Roman Catholic Church in the United States
Roman Catholic Church In The United States.
I. Origin and Progress. —
1. As the discovery of America by Columbus occurred a quarter of a century before the first public appearance of Luther, the Roman Catholic Church was the first to occupy the newly discovered world. The attachment of Columbus to his Church was so strong that efforts have recently been made though without success, to obtain from the pope his canonization. Many of the following explorers were equally fervid in their faith. Ojeda, who in 1510 settled the Isthmus of Darien, is said by Catholic historians to have been as pious as a monk. Balboa, governor of Darien, who in 1513 discovered the Pacific Ocean; Magellan, who first raised the cross on the most southern cape of America (1521); Cartier, the discoverer of Canada (1534) Champlain, the first governor of Canada; La Salle, the pioneer navigator of the Great Lakes — are all praised for their piety. The Upper Mississippi was discovered by the Jesuit Marquette. For more than a hundred years (1492-1607) no permanent settlement was made by Protestants in the New World. The few attempts which had previously been made by French Huguenots in South Carolina and Florida, and by the English on Roanoke Island (1585 and 1587), had failed, The Spaniards, in the meanwhile, not only laid the foundation of Catholic colonial empires throughout South America, Mexico, and Central America, but they also formed settlements in territory now belonging to the United States, the oldest of which, St. Augustine, was founded in 1565.
Nearly forty years before, in 1528, the first Catholic missionaries set foot within our present territory, forming part of the expedition of Narvaez to Florida. One of their number, John Juarez, had been appointed by the pope bishop of Florida. Bishop Juarez, and one of his companions, John of Palos, perished probably in the same year, either of hunger or at the hand of the Indians. In 1549 a Dominican friar, Louis Cancer, was slain by an Indian of Florida after he had barely landed. The first Catholic Church was erected in St. Augustine, soon after the foundation of the town by Melendez; and from this center many Franciscan, Dominican, and Jesuit missionaries began to labor among the Indians of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Carolina. The most celebrated religious establishment of these missions was the Franciscan monastery of St. Helena at St. Augustine. The missions began to grow until the cession of Florida by Spain to England in 1763, which proved a fatal check, and gradually led to the entire destruction of the mission, which at the beginning of the Revolutionary War had become entirely extinct.
The first Catholic missionaries in New Mexico were two Franciscan monks. father Padilla and brother John of the Cross, who accompanied in 1542 the exploring expedition of Coronado. They began to preach in two Indian towns, but both soon perished. Three other Franciscans, who in 1581 erected a new mission, shared the same fate. The foundation of Santa Fd, in 1582, the second oldest city of the United States, laid the firm foundation of the Catholic Church at the headwaters of the Rio Grande, where gradually whole tribes embraced the Catholic religion. Texas was visited as early as 1544 by a Franciscan missionary, father de Olmos, but the real foundation of the Texan missions, which gradually became very extensive, was laid in 1688 by fourteen Franciscan priests and seven lay brothers. l, The first Catholic mission of California was begun in 1601 by a band of Franciscan monks; but the real founder of the Church in that state was father Juniper Serra, an Italian Franciscan, who in 1769 established the first mission in San Diego, and in 1776, a few days before the declaration of the independence of the United States (June 27), founded the city of San Francisco. In 1570, father Segura and eight other Jesuit fathers landed in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, with the son of an Indian chief whom Spanish navigators had brought away with them from that region, and who had received a good education in Spain. All of them were treacherously murdered at the instigation of this Indian youth. Sixty-four years later, in 1634, two English Jesuits, fathers Andrew White and John Altham, who accompanied Lord Baltimore, resumed the missionary labors among the Maryland Indians, and in 1639 they reported that many tribes had been visited, numerous converts made, and four permanent stations established.
The first Catholic chapel in New England was reared by French missionaries on Neutral Island, in Schoodic River, Maine, in 1609, eleven years before the foundation of Plymouth. In 1612, a new mission was established on Mount Deserts Island, but it was soon after destroyed by the English. In 1646, father Druillettes, a Jesuit, who has been called by Catholic historians the apostle of Maine, established a mission on the Upper Kennebec, which gradually succeeded in converting the entire tribe of the Abnakis. The cession of Canada by the French to the English in 1763 interrupted for some time the Catholic mission among the Abnakis; but after the Revolutionary War it was reorganized, and has since then continued to exist until the present day.
