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Archives 150 Years: Remember, Renew, Rejoice

Aug. 3, 2022

On February 16, 1872, Pope Piux IX separated the northern portion of New York from the Diocese of Albany with the following declaration:

FOR FUTURE REMEMBRANCE. Whatever can turn out well, prosperously, and happily for Catholics, that we hasten to do, in keeping with Our Pastoral duty. Therefore, as soon as Our Venerable Brother, the Archbishop of New York, in the United States of North America, and all the other Bishops of that Ecclesiastical Province explained to Us that it would be of great profit to Christianity if the Diocese of Albany, which covers a vast territory, would be divided by the erection of another Episcopal See, We referred the matter to Our Venerable Brethren, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church who are in charge of matters pertaining to the Propagation of the Faith; after all the circumstances had been carefully and attentively weighed, we cl arly realized that an increase in the number of Shepherds would be for the better interests of the Lord's flock and so we decided in favor of the proposed erection of a new Episcopal See. Since this decision is in conformity with the advice of the aforementioned Venerable Brethren, We, with definite knowledge, mature deliberation, and by our Apostolic Authority, in virtue of the present document, separate and sever from the Diocese of Albany the following territory - the counties of St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Jefferson, Lewis, and Essex along with that part of the counties of Herkimer and Hamilton which lies to the north of Ohio and Russia; and this same territory we erect and constitute ·as a true and properly called diocese. It is our will that the Episcopal See of this new diocese be situated in the City of Ogdensburg where a church has already been established which can be used as the Cathedral and, therefore, that this diocese be named the Diocese of Ogdensburg. Furthermore, we decree that it be a suffragan see of the Archbishop of New York and that it have and enjoy individually and collectively the rights, privileges, honors, and prerogatives which other Episcopal Churches will enjoy and do enjoy. This we decree and order with the decision that this present document of Ours will be effective, valid, and efficacious and that it receive and obtain its full and complete effects and that, in all matters, in every way it completely support those to which it does pertain and will pertain according to circumstances in any way whatever, and that any contrary attempt made with regard to these matters by anyone with any authority whatever, wittingly or unwittingly, is null and invalid. Notwithstanding anything whatsoever to the contrary - whether a regulation of Ours or of the Papal Chancery about not removing a right that has been granted, or any law, general or special, whether Papal or passed in ecumenical or provincial or synodal councils or that of Our Predecessor of cherished memory, Benedict XN, concerning the division of material things.

Shepherds of the Flock

Bishop Edgar P. Wadhams, DD
First Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: May 5, 1872 to December 5, 1891
Motto: “Iter Para Tutum,” Prepare for a Safe Journey
Born: May 21, 1817 in Lewis, New York
Died: December 5, 1891

Edgar Prindle Wadhams was born in the town of Lewis to Brigadier-General Luman Wadhams and Lucy Bostwick Prindle Wadhams. Raised in an Episcopalian home, he enrolled in the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York City in 1840. After being ordained a deacon in that denomination, he converted to Catholicism and sought ordination in the DIocese of Albany. On January 10, 1850, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John McCloskey of that diocese.






Bishop Terry R. LaValley, DD, JCL
14th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: April 30, 2010 to the present
Motto: “Follow Me”
Born: March 26, 1956

Bishop LaValley, the second of six children of Ronald (deceased) and Doris LaValley, is a native of Mooers Forks and was raised in St. Ann's Parish. He ompleted his primary and secondary education at Mooers Central in Mooers and Northeastern Clinton Central School in Champlain. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of the State of New York and a Certificate of Studies in Philosophy from Wadhams Hall Seminary-College. Prior to his entrance into Wadhams Hall Seminary-College in January 1983, Bishop LaValley served a six-year tour of duty with the United States Navy. He completed the Pre-Theology Program at Wadhams Hall in May 1984 and received his Master of Divinity degree from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora in May 1988. He was ordained to the Diaconate on February 27, 1988, and to the Priesthood on September 24, 1988 by Bishop Stanislaus J. Brzana.

Bishop Henry Gabriels, DD
2nd Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: May 5, 1892 to April 23, 1921
Motto: “In Virtute Dei,” In the Strength of God
Born: October 6, 1838 in Wannegem-Lede, Belgium
Died: April 23, 1921





Bishop Joseph H. Conroy, DD, LLD
3rd Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: January 18, 1921 to March 20, 1939
Motto: “Dominus Confortabit,” The Lord Will Comfort
Born: November 8, 1858 in Watertown
Died: March 20, 1939





Bishop Francis J. Monaghan, DD, LLD
4th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: May 2, 1939 to November 13, 1942
Motto: “Dominus Praeceptor,” The Lord is my Teacher
Born: October 30, 1890 in Newark, New Jersey
Died: November 13, 1942





Bishop Bryan J. McEntegart, DD, LLD
5th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: August 10, 1943 to August 18, 1953
Motto: “Estote Factore Verbi,” Be Doers of the Word
Born: January 5, 1893 in Brooklyn
Died: September 30, 1968





Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg, DD
6th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: March 25, 1954 to May 26, 1957
Motto: “Regina Verte Lumina,” Queen Guide Me By Thy Light
Born: June 3, 1901 in Bronx
Died: January 11, 1986





Bishop James J. Navagh, DD
7th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: June 14, 1957 to May 8, 1963
Motto: “Ipsam Cogitans Non Eras,” Meditating on Mary, You Err Not
Born: April 4, 1901 in Buffalo
Died: October 2, 1965





Bishop Leo R. Smith, PHD, JCD
8th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: May 13, 1963 to October 9, 1963
Motto: “Ne Cesset Mater Manus Tua,” Mother, May Your Hands Never Fail Me
Born: August 31, 1905 in Attica
Died: October 9, 1963





Bishop Thomas A. Donnellan, JCD
9th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: April 13, 1964 to July 14, 1968
Motto: “Ministrare Non Ministrari,” To Serve and Not Be Served
Born: January 24, 1914 in Bronx
Died: October 15, 1987





Bishop Stanislaus J. Brzana, STD, LLD
10th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: October 22, 1968 to November 11, 1993
Motto: “Deus Caritas Est,” God is Love
Born: July 7, 1917 in Buffalo
Died: March 1, 1997





Bishop Paul S. Loverde, DD, STL
11th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: January 17, 1994 to January 25, 1999
Motto: “Encourage and Teach with Patience”
Born: September 30, 1940 in Framingham, Massachusetts
Currently: Retired on October 4, 2016 as Bishop of Arlington, Virginia





Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito, DD, JCL
12th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: January 7, 2000 to July 1, 2003
Motto: “Veritatem Facientes In Caritas,” Let Us Profess The Truth in Love
Born: January 4, 1950 in Brooklyn
Currently: Bishop of Palm Springs, Florida





Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, DD, JCL
13th Bishop of Ogdensburg

Dates served: May 18, 2004 to April 21, 2009
Motto: “Ecclesia Mater Nostra,” The Church Our Mother
Born: June 18, 1943 in Buffalo
Currently: Retired June 4, 2019 as Bishop of Syracuse


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