St. Mary's Seminary is the first Roman Catholic seminary in the nation: rich in tradition while focused on priestly preparation for the 21st-century.
These pages provide information on the history, personnel, environment, and formation (in the Sulpician tradition) at St. Mary's.
The three pages in this section of our site touch on the very basics of the formation process.
A major part of priestly formation is intellectual formation, accomplished through the pursuit of academic degrees.
St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute (EI) was founded in 1968 by St. Mary’s Seminary & University, America’s oldest Roman Catholic seminary, in cooperation with ecumenical leaders. St. Mary’s is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The Ecumenical Institute encourages people of all denominations to explore theological studies in a serious, open-minded, and supportive environment.
All EI programs are available wherever you are - on campus in Baltimore, and on-line.
The Ecumenical Institute invites people of all denominations into theological study that pursues excellence and promotes ecumenical understanding and respect.
All EI programs are available wherever you are - on campus in Baltimore, and on-line.
St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute has a rolling admissions policy. Students may apply at any time for admission by submitting the appropriate materials.
The Ecumenical Institute offers accredited graduate theological programs for two master’s degrees, several graduate certificates, and introductory explorations.
The post-master’s Certificate of Advanced Studies in Theology (CAS) is designed for individuals who possess a master’s degree in theology (e.g., MAT.), ministry (e.g., MACM), divinity (e.g., MDiv), or a related field and who desire to continue their theological education with a general or focused program of study.
The Doctor of Ministry program roots ministry in the mission of God, the ways God is working in your context, in your ministry, and in you.
Students have a host of resources available to support their theological education, from free parking and a great library to writing assistance and advising.
St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute offers accredited graduate theological education that is intellectually rigorous, personally enriching, and professionally empowering.
More than 750 alums of St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute are making a difference in Baltimore, in Maryland and D.C., West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and around the world.
General communication and individual contacts
It is the mission of the Center for Continuing Formation to encourage bishops, priests, deacons, and lay ecclesial ministers to engage in human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral growth and to enable processes of growth that are ongoing, complete, systemic, and personalized.
Conference space rentals include a large room that will seat as many as 58 and smaller rooms that will seat from 4 to 30.
St. Mary's Center for Continuing Formation offers and hosts a variety of continuing formation programs for priests in the spirit of the Bishops' new Basic Plan for the Ongoing Formation of Priests.
St. Mary’s Seminary & University’s Pinkard Scholars is the cornerstone of Youth Theological Studies at SMSU.
For more information about any of our conference facilities or space rentals, please contact our offices directly.
The Marion Burk Knott Library of St. Mary’s Seminary and University is the largest specialized theological library in the Baltimore area, with additional materials in the areas of philosophy, psychology, pastoral counseling and church history, among others. The library receives over 390 periodicals and maintains a collection of 20,000 volumes of bound periodicals. Other holdings include newspapers, microfilm, and audio-visual materials.
The Associated Archives at St. Mary’s Seminary & University opened in the spring of 2002. Located on the campus of the nation’s first Roman Catholic seminary, this program brings together the archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore (est. 1789), St. Mary’s Seminary & University (est. 1791), and the Associated Sulpicians of the United States (U.S. Province est. 1903), making it one of the most significant repositories for records relating to the early history of the Catholic Church in the United States.
Click here for more information about hours and visitor policies.
This section was created to provide researchers with a brief description of the open collections in the archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, St. Mary's Seminary & University, and the Associated Sulpicians of the United States.
The Associated Archives at St. Mary’s Seminary & University has developed a genealogical policy responsive to individuals researching their Catholic roots.
We facilitate personal integration of the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral dimensions necessary for authentic priestly witness and service in the image of Jesus Christ.
The Associated Sulpicians of the United States Archives is the repository for the U.S. Province of the Society of the Priests of St. Sulpice. The Sulpicians are a community of diocesan priests who “devote themselves to the discernment of vocations, to the initial and ongoing formation of priests as well as to the exercise of other ministries” (Art. 1, Constitutions of the Society). They are a Society of Apostolic Life of pontifical right.