The first Catholic missionary among the Indians in the State of New York was father Jogues, a Canadian Jesuit. He attempted in 1646 to found a mission among the Mohawks, and was massacred in the village of Caughnawaga (now Schenectady). The first Catholic church was established in November, 1655, among the Onondagas, on the site of the present city of Syracuse; but three years later the missionaries barely escaped with theirlives from a plot to destroy them. The close of a bloody war between France and the Five Nations in 1666 led to the reestablishment of the old missions, and to the foundation of new ones among the Onondagas, Senecas, Cayugas, Oneidas, and Mohawks. In 1668 the cross, as a Catholic historian says, "towered over every village from the Hudson to Lake Erie," and the Mohawks especially "became firmly attached to the Church;" but the recognition by France of the English claims to the State of New York, in the treaty of Utrecht, 1713, was the death knell of the Catholic missions among the Indians of New York. Among the Indians of Vermont mass was said for the first time in 1615.
The regions along the Great Lakes, in the present states of Michigan and Wisconsin, were first visited by Canadian Jesuits in 1641. The field proved ungrateful, and the missions terminated when the French government suppressed the houses of Jesuits and confiscated their property. All along the banks of the Mississippi, the shores of which were discovered by Marquette in 1673, the Jesuits preached and established missions. Among the Indians converted by them was Chicago, the chief of the Illinois. With the suppression of the Order of the Jesuits and the increase of English power, the Catholic missions among the Indians generally disappeared from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. After the establishment of the independence of the United States, some of the Indian missions were gradually reestablished, but their progress was slow. In 1833 the bishops of the United States assembled at the Council of Baltimore confided the Indian missions in the United States to the Jesuits. Catholic historians complain (Murray, Popular Hist. etc., p. 343) that "the Catholics of the United States have shown little interest in the Indian missions, and done little to cheer and support the missionaries." The latter had to look to Europe bor the necessary means. The most famous among the Jesuit missionaries of the 19th century was father De Smet, a Belgian, who is compared by the historians of his Church to Francis Xavier, and is said "to have opened heaven to over 100,000 Indians."
2. The proper history of the Catholic Church in the English colonies begins with the immigration of Leonard Calvert, second son of Lord Baltimore, and about 200 English and Irish Catholics, into Maryland. Lord Baltimore, who had left the Anglican communion for the Church of Rome, had received (June 20, 1632) from king Charles I the grant of a large tract of land lying north of the Potomac, for founding a Catholic colony in the New World as a refuge from persecution. The charter drawn up by him guaranteed liberty of worship to all Christians, and secured a voice to all freemen in making the laws. He died soon after the charter had received the royal sanction, and his eldest son, Cecil Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, commissioned his brother Leonard Calvert to carry out their father's design, and appointed him governor of the new colony. Leonard Calvert, with his colonists, landed in 1634, and in the same year the city of St. Mary was founded. The colonists were accompanied by two Jesuits, who were soon followed by several more Jesuits and Capuchins. A civil contest between the new colonists, on the one hand, and Captain William Clayborne, who with a party of men from Virginia had settled, in 1631, on Kent Island, Chesapeake Bay, and a company of Puritans who had settled in Maryland in 1642, on the other hand, resulted in favor of Clayborne and the Puritans, who made themselves complete masters of the province. Thereupon the Catholics were in 1644 deprived of equal rights, but these were restored in 1646. In 1649 the General Assembly of Maryland, composed of eleven Catholics and three Protestants, passed the Toleration Act, which enacted that no person believing in Jesus Christ should be molested in the free exercise of his religion. The Toleration Act was repealed in 1654 by an assembly in which the Puritans had a majority, and which denied the protection of the law to the Catholics; but in 1660 the new king, Charles II, restored Lord Baltimore to his rights as proprietor, and thus the Catholics received back their rights. In 1692, after the expulsion of James II, an Anglican governor was sent to Maryland, and in 1704 a law was passed to prevent "the increase of popery." The stringent provisions of this act remained in force until the Revolution; only the first provision, which forbade bishops and priests to say mass or exercise their ministry, was so far modified that "Catholics were permitted to hear mass in their own families and on their own grounds." The colony of Pennsylvania was founded by Penn on the basis of religious toleration, and the Catholic immigrants from Ireland and Germany were allowed to live in comparative peace, but their creed was regarded with contempt. In the Dutch colony of New Netherlands, Protestantism was declared to be the religion of the State, but actually the few Catholics appear not to have been troubled. In 1664 the colony passed into the hands of the Catholic duke of York, afterwards James II, and its name was changed to New York. In 1683 the colony received a Catholic governor, colonel Thomas Dongan; and in the same year the first legislative assembly of the colony granted, like Maryland, religious liberty to all "professing faith in God by Jesus Christ." After the expulsion of James, another assembly in 1691 repealed the Toleration Act of 1683, and passed stringent laws against the Catholics. In 1696 only seven Catholic families were found on Manhattan Island. New laws of extreme severity were passed against Catholics in 1700, 1701, and 1702; and at the beginning of the Revolutionary War the Catholic Church was almost unknown in New York, and the few Catholic inhabitants of New York city had to go to Philadelphia to receive the sacraments. The laws of the New England colonies, of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, retained rigid penal laws against Roman Catholics on their statute books. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, out of the 3,000,000 inhabitants in the American colonies, only about 25,000 were Roman Catholics, of whom 15,000 lived in Maryland. There were about twenty-five priests and about twice as many congregations.
