The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Cloud encompasses 12,251 square miles in 16 central Minnesota counties, with an estimated total population of 555,400. The diocese stretches more than 175 miles from east to west, including some of Minnesota’s most rural areas along the North and South Dakota borders. It also includes one of the nation’s fastest-growing suburban corridors extending from Minneapolis northwest to St. Cloud.

The diocese currently includes 131 parishes with a combined Catholic population of about 125,000.

Men and women of 11 different religious communities serve the diocese in its mission. Currently, 60 diocesan priests actively serve in the Diocese of Saint Cloud and 50 retired priests are part of the diocese. Approximately 50 diocesan permanent deacons and 4 transitional deacons are part of our diocese.

Catholic education is widely available throughout the diocese for all age groups, with 27 elementary schools, and two high schools, Saint John’s University, the College of St. Benedict, and Saint John’s School of Theology.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Saint Cloud provides a variety of social services throughout central Minnesota. The diocese also contains 22 Catholic-sponsored hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living residences.

Bishop Patrick M. Neary, C.S.C., was appointed the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Saint Cloud December 15, 2022. His episcopal ordination was February 14, 2023.


A deanery divides the territory of a diocese into smaller groupings. This subdivision consists of a number of parishes over which the bishop appoints a dean, who acts in his name (see Code of Canon Law, 555 for specific duties of a dean).


A diocese is entrusted to the pastoral leadership and care of a bishop. The purpose of the deanery arrangement is to assist the bishop in his administrative responsibilities. In order to govern effectively, the bishop entrusts deans to help oversee parishes. Deaneries can be an effective tool to help the bishop unfold ideas, programs, processes, etc., across the diocese. Working together in deaneries can be very fruitful, not only for the mutual support and care of the clergy, but also for pastoral and spiritual collaboration at the local level. Deaneries help foster pastoral care through the common action of several neighboring parishes (Code of Canon Law, 374.2). In the Diocese of St. Cloud, each deanery holds regular meetings of the clergy and others, depending on the agenda items, to discuss pertinent areas of pastoral care and needs in the diocese.