|Fort Wayne-South Bend|
Dioecesis Wayne Castrensis-South Bendensis
|Territory||Northeastern Indiana, Michiana|
|Area||5,792 km2 (2,236 sq mi)|
(as of 2006)|
|Established||January 8, 1857 (161 years ago)|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Fort Wayne)|
|Co-cathedral||Saint Matthew Cathedral (South Bend)|
|Patron saint||Immaculate Conception|
|Bishop||Kevin C. Rhoades|
The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend (Latin: Dioecesis Wayne Castrensis-South Bendensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in north-central and northeastern Indiana. The Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades was appointed diocesan bishop by Pope Benedict XVI on November 14, 2009, and was installed on January 13, 2010. The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend encompasses 14 Indiana counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, Steuben, St. Joseph, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley. The diocese has a co-cathedral setup with the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne as the primary cathedral and Saint Matthew's Cathedral in South Bend as the associate cathedral.
The diocese was erected as the Diocese of Fort Wayne (Dioecesis Wayne Castrensis) suffragan to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati on January 8, 1857, from territory earlier belonging to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vincennes. In 1944 it became suffragan to the newly elevated Archdiocese of Indianapolis. In 1944 and 1956 it lost territory to the newly formed dioceses of Lafayette and Gary, respectively. In 1960 its name was changed to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
The three crosses represent the Blessed Trinity. The Father sent the Son into the world; the Son sent the Spirit. It was this mission of Son and Spirit through missionaries that brought this diocese into being.
The crosses replace swords on the family crest of General Anthony Wayne, the founder of the fort that grew into the See City of Fort Wayne. The fortified wall represents Fort Wayne.
The six-winged seraph symbolizes the inspired word of God. St. Matthew is one of the inspired evangelists who recorded this Word. Thus the angel identifies the patron of the cathedral in South Bend. The river bend is expressed in heraldry by a wavy line. This represents the See City of South Bend.
The fleur-de-lis is the lily, symbol of purity and of the chaste foster father of Christ, St. Joseph. It indicates the locale of the See City -- the St. Joseph River and valley, and St. Joseph County. As the lily of France, it recalls the colonization of this region by French Catholics.