3. On the eve of the War of Independence, the Continental Congress of Philadelphia, in 1774, pronounced for the broadest toleration. In 1776 the Catholics of Maryland were fully emancipated, owing largely to the influence of Charles Carroll, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The other twelve original states, one after another, granted the Catholics liberty of conscience, the right to build churches and worship as they pleased; but full and unreserved equality of civil and political rights was withheld from them in some of the states much longer. The Federal Constitution, adopted in 1787, provides in art. 6, sec. 3, "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office or trust under the United States." Among the framers and signers of this Constitution were two Catholics — Daniel Carroll, of Maryland, and Thomas Fitzsimmons, of Pennsylvania. The right thus obtained was further secured by the enactment of the first article of the amendments to the Constitution, which declares "that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Until the close of the Revolutionary War, the Catholics of the United States were under the jurisdiction of the vicar apostolic of the district of London, England, who, during the whole of the war, held no kind of intercourse with the American churches. After the establishment of the independence of the United States, the clergy of Maryland and Pennsylvania were naturally impressed with the importance of having an American superior for American churches, and they asked the pope to allow the clergy to elect a superior, subject to the approbation and confirmation of the pope. In reply to the request, the pope, after consulting Benjamin Franklin through the nuncio in Paris, appointed in 1784 the Rev. Dr. Carroll praefect apostolic, with many of the powers of a bishop. In view of the extraordinary difficulties which the new praefect encountered from the vastness of his territory, and also from the insubordination of several priests and a part of the laity, it was soon deemed necessary to apply to Rome for a bishop. The request was granted, with the privilege of selecting the candidate and of locating the new see. Accordingly, Dr. Carroll was elected bishop, and Baltimore chosen as his see. On Aug. 15, 1790, Dr. Carroll was consecrated bishop in England. The number of Catholics at this time was estimated by Dr. Carroll himself at about 30,000, in a total population of 3, 200,000. Of these, 16,000 lived in Maryland, 7000 in Pennsylvania, 3000 at Detroit and Vincennes, 2500 in Illinois, and in all the other states there were not more than about 1500. The arrival, between 1791 and 1799, of twenty-three French priests who fled from France in consequence of the Revolution, enabled bishop Carroll to extend and partly consolidate his vast diocese. Many of the immigrant priests were men of considerable ability; and six of them — Flaget, Cheverus, Dubois, David, Dubourg, and Marechal — afterwards became bishops. Another important addition to the ranks of the priests was made in 1795 by the consecration of the young Russian prince Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, who displayed great and successful activity for the extension of the Catholic Church in Western Pennsylvania. In 1787, the first priest appeared in Kentucky; in 1789, the first church was commenced in Charleston, S.C.; in 1803, the first church was consecrated in Boston. Several missionaries began to penetrate into the almost trackless wilds of Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. Soon after the dawn of the 19th century, the great tide of immigration from the Old World began to set in, and as a large portion of it came from Catholic Ireland, the Catholic Church in the United States increased very rapidly in number. The city of New York, which had in 1790 a Catholic population of about 100, numbered 14,000 Catholics in 1807. At the same time there were about 70 priests and 80 churches in the United States, with a Catholic population of probably 150,000.
