John Joseph Chanche, S.S., First Bishop of Natchez
William Henry Elder, Third Bishop of Natchez.
James Oliver van de Velde, S.J., Second Bishop of Natchez
Francis August Janssens, D.D., Fourth Bishop of Natchez.
Thomas Heslin, Fifth Bishop of Natchez.
John E. Gunn, S.M., Sixth Bishop of Natchez.
Richard Oliver Gerow, Seventh Bishop of Natchez.

The Bishops of the Diocese of Natchez

It was July 28, 1837, when Pope Gregory XVI erected the Diocesan See at Natchez. On July 22, 1948, Bishop Richard Oliver Gerow (bishop of Natchez) officially moved the bishop's residence to St. Peter the Apostle in Jackson, Mississippi.

The move to Jackson was not immediately accompanied by a diocesan name change. It was not until 1956 that the Diocese of Natchez–Jackson became the official and legal title of the diocese.

In 1977, almost thirty years after Bishop Gerow's departure from Natchez, the diocese was renamed the Diocese of Jackson. One hundred and forty years after the diocese had been established, Natchez ceased to be a see city.

Joseph R. Kopacz, is the current Bishop of the Diocese of Jackson.

Sources: Cradle Days of St. Mary’s at Natchez by Richard O. Gerow, bishop of Natchez; 1941 (reprinted 1985); St. Mary’s of Natchez: The History of a Southern Catholic Congregation, 1716-1988, Vols. I & II, by Charles E. Nolan, Ph.D.

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