Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore

Archdiocese of Baltimore
Archidioecesis Baltimorensis
Country United States of America
Territory The City of Baltimore and nine counties across central and western Maryland
Ecclesiastical province Baltimore
Area 4,801 km2 (1,854 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2012)
510,328 (16.2%)
Parishes 14
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established November 6, 1789 (227 years)
Cathedral Cathedral of Mary Our Queen
Co-cathedral Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Patron saint Immaculate Conception
St. Ignatius of Loyola[1]
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Metropolitan Archbishop William E. Lori
Auxiliary Bishops Denis J. Madden
Emeritus Bishops William Henry Keeler
William Clifford Newman

The Metropolitan Archdiocese of Baltimore (Latin: Archidioecesis Baltimorensis) is the premier "see" of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. The archdiocese comprises the largest metropolitan area in the City of Baltimore as well as 9 of Maryland's 23 counties in the central and western portions of the state: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, and Washington. The archdiocese is the metropolitan see of the larger regional Ecclesiastical Province of Baltimore.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore is the oldest diocese in the United States whose see city was within the nation's boundaries when the United States declared its independence in 1776. The Holy See granted the Archbishop of Baltimore the right of precedence in the nation at liturgies, meetings, and Plenary Councils on August 15, 1859.[2] Although the Archdiocese of Baltimore does not enjoy "primatial" status, it is the premier episcopal see of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States of America.

Within the Archdiocese are 518,000 Catholics, 145 parishes, 545 priests (244 diocesan priests, 196 priests resident in diocese), 159 permanent deacons, 55 brothers, 803 sisters, 205 lay eucharistic ministers, five hospitals, 28 aged homes, 7 diocesan/parish high schools, 13 private high schools, 4 colleges/universities, and two seminaries (St. Mary's Seminary and University in Roland Park, of north Baltimore and Mount St. Mary's Seminary (at Mount Saint Mary's University) in Frederick County's Emmitsburg, Maryland).[3][4]


Before and during the American Revolutionary War, the Catholics in Great Britain's thirteen colonies in America (and also its colonies in Canada) were under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of the London District, in England. After the Treaty of Paris, signed September 3, 1783, ended the war, Maryland clergy delivered a petition to the Holy See, on November 6, 1783, for permission for the missionaries in the United States to nominate a superior who would have some of the powers of a bishop. In response, Pope Pius VI on June 6, 1784, confirmed Father John Carroll, who had been selected by his brother priests, as Superior of the Missions in the newly independent thirteen United States of North America, with power to give the sacrament of confirmation. This act established a hierarchy in the United States and removed the Catholic Church in the U.S. from the authority of the Vicar Apostolic of the London District.

The Holy See then established the office of the Apostolic Prefecture of the United States on November 26, 1784. Because Maryland was one of the few regions of the colonial United States with a substantial Roman Catholic population, the apostolic prefecture was elevated to become the Diocese of Baltimore—the first diocese in the United States—on November 6, 1789.[5] In 1790, Father Carroll traveled to England where he was ordained and consecrated as a bishop in Lulworth Castle in Dorset, by authority of the Bishop of London.

On April 8, 1808, Pope Pius VII erected the suffragan dioceses of Boston,[6] New York,[7] Philadelphia,[8] and Bardstown in Bardstown, Kentucky, which moved in 1841 to the larger city of Louisville,[9] from the territory of the Diocese of Baltimore and simultaneously raised it to the rank of metropolitan archdiocese, thereby making it the "Archdiocese of Baltimore". The newly established "Province of Baltimore"—whose metropolitan was the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore—comprised all of the states and territories of the nation.

