Bishops of the diocese of syracuse


bishop_luddenMost Rev. Patrick Anthony Ludden  1887 ~ 1912

Bishop Patrick A. Ludden, first bishop of Syracuse, was born on Feb. 4, 1836 in County Mayo, Ireland. His motto was “Justice and Peace.”  He frequently spoke out against Bible reading in public schools and strongly supported municipal ownership of Skaneateles water. He died Aug. 6, 1912.









Most Rev. John Grimes  1912 ~ 1922

Bishop John Grimes was born on Dec. 18, 1852 in Doughanmore, County Limerick, Ireland. He was the first American bishop to be received by Pope Benedict XV during a visit to the Vatican. His motto was “Be a Mother to Us.” Bishop Grimes died on July 26, 1922.








Most Rev. Daniel Joseph Curley  1923 ~ 1932

Bishop Daniel J. Curley was born on June 16, 1869 in New York City. His motto was “Hail, Our Hope!” He established the Society for the Propagation of Faith and erected Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton. He also made music a part of the daily curriculum in diocesan schools. He died Aug. 3, 1932.







Most Rev. John Aloysius Duffy  1933 ~ 1937

Bishop John A. Duffy was born on Oct. 29, 1884 in Jersey City, N.J. He was an outstanding orator. Bishop Duffy revived the custom of midnight Christmas Masses. His motto was “Wisdom from Above.”  He died Sept. 27, 1944.








Most Rev. Walter Andrew Foery 1937 ~ 1970

Bishop Walter A. Foery was born on July 6, 1890 in Rochester, N.Y. He was the youngest priest that was ever appointed to serve as bishop and held this post longer than any of his predecessors, a total of 33 years. His motto was “Stand Firm in the Faith.” He died May 10, 1978.








Most Rev. David Frederick Cunningham 1970 ~ 1977

Bishop David F. Cunningham was born on Dec. 3, 1900 in Walkerville, Mont. He considered his participation in Vatican II his most important accomplishment. Bishop Cunningham’s motto was “All Things in Charity.” He died Feb. 22, 1979.








Most Rev. Frank J. Harrison  1977 ~ 1987

Bishop Frank J. Harrison was born on Aug. 20, 1912 in Syracuse. He is the only Syracuse-born diocesan priest to serve as bishop.  During his administration the diocese was completely restructured into four geographic regions, each with a regional council. His motto was “Unity in Christ.” He died May 1, 2004.









Most Rev. Joseph T. O’Keefe  1987 ~ 1995

Bishop Joseph T. O’Keefe was born on March 12, 1919 in New York City. Prior to serving as Bishop of Syracuse he was Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York. His motto was “Look to Jesus.” He died Sept. 2, 1997.








Most Rev. James M. Moynihan  1995 ~ 2009

Bishop James M. Moynihan was born July 6, 1932 in Rochester, N.Y. The bishop was a strong supporter of pro-life activities. He also elevated women to some of the highest positions within the diocese. His motto is “Support One Another in Love.” Bishop Moynihan retired on April 21, 2009.






Cunningham_formal_robesMost Rev. Robert J. Cunningham 2009 ~ present

Bishop Robert J. Cunningham was born on June 18, 1943 in Buffalo, N.Y. His motto is “The Church Our Mother.” The bishop values and uses the tools of communication such as The Catholic Sun newspaper and technology to disseminate information to the people of the diocese. He also established the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, Inc.

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