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Backgrounder

prepared by
Department of Communications
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street NE ∙ Washington, DC 20017
202-541-3200 ∙ 202-541-3173 fax ∙ www.usccb.org/comm

The Catholic Church in the United States at a Glance

(Figures Represent the U.S. Catholic Church Through 2006 Unless Otherwise Indicated)


Laity

There are 67,515,016 Catholics in the United States1 (22% of the U.S. population), and 1 billion Catholics worldwide.2

    New Church Members3

    • Infant Baptisms: 953, 688
    • Adult Baptisms: 62,464
    • Received into Full Communion: 92,975

Dioceses and Archdioceses

In the United States, there are 195 archdioceses and dioceses:

  • 145 Latin Catholic dioceses
  • 33 Latin Catholic archdioceses
  • 15 Eastern Catholic dioceses
  • 2 Eastern Catholic archdioceses

Clergy and Religious

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Cardinals

    There are 17 U.S. Cardinals

      7 Cardinals currently lead U.S. archdioceses

      • Cardinal Daniel DiNardo – Galveston-Houston
      • Cardinal Edward Egan – New York
      • Cardinal Francis George – Chicago
      • Cardinal Roger Mahony – Los Angeles
      • Cardinal Adam Maida – Detroit
      • Cardinal Sean O’Malley – Boston
      • Cardinal Justin Rigali – Philadelphia

      5 U.S. Cardinals are not currently diocesan bishops

      • Cardinal Avery Dulles – Professor of Theology, Fordham University
      • Cardinal John P. Foley – Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher
      • Cardinal Bernard F. Law – Archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica, Rome
      • Cardinal William J. Levada – Prefect, Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith
      • Cardinal James Stafford – Major Penitentiary

      5 U.S Cardinals are retired

      • Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua – Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia
      • Cardinal William Baum – Major Penitentiary Emeritus
      • Cardinal William Keeler – Baltimore
      • Cardinal Theodore McCarrick—Archbishop Emeritus of Washington
      • Cardinal Edmund Szoka – Former President, Pontifical Commission for Vatican City

    Bishops

    There are 433 active and retired U.S. bishops in the United States:

      269 Active bishops:

      • 8 Cardinal Archbishops
      • 28 Archbishops
      • 1 Coadjutor Archbishop
      • 152 Diocesan Bishops
      • 1 Coadjutor Bishops
      • 79 Auxiliary Bishops

      164 Retired Bishops:

      • 6 retired Cardinal Archbishops
      • 16 Retired Archbishops
      • 94 Retired Diocesan Bishops
      • 48 Retired Auxiliary Bishops

      Currently, 7 Dioceses are vacant (sede vacante)

      • Des Moines
      • Juneau
      • Knoxville
      • Little Rock
      • New Ulm, MN
      • Shreveport
      • St. Thomas


    Priests4

    There are 42,307 diocesan and religious-order priests in the United States.

    • 28,462 diocesan priests
    • 13,845 religious-order priests (Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, etc.)


    Seminarians5

    There are 5,180 seminarians enrolled in the United States.

    • 3,383 enrolled in diocesan seminaries
    • 1,797 enrolled in religious-order seminaries


    Permanent Deacons6

    There are 15,868 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.

    • Vowed Religious7
    • Sisters: 67,877
    • Brothers: 5,2528


Catholic Education

Total Catholic elementary and high school student enrollment: 2,310,540

  • Elementary Schools: 6,197 schools educating 1,638,114 students
  • High Schools: 1,350 schools educating 672,426 students
  • Colleges and Universities: 236 institutions educating 785,619 students
  • Non-residential Schools for Handicapped Persons: 82 schools educating 8,659 students
  • Public School Students Receiving Religious Education:

    • Elementary school students: 3,387,142
    • High school students: 732,917


Catholic Health Care9

  • Hospitals: 556 Catholic hospitals treated 84,736,305 patients
  • Other Health Care Centers: 429 centers treated 6,517,561 patients
  • Specialized Homes: 1,517 assisted 653,719 residents
  • Residential Care of Children: 986 locations assisted 60,861 residents


Catholic Charities

    Social Services10
    More than 1,735 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions provided services to 7,854,104 unduplicated individuals in need of help in 2004.

      Provided Services that Build Strong Communities to 3,618,993 people
      • Social support services 1,698,047
      • Education and enrichment 747,021
      • Socialization and neighborhood services 609,149
      • Health-related services 234,635
      • Services to at-risk populations 331,141

      Provided Food Services to 6,360,939 people
      • Food banks and food pantries 2,373,087
      • Soup kitchens 1,826,738
      • Congregate dining 1,232,217
      • Home delivered meals 279,345
      • Other food services 649,520

      Provided Services that Strengthen Families to 1,093,339 people
      • Counseling and mental health services 468,844
      • Immigration services 341,087
      • Addiction services 97,980
      • Refugee services 77,801
      • Pregnancy services 65,718
      • Adoption services 41,909

      Provided Housing Related Services to 474,999 people
      • Housing services 171,787
      • Temporary shelter 139,938
      • Supervised living 102,297
      • Permanent housing 41,424
      • Transitional housing 19,553

      Provided Other Basic Needs Services to 1,384,101 people
      • Emergency Financial Assistance (not rent, mortgage, etc.) 154,637
      • Clothing Assistance 533,828
      • Utilities Assistance 167,510
      • Medication Assistance 47,136
      • Additional Other Basic Needs Assistance 480,990

      Provided Disaster Services to 567,334 people




    1. The Official Catholic Directory 2007, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, New Providence, NJ. 2006
    2. The Official Catholic Directory 2007
    3. The Official Catholic Directory 2007
    4. The Official Catholic Directory 2007
    5. Ibid.
    6. Ibid.
    7. Ibid.
    8. Ibid.
    9. Ibid.
    10. Catholic Charities USA 2006 Annual Survey at a Glance.