The Archdiocese again lost territory in following decades with the creation of the Diocese of Richmond (Virginia) on July 11, 1820;[10] and the Diocese of Wilmington (Delaware) on March 3, 1868.[11]

On July 22, 1939, the City of Washington was erected as a separate archdiocese.[12] The archbishop of Baltimore, Michael J. Curley, was simultaneously named the first archbishop of the new Archdiocese of Washington (D.C.) and continued to administer the two archdioceses as a single unit in persona episcopi.[13] The see was temporarily renamed the Archdiocese of Baltimore-Washington, in recognition of the nation's capital. Eight years later, on November 15, 1947, Patrick A. O'Boyle was appointed the second archbishop and first residential archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington,[13][12] which consequently began to function as a separate diocese. Therefore the territory of the "new" archdiocese consisting of the District of Columbia and the two Washington suburban and three southern counties of Maryland were permanently separated from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, resulting in the present-day Archdiocese of Baltimore.[14]

From 1808 until 1847, Baltimore was the only archdiocese in the United States and therefore the entire country was one ecclesiastical province.[5] As the nation's population grew and waves of Catholic immigrants arrived, the Holy See continued to erect new dioceses and elevate certain others to the status of metropolitan archdioceses, which simultaneously became metropolitan sees of new ecclesiastical provinces. Thus, the Province of Baltimore gradually became smaller and smaller. In 1847, the then-Diocese of Saint Louis was elevated to an archdiocese and metropolitan see of the new Province of Saint Louis. In 1850, the Diocese of New York was raised to an archdiocese. Also in 1850, the Diocese of Oregon City, now Portland, Oregon was raised to an archdiocese. In 1875, the dioceses of Boston and Philadelphia were likewise elevated.

The Archdiocese began to publish its diocesan newspaper, The Baltimore Catholic Review since 1913 as the successor to the earlier diocesan publication The Catholic Mirror, published 1833 to 1908. The name has since been shortened to The Catholic Review. In 2012, it changed from weekly to biweekly issues and in December 2015, it transformed again to a monthly magazine.[15]


In general; "Prerogative of Place"

The Archdiocese of Baltimore is led by the prelature of the Archbishop of Baltimore and a corps of auxiliary bishops who assist in the administration of the archdiocese as part of a larger curia. Sixteen people have served as Archbishop of Baltimore; the current Archbishop is William E. Lori.[16]

In 1858, the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (Propaganda Fide), with the approval of Pope Pius IX, conferred "Prerogative of Place" on the Archdiocese of Baltimore. This decree gave the archbishop of Baltimore precedence over all other archbishops of the United States (but not cardinals) in councils, gatherings, and meetings of whatever kind of the hierarchy (in conciliis, coetibus et comitiis quibuscumque), regardless of the seniority of other archbishops in promotion or ordination.[5]


The archbishop is concurrently the pastor of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland in north Baltimore and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, (old Baltimore Cathedral) on Cathedral Hill above downtown, near the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood, the co-cathedral; the bishop appoints the cathedral and co-cathedral's rectors. The Basilica, built in 1806–1821, is the first cathedral and parish constructed in the United States within its boundaries at the time. It is considered the mother church of the United States. During the time from the first bishop John Carroll's installation in 1790 to the dedication of the old Baltimore Cathedral in 1821, the bishop's throne ("cathedra") was at St. Peter's Church (first parish in the diocese, founded 1770), two blocks south on the northwestern corner of North Charles Street and West Saratoga Streets, serving as the pro-cathedral with its attached rectory, school and surrounding cemetery. Old St. Peter's interestingly was across the street from the "Mother Church of the Anglican Church" in Baltimore, Old St. Paul's Church (Anglican/Episcopal) with four successive buildings at the site beginning in 1730 at the southeast corner of Charles and Saratoga, in downtown, overlooking the harbor. St. Peter's Roman Catholic parish was razed in 1841.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore is one of only four United States dioceses that has two churches serving as cathedrals in the same city, the others being the Diocese of Honolulu; the Diocese of Burlington and the Diocese of Brooklyn. Other dioceses with two cathedrals have them in separate cities.[17]

Archbishops of Baltimore

Bishop John Carroll lays the cornerstone in 1806 for the Cathedral of the Assumption on Cathedral Hill in Baltimore, first Roman Catholic cathedral to be constructed in the United States.

