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The Church in America The Colonial Era through the early Republic.

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Presentation on theme: "The Church in America The Colonial Era through the early Republic."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Church in America The Colonial Era through the early Republic


3 Many of the American colonies were founded for religious reasons The New England colonies were founded by Puritans seeking to establish a new City of God on earth Maryland was founded by Catholics fleeing persecution in England Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers seeking religious liberty that they were denied in Europe

4 The Thirteen Colonies

5 Maryland George Calvert, the First Lord Baltimore, received permission from Charles II in 1632 to establish a proprietary colony in the New World Calvert was a convert to Catholicism

6 George Calvert died before the colony was founded His son, Cecil, founded the colony It was to be a haven for persecuted Catholics from England and Ireland

7 Replica of The Dove – the ship that brought the first settlers to Maryland

8 First Settlers 60 Catholic members of the English or Irish gentry who would become plantation owners Three Jesuit priests About 100 freeholders – settlers who held smaller tracts of land (usually farmers) Indentured servants African slaves From the very beginning, the Protestant settlers outnumbered the Catholic settlers!

9 The Act of Toleration Allows religious freedom for all Christians, Protestant or Catholic, who live in the colony

10 The Glorious Revolution 1688 in England Replaces the Catholic King James II with his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange Anti-Catholic Penal Laws are enforced throughout England and her colonies William III & Mary

11 The Glorious Revolution In Maryland, the Calverts lost control of the colony Catholics can no longer vote or hold public office Catholics cannot practice law or become teachers No Catholic churches can be built (but private chapels are okay) No Catholic educational institutions Priests may not seek converts; ends missions to the Indians Restrictions on Catholic immigration to the colony

12 The Glorious Revolution Catholicism remains illegal in the colony until 1776

13 Pennsylvania Founded in 1681 by William Penn as a have for persecuted Quakers

14 Penns Frame of Government Allowed freedom of religion to anyone, although only Christians could hold government positions Pennsylvania quickly became attractive to Catholics, Mennonites, the Amish and other religious groups that were being persecuted in Europe

15 After the Glorious Revolution, practice of the Catholic faith became illegal in Pennsylvania... but The people who lived in Pennsylvania were tolerate of religious diversity and refused to enforce the law

16 St. Josephs Church The first Catholic Church to be built in the 13 Colonies was built in Philadelphia in 1735

17 None of the rest of the 13 Colonies allowed Catholics to practice their faith


19 The Carrolls The Carrolls of Maryland were among the wealthiest and most influential families in the colonies They were Catholic In the late 1700s, the important members of the family were Charles Carroll and his cousins Daniel and John

20 The Carroll Plantation

21 Charles Carroll of Carrolton Member of the Continental Congress Signer of the Declaration of Independence (only Catholic) U.S. Senator from Maryland Financially supported the Revolution

22 Daniel Carroll Member of the Maryland State Legislature Congressman Helped write and signed both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution Donated land for the site of Washington, D.C.

23 Fr. John Carroll Jesuit priest Oversaw and organized priests in Maryland Sent on a mission with Benjamin Franklin to Canada to get Canadian support for the Revolution

24 Other prominent Catholics in the Revolution Commodore John Barry The F ather of the American Navy Marquis de LafayetteThaddeus Kosciusko Count Kasimir Pulaski

25 Catholic participation in the American Revolution contributed greatly towards alleviating anti-Catholic attitudes that had been so prevalent during the Colonial Era.

26 THE REPUBLICAN ERA c. 1783 - 1820

27 Statistics After the Revolution, Catholics were only 1% of the American population: About 16,000 in Maryland About 7,000 in Pennsylvania About 1,500 in New York Maybe 200 in Virginia There were also Catholics living in the French areas of the Midwest and the Mississippi River Valley

28 Problems 1.Lack of organization U.S. was mission territory and did not have its own bishop 2.The Suppression of the Jesuits in 1773 All the priests in the U.S. were Jesuits 3.Anti-Catholicism Still a problem, especially in New England Catholics could not vote or hold public office in some states! 4.Increasing Catholic immigration and a lack of priests (there were only 21 in 1784)

29 America gets a Bishop John Carroll was elected by the American clergy and his election was confirmed by the Pope Baltimore was the first diocese, established in 1789 It included all U.S. States and territories!

30 In 1806, Bishop Carroll laid the cornerstone for Baltimores first Cathedral: Our Lady of the Assumption

31 Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption today

32 Carrolls Accomplishments

33 Mount St. Marys A school for boys near Emmitsburg, Maryland Staffed by Christian Brothers from France The first Catholic seminary in the U.S.

34 Georgetown University The first Catholic University in the United States Staffed by the Jesuits after their order was re- established in the early 1800s

35 Sisters of Charity Founded by Bishop Carroll and Elizabeth Seton, a Catholic convert from New York First religious order for women in the U.S. The Sisters established the first Catholic elementary schools in Maryland and Pennsylvania

36 Synod of Baltimore Regular meetings of all the priests in the U.S. to discuss matters of importance As the Church grew and more dioceses were established, the Synod became a Council – where all the bishops of the U.S. met regularly Today this has become the National Council of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) which meets twice a year

37 Inviting European priests and religious orders to come to the U.S. Carroll went on begging trips to European seminaries and religious houses Many young European priests, especially from France, came to the U.S. where they would later become bishops and greatly influence the growth of the American Church Religious Orders such as the Dominicans, Sulpicians, Christian Brothers, Carmelites and others established houses in the U.S.


39 New Dioceses In 1808, four new dioceses were established: Boston New York Philadelphia Bardstown Baltimore became an archdiocese

40 Moving West Catholics began to move west in large numbers, especially into Kentucky The new diocese of Bardstown was established and attracted the first Benedictine (Trappist) monastery of Gethsemane

41 Ohio The first Mass was celebrated near Somerset, Ohio in 1808 by Fr. Edward Fenwick In 1821, Fr. Fenwick would be named the first bishop of the Dioceses of Cincinnati At the time, the diocese consisted of the entire state of Ohio as well as parts of Indiana, Illinois and Michigan !

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