History of the Diocese of Hamilton

The Diocese of Hamilton was established on February 29, 1856 by Pope Pius IX as a division of the Archdiocese of Toronto, in order to meet the needs of a rapidly growing Catholic community in Ontario.  Under the patronage of Our Lady of the Annunciation, the Diocese stretched as far north as Bytown (Ottawa), as far west as St. Boniface (Winnipeg), including Mantoulin Island, Sault Ste. Marie, and the missions of Lake Superior.  The See of the Diocese was fixed in the City of Hamilton.

The first Bishop was the Right Reverend John Farrell, installed on May 24, 1856 in Hamilton’s St. Mary Church.  Bishop Farrell had eight priests and three Sisters of St. Joseph to aid in ministering to an estimated 28,000 Catholics, who were being served in nine parishes and sixteen missions throughout the Diocese.

The Diocese of Hamilton has grown to become the second largest English-speaking Roman Catholic Diocese in Canada, encompassing the Counties of Brant, Bruce, Grey, Halton, Waterloo, Wellington, and four Townships in the County of Dufferin.  There are currently 118 parishes in the Diocese, with the inspiring Basilica of Christ the King, built in 1933, as the Cathedral. The Diocese of Hamilton has flourished through the leadership of its Bishops and the faith of its clergy, religious communities, and dedicated parishioners.

Discover more about the history of the Diocese of Hamilton on our website at  https://hamiltondiocese.com/history-of-diocese/