With the external expansion, the progress of internal organization kept pace. In Nov., 1791, bishop Carroll convened the first diocesan synod in Baltimore, which was attended by 22 clergymen. In 1800 father Leonard Neale was appointed his coadjutor, with the title of bishop of Gortyna inpartibus. In 1808 Baltimore was raised to the rank of a metropolitan see, with four suffragan bishoprics — New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown (this see was in 1842 transferred to Louisville). The purchase of Louisiana from France in 1803 added to the American Church a new diocese, New Orleans, which had been erected in 1793. As the see was vacant at the time of the purchase, Dr. Carroll was directed by Pius VII to administer its ecclesiastical affairs. He accordingly appointed a vicar- general, but the contentions which arose on the subject of jurisdiction led to protracted discords. Archbishop Carroll died Dec. 3, 1815, the last years of his episcopate having been marked by the continuance of a very rapid increase of the Catholic population, which at this time was estimated at 200, 000. A number of religious orders, especially Jesuits, Sulpitians, Augustinians, Dominicans, and Carmelites, not only swelled the numbers of the clergy, but established a number of Catholic institutions of learning. Archbishop Carroll was succeeded by Dr. Ambrose Marechal, after whose death, in 1828, Dr. James Whitfield became archbishop. Yielding to the urgent advice of the learned bishop of Charleston, Dr. England, archbishop Whitfield in 1829 assembled the first provincial council of Baltimore. Several new episcopal sees had in the meanwhile been established, and the provincial council was attended by the bishops of Charleston, Bardstown, Cincinnati, Boston, and St. Louis. As all the bishops had at this time numerous conflicts with the lay trustees, who claimed the right of electing the priests and administering the Church property, the council passed two decrees against the abuse of power by lay trustees. Another decree strongly recommended the establishment of a society for the diffusion of good books. The Catholic population of the United States was estimated by the assembled fathers at 500,000, the rapid increase being chiefly due to the stream of immigration from Ireland. The second provincial council of Baltimore, in 1833, was composed of ten prelates, and directed that the Indian tribes of the Far West and the Catholic negroes of Liberia should be confided to the care of the Jesuits. The mission of Liberia, which was begun in 1842, proved a complete failure, and was abandoned in 1845. At the date of the second council the Church consisted of 12 dioceses, with 38 priests, of whom 72 were Americans, 91 Irish, 73 French, 17 Italians, 39 Belgians and Germans, some English and Spanish, and 1 Pole. Archbishop Whitfield died in 1834, and was succeeded by Samuel Eccleston. During his administration five more provincial councils were held in Baltimore, in the years 1837, 1840, 1843, 1846, and 1849. Most of these councils recommended the erection of new episcopal sees, the number of which, therefore, received a large increase. While there were only sixteen in 1840, they numbered twenty-seven in 1850. The council of 1840 also recommended the formation of Catholic temperance societies; that of 1846 chose "the Most Blessed Virgin, conceived without sin, as the patroness of the United States;" and that of 1849, which was attended by twenty-five bishops, asked the pope for the definition of the immaculate conception as a doctrine of the Catholic Church, a request which a few years later was complied with by pope Pius IX.
Many dioceses during this period were greatly troubled by conflicts between the bishops and the lay trustees of the churches. The latter were often unwilling to abandon the control of the churches which had been built by the contributions of the faithful, and the bishops were inflexible in claiming the sole control over the entire Church property of their dioceses. Repeatedly priests and congregations were excommunicated. Sometimes excommunicated priests defied for years the authority of the bishops; but finally the bishops carried their point, and the trustee system was completely crushed out, chiefly through the efforts of John Hughes, bishop of New York. The steady progress of Roman Catholicism, which the majority of Americans continued to regard as a form of ecclesiastical despotism, irreconcilable with, and therefore dangerous to, the free political institutions of the country, led, from 1834 to 1844, in several cities to popular outbursts of Protestant indignation, and even to unlawful attacks upon Catholic church edifices and monasteries.
The immense influx of Catholic immigrants from Ireland and Germany during the decade from 1840 to 1850. which annually added more than 200,000 Catholics to the population of the country, and the great industrial advantages which the people generally derived from the more rapid development of the resources of the country, gradually softened the popular feeling with regard to a religious system which had so long been an object of intense aversion. The spread of the Roman Catholic Church in consequence of immigration was most rapid in the Middle Atlantic and the Western States, which could offer to immigrants the best prospects of material success. The Southern States, with their negro-labor system, offered the least inducement to immigrants, and consequently received the smallest increase of Catholic population. In 1846 Oregon City was raised to the rank of a metropolitan see; in 1847, St. Louis; in 1850, New Orleans, New York, and Cincinnati. Thus in 1850 the Catholic Church had 6 archbishoprics, with 27 episcopal sees, 1800 priests, 1073 churches, 600 stations, 29 ecclesiastical institutions, 17 colleges, and 91 female academies. The Catholic population, which had received a large increase not only by the continuance of immigration, but by the cession of California and New Mexico to the United States, was estimated at 3,500,000. In May, 1852, archbishop Kenrick of Baltimore, who had succeeded in 1851 archbishop Eccleston, presided over the first plenary or national