Discover the Archdiocese of Baltimore

The Metropolitan Archdiocese of Baltimore (LatinArchidioecesis Baltimorensis) is the premier see of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. The archdiocese comprises the City of Baltimore as well as AlleganyAnne ArundelBaltimoreCarrollFrederick,GarrettHarfordHoward, 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.  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) inEmmitsburg, Maryland).

History

See also: History of Roman Catholicism in the United States#Colonial eraHistory of Roman Catholicism in the United States#English colonies, and History of Roman Catholicism in the United States#American Revolution
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  — the first diocese in the United States — on November 6, 1789.
On April 8, 1808, the suffragan dioceses of Boston,  New York,  Philadelphia,  and Bardstown (moved in 1841 to Louisville  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 metropolitanwas 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 Diocese of Richmond (Va.) on July 11, 1820, and the Diocese of Wilmington (Del.) on March 3, 1868. In 1850, the Diocese of Wheeling (then in Va.; now Wheeling-Charleston, W. Va.)  was erected, from the Diocese of Richmond. In 1974, the Diocese of Arlington (Va.) 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 Archdiocese of Washington (D.C.), 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. As the nation's population grew and waves of Catholic immigrants came from Europe, the Holy See continued to erect new dioceses and elevate others to 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) 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.

Prelature

In general; "Prerogative of Place"

See also: Primate (bishop)#"Honorary" titles
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.
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.

Cathedrals

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 andCo-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.

