The Growth of Suburban Parishes
In the Roman Catholic Archdiocese Philadelphia

This website examines the spread of suburban Roman Catholic parishes within the archdioces of Philadelphia in the counties outside of Philadelphia. The website maps the founding, and in some cases closing, of each of these parishes giving an idea of growth over time. Parishes can vary considerably as to their size, so simply tracking the parishes can be a misleading indicator of population. However, the presence of a parish does indicate that at least that critical mass of Catholics needed to found a parish has been reached and is a good indicator of the spread of Catholicism in the area.

There have been parishes in this area longer than there has been a diocese of Philadelphia and the boundaries of that diocese were once much larger, but only those parishes that fall within the contemporary boundaries of the diocese will be treated.

The spread of parishes has been examined in two ways:

Timeline: This part of the site is arranged as a chronology of maps. For every ten years, there is a map showing existing parishes and highlighting the parishes founded that decade. Use the timeline at the right to navigate through the decades.

Charting Growth: This part of the site takes a more analytic look at the spread of the parishes. Through various charts, it shows gives the growth of parishes some context through various comparisons.

There are also pages describing the sources of information for this site and some conclusions based on what was learned.

Researched and Created by Sean Denniston spdenn@design.upenn.edu
Home Sources Timeline Charting Growth