To proclaim the goodness of God and to make truly present and active the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ to all people through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Diocese of Harrisburg
Established on March 3, 1868
The Diocese is entrusted to a Bishop for his pastoral care and he is not alone in fulfilling these responsibilities. The Diocesan Curia (offices and ministries) assists the Bishop in his governance of the Diocese, and assist parishes and institutions within the Diocese by providing resources, leadership, direction, and support.
The Diocese of Harrisburg, established on March 3, 1868, comprises 15 counties in central Pennsylvania. The counties within our Diocese include Adams, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Union and York.
Saint Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg is the mother church of the Diocese. The Diocese is also home to Sacred Heart Basilica, Conewago, the oldest stone church in use in the United States, and the Basilica of Saints Cyril and Methodius.
The Diocesan Administration Center, serves as the administrative offices to the Bishop and his staff.
4800 Union Deposit Road
Harrisburg, PA 17111
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Our offices are closed on major holidays and holy days of obligation.
Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop Gainer was appointed Bishop of Harrisburg by his Holiness Pope Francis on January 24, 2014. He was installed as Bishop of Harrisburg on March 19, 2014.
Bishop Gainer was born August 24, 1947, in Pottsville, Pa. He was ordained a Priest for the diocese of Allentown on May 19, 1973. Bishop Gainer was consecrated and installed as Bishop of Lexington, Ky. on February 22, 2003.
On March 3, 1868, Pope Pius IX, accepting the recommendation of the Bishops of the Second Plenary Council of “the United States of North America” and having consulted the Cardinals of the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, decreed:
“Wherefore, in keeping with the counsel of the afore-mentioned Cardinals, and exercising our Full Apostolic Authority, we hereby establish and constitute in the City of Harrisburg a new Episcopal see, under the care of its own Bishop, to be known henceforth as the “Diocese of Harrisburg.”
- Established March 3,1868
- 15 Counties
(Adams, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Union and York.)
- 7,660 Square Miles
- 89 Parishes
- 7 Missions
- 230,000 Total Catholic Population
- 98 Diocesan Priests
- 33 Retired Diocesan Priests
- 31 Religious Order Priests
- 63 Permanent Deacons
- 1 Religious Brother
- 177 Women Religious
- 26 Seminarians
- 5 Secondary Schools
- 2 K-12 Schools
- 30 Elementary Schools
- 1 Catholic Hospital
The coat of arms of the Diocese of Harrisburg is based on the arms of the Penn family and the Harris family, for whom the city of Harrisburg is named. The shield, divided by a Latin cross (a symbol of the Catholic Faith), bears a shamrock to honor Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of the Diocese and of the Cathedral Church.
The black chief (upper partition) displays two silver roundels derived from the arms of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. William Penn bore as arms a silver shield, thereon a black fess (horizontal band) charged with three silver roundels. The crescent from the arms of one of the branches of the Harris family represents John Harris, who migrated to America from Yorkshire, England, and in 1712 settled Harris’ Ferry, now known as Harrisburg. The crescent is also the revered lunar symbol of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, a title for Our Lady entrusted to the Church in America, naming her Protectress of our nation.
Catholicism in what is now the Diocese of Harrisburg traces its beginning to the 1720s when Jesuit missionaries established the “Conewago Mission” (today the site of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) in what is today Adams County. From there Catholic settlements developed as the faith spread east, west, and north throughout south central Pennsylvania.
Consistent with its policy of providing financial disclosure, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has worked hard for many years to provide financial transparency. On February 19, 2020 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
On March 3, 1868, Pope Pius IX, accepting the recommendation of the Bishops of the Second Plenary Council of the United States of America, issued a decree establishing the Diocese of Harrisburg. We give thanks to Almighty God for the founding of our Diocese. The 150th anniversary of our Diocese was celebrated from March 3, 2018 to March 3, 2019.