The Diocese of Ogdensburg was acknowledged on February 16, 1872 by Pope Pius IX, "We, with definite knowledge, mature deliberation, and by our Apostolic Authority, in virtue of the present document, separate and sever from the Diocese of Albany, the following territory -- the counties of St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Jefferson, Lewis, and Essex, together with that part of the counties of Herkimer and Hamilton which lies above the northern line of the townships of Ohio and Russia; and this same territory we erect and constitute as a true and properly called diocese.
Until 1872 the entire North Country which is now under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Ogdensburg was a part of the Albany Diocese. In 1871 the Bishop of Albany discussed with his counsellors the advisability of recommending to the Holy See a division of the Albany Diocese. The recommendation was made. Ogdensburg was designated by the authorities at Rome as the seat of the new see, and Father Edgar P. Wadhams, rector of the Cathedral of Albany and Vicar General of the Albany Diocese, was named the first bishop.
CHURCH OF THE NORTH COUNTRY CELEBRATES
On February 16, 1872, Pope Pius IX separated what was then a sprawling Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, and the Diocese of Ogdensburg – encompassing Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, as well as northern Herkimer County – was created.
The Diocese of Ogdensburg is opening its celebration of its 150th anniversary, themed “Remember, Renew, Rejoice,” with a Holy Hour – time for prayer with the Eucharist, the real presence of Jesus – on February 12 at 3 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Ogdensburg. Parishes, organizations and faithful around the diocese are encouraged to join the celebration by hosting similar prayer services the week of February 16.
The capstone of the celebration will be an Anniversary Mass on August 10, the Feast of St. Lawrence at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg. Events are also planned throughout the year, including:
conjunction with the 150th anniversary, the Diocese is
participating in the “Synod on Synodality” called by Pope Francis to create
opportunities for what Vatican documents describe as “listening and dialogue on
the local level” with the goal of “humbly learning together how God is calling
us to be as the Church in the third millennium.” Dialogue is being fostered at
the diocesan and local parish and organization levels.
Additionally, as the diocese celebrates its anniversary, it is refocusing on the Eucharist, Jesus Christ present body and blood, soul and divinity in the form of bread and wine by offering faith formation opportunities.
MOST REVEREND TERRY R. LAVALLEY, BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF OGDENSBURG, SAID:
“As we celebrate 150 years as the Church of the North Country, we remember those who came before us, sowing the seeds of faith and building the foundation upon which we stand now; we renew our commitment to Christ, the mission He gave the Church and to serving the lost, rejected and forgotten; and we rejoice in the many gifts and blessings which come from the Lord."
The Diocese of Ogdensburg, covering an area of 12,036 square miles, was established by Pope Pius IX on February 16, 1872.
The diocese is comprised of 78 parishes and 3 mission parishes made up of 101 worship sites, 16 parochial oratories, 2 high schools, 8 elementary schools and 1 nursing home. Catholics are served by 49 active diocesan priests, 9 priests belonging to religious institutions, and 5 priests belonging to other dioceses. At Fort Drum, 2 priests of the Archdiocese for Military Services serve as chaplains. We have 37 retired and disabled diocesan priests, many continue to minister in various roles. We are blessed with 1 transitional deacon, 96 permanent deacons, 66 religious sisters and 753 commissioned lay ministers. The Catholic population in the Diocese is 71,905, 18.2% of the total population within the Diocese.
Events are planned throughout the year to celebrate the Anniversary Year. Details will be made available as the year progresses:
Ongoing throughout the year and beyond: building a interactive StoryMap of historical events, objects and anecdotes of our faith life in the North Country.
We are building an interactive Story Map to share the history of our Diocese. Our goal is to share the stories of parishes, bishops, and canonized saints connected to our Diocese. For a preview, take a look at this item from the Cathedral.
The Synodal process is part of our 150th Anniversary Celebration. The Synod allows us to look at where we stand today and where are called to be in the future. What is the Holy Spirit saying to the Church of Ogdensburg? In what do we Rejoice and how are we called to Renew?