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Archdiocese of Baltimore

Archdiocese of Baltimore
Archidioecesis Baltimorensis
Country United States of America
Territory The City of Baltimore and nine counties across Northern Maryland
Ecclesiastical province Baltimore
Area 4,801 km2 (1,854 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
499,529 (16%)
Parishes 153
Denomination Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established November 6, 1789 (224 years ago)
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
Metropolitan Archbishop William E. Lori
Auxiliary Bishops Denis James Madden, Mitchell Thomas Rozanski
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 City of Baltimore as well as Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, and Washington Counties in Maryland. The archdiocese is the metropolitan see of the 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 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.

The archdiocese comprises nine Maryland counties and Baltimore city, with 518,000 Catholics, 545 priests, five hospitals, and two seminaries — (St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore and Mount St. Mary's Seminary (at Mount Saint Mary's University) in 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. The war was formally ended by the Treaty of Paris, which was signed on September 3, 1783, and was ratified by the Congress of the Confederation (of the newly independent United States of America) on January 14, 1784, and by the King of Great Britain on April 9, 1784. The ratification documents were exchanged in Paris on May 12, 1784.

A petition was sent by the Maryland clergy 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 to that, Father John Carroll — having been selected by his brother priests — was confirmed by Pope Pius VI, on June 6, 1784, as Superior of the Missions in the 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 Apostolic Prefecture of the United States on November 26, 1784. Because Maryland was one of the few regions of the colonial United States that was predominantly Catholic, the apostolic prefecture was elevated to become the Diocese of Baltimore[5] — the first diocese in the United States — on November 6, 1789.

On April 8, 1808, the suffragan dioceses of Boston,[6] New York,[7] Philadelphia,[8] and Bardstown (moved in 1841 to Louisville) [9] were erected by Pope Pius VII from the territory of the Diocese of Baltimore, which was simultaneously raised to the rank of metropolitan archdiocese, thereby becoming 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 however, again lost territory with the creation of the [4] was erected, from the Diocese of Richmond.

On July 22, 1939, the see was renamed the Archdiocese of Baltimore-Washington, in recognition of the nation's capital. Eight years later, on November 15, 1947, the District of Columbia and the five southern counties of Maryland became the [5], resulting in the present-day Archdiocese of Baltimore, which consists of the City of Baltimore and nine counties of central and western Maryland.

From 1808 until 1847, Baltimore was the only archdiocese and therefore the entire country was one ecclesiastical province.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) was raised to an archdiocese. In 1875, the dioceses of Boston and Philadelphia were likewise elevated.

The Archdiocese has published The Catholic Review since the 19th century.


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.[10]

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.[11]


The archbishop is concurrently the pastor of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 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 in the United States within its boundaries at the time. It is considered the mother church of the United States.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore is one of only three United States dioceses that has two churches serving as cathedrals in the same city — the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace and Co-Cathedral of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus in the Diocese of Honolulu share the distinction. The Diocese of Burlington also has this in common. Other dioceses with two cathedrals have their churches in separate cities.[12]

Archbishops of Baltimore

  1. John Carroll, S.J. (1784–1815) died
  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
  13. William Donald Borders (1974–1989) retired
  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- )

Auxiliary bishops

  1. Dominic Laurence Graessel S.J. (Coadjutor: 1793) posthumous appointment
  2. Leonard Neale S.J. (Coadjutor: 1795–1815) succeeded
  3. James Whitfield (Coadjutor: January 8 – 28, 1828) succeeded
  4. Samuel Eccleston P.S.S. (Coadjutor: March – October 1834) succeeded
  5. James Gibbons (Coadjutor: May – October 1877) succeeded
  6. Alfred Allen Paul Curtis (1897–1908) retired as Bishop emeritus of Wilmington (bishop of Wilmington, 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 (previously was 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 (Jamaica, W.I.)
  21. William Francis Malooly (2000–2008) appointed Bishop of Wilmington
  22. Mitchell T. Rozanski (2004–present)
  23. Denis J. Madden (2005–present)

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 Baltimore
St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Woodstock
St. Ambrose Baltimore
St. Ambrose (Cresaptown) Cresaptown
St. Andrew by the Bay Annapolis
St. Ann (Baltimore) 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 Baltimore
St. Augustine (Elkridge) Elkridge
St. Augustine (Williamsport) Williamsport
St. Bartholomew Manchester
Basilica of the Assumption Baltimore
St. Benedict Baltimore
St. Bernadette Severn
St. Bernardine Baltimore
Blessed Sacrament Baltimore
St. Brigid Baltimore
St. Casimir Baltimore
Cathedral of Mary Our Queen Baltimore
St. Cecilia Baltimore
St. Charles Borromeo Baltimore
St. Clare Baltimore
St. Clement Baltimore
St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Baltimore
Corpus Christi Baltimore
Church of the Crucifixion Glen Burnie
St. Dominic Baltimore
St. Edward Baltimore
St. Elizabeth of Hungary Baltimore [13]
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
Church of the Holy Apostles Gambrills
Holy Cross 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 (Baltimore) Baltimore
St. Ignatius (Hickory) Forest Hill
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 Baltimore
St. Joseph (Cockeysville) 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 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 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 Pasadena
Our Lady of the Fields Millersville
Our Lady of Victory Baltimore
Our Lady, Queen of Peace Baltimore
St. Patrick (Broadway) 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 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 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 Baltimore
St. Vincent de Paul Baltimore
St. Wenceslaus Baltimore
St. William of York Baltimore

Closed parishes

Name Town Founded Closed Successor
St. Michael (Wolfe Street) Baltimore 30 July 2011 Sacred Heart of Jesus


High Schools

Shrines of the archdiocese

Province of Baltimore

See also


External links

  • Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore website
  • Catholic Hierarchy of Archdiocese of Baltimore

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

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