University of Notre Dame

Diocese of Fort Wayne Collection


Origination : Catholic Church. Diocese of Fort Wayne (Ind.)
Extent : 1.3 linear feet.
Repository : University of Notre Dame Archives
Address : Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Diocese of Fort Wayne Collection (DFW), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556

Scope and Content

Chiefly letters received by bishops of Fort Wayne and circular letters from the bishops to the clergy and laity of the diocese; including several letters from Edward Sorin, CSC (1814-1893), concerning the separation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross at Saint Mary's College from those at Notre Dame, and letters from other people concerning the same issue.

Also information gathered by Herman Joseph Alerding for his diocesan history, newspaper clippings, photographs, commemorative material, and notes; and circulars sent by Bishop John Francis Noll to his clergy (1925-1954).


Fort Wayne was erected as a diocese in 1858 with John Henry Luers as its first bishop. Previously the area had been under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Vincennes (Indianapolis). After Luers' death, Joseph Dwenger, C.Pp.S. (1837-1893) was consecrated second bishop in 1872. Dwenger was succeeded by Joseph Rademacher (1840-1900) in 1893, Herman Joseph Alerding (1845-1924) in 1900, and John Francis Noll (1925-1956).

During his episcopate, Alerding wrote a history of The Diocese of Fort Wayne, 1857-1907. Alerding's successor, John Francis Noll (1875-1956) wrote a complementary volume entitled The Diocese of Fort Wayne: Fragments of a History (1941). When Noll died in 1956, Leo A. Pursley (1902- ) became the sixth bishop of Fort Wayne. The title of the diocese was changed to include South Bend in 1960.


Catholic Church. Diocese of Fort Wayne (Ind.)
Luers, John Henry, d. 1871.
Dwenger, Joseph, 1837-1893.
Rademacher, Joseph, 1840-1900.
Alerding, Herman Joseph, 1845-1924.
Noll, John F. (John Francis), 1875-1956.
Pursley, Leo A., 1902- .
Catholic Church. Diocese of Vincennes (Ind.)
Catholic Church. Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend (Ind.)
Catholic Church--Bishops--Correspondence.
Catholic Church--Indiana--History.
Catholic Church--Indiana--Sources.

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