Roman Catholic Diocese of Jackson

Jackson, Mississippi


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Jackson encompasses 65 of the 82 counties of Mississippi - from Corinth to Woodville, Meridian to Vicksburg, Southaven to Magee and McComb. It was established July 28, 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI as the 13th Catholic diocese in the country. It was originally the Diocese of Natchez and covered the entire state. We became the Diocese of Jackson in 1977 when the state was split into the dioceses of Jackson and Biloxi. The Diocese consists of 100 parishes and missions throughout the 65 counties. The current bishop, Joseph R. Kopacz, is the eleventh bishop of the diocese. Our first bishop was John Joseph Chanche of Baltimore.

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Bishop R.O. Gerow Collection

The Bishop Richard Oliver Gerow Archive and Records Collection houses all the bishops' papers. It also contains the Civil War Bishop, William Henry Elder's, letterbooks. The photographs of the collection capture the culture and growth of the church and the state from the late 1800s including many structures and places that no longer have churches or no longer exist at all.

The digital collection features photographs in the collection as well as some historic documents such as the papal bull establishing the diocese and many of the interesting correspondence of the bishops.