Dependency of the United States in the West Indies; administered by a governor appointed by the President of the United States and a local legislature.
The diocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico, was created on 8 August 1511; the first church was erected at Caparra that same year, and the Convent of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the first religious community in Puerto Rico, was established, 1522.
During the Spanish domination of the island the Church was under royal patronage and the civil and religious authorities were intimately associated.
On the assumption by the United States of control over Puerto Rico in 1898, full justice and every consideration was granted by the new government which even went to the extent of paying $300,000 for the church property confiscated by Spain.
Great missionary work has been done by the Augustinians, Carmelites, Capuchins, Dominicans, Vincentians, and Redemptorists, from the United States.
Schools are conducted by Sisters of Mercy from Albany, Dominican Sisters from Brooklyn, Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity from Alabama, and Sisters of Charity.
The population is about 85% Roman Catholic.
Ecclesiastically the country is governed by the archdiocese of
and the dioceses of
New Catholic Dictionary