History of Diocese
The Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie was formally established by Pope Saint Pius X on September 16, 1904 and four days later, on September 20, Reverend David Joseph Scollard, then pastor of Saint Mary on the Lake Parish in North Bay, Ontario was appointed its first bishop.
At this time the new diocese extended west from Callander, Ontario for 800 miles, reaching almost to the Manitoba border. The Catholic population of the new diocese in 1904 was approximately 34,000 with 64 parishes and 35 priests, of which only 7 were diocesan clergy.
During the episcopacy of the second bishop, Ralph Hubert Dignan (1935-1958), the western end of the Diocese of Salt Ste. Marie was separated on August 26, 1952 to form the Diocese of Port Arthur, now known as the Diocese of Thunder Bay.
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Alexander Carter (1958-1985) was the third Diocesan Bishop and was succeeded by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Marcel Gervais (1985-1989) who subsequently became the Archbishop of Ottawa.
On January 12, 1990, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Jean-Louis Plouffe was installed as the fifth Ordinary of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.