Most Rev. Samuel Eccleston S.S.

Titular Bishop of Thermae Basilicae – Fifth Archbishop of Baltimore

Samuel Eccleston was born on June 27, 1801 in Kent County, Maryland. His father, Samuel, was a Protestant Episcopal Clergyman. After the death of his father, his mother, Martha (Hyson) was remarried to a Catholic, Mr. Stenson. It was while Eccleston was a student at St. Mary’s College in Baltimore that he began the conversion process. He was received into the Catholic faith on May 29, 1819. After his conversion, he entered St. Mary’s Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood on April 24, 1825 by Archbishop Ambrose Maréchal. Later that year he joined the Society of St. Sulpice and was transferred to the Sulpician Seminary in Issy near Paris, France to continue his studies. Upon his return to the United States in 1827, he was appointed a member of the faculty and Vice President of St. Mary’s College. In 1829 he was named President, a position he held until 1834.

On March 4, 1834, Samuel Eccleston was appointed Coadjutor of Baltimore by Pope Gregory XVI. He received his episcopal ordination on October 19, 1834 by Archbishop James Whitfield at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Baltimore