The list of Archbishops and their terms of service:

  1. John Carroll, S.J. (1784–1815) died; had been raised to Archbishop in 1808
  2. Leonard Neale, S.J. (1815–1817) died
  3. Ambrose Maréchal, P.S.S. (1817–1828) died
  4. James Whitfield (1828–1834) died
  5. Samuel Eccleston, P.S.S. (1834–1851) died
  6. Francis Patrick Kenrick (1851–1863) died
  7. Martin John Spalding (1864–1872) died
  8. James Roosevelt Bayley (1872–1877) died
  9. James Gibbons (1877–1921) died
  10. Michael Joseph Curley (1921–1947) died
  11. Francis Patrick Keough (1947–1961) died
  12. Lawrence Shehan (1961–1974) retired; deceased
  13. William Donald Borders (1974–1989) retired; deceased
  14. William Henry Keeler (1989–2007) retired
  15. Edwin Frederick O'Brien (2007–2011) appointed Pro-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
  16. William Edward Lori (2012-)

Coadjutor and auxiliary bishops

Following is the list of coadjutor and auxiliary bishops and their terms of service (auxiliary is assumed unless noted as coadjutor). Once a diocese is raised to archdiocese, the coadjutor also has the rank of archbishop.

  1. Dominic Laurence Graessel S.J. (Coadjutor: 1793) posthumous appointment
  2. Leonard Neale S.J. (Coadjutor: 1795–1815) succeeded to see
  3. James Whitfield (Coadjutor: January 8 – 28, 1828) succeeded to see
  4. Samuel Eccleston P.S.S. (Coadjutor: March – October 1834) succeeded to see
  5. James Gibbons (Coadjutor: May – October 1877) succeeded to see
  6. Alfred Allen Paul Curtis (1897–1908) had retired as Bishop of Wilmington (served as such, 1886–1896)
  7. Owen Patrick Bernard Corrigan (1908–1929) died
  8. Thomas Joseph Shahan (1914–1932) died
  9. John Michael McNamara (1927–1947) appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
  10. Lawrence Joseph Shehan (1945–1953) appointed Bishop of Bridgeport (later named coadjutor archbishop; see #12 below)
  11. Jerome Aloysius Daugherty Sebastian (1953–1960) died
  12. Lawrence Joseph Shehan (Coadjutor: July – December 1961) succeeded to see (used to be auxiliary; see #10 above)
  13. Thomas Austin Murphy (1962–1984) retired
  14. Thomas Joseph Mardaga (1966–1968) appointed Bishop of Wilmington
  15. Francis Joseph Gossman (1968–1975) appointed Bishop of Raleigh
  16. Philip Francis Murphy (1976–1999) died
  17. James Francis Stafford (1976–1982) appointed Bishop of Memphis; later appointed Archbishop of Denver; later President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; created Cardinal; later appointed Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary; retired 2 June 2009
  18. William Clifford Newman (1984–2003) retired
  19. John Ricard S.S.J. (1984–1997) appointed Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee
  20. Gordon Dunlap Bennett S.J. (1997–2004) appointed Bishop of Mandeville in Jamaica
  21. William Francis Malooly (2000–2008) appointed Bishop of Wilmington
  22. Mitchell T. Rozanski (2004–2014) appointed Bishop of Springfield (Massachusetts)
  23. Denis J. Madden (2005–present)

Other affiliated bishops

The following men began their service as priests in Baltimore before being appointed bishops elsewhere (years in parentheses refers to their years in Baltimore):


