pilgrimage destinations in the United States



According to The Official Catholic Directory, the following are the top eight Catholic pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 sites in the United States:
  • National Shrine of the North American Martyrs
    National Shrine of the North American Martyrs
    The National Shrine of the North American Martyrs, also dedicated as the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs, is a Roman Catholic shrine in Auriesville, New York dedicated to the Jesuit missionaries who were martyred at the Mohawk Indian village of Ossernenon between 1642 and 1646. St. Rene Goupil, a...

     (Auriesville, New York
    Auriesville, New York
    Auriesville is a hamlet in the northeastern part of the town of Glen in Montgomery County, New York, United States, along the south bank of the Mohawk River. It lies about forty miles west of Albany, the state capital. A Jesuit cemetery is located there....

    )
  • Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also called the Baltimore Basilica, was the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States, and was the first major religious building constructed in the nation after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution...

     (Baltimore, Maryland)
  • El Santuario de Chimayo
    El Santuario de Chimayo
    El Santuario de Chimayó is a Roman Catholic church in Chimayó, New Mexico, USA. This shrine, a National Historic Landmark, is famous for the story of its founding and as a contemporary pilgrimage site...

     (Chimayó, New Mexico
    Chimayo, New Mexico
    Chimayo is a census-designated place in Rio Arriba and Santa Fe Counties in the U.S. state of New Mexico; the community's name is more correctly pronounced and spelled Chimayó, a name that derives from a Tewa name for a local landmark, the hill of Tsi Mayoh...

    , north of Santa Fe
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Santa Fe is the capital of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the fourth-largest city in the state and is the seat of . Santa Fe had a population of 67,947 in the 2010 census...

    )
  • Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
    National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
    The National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland, is a U.S. religious site and educational center that pays tribute to the life and mission of Elizabeth Ann Seton , the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church...

     (Emmitsburg, Maryland
    Emmitsburg, Maryland
    -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 2,290 people, 811 households, and 553 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,992.9 people per square mile . There were 862 housing units at an average density of 750.2 per square mile...

    )
  • Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lady of the Angels (Hanceville, Alabama
    Hanceville, Alabama
    Hanceville is a city in Cullman County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 2,951.-Geography:Hanceville is located at .According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all of it land....

    )
  • Basilica of Our Lady of Victory
    Our Lady of Victory Basilica (Lackawanna, New York)
    The Basilica of Our Lady of Victory is a national shrine and Roman Catholic parish located in Lackawanna, New York. Due to the multiple charities of founder Father Nelson Baker, the shrine is a popular pilgrimage and visitor destination in Lackawanna....

     (Lackawanna, New York
    Lackawanna, New York
    Lackawanna is a city in Erie County, New York, U.S., located just south of the city of Buffalo in the western part of New York state. The population was 18,141 at the 2010 census. The name derives from the Lackawanna Steel Company...

    )
  • National Shrine of Saint John Neumann
    National Shrine of Saint John Neumann
    The National Shrine of St. John Neumann is a Roman Catholic National Shrine dedicated to St. John Neumann, who was the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia and the first American male to be canonized. The shrine is located in the lower church of St. Peter the Apostle Church at 1019 North 5th Street, in...

     (in St. Peter the Apostle Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

    )
  • Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
    Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
    The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is a prominent Latin Rite Catholic basilica located in Washington, D.C., honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Patroness of the United States...

     (Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    )

Notable American Catholics

For living US bishops, see: List of the Catholic bishops of the United States
See also: List of American Catholics

See also


  • American Cardinals Dinner
    American Cardinals Dinner
    The American Cardinals Dinner is an annual fundraiser that benefits The Catholic University of America . Each year, a different U.S. archdiocese hosts the Cardinals Dinner, a black-tie event which traditionally features all or most of the cardinals who serve as residential or emeritus archbishops...

  • List of living cardinals (sortable by name, country, and birthdate)
  • Christianity in the United States
    Christianity in the United States
    Christianity is the largest and most popular religion in the United States, with around 77% of those polled identifying themselves as Christian, as of 2009. This is down from 86% in 1990, and slightly lower than 78.6% in 2001. About 62% of those polled claim to be members of a church congregation...

  • US Catholic Bishops
  • US Catholic Cathedrals
  • US Catholic Dioceses
  • List of Cardinals
  • Dominicans in the United States
    Dominicans in the United States
    The Dominican Order was first established in the United States by Edward Fenwick in the early 19th century. The Dominican province of Saint Joseph was established in 1805, and originally covered the whole United States...

  • American Catholic literature
    American Catholic literature
    American Catholic literature emerged in the early 1900s as its own genre. Catholic literature is not exclusively literature written by Catholic authors or about Catholic things, but rather Catholic literature is “defined… by a particular Catholic perspective applied to it’s subject...


