Tag Archives: John Carroll

Remembering John Carroll’s election

John CarrolToday is the anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Baltimore and the anniversary of a rather unique circumstance, the episcopal election of Father John Carroll (January 8, 1735 – December 3, 1815) as the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States of America. As bishop of Baltimore he set the stage for Catholicism’s vitality in the new nation.

So, on this date, 6 November 1789, by the pontifical brief Ex hac apostolicae, Baltimore was made the first diocese of the United States. Father John Carrol was elected the first bishop by the clergy in the USA by a vote of 24 out of 26. Pope Pius VI approved the election and he was consecrated to the episcopacy by Bishop Charles Walmesley, in England, on August 15, 1790.

Among his many accomplishments for the Church he was the founder of Georgetown University, held the first diocesan synod in 1791, invited the English Dominicans to serve here and established the Order of the Visitation. By 1804, the Holy Father entrusted the Church in the Danish West Indies and other nearby islands to Carroll; and by 1805 the Louisiana Territory became part of the Baltimore Province. In April 1808, Pope Pius VII established Baltimore as the first US archdiocese with suffragan diocese of Bardstown, Boston, New York and Philadelphia.

Prayer for the President of the United States of America

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We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope Benedict, XVI, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, Donald, all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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