Americas Must See

Baltimore – America’s Premier See

The First Diocese

The Archdiocese of Baltimore was created by the Holy See in 1789. Its boundaries originally included the entire country. It continues to be the premier see of the United States.

The First Bishop

Bishop John Carroll was ordained Bishop of Baltimore in 1790 and is considered one of the fathers of Catholicism in America. His cousin, Charles Carroll, was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The First Cathedral

The Basilica of the Assumption of Mary in Baltimore was a masterpiece of architecture when it was completed in 1821, designed by the same architect as the US Capitol building. It is a symbol of religious freedom today.

The First 2 Seminaries

The first seminary in the United States is St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, founded in 1791 and still operating today. Thousands of faithful priests have been educated there by the Sulpician priests. The second seminary in the country is Mt. St. Mary Seminary located west of Baltimore City. It is currently the largest seminary in the country and boasts a martyr among its priest alumni, Fr. Stanley Rother.

The First American-Born Saint

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first person born in the United States to be canonized a saint. It was in Maryland that she began a new religious order, Sisters of Charity (now called Daughters of Charity). She is buried in the magnificent Basilica of Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Other saints who served in Baltimore are St. John Neumann and Blessed Francis Seelos.

The First Catechism

The Baltimore Catechism, written in 1885 in the diocese, was the standard text for Catholic religion teachers in the United States for almost a hundred years.