Bishops of Archdiocese


Bishop Penalver

Bishop Penalver, First Bishop

Most Rev. Doctor Luis Ignacio Maria de Penalver y Cardenas was born August 3, 1749, in Havana. He was appointed first Bishop of Louisiana in 1793 but did not come to New Orleans until July 17, 1795. He took possession of the Parish Church, which had become the St. Louis Cathedral.

Bishop S.S. DuBourg

Bishop S.S. DuBourg, Second Bishop

After an interval marked by rebellion against ecclesiastical authority by the trustees of the St. Louis Cathedral, the diocese of New Orleans was for the period 1809-1815 under the administration of John Carroll, first Archbishop of Baltimore. In 1812, Archbishop Carroll sent Louis William Valentine DuBourg to New Orleans as Apostolic Administrator.

In 1815, on a trip to Rome he was consecrated second Bishop of New Orleans.

Bishop Rosati, C.M

Bishop Rosati, C.M., Coadjutor

Bishop Joseph Rosati was appointed Administrator and Coadjutor to the Bishop of New Orleans in 1823.

Bishop de Neckere, C.M.

Bishop de Neckere, C.M., Third Bishop

Leo Raymond de Neckere, the third Bishop of New Orleans. He was selected by the Holy See as third Bishop of New Orleans. He accepted and was consecrated at St. Louis Cathedral on June 24,1830.

He was the first Bishop to be buried in the Cathedral.

Archbishop Blanc

Archbishop Blanc, Fourth Bishop, First Archbishop

Bishop Antoine Blanc, one of the greatest leaders ever to come to the See of New Orleans, was consecrated fourth Bishop of New Orleans on November 22, 1835.

Archbishop Blanc was buried in the sanctuary of the Cathedral on June 22, 1860, the second bishop to be buried there.

Archbishop Odin, C.M.

Archbishop Odin, C.M., Second Archbishop

The second Archbishop of New Orleans was the Most Rev. Jean Marie Odin.

He was installed at the Cathedral on May 19, 1861.

Archbishop Perche

Archbishop Perche, Third Archbishop

Before Archbishop Odin left from France, Pope Pius IX named as the Coadjutor Father Napoleon Joseph Perche, chaplain to the Ursulines. Upon Archbishop Odin' death, Father Perche automatically became Archbishop of New Orleans, having been consecrated on May 1, 1870.

He was buried beneath the sanctuary of the Cathedral with his predecessors, Archbishop Blanc and Bishop de Neckere.

Archbishop Leray

Archbishop Leray, Fourth Archbishop

Francis Xavier Leray was born in Chateau-Giron in Brittany, France, on April 20,1825, one of 13 children.


Archbishop Janssens

Archbishop Janssens, Fifth Archbishop

Francis Janssens was born October 17, 1843 in Tilbourg, North Brabant, Holland. After seven years at his postin Natchez, he was called to take over the Archdiocese of New Orleans and took possession of his See on September 16, 1888. Archbishop Janssens died suddenly on a sea voyage to New York on June 9, 1897. His remains were brought back to New Orleans where they were interred under the sanctuary of the Cathedral.

Archbishop Chapelle

Archbishop Chapelle, Sixth Archbishop

Placide Louis Chapelle was born at Runes, Lozere, France, on August 28, 1842. On November 27,1897, he was appointed Archbishiop of New Orleans. Archbishop Chapelle devoted most of his time to his foreign duties and it was riot until 1905 that, realizing the need for a canonical visitation, he set out on official visits in his parishes in Louisiana. The Archbishop fell ill on this trip but continued his journey until he heard that a yellow fever epidemic had broken out in New Orleans. Leaving Lake Charles, he journeyed by train to New Orleans in an exhausted condition. A few days after his arrival, he contracted the dread yellow fever and on August 9, 1905, he succumbed. Because of the prevalence of the epidemic, the Archbishop was buried with little of the usual ceremonies in the sanctuary vaults of the Cathedral.

Archbishop Blenk, S.M.

