Let us Rejoice in the Lord! Our Diocese is 150 years old!


150 CDOW logo 4c

Two history books to celebrate the Diocesan 150th anniversary are published.

“Rejoicing in the Lord and “Family of Faith” now available through parishes or diocese.



Ocean City Convention Center, Ocean City, Maryland,  November 3, 2018

CONVOCATION 150 as a gathering of leaders from parishes, schools and Catholic organizations is where we as leaders can reflect on where we are, where we have been, and to envision and embrace a pathway for mission and ministry. Above all, Convocation 150 is our opportunity to celebrate, affirm, and deepen our ministry to missionary discipleship rooted in the Joy of the Gospel.

The convocation is an opportunity for each parish to gather their pastoral ministers and for the regional schools to gather the leaders for a day of enrichment, fellowship and prayer. It is a day to celebrate, learn and pray together as a team from the parish/school but also as a community of pastoral leaders within the diocese. It is an opportunity for the leadership throughout the diocese to envision ministry through a new lens, moving forward as a Church of missionary disciples rooted in the Joy of the Gospel.

The convocation is being planned so that participants (clergy, religious and laity) from throughout the diocese will have the following experiences.
• Experiencing a community of welcome and hospitality.
• Experiencing Catholic life and ministry as joyful.
• Affirming that ministry is directed towards all peoples, especially those on the periphery.
• Embracing excellence in our ministry and service.

While the Bishop and the Diocese wish to engage all interested persons in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Wilmington, the November convocation is specifically directed to parish, school and organizational leaders and delegates are invited to participate by their pastor.

There are two chief categories of delegates that the diocese hopes to engage in this intentional discussion. These include presently engaged leaders and pastoral ministers, as well as emerging leaders and ministers. More specifically, pastors may wish invite their school leaders and/or Catholic organizational leaders from their respective parishes.

Pastoral Leader Delegates throughout the diocese – Engaged Missionary Disciples
• Clergy , religious and diocesan staff
• Parish administrative staff and lay ecclesial ministers: full time, part time, paid and volunteers. Including business managers, secretaries, DREs, liturgical coordinators, music ministers, etc.
• School leaders, teachers, and administrative staff
• Parish volunteer ministers: catechists, youth ministers, social justice ministers, liturgical ministers, bereavement, etc.
• Catholic movements and associations, their leaders and engaged members (Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent DePaul, Ladies of Charity, etc.). Participation is through the local parish.

Emerging Leader Delegates- Emerging Missionary Disciples
• Young people seeking an intentional way to engage or re-engage in the life and or the ministry of the Church.
• Engaged and enthused adults, including young adults, who seek to more publicly witness their faith in daily life.

Each parish is invited to send 25 delegates to the convocation to reflect on our faith and ministry and identify specific concrete ways to move forward.  PLEASE CONTACT YOUR PASTOR FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Parish schools receive their invitations via pastors. Pastors of parish schools are asked to ensure that their school leaders/teachers are well represented amidst their delegation teams.

Christ the Teacher, Most Blessed Sacrament, All Saints and St. Mark’s High School will receive a separate letter of invitation from the Superintendent of Schools. They are permitted 10 delegates each.

Private Catholic Schools are welcome and should contact the Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese.

Members of the various Catholic organizations (such as the Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent DePaul, Ladies of Charity, etc.) participate through their parish delegations.

Bishop Malooly examines the Diocesan 150th Anniversary Custom Rosary with Sesquicentennial Committee Co-Chairs, Fr. Joe McQuaide & Bob Krebs

Rosary Details and Order Form.

Due to high demand, 150th Anniversary Rosaries are now available at
Angel’s Crossing, 550 Colonial Avenue, Elsmere, Delaware. Call 302-654-3232


His Holiness, Pope Francis, greets Bishop Malooly during the Pope’s weekly public audience in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. Bishop Malooly led a group of pilgrims to Rome, Annecy, and Assisi in April 2018 as part of the Diocese of Wilmington’s 150 Anniversary celebration.

Watch highlights from the March 3, 2018 150th Anniversary Opening Mass, including Bishop Malooly’s homily and the designation of Historic Pilgrimage Churches in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore:

About two dozen priests attended the March 3, 2018 Opening Mass
About two dozen priests attended the March 3, 2018 Opening Mass

Bishop Malooly celebrated the Diocese of Wilmington’s Sesquicentennial Kick-off Mass on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Sixth and West Streets in Wilmington. Catholics from across Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore gathered Gather to pray and give thanks. Diocese of Wilmington was founded by Blessed Pope Pius IX on March 3, 1868.