Primary sources

  • Ellis, John Tracy. Documents of American Catholic History 2nd ed. (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Co., 1956).

Further reading

  • Abell, Aaron. American Catholicism and Social Action: A Search for Social Justice, 1865–1950 (Garden City, NY: Hanover House, 1960).
  • Bales, Susan Ridgley. When I Was a Child: Children's Interpretations of First Communion (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2005).
  • Carroll, Michael P. American Catholics in the Protestant Imagination: Rethinking the Academic Study of Religion (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).
  • Christiano, Kevin. "The Catholic Church and Recent Immigrants to the United States: A Review of Research," in Helen Rose Ebaugh, ed., Vatican II and American Catholicism: Twenty-five Years Later (Greenwich, Ct.: JAI Press, 1991).
  • D'Antonio, William V., James D. Davidson, Dean R. Hoge, and Katherine Meyer. American Catholics: Gender, Generation, and Commitment (Huntington, Ind.: Our Sunday Visitor Visitor Publishing Press, 2001).
  • Deck, Allan Figueroa, S.J. The Second Wave: Hispanic Ministry and the Evangelization of Cultures (New York: Paulist, 1989).
  • Dolan, Jay P. The Immigrant Church: New York Irish and German Catholics, 1815–1865 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975).
  • Dolan, Jay P. In Search of an American Catholicism: A History of Religion and Culture in Tension (2003)
  • Donovan, Grace. "Immigrant Nuns: Their Participation in the Process of Americanization," in Catholic Historical Review 77, 1991, 194–208.
  • Ellis, J.T. American Catholicism 2nd ed.(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969).
  • Fialka, John J. Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America (New York: St. Martin Press, 2003).
  • Finke, Roger. "An Orderly Return to Tradition: Explaining Membership Growth in Catholic Religious Orders," in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion , 36, 1997, 218–30.
  • Fogarty, Gerald P., S.J. Commonwealth Catholicism: A History of the Catholic Church in Virginia, ISBN 978-0-268-02264-8.
  • Garraghan, Gilbert J. The Jesuits of the Middle United States Vol. II (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1984).
  • Grace Hui Chin Lin & Patricia J. Larke (2007). Spanish Vs. French in Their Missionary Tasks
  • Greeley, Andrew. "The Demography of American Catholics, 1965–1990" in The Sociology of Andrew Greeley (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1994).
  • Hall, Gwendolyn Midlo. The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995). Interesting note on Afro-Creole Catholic culture.
  • Horgan, Paul. Lamy of Santa Fe (Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1975).
  • Jonas, Thomas J. The Divided Mind: American Catholic Evangelists in the 1890s (New York: Garland Press, 1988).
  • Marty, Martin E. Modern American Religion, Vol. 1: The Irony of It All, 1893-1919 (1986); Modern American Religion. Vol. 2: The Noise of Conflict, 1919-1941 (1991); Modern American Religion, Volume 3: Under God, Indivisible, 1941-1960 (1999), perspective by leading Protestant historian
  • Maynard, Theodore The Story of American Catholicism, Volumes I and II (New York: Macmillan Company, 1960).
  • McDermott, Scott. Charles Carroll of Carrollton—Faithful Revolutionary ISBN 1-889334-68-5.
  • McKevitt, Gerald. Brokers of Culture: Italian Jesuits in the American West, 1848–1919 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006).
  • McMullen, Joanne Halleran and Jon Parrish Peede, eds. Inside the Church of Flannery O'Connor: Sacrament, Sacramental, and the Sacred in Her Fiction (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2007).
  • Morris, Charles R. American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church (1998), a standard history
  • O'Malley, John, SJ. The First Jesuits (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993).
  • Poyo, Gerald E. Cuban Catholics in the United States, 1960–1980: Exile and Integration (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 2007).
  • Sanders, James W. The Education of an urban Minority: Catholics in Chicago, 1833–1965 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977).
  • Schroth, Raymond A. The American Jesuits: A History (New York: New York University Press, 2007).
  • Schultze, George E. Strangers in a Foreign Land: The Organizing of Catholic Latinos in the United States (Lanham, Md:Lexington, 2007).
  • Shannon, James P. Catholic Colonization on the Western Frontier (New haven: Yale University Press, 1957).
  • Walch, Timothy. Parish School: American Catholic Parochial Education from Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1996).
  • Weber, David J. The Spanish Frontier in North America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992). on Spanish missionaries

Catholic immigration to America before 1776

  • David N. Doyle, Ireland, Irishmen, and Revolutionary America, 1760–1820 (Cork, 1981), 59–61;
  • Kathy A. Miller, Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America (New York, 1985), 137–49.

External links