The Society was formed in 1641 by Rev. Jean-Jacques Olier (1608-1657) and derives its name from the parish of Saint-Sulpice, Paris, where Rev. Olier was curé. Here he established a seminary based upon a spiritual renewal of the diocesan priesthood as envisioned by the Council of Trent (1545-1563). Others who shared his commitment to reform led to the Society’s staffing of diocesan seminaries across France. In 1657, the Sulpicians established a North American presence when four members were sent to serve as missionaries to the colonists and native peoples of New France (now Canada). The proposal to establish a foundation in the United States was made in 1790 by the Superior General of the Sulpicians, Rev. Jacques-André Emery, P.S.S. (1732-1811) to Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore. In the spring of 1791, four Sulpicians departed for the United States where they established the country’s first Roman Catholic seminary at Baltimore. Since their arrival, the community has founded, staffed, or served on the faculty of 17 major and minor seminaries. In 1989 the U.S. Sulpicians sent their first members to Africa, where today they staff and serve on the faculties of four seminaries in Zambia and Malawi.
The records in the archives document the history of the U.S. Sulpician community, as well as their influence on the growth and development of the U.S. Catholic Church. Today, the Sulpicians own and operate St. Mary’s Seminary & University (1791), Baltimore, MD, and staff Theological College of The Catholic University of America (1917), Washington, D.C., Emmaus Spirituality Centre, Lusaka, Zambia, and St. Anthony’s Major Seminary, Kachebere, Malawi.
The U.S. Sulpician community was included in the French Province until 1903, when the U.S. Province was created. Today, the Society is comprised of three provinces: France, Canada, and the United States. For more information on the history of the U.S. Province, see Christopher Kauffman’s Tradition and Transformation in Catholic Culture: the Priests of Saint Sulpice in the United States from 1791 to the Present (New York: Macmillan, 1988) or visit the website of the Province.
Individuals interested in the records of the French and Canadian Provinces will need to contact them directly.
Researchers are able to access open collections through the existing card catalog system and are arranged according to the record series listed below. Please see the Collection Access Policy for information on the procedures regarding access to and use of the records.
The artifacts collection is limited to a small number of commemorative items, sacred objects, including relics, class banners from St. Charles College, and portrait paintings of prominent Sulpicians and other individuals connected to the Society.
Size: 7 records storage boxes; date span: c. 1935-present.The audio/visual collection is made up of audio recordings, 8mm and 16mm films (transferred to video), and videos taken of Sulpician institutions and events, including early footage of the campuses of St. Edward’s Minor Seminary and St. Thomas’ Major Seminary, Kenmore, WA, St. Charles College, Catonsville, MD, and St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Baltimore, MD.
Size: 10 records storage boxes; date span: 1811-1991.This series is made up of both primary and secondary records relating to special projects and programs sponsored by the U.S. Province, including preparations for the tercentenary anniversary of the founding of the Society of St. Sulpice in 1941 and the bicentennial celebration of the Sulpicians’ arrival in the U.S. in 1991. There is original correspondence, copies of original correspondence found in other archives, and commemorative publications.
Size: 44 records storage boxes and 12 document cases; date span: c.1762- present.This series is made up of primary and secondary records that document the history of the U.S. Catholic Church, highlighting Sulpician connections to prominent events, people, and places, including the seven provincial and three plenary councils held in Baltimore, Mother Seton and the Daughters of Charity, Mother Lange and the Oblate Sisters of Providence, and photocopies of records in the Sulpician Archives in Paris, France.
This collection has the papers of both Sulpician and non-Sulpician individuals, including the noted biblical scholars Rev. Joseph Bruneau, P.S.S., and Rev. John B. Hogan, P.S.S., and the highly esteemed Confederate poet, Rev. John Banister Tabb (1845-1909), a priest of the Diocese of Richmond who was on the faculty of the Sulpician minor seminary, St. Charles College (1848-1969). Photographs have been included when available. Click here for more information.