council of the United States. It was composed of six archbishops and twenty-six bishops, and, besides proposing to the pope the creation of several new dioceses, it strongly urged the necessity of establishing Catholic schools, and solemnly condemned secret societies, especially the Freemasons. In 1858 the pope conferred the rank of primacy on the see of Baltimore. Archbishop Kenrick died in 1864, and was succeeded by Dr. Spalding, formerly bishop of Louisville. In 1866 the second plenary council was held in Baltimore. It was presided over by archbishop Spalding, and seven archbishops, thirty-eight bishops, three mitred abbots, and over one hundred and twenty theologians took part in the deliberations. The council expressed a wish for the establishment of a Catholic university. The Vatican Council, which began in 1869, was attended by forty-nine prelates of the United States. Only a few of them were opposed to the promulgation of papal infallibility as a doctrine of the Catholic Church, and all readily acquiesced in the decision of the council. The Old Catholic movement in some countries of Europe found no echo in the United States. Archbishop Spalding of Baltimore died in 1872, and was succeeded by James Roosevelt Bayley, bishop of Newark. In 1875 archbishop McCloskey of New York was raised to the dignity of the cardinalate, and the dioceses of Boston, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Santa Fe were raised to the rank of metropolitan sees. Thus the number of archbishoprics in the United States rose to eleven. After the death of archbishop Bayley, in October, 1877, bishop James Gibbons of Richmond was appointed archbishop of Baltimore. The number of episcopal dioceses in 1879 was 49; of vicariates apostolic, 7; of prefectures apostolic, 1. The total number of dioceses (including archdioceses, vicariates apostolic, and prefectures apostolic) was 68. Many of the dioceses have a large Roman Catholic population. Sadlier's Catholic Directory for 1879 claims, according to reports furnished by the bishops for each of the following dioceses, a Catholic population exceeding 200,000; Baltimore, 300,000; Boston, 310,000; Cincinnati, 200,000; New Orleans, 250,000; New York, 600,000; Albany, 200,000; Brooklyn, 200,000; Philadelphia, 275,000; St. Louis, 250,000; Chicago, 230,000. The number of priests in 1876 was 5074; that of churches, 5046; that of stations, 1482.
II. The religious orders of men and women which have been since the beginning of the 19th century the object of hostile legislation in nearly every country of Europe, have never been legally interfered with in the United States. Consequently, their history shows a steady increase of number; and they have grown all the more rapidly, as the expulsion of many orders from European countries and the urgent applications of the American bishops, who have always been, and still are, in need of more missionaries, have frequently induced large numbers of European nuns and monks to settle in the United States. In 1877 there were, according to Murray's Popular History of the Catholic Church in the United States (N.Y. 1877), twenty-seven different religious orders of men in the United States. Three of these (the Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits) worked as early as the 16th century among the Indians; the Augustinians and Sulpitians founded their first establishments in 1790 and 1791. The Trappists followed in 1805, the Priests of the Mission in 1816, the Redemptorists in 1832. Eight religious orders established themselves between 1840 and 1850, and eleven between 1850 and 1877. One of the orders, the Paulists, arose in the United States, opening its first house in New York ins 1858. Among the orders which have the largest number of members and houses are the Jesuits, with 30 houses and 750 members; the Christian Brothers, with 49 houses and 700 members; the Augustinians, with 13 houses and 60 members; the Priests of the Mission, with 13 houses and 142 members; the Benedictines, with 12 houses and 300 members; the Brothers of Mary. In all, there are about 260 establishments of religious orders of men, with more than 3000 members. The religious orders of women are much more numerous than those for men. In all, there are forty-four religious orders of women, four of which (the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Sisters of Mercy, and the School Sisters of Notre Dame) have each more than one thousand members.
III. Educational Establishments. — As the Catholic Church is opposed to the principle of undenominational schools which prevails in all the states of the Union, strenuous endeavors have been made to gather the children of Catholic parents into parochial schools. The first council of Baltimore, held in 1829, expressed the wish that schools should be established where youth might imbibe principles of faith and morality along with human knowledge. The second plenary council of Baltimore warmly appealed to pastors and people to establish Catholic schools where the Catholic faith might be taught as a science. The bishops, accordingly, have endeavored to provide not only for the establishment of colleges, seminaries, and academies, which, as with other religious denominations, have a sectarian character, but to connect as much as possible with every parish church a Catholic parochial school. The number of schools of this character is at the present time very large, and in some of the older and more populous dioceses nearly every church has its parochial school. The number of Catholic schools in 1877 exceeded 1700, and the number of children educated in them was over 500,000. The teachers are to a large extent supplied by the religious orders. Though the expenses for supporting these schools are comparatively small, the aggregate amount which has annually to be raised by voluntary contributions is felt as a heavy burden, and incessant efforts are made, therefore, to obtain a part of the common school fund of the states for the support of schools of a strictly Catholic character. Only in a few exceptional cases have these efforts been successful; as a general rule, the claims of the Church have been uncompromisingly rejected.
