Most Reverend John J. Stariha

Most Reverend John J. Stariha

First Bishop of the Diocese

Motto: Unknown


  • Born May 12, 1845, in Austria
  • Ordained to the priesthood, September 19, 1869
  • Ordained as first bishop of the Diocese of Lead, October 28, 1902;
  • Installed, November 23, 1902
  • Resigned as bishop, March 29, 1909; served seven years as bishop
  • Died November 28, 1915, in Austria


After immigrating to America at age 22, Stariha studied at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After his ordination, he served in parishes in Michigan and Minnesota. The new Diocese of Lead was established on July 28, 1902, and Stariha became the first bishop that same year. There were 17 priests in the new diocese and 25 parishes and missions. When Stariha retired in 1909 due to ill health, there were 25 priests, 53 parishes and missions, and one orphanage in the diocese.