~ A rich heritage of shaping American Catholic history ~
The Archdiocese of Baltimore:
the Premier See in the U.S. Catholic Church
The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen is a spiritual center for a place that has served a very important role in America's Catholic heritage. Our beginnings start in the earliest days of our nation, when the first Catholic settlers came to the United States in 1634 and with the founding of Maryland. Today when we celebrate Maryland Day, March 25th, which is Lady Day or the Feast of our Lady's Annunciation, we are recalling the first Mass that was offered in the new colony.
The first priest was ordained in the United States in 1793. He was Stephen Badin, ordained by Bishop Carroll. Two years earlier, a group of French Sulpicians had established the first American Seminary on Paca Street.
In 1809, Mrs. Elizabeth Bayley 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.
In October 1954, ground was broken for the new Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Dedicated in 1959, the contemporary Gothic structure was made possible by the late Thomas J. O'Neill (1849-1919) in a bequest.
But the Cathedral and the Archdiocese are more than historic relics -- they are for everyone, 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 Archbishop William E. Lori, 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.
In this section of our website, you can explore the rich heritage of the Cathedral and the role of the Baltimore Archdiocese as the Premier See in the U.S. Catholic Church. See how God has been working here to build the Church!