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.
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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.
Collection Description Home Page
Very Rev. François C. Nagot, P.S.S. , Papers (Born: 1734, Tours, France; Superior, U.S. Sulpicians, 1791-1810; Died: 1816, Baltimore, MD). Size: 1 records storage box and 2 letterbooks; date span: c. 1791-1816. Rev. Nagot is recognized as the founder of the Society of St. Sulpice in the United States. He was superior of the first group of Sulpicians sent to the United States in 1791 to open the nation’s first Roman Catholic seminary, St. Mary’s in Baltimore. In addition to his duties as superior and faculty member at the seminary, he served as a councilor to Abp. John Carroll. In 1806 he founded the short-lived Our Lady of Pigeon Hill, the first minor seminary, in Adams County, Pennsylvania. He authored a well-regarded biography of Rev. Jean-Jacques Olier, founder of the Sulpicians, and was recognized as a distinguished master of the spiritual life. At his death in 1816 he was noted among his contemporaries for his deep piety and mystical qualities. This collection contains both official and personal papers, including account books, canonical documents, correspondence, memoirs, naturalization papers, manuscripts, records relating to Bohemia Manor and Pigeon Hill, and photocopies from other archives pertaining to his life in France. See also Sulpician letterbooks 2 and 4 for official copies of outgoing correspondence, as well as photocopies of correspondence on deposit in the Sulpician Archives in Paris.
Very Rev. Jean-Marie Tessier, P.S.S., Papers (Born: 1758, Chapelle-Blanche, France; Superior, U.S. Sulpicians, 1810-1829; Died: 1840, Baltimore, MD). Size: 5 records storage boxes, .5 document case, and 5 letterbooks; date span: c. 1800-1829. Rev. Tessier was a founding member of the U.S. Sulpician community. He taught theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and was named Superior in 1810. He worked closely with members of the St. Dominguan (Haitian) black refugee population, conducting catechism classes and ministering to the faith community that worshiped at St. Mary’s seminary chapel. In addition to his duties at the seminary, he served as Vicar General to the first four archbishops of Baltimore. This collection contains both official and personal papers, including correspondence, account books and journals, diary, and theological writings. See also Sulpician letterbooks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 for official copies of outgoing correspondence, as well as photocopies of correspondence on deposit in the Sulpician Archives in Paris.
Very Rev. Louis Regis Deluol, P.S.S., Papers (Born: 1787, St. Privat, France; Superior, U.S. Sulpicians, 1829-1849; Died: 1858, Paris, France). Size: 7 document cases and 4 letterbooks; date span: c. 1817-1858. Rev. Deluol served as Professor of Theology, Philosophy, Sacred Scripture, and Hebrew, as well as Treasurer, before being named Superior of St. Mary’s in 1829, a position he held until 1849 when he was recalled to France. He held the confidence of the Archbishops of Baltimore, serving as Vicar General for two, and played an active role in the seven Provincial Councils held between 1829-1849. He also acted as Superior of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s and negotiated their alliance with the French Daughters of Charity. He was noted for the American innovations he promoted within Baltimore’s Sulpician community. The Archives was able to obtain a copy of the diary he maintained over his priestly ministry, which has been translated. The remainder of his collection is comprised administrative and personal papers and correspondence. See also Sulpician letterbooks 1, 3, 4, and 6 for official copies of outgoing correspondence, as well as photocopies of correspondence on deposit in the Sulpician Archives in Paris.
Very Rev. François Lhomme, P.S.S. , Papers (Born: 1794, Brionde, France; Superior, U.S. Sulpicians, 1850-1860; Died: 1860, Baltimore, MD). Size: 1 records storage box, .5 document case, 1 volume, and 2 letterbooks; date span: c. 1827-1860. Rev. Lhomme taught and served as an administrator at St. Mary’s College (1799-1852) before being appointed superior of the U.S. Sulpicians in 1850. He oversaw the closing of the college in 1852 and devoted his attention to the development of the Sulpician minor seminary, St. Charles College (1848-1969). This collection contains both official and personal papers, including the Superior’s diary, accounts, appointments, canonical documents, correspondence, deeds, diary, journals, naturalization papers, petitions, and theological manuscripts. See also Sulpician letterbooks 4 and 5 for official copies of outgoing correspondence.
Very Rev. Joseph Paul Dubreul, P.S.S., Papers (Born: 1814, St. Etienne, France; Superior, U.S. Sulpicians, 1860-1878; Died: 1878, Baltimore, MD). Size: 4 records storage boxes; date span: c. 1860-1878. Rev. Dubreul was sent to Baltimore in 1850, where he was named Vice President of St. Mary’s College and served on its faculty. After the college closed he was transferred to St. Mary’s Seminary where he was appointed Treasurer and taught Pastoral Theology and Canon Law. In 1860 he was named Superior, a position he held for the next 18 years. It was Rev. Dubreul who oversaw the construction of the larger and grander seminary building that replaced the original One Mile Tavern. He held the confidence of the Archbishops of Baltimore and served as Vicar General under Abp. James R. Bayley and Card. James Gibbons. This collection contains both official and personal papers, including appointments, circular letters, conference papers, death notice, diary, faculties, last will and testament, and subject index to one of Abp. Ambrose Maréchal’s letterbooks.
