During this year of 2018 we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Green Bay Diocese, and each weekend we pray together that we continue to grow as committed Catholics to Jesus, the Lord of our lives. I want to share with you a brief bit of the history of our Diocese.
Our diocese dates back to 1634 when Jean Nicolet landed near Green Bay. He was followed by the Jesuit missionaries dedicated to spreading the Gospel along the Fox, Wolf, and Menominee Rivers. For nearly a century, the native peoples, missionaries, and French Canadian pioneers kept the faith alive.
Green Bay was originally part of the Quebec Diocese, before becoming part of: the Baltimore diocese(1791), Bardstown, Ky.(1808-21), Cincinnati(1821-33), Detroit (1833-43), and Milwaukee (1843-68). Finally the growing Catholic population led Pope Pius IX to establish the Diocese of Green Bay on March 3, 1868. Later the diocese shrunk with the establishment of the dioceses of Superior(1905) and Madison(1946).
The oldest continuing parish in Wisconsin is in our diocese: St. John the Evangelist in Green Bay (1831). Twelve men have served as Bishop of Green Bay since the Diocese was created. Our bishops have worked in shepherding and teaching the Catholics of Northeast WI, guiding us to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus with them. Let us celebrate together the many graces that have been ours throughout 150 years