Archbishop Blenk, S.M., Seventh Archbishop

James Hubert Blenk was born in Neustadt, Bavaria on August 6,1856, of Protestant parents. They moved to New Orleans when he was a child and while he was still a small boy he found joy in attending St. Mary's Assumption and St. Alphonsus churches. After the death ofArchbishop Chapelle he was notified of his elevation to the Archdiocese of New Orleans and he returned to the city on July 1, 1906. Archbishop Blenk died of a heart attack on April 20, 1917. His funeral cortege was three miles long and more than 30,000 people marched from St. Joseph's Church, where his body had lain in state (because the Cathedral was closed for repairs), to the latter building, where his remains were interred in the vaults under the sanctuary.

Archbishop Shaw

Archbishop Shaw, Eighth Archbishop

John William Shaw, the first native American to become Archbishop of New Orleans, was born in Mobile, Alabama on December 12, 1863. He was chosen by the Holy See to be Archbishop of New Orleans and on December 8, 1918,in the refurbished St. Louis Cathedral the pallium was conferred upon him in a splendid ceremony. Archbishop Shaw's 16 years in office saw great growth in his diocese. Thirty-three new parishes were established and more than a score of new churches, many of them of substantial construction, were built.

Archbishop Shaw died of a heart attack on November 2,1934, at the age of 71. The interment was in the Cathedral sanctuary where he was the seventh Ordinary of New Orleans to be so honored.

Archbishop Rummel

Archbishop Rummel, Ninth Archbishop

Joseph Francis Rummel was born in Baden, Germany, on October 14 1876, but came with his parents to the United States when a young child. On May 15,1935 he took possession of his See. He created many new parishes, enlarged seminaries and developed religious, educational and charitable institutions.

Archbishop Rummel passed away on November 9, 1964 at the age of 88. His remains, after solemn services at the Cathedral, were entombed under the sanctuary, the eighth Ordinary to lie in this hallowed spot.

Archbishop Cody

Archbishop Cody, Tenth Archbishop

John Patrick Cody was born in St Louis, Missouri, December 24, 1907. In August, 1961, Bishop Cody became Coadjutor Archbishop of New Or leans with right of succession. On June 16, 1965, Archbishop Cody was named to succeed the late Albert Cardinal Meyer as Archbishop of Chicago. In 1967 he was elevated to the College of Cardinals. Cardinal Cody celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination in 1981 and died in April 1982 in Chicago.

Archbishop Hannan

Archbishop Hannan, Eleventh Archbishop

Philip Matthew Hannan was born in Washington, D.C., May 30,1913. He attended St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland, the Sulpician Seminary and Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he received a Masters degree before going to the North American College in Rome in 1936. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America.

He was ordained in Rome on December 8, 1939 and served for two years as an assistant at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Baltimore. In 1942, he volunteered as a wartime paratroop chaplain and served in a parachute regiment, where he was known as "The Jumping Padre."

Following the war, he established the Catholic Standard newspaper in Washington and served as editor-in-chief. He was named chancellor of the Archdiocese in 1951 and Pope Pius XII honored Father Hannan in 1952 by naming him a Monsignor. On June 16,1956 he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and was consecrated in St. Matthew Cathedral on August 28. --Bishop Hannan attended the second and third sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome where he addressed the council fathers on "The Role of the Laity" and "Nuclear Warfare."

On September 29,1965, Bishop Hannan was named Eleventh Archbishop of New Orleans. He was installed October 12 in St. Louis Cathedral by Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, Apostolic Delegate in the United States.

Archbishop Hannan instituted a Social Apostolate program in 1966 which has grown to the point where it now provides over 20 million pounds of free food each year to 42,000 needy women, children and elderly. He revitalized Catholic Charities which soon became the largest non-governmental social service agency in the metropolitan area. And his housing for the elderly program - the largest and most respected of any diocese in the nation - accommodates over 5,000 residents in 24 developments. Together, these three charitable programs represent $60 million in services annually to the community.

Archbishop Hannan worked to keep inner-city schools open, affording a Catholic education to children from disadvantaged families. Under his leadership a model Permanent Diaconate program was established and 37 new parishes created.