Operating parishes

Name Town Founded
St. Agnes Baltimore
St. Alphonsus (W. Saratoga Street) Baltimore
St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Woodstock
St. Ambrose Baltimore
St. Ambrose (Cresaptown) Cresaptown
St. Andrew by the Bay Annapolis
St. Ann (Greenmount Avenue, Oliver) Baltimore
St. Ann (Grantsville) Grantsville
St. Ann (Hagerstown) Hagerstown
Church of the Annunciation Baltimore
St. Anthony of Padua Baltimore
St. Anthony Shrine Emmitsburg
Church of the Ascension Baltimore
St. Athanasius (Curtis Bay) Baltimore
St. Augustine (Elkridge) Elkridge
St. Augustine (Williamsport) Williamsport
St. Bartholomew Manchester
Basilica of the Assumption, (Cathedral Hill) Baltimore
St. Benedict Baltimore
St. Bernadette Severn
St. Bernardine Baltimore
Blessed Sacrament Baltimore
St. Brigid Baltimore
St. Casimir Baltimore
Cathedral of Mary Our Queen (Homeland) Baltimore
St. Cecilia Baltimore
St. Charles Borromeo Baltimore
St. Clare Baltimore
St. Clement Baltimore
St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Baltimore
Corpus Christi (Mount Royal) Baltimore
Church of the Crucifixion Glen Burnie
St. Dominic Baltimore
St. Edward Baltimore
St. Elizabeth of Hungary Baltimore 1895[18]
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Crofton
St. Francis de Sales Abingdon
St. Francis Xavier (Baltimore) Baltimore
St. Francis of Assisi (Baltimore) Baltimore
St. Francis of Assisi (Brunswick) Brunswick
St. Francis of Assisi (Fulton) Fulton
St. Francis Xavier (Hunt Valley) Hunt Valley
St. Gabriel Baltimore
Church of the Good Shepherd Glen Burnie
St. Gregory the Great Baltimore
Holy Cross (South Baltimore-Federal Hill) Baltimore
Holy Family (Davidsonville) Davidsonville
Holy Family (Middletown) Middletown
Holy Family (Randallstown) Randallstown
Holy Korean Martyrs Baltimore
Holy Rosary Baltimore
Church of the Holy Spirit Joppa
Holy Trinity Catholic Church Glen Burnie
St. Ignatius (Mount Vernon-Belvedere) Baltimore
St. Ignatius (Hickory) Forest Hill, Bel Air
St. Ignatius Loyola Frederick
Church of the Immaculate Conception (Baltimore) Baltimore
Church of the Immaculate Conception (Towson) Towson
Immaculate Heart of Mary Baltimore
St. Isaac Jogues Baltimore
St. James Boonsboro
St. Jane Frances de Chantal Pasadena
St. Joan of Arc Aberdeen
St. John Neumann Annapolis
St. John the Evangelist (Columbia) Columbia
St. John the Evangelist (Frederick) Frederick
St. John the Evangelist (Long Green Valley) Hydes
St. John the Evangelist (Severna Park) Severna Park
St. John (Westminster) Westminster
St. Joseph (Fullerton) Baltimore
St. Joseph’s Passionist Monastery (Irvington) Baltimore
St. Joseph (Cockeysville-Texas) Cockeysville
St. Joseph (Sykesville) Eldersburg
St. Joseph (Emmitsburg) Emmitsburg
St. Joseph-On-Carrollton Manor Frederick
St. Joseph (Hagerstown) Hagerstown
St. Joseph (Midland) Midland
St. Joseph (Odenton) Odenton
St. Joseph (Taneytown) Taneytown
St. Katharine Drexel Frederick
St. Lawrence Martyr Hanover
St. Leo Baltimore
St. Louis Clarksville
St. Luke Baltimore
St. Mary Magdalen Bel Air
St. Margaret Bel Air
St. Mark (Catonsville) Baltimore
St. Mark (Fallston) Fallston
St. Mary (Annapolis) Annapolis
St. Mary, Star of the Sea (South Baltimore-Riverside) Baltimore
St. Mary of the Assumption (Govans) Baltimore
St. Mary (Cumberland) Cumberland
St. Mary (Hagerstown) Hagerstown
St. Mary of the Annunciation Lonaconing
St. Mary (Petersville) Petersville
St. Mary of the Assumption (Pylesville) Pylesville
St. Matthew Baltimore
St. Michael the Archangel Overlea
St. Michael (Clear Spring) Clear Spring
St. Michael (Frostburg) Frostburg
St. Michael (Poplar Springs-Mt. Airey) Mount Airy
Most Precious Blood Baltimore
Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Timonium
New All Saints Baltimore
Our Lady of Fatima Baltimore
Our Lady of Good Counsel (Locust Point) Baltimore
Our Lady of Grace Parkton
Our Lady of Hope Baltimore
Our Lady of LaVang Baltimore
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Frederick) Thurmont
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Middle River) Baltimore
Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Edgewater) Edgewater
Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Ellicott City) Ellicott City
Our Lady of Pompei Baltimore
Our Lady of Sorrows West River
Our Lady of the Angels Catonsville
Our Lady of the Chesapeake (Lake Shore) Pasadena
Our Lady of the Fields Millersville
Our Lady of Victory Baltimore
Our Lady, Queen of Peace Baltimore
St. Patrick (Broadway-Fells Point) Baltimore
St. Patrick (Cumberland) Cumberland
St. Patrick (Havre de Grace) Havre de Grace
St. Patrick (Little Orleans) Little Orleans
St. Patrick (Mt. Savage) Mount Savage
St. Paul Ellicott City
St. Peter Claver Baltimore
SS. Peter & Paul Shrine Cumberland
St. Peter (Hancock) Hancock
St. Peter (Libertytown) Libertytown
St. Peter at the Lake Center McHenry
St. Peter the Apostle (Oakland) Oakland
St. Peter (Westernport) Westernport
SS. Philip & James (Charles Village) Baltimore
St. Philip Neri Linthicum Heights
St. Pius V Baltimore
St. Pius X Baltimore
Prince of Peace Edgewood
Church of the Resurrection Ellicott City
Resurrection of Our Lord Laurel
St. Rita Baltimore
St. Rose of Lima (Brooklyn) Baltimore
Sacred Heart Glyndon
Sacred Heart of Jesus Baltimore
Sacred Heart of Mary Baltimore
Shrine of the Little Flower Baltimore
Shrine of the Sacred Heart Baltimore
St. Stephen Bradshaw
St. Thomas Aquinas Baltimore
St. Thomas More Baltimore
St. Timothy Walkersville
Transfiguration Roman Catholic Congregation Baltimore
St. Ursula Baltimore
St. Veronica (Cherry Hill) Baltimore
St. Vincent de Paul (Jonestown-Old Town) Baltimore
St. Wenceslaus Baltimore
St. William of York Baltimore

