Diocesan History 

Sowing Faith in a Catholic Frontier: A Condensed History of the Diocese of Richmond, written by Reverend Anthony E. Marques, can be found here:



Commemorative Book

The Diocese of Richmond has created a beautiful commemorative book, to be released in the winter of 2019, which highlights and our two-hundred-year history with text, pictures, and profiles of our nearly 150 parishes. To order this special-edition book, contact your parish office.

View/Download the Commemorative Book Flyer



Founding document

Pope Pius VII founded the Diocese of Richmond on July 11, 1820. The official document establishing the diocese took the form of an apostolic brief. (This parchment writ was presumably cheaper to produce and mail than a bull that carried the papal seal.) The original copies of the apostolic brief were sent to the first bishop of Richmond, Right Reverend Patrick Kelly, who presented them upon his arrival in Norfolk, Virginia. These copies are not extant, but there are three archival versions of the apostolic brief (with slight variations among them). The commemorative book of the diocesan bicentennial, Shine Like Stars, features a pull-out reproduction of the apostolic brief.

The following is a collated transcript of the apostolic brief, which was a written in Latin:

The following is a translation of the apostolic brief: