The Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh comprises the 54 eastern counties of North Carolina, covering approximately 32,000 square miles. The diocese is divided into eight deaneries with a total of 96 parishes, missions and stations and seven centers for campus ministry. The Diocese is served by 120 active Diocesan and Religious Order Priests. The number of registered Catholics is 217,000, with an additional 240,000 unregistered Hispanics. Approximately five percent of the Catholic population was born in North Carolina.
The Diocese was established on December 12, 1924, by Pope Pius XI with Most Reverend William J. Hafey installed as the first Bishop of Raleigh. At the time, the Diocese covered the entire state with a Catholic population of 6,000. By 1972, the Diocese had grown to approximately 70,000 Catholics. At the request of the Most Reverend Vincent S. Waters, third Bishop of Raleigh, Pope Paul VI created the Diocese of Charlotte in 1972.
On June 8, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI appointed the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge the fifth Bishop of Raleigh, succeeding Bishop Emeritus F. Joseph Gossman. Bishop Burbidge was installed August 4, 2006.