The Role of Baltimore in American Church History

The Archdiocese of Baltimore is rich in historical associations. The first priest ordained in the United States, Stephen Badin, was ordained by Bishop Carroll at St. Peter’s in 1793. Two years earlier, a group of French Sulpicians established the first American Seminary on Paca Street.In 1809, Mrs. Elizabeth Bayley Seton arrived in Baltimore and took up residence in a house on Paca Street where she established a small academy, and made plans for the beginning of a religious community of women. At Emmitsburg, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and College was established by Fr. John Dubois in 1808.
But the Archdiocese is more than an historic relic – it is a living, growing entity of the Universal Church. Today, more than two hundred years after its founding, the Archdiocese has over one-half million Catholics and over 250 active Diocesan Priests. Under the leadership of Cardinal Keeler, the premier see enjoys a position of importance in the American Church as a leading center of ecumenical, social and civic progress, along with being one of the prime locations for priestly formation in the United States. For the first time in the history of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, on October 8, 1995, the Holy Father, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, celebrated Mass in the Archdiocese at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and visited both the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption.