Archbishop Spalding deserves historical distinction

As an ardent student of history, especially Baltimore history, I enjoyed “200 Years of Heritage” (CR, Sept. 25), but your statement concerning the founding of the St. Mary’s Industrial School, according to my understanding, is not correct.

Archbishop Spalding, rather than the Xavierian Brothers, was more technically the “founder” of St. Mary’s Industrial School. That distinction and honor was specifically mentioned in the Diamond Jubilee book for the school: “His first concern had always been to provide for the Christian education of the youth of his diocese … when he was transferred to Baltimore, one of his first great works was to look to the welfare of the most neglected of his flock, namely, the indigent and wayward boys of his archdiocese. He established a Catholic Protectory, incorporated under the title, St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys of the City of Baltimore.”

The four Xaverians who arrived later at St. Mary’s on Aug. 17, 1866 and the brothers who followed were without question critical to the establishment of the school, but it is probably more precise to credit their good work as instrumental or crucial, but not as founders. I believe Archbishop Spalding deserves more credit as an enlightened thinker and founder of this school and other schools or programs that continue to this day throughout the archdiocese.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.