Shrines of the archdiocese

See also: List of shrines#United States

Most Rev. William E. Lori

The Most Reverend William Edward Lori, S.T.D., was installed as the Sixteenth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore on May 16, 2012.
Born in Louisville, KY, in 1951, Archbishop Lori obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from the Seminary of Saint Pius X in Erlanger, KY, in 1973, and a Master’s Degree from Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD, in 1977. In 1982, Archbishop Lori received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Archbishop Lori was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Washington by His Eminence William Cardinal Baum in 1977 in Saint Matthew Cathedral in Washington, DC. His first assignment was as Associate Pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Landover, MD. Thereafter, he served as Secretary to James Cardinal Hickey, Chancellor, Moderator of the Curia, and Vicar General.
In 1995, Archbishop Lori was ordained to the episcopate as Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and Titular Bishop of Bulla. Archbishop Lori is Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Chancellor of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, and past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America. Archbishop Lori is the former Chairman and current member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, Chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Universities and Colleges, a member of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage.
In March 2001, he was appointed Bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut. As Bishop of Bridgeport, Archbishop Lori launched new initiatives in support of Catholic Education, Vocations, Catholic Charities, Pastoral Services, and other ministries, while improving Financial Stewardship. He also worked collaboratively with the laity to increase participation and foster lay leadership throughout the Diocese of Bridgeport.
In 2002, in recognition of his role as an emerging leader on the Church’s response to the sexual misconduct crisis, Archbishop Lori was appointed to the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse. He was instrumental in drafting the landmark Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. As one of four U.S. bishops on a special Mixed Commission, Archbishop Lori journeyed to the Vatican to seek approval for the “Essential Norms” of the Charter, which is now particular law for the Catholic Church in the United States to ensure that no one who works for the Catholic Church will ever pose a threat of any kind to any person, young or old.
In April, 2011, Archbishop Lori was the keynote speaker at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., where he paid tribute to John Paul II and urged Catholics to defend his legacy of religious liberty and human dignity. In a speech widely reported across the U.S., Archbishop Lori told the gathering that religious freedom is not "a carve-out" granted by the state, but an inalienable right. He also called for the protection of "conscience rights" for health care providers.
In 2005, he was elected Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, where he has the responsibility of overseeing the spiritual welfare of the Order's 1.8 million members and their families. In his extensive writing and speaking on behalf of the Knights, Archbishop Lori has focused on the spiritual vision of the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, the Founder of the Knights of Columbus. Archbishop Lori is also writing a series of monthly articles inColumbia Magazine on the compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Additionally, he has helped guide many spiritual initiatives of the Order, most notably the Order’s third Eucharistic Congress held in Chicago in 2005, and the International Marian Congress and Guadalupe Festival held in Phoenix in 2009. He has also worked closely with the Supreme Knight in highlighting the role of Knights of Columbus chaplains at every level of the Order. As a result, Archbishop Lori was honored at the April 10, 2010 at the Supreme Board of Directors, meeting in Philadelphia in a resolution that expressing gratitude for Archbishop Lori’s contributions to the Order and the Church.
In his writing, teaching and advocacy, Archbishop Lori has been a courageous voice for religious liberty, having joined with the bishops of Connecticut in protecting the apostolic governance of the Catholic Church in averting the legalization of physician-assisted suicide; and in amending the state’s same sex marriage law to respect the freedom of conscience of Catholic institutions. Most notably, joined by Archbishop Henry Mansell, he led a successful rally on the steps of the Connecticut State Capitol in 2009 to oppose to oppose state interference in governance of the Church. His passion and eloquence that day led to national coverage of this important challenge to religious liberty. When the State of Connecticut Office of State Ethics then tried to penalize the Diocese for its role in the successful rally, then-Bishop Lori filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state agency. The State Attorney General refused to defend the action of the state agency, which led to the state’s withdrawal of its threatened investigation of the Church.
On September 29 2011, New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) appointed Archbishop Lori the chair of a newly formed Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty to address growing concerns over the erosion of freedom of religion in America.
On October 26, 2011, serving as new head of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop Lori called on Congress to defend the American legacy of religious liberty during a hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. He noted several recent actions by government entities that mark the erosion of the freedom of religion, often called the nation's "First Freedom." These actions include a health coverage mandate that would coerce employers to pay for services for which they have moral objections, such as abortion, sterilization and contraceptives, and government contracting decisions that exclude agencies unless they provide such services.
He also urged the House to reject the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 1116), which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA, which was signed by President Clinton in 1996, defines marriage as between one man and one woman for purposes of federal law and leaves states free to define marriage as they see fit.
Religious liberty "is not merely a privilege that the government grants us and so may take away at will. Instead, religious liberty is inherent in our very humanity, hard-wired into each and every one of us by our Creator," he said. "Thus government has a perennial obligation to acknowledge and protect religious liberty as fundamental, no matter the moral and political trends of the moment," he told Congress.
In November 2011, Archbishop Lori addressed the assembled United States bishops at their annual fall meeting in Baltimore. "There is no religious liberty if we are not free to express our faith in the public square and if we are not free to act on that faith through works of education, health care and charity," Archbishop Lori said in his address to the bishops. In a speech widely reported across the nation, Archbishop Lori warned of the dangers of treating religion "merely as a private matter between an individual and his or her God." Citing an "aggressive secularism" as a competing system of belief, Archbishop Lori said that recent court decisions and proposed regulations treat religion "as a divisive and disruptive force better kept out of public life," which the government continues to encroach on individual lives. He called for interfaith collaboration to defend religious liberty and conscience rights in our culture.
Most recently, Archbishop Lori, as Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, has helped to lead the Church's national effort to roll back a rule by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that mandates that all Catholic institutions, including hospitals, universities and charities, offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. "Never before in the history of our nation have citizens been forced to directly purchase something that violates their consciences," Archbishop Lori said.
In March 2012, Archbishop Lori’s Committee issued Our First, Most Cherished Liberty, a comprehensive statement of the U.S. bishops on religious liberty. The statement opens with the following passage: “We are Catholics. We are Americans. We are proud to be both, grateful for the gift of faith which is ours as Christian disciples, and grateful for the gift of liberty which is ours as American citizens. To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other.” It includes examples of the current attacks on religious liberty in the United States, articulates Church teaching and issues a call to action to American Catholics. “In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, we know as bishops that what our Holy Father said is true. This work belongs to ‘an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong sense vis--vis the dominant culture.’”
On March 20, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named the Most Rev. William E. Lori the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore. The Mass of installation occurred at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore on May 16, 2012.

Our Mission

God calls the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Baltimore to be a welcoming, worshipping community of faith, hope, and love. Through his Spirit, the Lord Jesus lives in those who believe, and reaches into our world with his saving message and healing love.
As disciples of Jesus our mission is:
Evangelization - to evangelize ourselves, our families, our parish and local communities, and our world.
Liturgy - to celebrate our faith with joy through vibrant and prayerful worship.
Education  - to educate and become educated in the truths of the Gospel and in the formation of conscience.
Service - to reach out in love and service to those in need.
Stewardship - to develop the material, financial and human resources of the Church and to manage them as faithful stewards.

 

 

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