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Archdiocese of San Francisco

For the Diocese in Argentina, see Roman Catholic Diocese of San Francisco.
Archdiocese of San Francisco
Archidioecesis Sancti Francisci
The coat of arms of the Archdiocese of San Francisco
Country United States of America
Territory Counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin
Ecclesiastical province Province of San Francisco
Metropolitan San Francisco, California, United States
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
444,008 (24%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established July 29, 1853
Cathedral Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption
Co-cathedral Old Saint Mary's Cathedral
Patron saint St. Francis of Assisi
Current leadership
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
Auxiliary Bishops William J. Justice
Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco
Robert W. McElroy
Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco
Emeritus Bishops George Hugh Niederauer
Archbishop Emeritus of San Francisco
John Raphael Quinn
Archbishop Emeritus of San Francisco
William Levada
Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Ignatius C. Wang
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of San Francisco

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in the northern California region of the United States. It covers the City and County of San Francisco and the Counties of Marin and San Mateo.[1] The Archdiocese of San Francisco was canonically erected on July 29, 1853, by Pope Pius IX and its cathedral is the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption.

The first church in the Archdiocese of San Francisco is older than the Archdiocese itself; Mission San Francisco de Asís was founded on June 29, 1776 by Franciscan Friars. The mission church that stands today was completed in 1791 and attached next door is Mission Dolores Basilica. The Franciscans who founded the mission also are credited with naming the City and County of San Francisco, and the entire region, after their patron, Saint Francis of Assisi.[2][3]

From his installation on February 15, 2006 until the acceptance of his resignation on July 27, 2012, the archdiocese was led by Archbishop Emeritus George Hugh Niederauer, formerly the bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. The current auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese are William J. Justice[4] and Robert W. McElroy.[5] On July 27, 2012, the Holy See announced that it had accepted the retirement of Niederauer and appointed Salvatore J. Cordileone as new archbishop of San Francisco, installed on October 4, 2012, the patronal Feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption.[6][7] He had previously been Bishop of Oakland, California.

The See of San Francisco is administered by the Archbishop of San Francisco, who as metropolitan oversees the entire ecclesiastical province of San Francisco. Its suffragans include the Dioceses of Honolulu, Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Stockton.

San Francisco once included among its suffragans the former dioceses of Grass Valley, Roman Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles-San Diego, Monterey, Monterey-Fresno, and Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles.

The Chancellery Office of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, originally located in 1853 at California and Dupont Streets, moved in 1891 to 1100 Franklin Street, in 1955 re-located to 445 Church Street, near Mission Dolores. The present headquarters of the Archdiocese of San Francisco are located at One Peter Yorke Way, a short street in San Francisco named after Father Peter Yorke, an Irish-American Catholic priest. Peter Yorke Way and Starr King Way are off of Geary Street as it becomes Geary Boulevard.


Two Archbishops of San Francisco have served as the leader of the episcopal conference of bishops and archbishops in the United States. Archbishop Edward Hanna served as the first chairman of the National Catholic Welfare Council (renamed National Catholic Welfare Conference in 1922) from its founding in 1919 until his retirement in 1935. Archbishop John R. Quinn was president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United States Catholic Conference from 1977–1980.[9] To date, no sitting Archibishop of San Francisco has been elevated to cardinal.[10] One former Archbishop of San Francisco, William Levada, was created a Cardinal in 2006 after being reassigned to serve as the Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in the Roman Curia.[11]



Each county of the Archdiocese of San Francisco is divided into several deaneries, or parish groups.

Secondary schools

All full-time faculty, librarians, and counselors at Archbishop Riordan, Junipero Serra, Marin Catholic, and Sacred Heart Cathedral high schools are represented by The San Francisco Archdiocesan Federation of Teachers, Local 2240, a labor union affiliate of the California Federation of Teachers (AFT, AFL-CIO), and have a collective bargaining agreement with the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The CBA governs the terms of their employment.

Marin County

San Francisco County

San Mateo County


Recognized lay ecclesial movements

  • Fraternity of Communion and Liberation (CL). CL is an ecclesial association of Pontifical Right. Meetings are held weekly at St. Thomas More Church and the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Province of San Francisco

See List of the Catholic bishops of the United States

The Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Province of San Francisco covers Northern California north of the Monterey Bay, as well as all of Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. The Archbishop of San Francisco, who is ex officio metropolitan bishop of the Province of San Francisco, has limited oversight responsibilities for the dioceses of Honolulu, Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Stockton.


External links

San Francisco Bay Area portal
Catholicism portal
  • Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco
  • Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption
  • Catholic San Francisco Article on the 40th Anniversary

Coordinates: 37°47′08″N 122°25′27″W / 37.78556°N 122.42417°W / 37.78556; -122.42417

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