Archbishop Hannan received numerous civic honors including the most prestigious award presented to a New Orleans civic leader, The Times-Picayune Loving Cup. In 1987, Catholic University honored him by naming its new science center Hannan Hall and conferring upon him the honorary Doctor of Laws Degree. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Georgetown University.

On September 11,1987, Archbishop Hannan welcomed Pope John Paul II to New Orleans and to the Cathedral during the pontiff's second pilgrimage to America. In May of the following year, upon reaching his 75th birthday, Archbishop Hannan submitted his resignation. He continues to reside in New Orleans in very active retirement, ministering to the people and assisting the new archbishop.

Archbishop Schulte

Archbishop Schulte, Twelfth Archbishop

Francis Bible Schulte was born in Philadelphia on December 23, 1927. He attended Norwood Academy and St. Joseph's Preparatory School before completing his studies for the priesthood at St. Charles Seminary in Overbrook. He also holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and has pursued post-graduate studies at the Advanced Administrative Institute of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Following his ordination to the priesthood on May 10, 1952, he was a faculty member and department headof Philadelphia area Catholic schools. For the next 20 years he served first as assistant superintendent (1960-70) and then as superintendent (1970-80) of Philadelphia archdiocesan schools, the second largest Catholic school system in the nation with over 300 institutions and nearly 200,000 students. During his tenure as assistant superintendent, he was named by Pope Paul VI as a Papal Chamberlain with the title of Reverend Monsignor.

In 1980 he was named pastor of St. Margaret Church in Narberth, Pennsylvania, and on August 12, 1981, was elevated to the episcopacy, becoming Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia and Vicar General of the Archdiocese.

In June of 1985, he was named sixth bishop of Wheeling-Charleston a diocese which covered the entire state of West Virginia. He was installed on July 31 of that year but his tenure was to be brief. On December 13,1988, it was announced that Pope John Paul II had promoted Bishop Schulte to the Metropolitan See of New Orleans as Twelfth Archbishop. He was installed in the St. Louis Cathedral on February 14,1989, in the presence of four cardinals, 14 archbishops and 59 bishops, the largest gathering of the episcopacy in the history of the Catholic Church in New Orleans.

Archbishop Schulte has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America and on the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services. At the time of his appointment to New Orleans he was a member of the United States Catholic Conference Administrative Board and chairman of its Committee on Education. He is a former member of the Communications Committee and the Personnel and Administration Committee of the U.S. Catholic Conference and was a member of the Vatican Visitation Committee to American Seminaries. He has also served as chairman of the Committee of Bishops and Catholic College and University Presidents.

Seven institutions of higher learning, including LaSalle College and Villanova University, have conferred honorary degrees on Archbishop Schulte in recognition of his contributions to education and to the church.

Alfred Hughes

Alfred Hughes, Thirteenth Archbishop

Most Reverend Alfred Clifton Hughes became the 13th Archbishop of New Orleans on January 3, 2002, when Pope John Paul II accepted the retirement of Archbishop Francis Bible Schulte, who turned 75 on December 23, 2001.

     Archbishop Hughes had served as Coadjutor Archbishop of New Orleans since February 16, 2001.  Since arriving full time in the Archdiocese of New Orleans last May, Archbishop Hughes has visited 90 of the archdiocese's 142 parishes in a concerted effort to learn more about the nearly half-million Catholics now entrusted to his pastoral leadership.

     "The announcement of our Holy Father Pope John Paul II that he has accepted the retirement of Archbishop Francis Schulte ushers the Archdiocese of New Orleans into a new era," Archbishop Hughes said.  "I now embrace the awesome responsibility God has entrusted to me through our Holy Father.  I thank him for his trust and ask you for your prayer that I may do what God wants me to do and serve in the way he wants me to serve."

     Archbishop Hughes, who said he would try to emphasize evangelization during his tenure as archbishop, praised Archbishop Schulte for his nearly 13 years of ministry that began when he was installed as the 12th Archbishop of New Orleans on February 14, 1989.

     A native of West Roxbury, Mass., outside of Boston, Archbishop Hughes was welcomed to the Archdiocese of New Orleans on Mary 2, 2001, with a special Mass of Welcome at St. Louis Cathedral.