Certificates designating the nine official historic churches
Certificates designating the nine official historic churches

At the end of Mass, Bishop Malooly blessed certificates designating nine churches in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore as Official Sesquicentennial Pilgrimage Churches. Those churches are Saint Francis Xavier Shrine, “Old Bohemia”, Warwick, Maryland (1704); Saint Joseph Mission, Cordova, Maryland (1765); Saint Peter the Apostle, Queenstown, Maryland (1765); Saint Mary Star of the Sea, Golden Hill, Maryland (1767); Cathedral of Saint Peter, Wilmington, Delaware (1816); Saint Patrick, Pilottown, Maryland (1819); Saint Joseph on the Brandywine, Greenville, Delaware (1841); Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Wilmington, Delaware (1858); and Sacred Heart Oratory, Wilmington, Delaware (1874). These historic churches will be open for additional touring and worship on the first Saturdays of the month during the 150th anniversary year. Click here to download your Historic Churches Passport.

Additionally, a gathering of Catholics from across the diocese has been announced for November 3, 2018 at the Ocean City Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. The gathering, titled “Convocation 150,” will include a keynote presentation, breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, prayer, and Mass. The gathering will be an opportunity to celebrate, affirm, and deepen the Catholic community’s commitment to discipleship rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Other activities during the 150th anniversary year include, a prayer service to honor the Religious Men and Women of the Diocese; Masses in honor of Saints John Neumann and Francis de Sales; an ecumenical prayer service for Christian unity; and a closing Mass scheduled for March 3, 2019. Throughout the 12-month period, regional celebrations will be held. A traveling exhibition, featuring artifacts and historic documents is being planned. A coffee-table style keepsake book featuring diocesan and parish history and photographs, as well as a graphic history book of the diocese, will be published in the spring. A commemorative keep-sake rosary has been commissioned and should be available around Easter.

At the request of Bishop Malooly, the Vatican Apostolic Penitentiary has granted a Plenary Indulgence with the usual conditions to those who participate in specified sesquicentennial observances. See the News Journal video:


Throughout the year, detailed information about the 150th anniversary celebration will be posted on the Diocese of Wilmington’s website, www.cdow.org/150th and at www.facebook.com/cdow150th, and @CDOW150th on Twitter and Instagram. Read The Dialog article, here.


Calendar of Events:

First Saturday of Each Month, through March 2019 (excluding Nov. 3, day of Convocation 150) – Historic Churches Open for Tours and Worship

September 30, 2018 –  Mass to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Wilmington’s Saint Vincent de Paul Society, St. Ann Church, Gilpin Avenue & Union Street, Wilmington, DE – 2 p.m.

October 6, 2018 – Annual Marian Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of Peace Shrine at Holy Spirit Church, New Castle, DE  – All Day

October 26, 2018 – 150th Anniversary Keepsake Edition of The Dialog

November 3, 2018 – Convocation 150, Ocean City Convention Center, Ocean City, MD All Day (No Historic Church Tours today due to the Convocation 150)

January 4, 2019 – Evening Prayer for Religious, Cathedral of St. Peter, Wilmington, DE time TBD

January 5, 2019 – Mass in honor of the Feast of Saint John Neumann, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, Wilmington, DE time TBD

January 24, 2019 – Mass in honor of the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, St. Francis de Sales Church, Salisbury, MD time TBD

January 25, 2019 – Evening Prayer for Christian Unity, Holy Cross Church, Dover, DE – time TBD

March 3, 2019 – Closing Mass, St. Elizabeth Church, Wilmington, DE – time TBD

The following resources can help celebrate the Sesquicentennial in your classroom or home:
Church Dot-to-Dot, The Sayings of St. Francis De Sales, Diocesan Map Activity, Do You Know our Bishops?, Parish Scramble, Saint Taboo.
Parents, catechists, educators, if you have an idea or lesson to share, email submission form to [email protected]

Learn about some of the historic churches in our Diocese:

NEW VIDEO!  St. Peter the Apostle Church, Queenstown, Maryland

St. Francis Xavier Shrine (Old Bohemia), Warwick, Maryland

Old St. Joseph’s Mission, Cordova, Maryland

Cathedral of St. Peter, Wilmington, Delaware

The historic Cathedral of St. Peter Austin Pipe Organ

Look for a video tour of Saint Mary Star of the Sea Church in Meekin’s Neck  (Golden Hill), Maryland coming soon!

Learn about the man who may be the first canonized saint from the Diocese of Wilmington

Father Paul of Graymoor