Overview/History


Overview

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids was established on May 19, 1882. Today, led by Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, the 191,000+ Catholics who call the diocese home are witnesses to the mission of Jesus Christ.

Our 80 parishes, 31 Catholic schools, and numerous ministries are places where people come to know, love, and serve the Lord through participation in the sacraments, the study of sacred Scripture, care of the poor and vulnerable; prayer, education, and social activities. These communities of faith give witness to the presence of the living God in our lives and his great gift of salvation through his son Jesus. Within our parishes and schools we celebrate the rich diversity and cultural heritage that makes us unique while finding a common bond in our universal call of faith.

We welcome believers of all ages, races, cultural backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, and education. Mass is celebrated in the Diocese of Grand Rapids in many languages including English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Click here to learn more about the Catholic Church.

Mission Statement

As Roman Catholic Christians of the Grand Rapids Diocese, we are committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We proclaim the Gospel with fidelity to the Sacred Scriptures and the teachings of the Church. We aim to live Christ’s Gospel in union with our Holy Father the Pope, the bishop of Rome. We do so under the leadership of our bishop, the shepherd of the Catholic community in the 11 counties of West Michigan which constitute the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

We dedicate ourselves to the mission of Jesus by building communities of faith which worship together and welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives. These communities give witness to God’s saving presence among us through the ministries of teaching and healing, of forgiving and reconciling. Through schools and hospitals, in churches, families, and organizations, we seek to bring the truth and justice, the mercy and love, and the great peace of Christ to our society.

The diocesan offices are located at:

Cathedral Square Center
360 Division Ave. S.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Phone: 616-243-0491
Fax: 616-243-4910

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Quick Facts

Origin:
The Diocese of Grand Rapids was established May 19, 1882.

Bishop of Grand Rapids:
Most Rev. David J. Walkowiak

Area:
The diocese originally consisted of much of the northern and western part of the Lower Peninsula. Since 1971, the diocese comprises 11 counties of Western Michigan: Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa. View the current diocesan Deanery Map.

Total square miles: 6,795

Population:
Total population of the 11-county area is estimated at 1,396,667 (2014 U.S. Census). The Catholic population is over 191,000 (2014 Official Catholic Directory or OCD)

Michigan Dioceses:
The Diocese of Grand Rapids is one of seven dioceses in the State of Michigan. The other six include the Archdiocese of Detroit, and the dioceses of Gaylord, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marquette, and Saginaw.

Office Location and hours:
Cathedral Square Center
360 Division Ave. S.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-243-0491
Fax: 616-243-4910

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Summary (updated July 2018)

Office

Number

Bishop

1

Bishops Emeriti

2

Priests, Diocesan

105

Active in diocese

67

Active outside diocese

0

Retired

38

Priests, Religious Order

15

Priests from another country working in diocese

8

Retired Priests from another diocese, living in the diocese

3

Pastoral Director 1

Permanent Deacons

33

Brothers

1

Sisters

355

Hermits

1

Consecrated Virgins Living in the World

19

Parishes

80

Missions 8
Schools 31
Seasonal Chapels 4

Other Pastoral Centers

0