Death notices for members of the U.S. Province of the Sulpicians are now available on the Province’s webpage.
The U.S. Province of the Society of St. Sulpice has founded and/or staffed thirteen major and minor seminaries in this country. The collections for these institutions vary from place to place, with those for Maryland being the most extensive. Documentation consists of such records as student rosters, house diaries, history files, yearbooks and other student publications, as well as official correspondence and documents. Records for other Sulpician institutions and programs, including the U.S. Solitude, can be found in this series. Collections are listed alphabetically by state, then city/town. Click here for more information.
This series is made up principally of Sulpician individuals and institutions. There is also a significant collection of non-Sulpician individuals, including alumni and members of the U.S. hierarchy. The series is divided into three subgroups: individuals, institutions, and shutterbugs. All are arranged alphabetically. The prints in this series are mostly black and white and vary from wallet-sized images to 11″ x 14″ and larger. In addition to photographs, there are also slides, negatives, scrapbooks, and albums. The holy card collection is also housed with photographs.
Size: 6 records storage boxes and oversize; date span: c. 1800-present.This collection contains photographs and prints of Sulpicians and non-Sulpician individuals.
Size: 4 records storage boxes, 8 document cases, and oversize; date span: c. 1890-present.St. Charles College and High School Collection [Ellicott City and Catonsville campuses]. Size: 2 records storage boxes, 1 document cases, and oversize, date span: c. 1890-1969. Includes class photographs, and portraits of prominent individuals.St. Mary’s Seminary & University Collection – See Collection Description for St. Mary’s Seminary & University.St. Mary’s Seminary College Collection – See Collection Description for St. Mary’s Seminary & University.Other Sulpician Foundations Collection- Size: 2 records storage boxes and oversize; date span: c. 1920-present. Includes campuses of St. Patrick’s, Menlo Park, and St. Stephen’s, Kaneohe; date span: c. 1920-present.
Size: 2 records storage boxes, 11 documents cases, 72 photograph albums, and 25 scrapbooks; date span: c. 1890-1980.This series is comprised of the scrapbooks, photograph albums, and photograph and slide collections that have been donated to the archives over the years by individual Sulpicians and the alumni of Sulpician institutions, including Rev. Vincent Eaton, P.S.S., Rev. Carlton Sage, P.S.S., and Rev. John Bowen, P.S.S.
Size: 12 shoeboxes; date span c. 1820-present.This collection contains holy cards that commemorate holidays, jubilees, ordinations, and deaths of Sulpicians, individuals affiliated with the Sulpicians, and prominent individuals.
The records of the provincials date from their arrival in 1791 and document the the founding, growth, and mission of the Society of St. Sulpice in the United States. Until the U.S. Province was established in 1903, the Sulpicians who served in this country were members of the French Province. The Sulpician appointed to oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of the U.S. community during this period held the title of superior. In 1921 the first provincial was appointed to administer the U.S. Province. Researchers are currently able to access the papers of the first superior, Very Rev. François C. Nagot (d. 1816), through the third provincial, Very Rev. John J. Lardner (d. 1948). Click here for more information.
This series is made up of a general reference library that includes works on the U.S. Catholic Church and the Society of St. Sulpice, internal publications published by the U.S. Province and its institutions, including the Voice of St. Mary’s Seminary (1924–1970), the Borromean (1915-1969), yearbooks and course catalogs for various Sulpician institutions, directories for the Society’s three provinces, and subscriptions to the following journals: Catholic Historical Review, U.S. Catholic Historian, Maryland Historical Magazine, and the Bulletin de Saint Sulpice. Dissertations, theses, and books written by Sulpicians are also included in this series.
Size: 8 records storage boxes; date span: c. 1779-present.This series documents administrative matters of the U.S. Province including activities of the Generalate and the Assembly, and aspects of the Sulpician Provinces in France for the years ca.1779 – 1996, and in Canada ca.1802 – 2001. The records in this series include correspondence, circular letters beginning with 1971, copies of published literature, ecclesiastical writings, student lists, directories, and commemorative publications.