The number of Catholic female academies has grown with great rapidity. Towards the close of the last century, the Clarist Nuns, during a brief stay in America, opened a school at Georgetown, D.C., which subsequently passed into the hands of the Visitation Nuns, and grew into a flourishing academy which dates its foundation from 1799. The purchase of Louisiana from France gave to the Catholic Church of the United States an Ursuline academy at New Orleans, with 170 pupils. The foundation of St. Joseph's Academy at Emmettsburg, Md., in 1809, by mother Seton, marks an epoch in the history of Catholic education for young American women. In 1812 the Loretto Nuns of Kentucky entered the field; in 1818 the Ursuline Convent was opened at Boston, and the Ladies of the Sacred Heart began their labors at the South. The Sisters of St. Joseph founded their first establishment in 1836; the Sisters of Notre Dame, in 1840; the Sisters of the Holy Cross and the Sisters of Providence, in 1841; the School Sisters of Notre Dame (founded by Peter Fourier), in 1847. Other orders followed, and in 1877 the number of Catholic female academies exceeded 400, the best and most widely known of which were under the direction of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, the Sisters of Charity, the Visitation Nuns, the Ursulines, the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of the Holy Cross, the Sisters of Notre Dame, and the Sisters of Providence. It is maintained that in not a few of the convent boarding schools one third, and in some cases even one half, of the pupils are Protestant and other non- Catholic young ladies.
In the 17th century an attempt to found a Catholic college in New York was made by three Jesuits during governor Dongan's term of office, but it did not find sufficient support. Several years after the Revolution, bishop Carroll founded Georgetown College. Some time later, St. Mary's College, Baltimore, was established. It was chartered in 1805. Mount St. Mary's, Emmettsburg, stands next in point of age. In 1878 there were in the United States seventy-eight Catholic colleges and seminaries with power to confer degrees. Among the largest colleges are St. John's College, Fordham, N.Y.; the University of Georgetown, D.C., with a literary, a medical, and a law department of forty professors, a library of 30,000 volumes, an astronomical observatory, a conservatory of plants, and cabinets; Mount St. Mary's College, Emmettsburg, Md.; St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.; St. Joseph's College, Alabama; St. Xavier's College, Cincinnati, O.; the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.; the College of St. Francis Xavier, New York; and Santa Clara College, California.
The first theological seminary in the United States was opened in 1791 in Baltimore. Mount St. Mary's Seminary, Emmettsburg, was founded in 1809; St. Joseph's Seminary, near Bardstown, Ky., in 1811. In 1878 there were 23 theological seminaries, with about 1300 ecclesiastical students.
Catholic normal schools have been established at St. Francis, Wis., and at Baltimore, Md. The following table gives the number of higher Catholic schools, and the number of pupils of parochial schools, in each of the ecclesiastical provinces:
Ecclesiastical Provinces Higher School Pupils in Catholic Parish Scools 1. Baltimore 59 18,000 2. Boston 43 30,000
3. Cincinnati 111 80,000 4. Milwaukee 27 38,000 5. New Orleans 82 12,000 6. New York 122 80,000 7. Oregon City 14 ? 8. Philadelphia 68 43,000 9. St. Louis 88 68,000 10. San Francisco 24 ? 11. Santa Fe 10 ? Total 648 about 500,000
IV. Statistics. — Owing to the large influx of Catholics from Ireland and Germany, and the acquisition of large Catholic territories from France and Mexico, the Roman Catholic population of the United States has increased at a much more rapid rate than the total population of the United States. The following table, giving the estimated Roman Catholic and the total population of the United States at different periods of our history, is instructive:
Year Total Population Roman Catholic Population Reactional Part of Total Pop. Formed by Roman Catholics 1776 3,000,000 25,000 1/120 1790 3,200,000 30,000 1/107 1800 5,300,000 100,000 1/53 1810 7,200,000 150,000 1/48 1820 9,600,000 300,000 1/32 1830 13,000,000 600,000 1/21 1840 17,000,000 1,500,000 1/11 1850 23,300,000 3,500,000 1/7 1860 31,500,000 4,500,000 1/7 1876 40,000,000 6,500,000 1/6
It is the unanimous opinion of the foremost Catholic writers on the history of the Catholic Church in the United States that their Church has suffered from its first organization to the present time very large losses; and that though many accessions have been received from other religious denominations, the losses by far exceed the gains. Bishop England of Charleston remarked in 1836: "We ought, if there were no loss, to have five millions of Catholics; and as we have less than one million and a quarter, there must be a loss of three millions and a quarter at least. We may unhesitatingly assert that the Catholic Church has within the last fifty years (1786-1836) lost millions of members in the United States." Bishop Spalding of Peoria (in his Life of Archbishop Spalding) likewise states: "To confine ourselves to the period in which the hierarchy has been in existence (1790-1870), we have lost in numbers far more than we have gained, if I may express an opinion beyond all doubt." The same opinion is often and forcibly expressed by Dr. O. Brownson and other prominent Catholic writers. Some of the writers referred to (as bishop Spalding) console themselves with the hope "that the number of those who are here lost to the faith is, in proportion to the Catholic population of the country, continually decreasing, while the number of converts each year grows larger." From some dioceses accessions are reported to the Church of persons born of non-Catholic parents which are larger than those reported from any other country save England. Archbishop Spalding of Baltimore claimed that of 22, 209 persons confirmed by him in five years, 2752 were "converts." Bishop Gibbons of Richmond (now archbishop of Baltimore) claimed that 14 percent of those who were confirmed by him since he came to the diocese of Richmond were "converts," and in North Carolina 35 percent A comparatively large number of men who have attained great prominence in the history of the Roman Catholic Church have entered that Church as adults, and as seceders from other religious communions. Among these men are archbishops Bayley of Baltimore, and Wood of Philadelphia; bishops Rosecranz of Columbus, and Wadhams of Ogdensburg; father Hecker, the superior of the Paulists; Dr. Ives, a bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church; Dr. O. Brownson; and mother Seton, the foundress of the Sisters of Charity.
