On April 8, 1791, with the blessing of Father Jacques-André Emery, superior general of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice, four priests and five seminarians embarked from Saint-Malo, France, on a chartered ship destined for the port of Baltimore, Maryland. Upon their arrival, Father Francois Charles Nagot, the superior, and his companions were welcomed by Bishop John Carroll, the first bishop of the Diocese of Baltimore — which at the time encompassed the entire fledgling nation. Eight days after their arrival in Baltimore, the Sulpician community moved into a large building on Paca Street, just one mile north of city center, which was to become the first Roman Catholic seminary in the United States. St. Mary’s Seminary was officially opened on October 3, 1791. Mt. St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, the second U.S. seminary, opened in 1808 and welcomed the Sulpicians to help with the formation of seminarians. Theological College at The Catholic University of America was founded in 1917 and continues to be run under the auspices of the Society of Saint Sulpice. Students in formation at all three of these seminaries gathered with faculty — and dozens of prelates from across the country — for Mass and the address by Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Cardinal Ouellet, P.S.S., is Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and Archbishop Emeritus of Québec (Canada). He joined the Society of Saint Sulpice in 1972. (Photos by Larry Canner Photography)
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