Prior to John Carroll’s appointment as first bishop, Maryland Catholics were served by members of the Society of Jesus, even after the suppression of the Jesuits in North America. The first bishop and archbishop had been a member of the Society, as was his successor, Leonard Neale. Archbishop Neale, who served as the second Archbishop of Baltimore for eighteen months, had been appointed coadjutor to Archbishop Carroll in 1795, although he was not consecrated until 1800. Archbishop Neale in turn was succeeded by Archbishop Ambrose Marechal, a native of Lyons, France, and a Sulpician professor at St. Mary’s Seminary, Paca Street.
The oldest Catholic diocese in the United States, the See of Baltimore has been administered by a number of archbishops whose names are well known in the history of the Church in our country. Likewise, Baltimore has been the scene of many important ecclesiastical gatherings that have left a permanent impression on the American Church.