The following tables give the lists of the archbishoprics, bishoprics, and vicariates apostolic, with the number of priests, churches, and members in each, the year of their foundation and their territorial extent. Thus it not only presents a summary of the Church at the beginning of 1879, but it exhibits its gradual growth and its comparative strength in different parts of the Union:
1. ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF BALTIMORE
Estab- lished Priests Churches Roman Catholics 1. Baltimore (Archbishopric, 1808.) 1789 258 127 300,000 2. Charleston 1820 16 155 10,000 3. Richmond 1821 27 22 18,000 4. Savannah 1850 27 25 25,000 5. St. Augustine 1870 10 20 10,000 6. Wheeling 1850 30 63 18,000 7. Wilmington (del) 1868 16 25 14,000 8. North Carolina (V.A.) 1868 7 13 1,700 Total 391 310 396,700
2. ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF BOSTON
Estab- lished Priests Churches Roman Catholics 1. Boston (Archbishopric, 1875) 1808 213 137 310,000 2. Burlington 1853 32 65 35,000 3. Hartford 1844 100 93 150,000 4. Portland 1855 65 77 80,000 5. Providence 1872 88 62 136,000 6. Springfield 1871 98 86 150,000 Total 596 520 861,000
3. ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF CINCINNATI
Estab- lished Priests Churches Roman Catholics 1. Cincinnati (Archbishoric, 1833.) 1822 168 197 200,000 2. Cleveland 1847 159 197 125,000 3. Columbus 1868 59 77 60,000 4. Covington 1853 56 52 40,000 5. Detroit 1832 127 194 175,000 6. Fort Wayne 1857 97 112 80,000
7. Louisville 1808 121 102 150,000 8. Vincennes 1834 122 154 85,000 Total 909 1085 915,000
4. ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF MILWAUKEE
Estab- lished Priests Churches Roman Catholic s 1. Milwaukee (Archbishopric, 1844.) 1844 228 260 195,000 2. Green Bay 1868 73 109 65,000 3. LaCrosse 1868 48 94 46,000
4. Marquette and Saut Sainte Marie 1865 5. St. Paul 1858 108 168 115,000
6. Northern Minnesota (V.A.) 1875 44 42 18,500 Total 520 701 468,500
5. ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF NEW ORLEANS
Estab- lished Priests Churches Roman Catholics 1. New Orleans (Archbishopric, 1870) 1793 168 94 250,000 2. Galveston 1847 41 35 25,000 3. Little Rockk 1843 16 23 4,000 4. Mobile 1824 35 26 6,000 5. Natchez 1837 25 41 12,500 6. Natchitoches 1853 15 17 30,000 7. San Antonio 1874 37 47 45,000 8. Brownsville (V.A.) 1874 22 10 30,000 Total 353 293 402,500
6. ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF NEW YORK
Estab- lished Priests Churches Roman Catholics 1. New York 1808 250 150 600,000
(Archbishopric, 1850) 2. Albany 1847 163 164 200,000 3. Brooklyn 1853 135 79 200,000 4. Buffalo 1847 150 135 100,000 5. Newark 1853 178 134 100,000 6. Ogdensburg 1872 53 81 58,000 7. Rochester 1868 60 79 65,000 Total 989 822 1,323,000
7. ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF OREGON
Estab- lished Priests Churches Roman Catholics 1. Oregon (Archbishopric, 1845.) 1846 23 22 20,000 2. Nesqually 1850 15 23 11,500 3. Idaho (V.A.) 1868 13 14 5,650 Total 51 59 37,150
8. ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF PHILADELPHIA
Estab- lished Priests Churches Roman Catholics 1. Philadelphia (Archbishopric, 1875.) 1809 232 128 275,000 2. Erie 1853 61 81 45,000 3. Harrisburg 1868 100 93 150,000 4. Pittsburgh and Allegheny 1843 1876 5. Scranton 1868 57 70 50,000 Total 634 502 645,000
9. ECCESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF ST. LOUIS
Estab- lished Priests Churches Roman Catholics 1. St. Louis (Archbishopric, 1847.) 1826 250 207 250,000
2. Alton 1857 140 165 100,000 3. Chicago 1844 204 194 230,000 4. Dubuque 1837 189 155 120,000 5. Levenworth 1877 69 104 70,000 6. Nashville 1837 27 29 10,000 7. Peoria 1877 60 93 60,000 8. St. Joseph 1868 26 30 18,000 9. Nebraska (V.A.) 1859 54 59 39,000 Total 1019 1036 897,000
10.ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF SAN FRANCISCO
Estab- lished Priests Church es Roman Catholics 1. San Francisco (Archbishopric, 1853.) 1853 128 103 180,000 2. Grass Valley 1868 31 35 14,000
3. Monterey and Los Angeles 1850 38 35 24,000 Total 197 173 218,000
11. ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF SANTA FE
Estab- lished Priest Churches Roman Cath.