Very Rev. Alphonse Magnien, P.S.S., Papers (Born: 1837, Le Bleymard, France; Superior, U.S. Sulpicians, 1878-1902; Died: 1902, Baltimore, MD). Size: 3 records storage boxes and 1 document case; date span: c. 1865-1902. Rev. Magnien volunteered to serve in Baltimore after hearing Rev. Dubreul give a series of talks at his seminary in Orleans. He arrived in 1869 and was assigned to the faculty of St. Mary’s, where he taught Liturgy, Scripture, and Dogma. In 1878 he was chosen to succeed Rev. Dubreul. The U.S. Sulpicians experienced tremendous growth under his superiorship, agreeing to staff seminaries in Boston, New York, and San Francisco and founding the first U.S. Solitude. He held the confidence of Card. James Gibbons, serving as his secretary and theologian. Like his predecessor Rev. Deluol, Rev. Magnien was a vigorous Americanizer, who eventually became caught up in the Americanist controversy. This collection contains both official and personal papers, including canonical documents, correspondence, diary, faculties, reports, photographs, and publications.
Very Rev. Edward R. Dyer, P.S.S., Papers (Born: 1854, Washington, D.C.; Superior, U.S. Sulpicians, 1902-1903; Vicar General, U.S. Sulpicians, 1903-1921; Provincial, U.S. Sulpicians, 1922-1925; Died: 1925, Baltimore, MD).Born, Size: 11 records storage boxes and 5 document cases; date span: c. 1874-1925. Rev. Dyer has the distinction of being both the first native-born American to be appointed Superior of the U.S. Sulpician community and the first U.S. Provincial. He attended St. Charles College and St. Mary’s Seminary. He was sent to Paris to complete his training, where he entered the Sulpicians. He was ordained in 1880. He was sent to Rome to pursue graduate studies at the Minerva, but was recalled to Baltimore in 1884 before taking a degree. He was assigned to St. Mary’s, where he served until 1896 when he was appointed superior of St. Joseph Seminary, Yonkers, New York. He was named superior of the U.S. Sulpician community in 1902. Rev. Dyer saw the U.S. Sulpicians through the difficult years following the Americanist and Modernist controversies, the Society’s withdrawal from seminaries in the Archdioceses of Boston and New York, and the destruction of St. Charles College, Ellicott City, MD, through fire in 1911. This collection contains both official and personal papers, including public addresses, class notes, correspondence, diary, educational matters, family records, legal documents, liturgical notes, meditations, photographs, publications, and theological writings. Of special interest to researchers are the records relating to Rev. Dyer’s role in the establishment of the National Catholic Education Association and his role as secretary-treasurer for the Commission for Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians.
Collection Box List
Correspondence – Incoming (Name Index)
Correspondence – Outgoing (Name Index)
Very Rev. John F. Fenlon, PSS, Papers (Born: 1873, Chicago, IL; Provincial, U.S. Sulpicians, 1925-1943; Died: 1943, Delvin Grove, MI). Size: 9 records storage boxes and 5 document cases; date span: c. 1897-1943. Rev. Fenlon attended St. Mary’s Seminary and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1896. After serving at Holy Name Cathedral for two years, he entered the Society of St. Sulpice and was sent to Rome to earn his S.T.D. at the Minerva. Upon completing his degree, he was sent to Issy, France, where he made his Solitude. His first assignment as a Sulpician was to the faculty of St. Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, NY, where he taught Sacred Scripture. In 1904 he was sent to Washington, D.C., to serve as superior for the first U.S. Solitude, St. Austin’s College. He was appointed the president of Divinity College of The Catholic University of America in 1911, a position he held for the next 13 years when he was appointed superior of the Sulpician Seminary in Washington, D.C. During the First World War he served as secretary of the Administrative Committee of the National Catholic War Council and, later, National Catholic Welfare Conference, where he played an influential behind-the-scenes role in its organization and development. In 1925 he was appointed the second provincial of the U.S. Sulpician community and the eighth superior of St. Mary’s Seminary, a position he held until his death in 1943. He oversaw the fundraising campaign and construction of the Roland Park campus of St. Mary’s Seminary, which stands as a memorial of his devotion to the work of St. Sulpice in this country. This collection contains both official and personal papers, including correspondence, administrative and subject files, and photographs. Of special interest to researchers are the records relating to his work with the National Catholic War Council.
Very Rev. John J. Lardner, P.S.S., Papers (Born: 1893, Baltimore, MD; Provincial, U.S. Sulpicians, 1943-1948; Died: 1948, Kenmore, WA). Size: 2 records storage boxes; date span: c. 1896-1948 [bulk: 1927-1948]. Rev. Lardner attended St. Mary’s Seminary and and the Sulpician Seminary of Washington, D.C., and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1920. He was accepted as a candidate for the Society of St. Sulpice as a student. Upon ordination, he was sent to earn his licentiate in theology from The Catholic University of America before making his Solitude, 1921-1922. After brief assignments at the Sulpicians seminaries in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, he was sent to Rome to earn his doctorate in theology at the Angelicum. He returned to the United States in 1927 and was assigned to the faculty of St. Mary’s Seminary, where he taught philosophy and theology until his appointment as rector of St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, California, in 1930, where he remained for the next four years. He was recalled to Baltimore in 1934, where in addition to his teaching duties, he served as vice-president and rector, a position he held until his appointment as acting provincial in 1943. (Disruptions caused by the Second World War delayed his official appointment until 1945.) During his term as provincial, Rev. Lardner negotiated agreements with the Archdioceses of Honolulu and Detroit to staff new seminaries: St. Stephen’s Minor Seminary (1946-1970) in Kaneohe, Hawaii, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary (1949-1988) in Plymouth, Michigan. This collection contains both official and personal papers, including correspondence, administrative, and subject files.