Closed parishes

Name Town Founded Closed Successor
St. Michael (Wolfe Street) Baltimore 1852 30 July 2011 Sacred Heart of Jesus
Church of the Holy Apostles Gambrills 1999 30 June 2014 St. Joseph


High Schools

Shrines of the archdiocese

Province of Baltimore

Ecclesiastical Province of Baltimore

See also


  1. "St. Ignatius Feast Day The Archdiocese of Baltimore.". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  2. "Precedence". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York City: Robert Appleton Company. 1911. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  3. Kay, Liz F. (July 14, 2007). "New home for a new archbishop". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  4. Corrigan, G.M. (August 4, 2007). "Archbishop O'Brien to begin stewardship with listening tour". The Washington Examiner.
  5. 1 2 3 "Our History". Archdiocese of Baltimore. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  6. Lally, Robert Johnson. "Historical Sketch of The Archdiocese of Boston". Archdiocese of Boston. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  7. "The Archdiocese: Timeline". Archdiocese of New York. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  8. "A Brief History of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia". Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  9. "Brief History of the Archdiocese". Archdiocese of Louisville. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  10. "History of the Diocese & Diocesan Statistics". Diocese of Richmond. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  11. "A Brief History of the Diocese of Wilmington". Diocese of Wilmington. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  12. 1 2 Most Rev. Michael J. Curley. Archdiocese of Baltimore. Retrieved on 2016-11-19.
  13. 1 2 Archbishops of the Modern Era (1851 - 2012). Archdiocese of Baltimore. Retrieved on 2016-11-19.
  14. "About Us". Archdiocese of Washington. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  15. "Catholic Review History". The Catholic Review. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  16. "RINUNCE E NOMINE: NOMINA DELL'ARCIVESCOVO DI BALTIMORE (U.S.A.)" [Waivers and Appointments: Appointment of Archbishop of Baltimore (U.S.A.)] (PDF) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  17. "Cathedrals in United States". Retrieved 2008-01-27.
  18. Ginsberg, Elizabeth (12 November 2011). "100 Jahre St. Elisabethkirche in Baltimore" [100 Years for St. Elizabeth Church in Baltimore]. Fuldaer Zeitung (in German).
  19. "Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  20. "National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton". Seton Heritage. Retrieved 6 October 2014.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Coordinates: 39°17′38″N 76°37′02″W / 39.29389°N 76.61722°W / 39.29389; -76.61722

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.