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Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend


Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend

Fort Wayne–South Bend
Dioecesis Wayne Castrensis–South Bendensis
Country United States
Territory Northeastern Indiana, Michiana
Ecclesiastical province Indianapolis
Area 5,792 km2 (2,236 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2006)
159,888 (12.8%)
Parishes 84
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established January 8, 1857 (159 years ago)
Cathedral Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Fort Wayne)
Co-cathedral Saint Matthew Cathedral (South Bend)
Patron saint Immaculate Conception
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades

The Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend (Latin: Dioecesis Wayne Castrensis–South Bendensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in north-central and northeastern Indiana. The Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades was appointed diocesan bishop by Pope Benedict XVI on November 14, 2009, and was installed on January 13, 2010. The Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend encompasses 14 Indiana counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, Steuben, St. Joseph, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley. The diocese has a co-cathedral setup with the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne as the primary cathedral and Saint Matthew's Cathedral in South Bend as the associate cathedral.


  • History 1
  • Bishops of Fort Wayne–South Bend 2
  • Auxiliary bishops 3
  • Schools 4
    • Colleges and universities 4.1
    • High schools 4.2
    • Grade schools 4.3
  • Arms 5
  • Catholic radio within the diocese 6
  • Ecclesiastical Province of Indianapolis 7
  • Footnotes 8
  • External links 9


The diocese was erected as the Diocese of Fort Wayne (Dioecesis Wayne Castrensis) suffragan to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati on January 8, 1857, from territory earlier belonging to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vincennes. In 1944 it became suffragan to the newly elevated Archdiocese of Indianapolis. In 1944 and 1956 it lost territory to the newly formed dioceses of Lafayette and Gary, respectively. In 1960 its name was changed to the Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend.

Bishops of Fort Wayne–South Bend

  1. John Henry Luers (1857–1871)
  2. Joseph Gregory Dwenger (1872–1893)
  3. Joseph Rademacher (1893–1900)
  4. Herman Joseph Alerding (1900–1925)
  5. John F. Noll (1925–1956) – died July 31, 1956.
  6. Leo Aloysius Pursley (1956–1976) – retired August 24, 1976; died November 15, 1998.
  7. William Edward McManus (1976–1985)
  8. John Michael D'Arcy (1985–2009) – retired 2009; died February 3, 2013 (on the 56th anniversary of his first mass as an ordained priest).
  9. Kevin Carl Rhoades (2009–present)

Auxiliary bishops

  • Leo Aloysius Pursley (1956–1976) – Appointed auxiliary bishop of Fort Wayne on July 22, 1950; ordained a bishop on September 19, 1950; appointed apostolic administrator of Fort Wayne on March 9, 1955; appointed bishop of Fort Wayne on December 29, 1956 (following the death of Bishop Noll); installed on February 26, 1957.[1]
  • Joseph Robert Crowley - Appointed auxiliary bishop on June 16, 1971; ordained a bishop on August 24, 1971; retired May 8, 1990; died February 4, 2003.
  • John Richard Sheets, S.J. - Appointed auxiliary bishop on May 14, 1991; ordained a bishop on June 25, 1991; retired September 23, 1997; died April 16, 2003.
  • Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C. – Appointed auxiliary bishop on October 21, 1997; ordained a bishop on December 16, 1997; appointed bishop of Peoria on February 12, 2002, and installed on April 10, 2002.

† = deceased


Colleges and universities

High schools

Grade schools

  • Christ the King, South Bend
  • Corpus Christi, South Bend
  • Holy Cross, South Bend
  • Holy Family, South Bend
  • Huntington Catholic, Huntington
  • Most Precious Blood, Fort Wayne
  • Our Lady of Hungary, South Bend
  • Queen of Angels, Fort Wayne
  • Queen of Peace, Mishawaka
  • Sacred Heart, Warsaw
  • Saint Adalbert, South Bend
  • Saint Aloysius, Yoder
  • Saint Anthony de Padua, South Bend
  • Saint Bavo, Mishawaka
  • Saint Bernard, Wabash
  • Saint Charles Borromeo, Fort Wayne
  • Saint John the Baptist, Fort Wayne
  • Saint John the Baptist, New Haven
  • Saint John the Baptist, South Bend
  • Saint John the Evangelist, Goshen
  • Saint Joseph, Garrett
  • Saint Joseph, Mishawaka
  • Saint Joseph, South Bend
  • Saint Joseph (St. Mary of the Assumption), Decatur
  • Saint Joseph (St. Rose of Lima), Monroeville
  • Saint Joseph (Hessen Cassel), Fort Wayne
  • Saint Joseph-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (St. Joseph, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton), Fort Wayne
  • Saint Jude, Fort Wayne
  • Saint Jude, South Bend
  • Saint Louis (Besançon), New Haven
  • Saint Mary of the Assumption, Avilla
  • Saint Mary of the Assumption, South Bend
  • Saint Matthew Cathedral School, South Bend
  • Saint Michael, Plymouth
  • Saint Monica, Mishawaka
  • Saint Pius X, Granger
  • Saint Therese, Fort Wayne
  • Saint Thomas the Apostle, Elkhart
  • Saint Vincent de Paul, Elkhart
  • Saint Vincent de Paul, Fort Wayne


Arms of Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend
Arms was designed and adopted when the diocese was erected
The arms of the diocese are composed of a crescent moon at the top, with a fortified wall below it. On the wall three Bottony crosses are found. Below the wall is a river bend flowing diagonally with a fleur-de-lis on it. Between the riven and the wall a six-winged seraph is present.
The crescent moon represents the Virgin Mary, mother of Christ, “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet.” As the Immaculate Conception, she is patroness of the Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend, and its cathedral in Fort Wayne.

The three crosses represent the Blessed Trinity. The Father sent the Son into the world; the Son sent the Spirit. It was this mission of Son and Spirit through missionaries that brought this diocese into being.

The crosses replace swords on the family crest of General Anthony Wayne, the founder of the fort that grew into the See City of Fort Wayne. The fortified wall represents Fort Wayne.

The six-winged seraph symbolizes the inspired word of God. St. Matthew is one of the inspired evangelists who recorded this Word. Thus the angel identifies the patron of the cathedral in South Bend. The river bend is expressed in heraldry by a wavy line. This represents the See City of South Bend.

The fleur-de-lis is the lily, symbol of purity and of the chaste foster father of Christ, St. Joseph. It indicates the locale of the See City — the St. Joseph River and valley, and St. Joseph County. As the lily of France, it recalls the colonization of this region by French Catholics.

Catholic radio within the diocese

  • WRDF "Redeemer Radio" 106.3 FM in Fort Wayne
  • WRDI "Redeemer Radio" 95.7 FM in South Bend
  • WRRO "Redeemer Radio" 88.9 FM in Edon, Ohio near the state line.

Ecclesiastical Province of Indianapolis

See: List of the Catholic bishops of the United States#Province of Indianapolis


  1. ^ "Bishop Leo Aloysius Pursley". 

External links

  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend Official Site

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