Department of Communications
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street NE · Washington, DC 20017
202-541-3200 · 202-541-3173 fax · www.usccb.org/comm
Archdiocese of Baltimore
(Sources: The 2007 Official Catholic Directory
and the archdiocesan website.)
The City of Baltimore and Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, and Washington counties
Number of Catholics: 510,215
Catholics as Percentage of Population: 17%
Number of Parishes: 151
Number of Priests: 515
Number of Schools:
Colleges and Universities: 4
Cathedral of Mary Our Queen and Basilica of the National Shrine of
the Blessed Virgin Mary (Co-Cathedral)
Succession of (Arch)Bishops:
Archbishop John Carroll 1790-1815 (named archbishop in 1808)
Archbishop Leonard Neale 1815-1817
Archbishop Ambrose Marechal, S.S. 1817-1828
Archbishop James Whitfield 1828-1834
Archbishop Samuel Eccleston, S.S. 1834-1851
Archbishop Francis Patrick Kenrick 1851-1863
Archbishop Martin John Spalding 1864-1872
Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley 1872-1877 (He is the nephew of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.)
Cardinal James Gibbons 1877-1921
Archbishop Michael J. Curley 1921-1947
Archbishop Francis P. Keough 1947-1961
Cardinal Lawrence Shehan 1961-1974
Archbishop William Donald Borders 1974-1989
Cardinal William Keeler 1989-2007
Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien 2007-present
Key Historical Dates:
1789: Baltimore is established as the first diocese in the United States of America. Father John Carroll is named as the first bishop. He will be consecrated in August 1790.
1791: Saint Mary's Seminary, the oldest Catholic seminary in the United States opens. It is staffed by the Sulpician Community.
1808: Baltimore is established as the first archdiocese in the United States.
1821: Construction ends on the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The architect for this church is Benjamin Latrobe, the architect of the U.S. Capitol. The restoration of the basilica to Latrobe's original design was completed in 2006.
1828: Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange and companions open the first Black Catholic school in the United States. The next year, Mother Lange will found the first religious order for Black Catholic women.
1829: The First Provincial Council of Baltimore is held. One archbishop and four bishops attend. Nine additional provincial councils will take place between 1833 and 1869.
1852: The First Plenary Council of U.S. bishops takes place in Baltimore. Six archbishops and twenty-six bishops attend.
1858: The "prerogative of place" is bestowed on Baltimore, meaning that the Archbishop of Baltimore takes precedence over all other archbishops in the United States.
1866: The Second Plenary Council of U.S. bishops takes place in Baltimore.
1884: The Third Plenary Council of U.S. bishops takes place in Baltimore. This council gives special attention to Catholic education. As a result of this council, the so-called "Baltimore Catechism" is published.
1975: Elizabeth Ann Seton becomes the first person born in the United States to be canonized.
1995: Pope John Paul II visits Baltimore.