Diocese of Winona-Rochester Overview

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester was established on November 26, 1889 when Pope Leo XIII issued the apostolic constitution which erected the diocese, and set its geographical boundaries. The diocese encompasses the 20 southernmost counties of the state of Minnesota and measures 12,282 square miles of some of the Lord's most beautiful country--bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Dakotas to the west. The diocese includes Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Jackson, Martin, Mower, Murray, Nobles, Olmsted, Pipestone, Rock, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, and Winona Counties.

The diocese is home to 107 parishes, four high schools, 30 junior high, elementary or preschools, and Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona.

The bishops who have served the Diocese of Winona-Rochester are:

  • Bishop Joseph B. Cotter (1889-1909)
  • Bishop Patrick R. Heffron (1910-1927)
  • Bishop Francis M. Kelley (1928-1942)
  • Bishop Leo Binz (coadjutor bishop 1942-1949)
  • Bishop Edward A. Fitzgerald (1949-1969)
  • Bishop Loras J. Watters (1969-1986)
  • Bishop John G. Vlazny (1987-1997)
  • Bishop Bernard J. Harrington (1999-2009)
  • Bishop John M. Quinn (2009-present)