The Diocese of Bilbao is divided into 7 Territorial Deaneries, which are assisted by 4 Episcopal Vicars. Each pastorate, as well, is subdivided into several Pastoral Sectors (Arciprestazgos) directed by a Sector Delegate (Arcipreste). The Pastoral Sectors number 35. Each Pastoral Sector covers several parishes united by proximity and problematical similarity. The total number of parishes in the Diocese is 297, to which there must be added 24 annexes of different parishes.
There are currently 373 priests in the Diocese of Bilbao, of which 29 exercise a sacerdotal ministry in other Dioceses of the State or other countries or in American or African Missions. 19 extra-diocesan priests also live or work in the Diocese.
Three diocesan permanent deacons and one extra-diocesan permanent deacon have pastoral assignments.
In the Diocese 100 Institutes of Consecrated Life are establish
- 10 meditative Institutes (9 female and 1 male one, distributed among 19 monasteries).
- 84 Active-Religious Institutes (60 female and 24 male ones).
- 3 Secular Institutes.
- 3 Apostolic Life Societies (1 female and 2 male ones).
- 1 Other Devote Lifes.
Religious and Secular Institutes and Societies of an Apostolic life are considered as being under diocesan law when established in the Diocese of Bilbao. The total number of religious houses is 229. Although the data tends to vary, the number of members of the different Institutes of Consecrated Life established in the Diocese is 2.227 (1.511 female and 666 male ones). About 100 members of these Institutes work in the Diocese with pastoral positions in parishes, Diocesan Councils, Chaplaincies, or as directors of some Associations of the Faithful.
Apostolic movements and Associations of the Faithful
A rich variety of Associations of the Faithful exist: Apostolic movements of Catholic Activity, Associations for diverse and specific activities, Ecclesisastical Communities, Penitential Brother-hoods, etc. Institutions of the Diocese
In addition to the Cathedral Town hall and the Diocesan Seminary, the Diocese has also instituted diverse non clerical organisations in the form of independent foundations (canonical and civil) or diocesan services that specifically take care of diverse pastoral fields: Cáritas, Centro de Orientación Familiar ?Lagungo?, Superior Institute of Religious Sciences, Diocesan Theological and Pastoral Institute, "Estanislao Labayru" Institute, Diocesan School for Educators, Proyecto-Hombre etc.
It is also important to highlight the activity of the Diocese in the field of education. There are, at present, 15 teaching institutions (Nursery and Primary Education, Secondary Education, Professional Training and Basque Schools -Ikastolas-) and one University School for the training of the teaching staff. In addition the Religious Institutes run 70 schools and one University, Deusto, governed by the PP. Jesuits. The contribution of the Diocese in the cultural field is demonstrated by its Diocesan Museum, its Ecclesiastical Historical Public Records and its diverse libraries.
The Diocese also has a presence in the media with two broadcasting stations: Bilbo Herri Irratia/Radio Popular and Irratibide-Bizkaia Irratia. It also has a presence in the cultural world through its own Bookstore "Jakinbide".
The missionary activity of the Diocese is demonstrated by the 700 diocesans (priests, religious and seculars) that work in the mission field. The inter diocesan missions (along with the Dioceses of Vitoria and San Sebastián) of Ecuador, Angola, Rwanda and Zaire are an important reflection of the missionary drive. There are, at present, 19 Biscayan priests and seculars working there.
Spirituality and Hosting
Finally, there are 7 Diocesan Spiritual Centres and 4 Sacerdotal Residences.