Pope Pius XII established the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana on October 21, 1944. The Diocese of Fort Wayne, the Mother Diocese, was established in 1857. Then, the territory now occupied by the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana had only three small brick churches with resident pastors, and four frame missions. Total Catholic population was about 5,000 people. Missionaries were still active in the area.
On November 11, 1944, the Holy See made the announcement regarding the partitioning of the Fort Wayne Diocese creating the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. The name was expressed in that manner to distinguish it from the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana. The new diocese had 54 parishes and a Catholic population of 31,700. The area designated had 9,832 square miles and comprised 24 counties in Northcentral Indiana extending from the Illinois to the Ohio state lines. Catholics comprised fewer than 6 percent of the total population. The area was largely rural.
John George Bennett was consecrated first bishop of the Lafayette See on January 10, 1945. He was a son of a parish in the new diocese, St. Mary's in Dunnington. His successors have been John Joseph Cardinal Carberry, Bishop Raymond Gallagher, Bishop George Fulcher, Bishop William L. Higi, and the current ordinary, Bishop Timothy L. Doherty.
The Mission of the Catholic people of Northcentral Indiana is to proclaim the Kingdom of God, to praise the name of Jesus and follow Him by
God and our neighbor, especially those in need;
God as a faith community in word and sacrament;
to ongoing personal conversion;
of the Gospel message in the Catholic tradition; and
in renewal, outreach, evangelization and ecumenical cooperation.
We, the people of the Local Church, gathered by the power of the Holy Spirit, are committed to responsible stewardship of our human and financial resources.