     Archbishop Hughes served as the fourth Bishop of Baton Rouge from 1993 - to 2001.  Archbishop Schulte called Archbishop Hughes "an outstanding theologian and one of the most respected members of the American hierarchy."  Archbishop Hughes served as rector of St. John's Seminary in Brighton,  Mass.,  from 1981 to 1986 after having served as a faculty member, spiritual director and lecturer there since 1962.

     He was vicar general and vicar of administration of the Archdiocese of Boston under Cardinal Bernard Law from 1990 until he was appointed Bishop of Baton Rouge in 1993.

     After attending St. John's Seminary College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1954, he completed his seminary studies in 1958 at the Gregorian University in Rome.  He was ordained a priest in Rome on December 15, 1957 and after two parish assignments, returned to the Gregorian for a doctoral degree in spiritual theology from 1959-1961.  He joined the faculty at St. John's Seminary in 1962. 

     Archbishop Hughes  is a member of numerous U.S. bishops committees, including the committee to oversee the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

     Archbishop Hughes was born December 2, 1932, the third of four children to Alfred C. and Ellen (Hennessey) Hughes Sr., who are both deceased.  He has two sisters, Dorothy (Mrs. John) Callahan and Marie (Mrs. Alexander) Morgan, and a young brother, Jesuit Father Kenneth Hughes.

Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond

Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond,
Fourteenth Archbishop

As the 14th Archbishop of New Orleans, Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond holds the unique distinction of being the first New Orleans native to serve as Archbishop of New Orleans in the 216-year history of the local church. 

Archbishop Aymond has served since 2000 as Bishop of Austin, Texas. 

He was born in Gentilly on November 12, 1949. After attending St. James Major Elementary School and Cor Jesu High School, he went to St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, La., where he graduated in 1971. He earned a master's degree in divinity from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans in 1975 and was ordained as a priest of the New Orleans Archdiocese the same year. 

From 1973 to 1981, he was a professor, business administrator and then rector of St. John Vianney Preparatory Seminary in New Orleans. From 1981 to 1986, he was professor of pastoral theology and homiletics and director of education at Notre Dame Seminary. 

The bishop served as president-rector of Notre Dame Seminary from 1986 until the end of the 1999-2000 academic year, longer than any rector in the seminary's history. He also was a member of the seminary faculty for 18 years. During his tenure, Notre Dame Seminary grew to become the third-largest seminary in the country. 

Bishop Aymond also served as the executive director of the archdiocesan Department of Christian Formation, with responsibility for Catholic schools and religious education, and as the archdiocesan director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. 

He made mission work a strong emphasis of his ministry. In the 1980s, Bishop Aymond and groups of Notre Dame seminarians began to visit Sotuto, Mexico, where they built housing and offered religious training. 

In 1994, he began a medical mission program in Nicaragua called 'Christ the Healer,' taking volunteer teams of health care professionals to the town of Granada to offer medical help at San Juan de Dios Hospital. 

Archbishop Aymond was ordained an auxiliary bishop of New Orleans in 1997 and became coadjutor bishop of Austin in 2000, succeeding to head the diocese. Archbishop Aymond has served as chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People. He also was chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Educational Association from 2000-04. 

He currently serves as a member of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. 

Under his tenure, the Diocese of Austin experienced unprecedented expansion, including a threefold increase in the number of seminarians. He established the Institute for Spiritual Direction, opened San Juan Diego Catholic High School for students from low-income families, opened St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School and initiated a distance learning program with St. Mary's University in San Antonio that allows lay people in the Austin Diocese to obtain master's degrees in theology. 

Archbishop Aymond succeeds Archbishop Alfred Clifton Hughes, 76, who has served as archbishop of New Orleans since 2002 and has led local Catholics through the challenging aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

The Archdiocese of New Orleans now has three retired archbishops: Archbishop Hughes; Archbishop Francis Bible Schulte, 83, who served 1989-2002; and Archbishop Philip Matthew Hannan, 96, who served 1965-88. The Archdiocese of New Orleans has a population of 1.08 million people, with about 387,000, or 36 percent, of them Catholic.