Volume 3: Western United States
Colorado: CO-9

Catholic Church. Archdiocese of Denver. Archives
1300 South Steele Street
Denver, Colorado 80210

Phone: 303-722-4687
Email: See website (Offices & Ministries: Archives)


Hours: By appointment only

Access: Some restrictions apply (see webpage)

Copying facilities: Yes 


History: The Vicariate Apostolic of Colorado and Utah was erected for present-day Colorado and Utah, 1868-1870, and reduced to Colorado only and renamed the Vicariate Apostolic of Colorado, 1870-1886. The Diocese of Denver was erected, 1887, and elevated as the Archdiocese of Denver, 1941. The Denver Archdiocese and its predecessors have administered the following missions and parishes among Native Americans in Colorado: 

1857-present (Denver, 1871-1941)

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (Navajo, Ute), Conejos

1898-present (Denver, 1898-1941)

St. Ignatius Mission (Ute), Ignacio, Southern Ute Reservation  

1911-present (Denver, 1911-1941) 

Immaculate Heart of Mary Mission (Ute), Pagosa Springs

1911-present (Denver, 1911-1941)

St. John Baptist Mission (Ute), Pagosa Junction, Southern Ute Reservation  


St. Bernadette Church. Kateri Community of Colorado (e.g. Apache, Dakota-Lakota, Navajo, Ojibwa, Ute), Lakewood


Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans: 

Inclusive dates: 1832-ongoing 

Volume: At least 0.5 cubic foot 

Description: 4 series include Native Catholic records:


/1 Bishops’ Papers

Inclusive dates: 1832-present 

Volume: Few letters

Description: Divided by bishop; includes correspondence, clippings, and statistical reports; re: mostly administration and funding of evangelization among Ute and other Indians

A. Bishop Joseph Projectus Machebeuf/ Macheboeuf (1812-1889), Vicar Apostolic of Colorado and Utah, 1868-1887 and Bishop of Denver, 1887-1889, 1832-1899: few letters within 1.5 cubic feet; re: includes Box 61, “Pueblo controversy,” 1883-1888

B. Bishop Nicholas Chrysostom Matz (1850-1917), Coadjutor Bishop, 18871889 and Bishop, 1889-1917: ca. 1887-1917, several letters within 2.4 cubic feet; re: includes Box 74: “Bureau of Indian Affairs,” 1900-1914, and “Pueblo Affairs and Problems,” 1891-1917

C. Bishop John Henry Tihen (1861-1940), Bishop 1917-1931: ca. 1917-1931, few letters within 1.5 cubic feet; re: includes Box 80: “Indian and Negro Missions,” correspondence and statistical reports with the Commission for Catholic Missions among the Indians and the Colored People, 1919-1930

D. Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput (Potawatomi, 1944-), O.F.M. Cap., 1997-date [unprocessed]; .3 cubic foot; also includes speeches and homilies within the archdiocese and elsewhere

E. Subsequent archbishop


/2 Sacramental Records 

Inclusive dates: ca. 1960-ongoing

Volume: Several entries

Description: Arranged alphabetically by location of parishes and there under by name; includes baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials; all records are indexed, 1935-ongoing. 

A. Conejos, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

B. Ignacio, St. Ignatius Church

C. Lakewood, St. Bernadette Church, ca. 1960-ongoing

D. Pagosa Junction, St. John the Baptist Mission

E. Pagosa Springs, Immaculate Heart of Mary Mission


/3 “Indian and Colored Missions Commission”

Inclusive dates: 1917-1990 Volume: 1 folder

Description: Correspondence with the Commission for the Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians and related clippings and statistical reports; re: administration and funding for evangelization among Ute Indians in Colorado to 1941.


/4 Archdiocesan Newspapers 

Inclusive dates: 1884-1941, 1960s-present 

Volume: Few articles   Description: The following newspapers contain a few articles on Native Americans and Catholic evangelization in the archdiocese:

A. Colorado Catholic, Vicariate Apostolic of Colorado and Utah, 18841899; succeeded by the Intermountain Catholic, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1899-1920

B. The Denver Catholic Register, Archdiocese of Denver, 1960s-present; the newspaper is archived online, 2000-present; archiving of pre-2000 issues to be forthcoming.


Unless noted otherwise, the repository named above holds (or held) the records described and not the Marquette University Archives. However, Marquette’s holdings, e.g. Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records, include related records about these Native and Catholic groups and places.


Archival materials from the Raynor Memorial Libraries

Marquette Archives