1. Santa Fe (Archbishopric, 1875.) 1850 52 29 109,000 2. Arizona (V.A.) 1869 14 18 30,000 3. Colorado (V.A.) 1868 21 41 20,000 4. Indian Territory (P.A.) 1876 4 3,780 Total 91 88 162,780
V. Periodicals. — The Shamrock, an Irish-American paper established in New York in 1815, and edited by Thomas O'Conor, father of the distinguished jurist Charles O'Conor, is named as the first American journal to which the term Catholic may be applied, as it incidentally defended Catholic as well as Irish interests. The real founder of Catholic journalism in America was bishop England of Charleston, who in 1822 established the United States Catholic Miscellany at Charleston, S.C. It was discontinued in 1861. Among the Catholic journals still (1879) existing, the Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati, established in 1831, and the Pilot of Boston, established in 1837, are the oldest. Since then the number has been largely increased. Among the weekly organs of the Church, besides those already named, the Freeman's Journal of New York, edited by James A. McMaster, and the Tablet, likewise of New York (which has counted among its frequent contributors Dr. O. Brownson, Mrs. J. Sadlier, and Dr. J.V. Huntington), are best known. The Catholic World of New York, established in 1865 by I.T. Hecker, the founder of the Order of the Paulists, stands at the head of the magazines in age and rank. When Dr. O. Brownson, a journalist of considerable note, became in 1844 a Roman Catholic, he of course turned the service of the periodical edited by him to the defense of the Catholic Church, and thus gave to the Romanists of the United States their first Quarterly Review. Brownson's Review was suspended in 1864, revived in 1873, but finally discontinued a short time before the author's death. It was succeeded by the American Catholic Quarterly Review, established in Philadelphia in 1876, and edited by Dr. James A. Corcoran. Among the daily papers of the United States the Roman Catholic Church is feebly represented. Murray, in his Popular History of the Catholic Church in the United States (5th ed. 1877, p. 553), says, "There is not a daily paper in the United States fit for a Catholic child to read." This remark, however, can only be applied to the daily papers published in the English language; for the German Catholics had at the same time five daily papers, expressly established for the defense of Catholic interests and fully under Catholic control. The Weltrundschau uber die kathol. Presse (" Review of the Catholic Press of the World, " Wiirzburg, 1878) enumerates 109 Roman Catholic papers of the United States, of which 36 were published in German, 2 in German as well as in English, 3 in French, 2 in Polish, 1 in Bohemian, and the others in English.
VI. Literature. — The principal works on the history of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States are the following: De Courcy, Catholic Church in the United States (transl. by Shea); M'Gee, Catholic Hist. of North America; Shea, Hist. of the Catholic Missions in the United States; Murray, Popular Hist. of the Catholic Church in the United States (5th ed. 1877), Clarke, Lives of the Deceased Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States (2 vols.); Bayley, Sketch of the Catholic Church on New York Island; Fitton, Hist. of the Church in New England; Finotti, Bibliographia Catholica Americana; O'Connell, Catholicity in the
Carolinas and Georgia (N.Y. 1879); Murray, Catholic Education in the United States (1879); Neher, Kirchliche Geographie und Statistik von Amerika (Ratisbon, 1868). The latest statistics from official reports of the bishops are annually published in Sadlier's Catholic Directory, Almanac, and Ordo (New York). (A.J.S.)