The Baltimore Basilica was the very first Cathedral to be erected in the United States. It is located in Mount Vernon, Maryland. Construction on the Basilica was commenced in 1806 and the final touches were completed in 1821. It is also referred to as the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
The Basilica holds many historical firsts for the United States. For instance the very first formally trained architect was behind the design of the Basilica. His name was Benjamin Henry Latrobe. America’s very first Bishop, John Carroll was the guidance and contributing factor from the Catholic church in the Basilica’s design.
The Basilica has also been the location for many famous and notorious events. One such event was the funeral of Charles Carroll. This individual was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. The Catholic Church in America consecrated many of their first Bishops in the Basilica. These bishops then went out to serve the flocks as the migration to the west occurred.
There were also seven Provincial Councils and three Plenary Councils that were held in the Basilica. These councils became the primary bodies of influence that erected the Catholic School system as we know it today. More priests have been ordained in the Basilica than any other Catholic location in the United States. This has only just begun to change in recent years.