Reflections in history: week three by father edward quinlan
What did the diocese look like in 1868? At the young age of 34 the newly consecrated Bishop Jeremiah J. Shanahan arrived in Harrisburg to take up his responsibilities for a sprawling diocese covering 18 counties in central Pennsylvania. (In 1901 three counties; Center, Clinton and Fulton were ceded to help form the Diocese of Altoona leaving the current 15.) There were about 25,000 Catholics in the diocese. There were 19 parishes with resident pastors and 34 missions and stations. Some 7 counties had no resident pastor. There were 7 parochial schools and one academy with a total enrollment of 955 students. Faculties consisted of 13 Religious and 10 lay teachers.
The staff of the brand new diocese consisted of 19 diocesan priests, 3 Jesuit priests and 18 religious sisters from the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.