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Associated Sulpicians of the United States Archives


Provincials
The Associated Sulpicians of the United States Archives is the repository for the U.S. Province of the Society of St. Sulpice. The Sulpicians, as they are known, are a society of diocesan priests dedicated to the formation of priests for the Catholic Church. The Society was founded in 1641 by Rev. Jean-Jacques Olier (1608-1657) and derives its name from the parish of Saint-Sulpice, Paris, where Fr. Olier was curé. Here he established a seminary based upon a spiritual renewal of the diocesan priesthood as envisioned by the Council of Trent (1545-1563). Soon the Sulpicians were staffing seminaries across France. In 1657 the Sulpicians established a North American presence in Montreal when four members were sent to serve as missionaries to the colonists and native peoples of New France. In 1791, at the invitation of Bishop John Carroll (1735-1815), four Sulpicians arrived in Baltimore to found St. Mary's, the nation's first Roman Catholic seminary.

The records of the provincials date from their arrival in 1791 and document the the founding, growth, and mission of the Society of St. Sulpice in the United States. Until the U.S. Province was established in 1903, the Sulpicians who served in this country were members of the French Province. The Sulpician appointed to oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of the U.S. community during this period held the title of superior. In 1921 the first provincial was appointed to administer the U.S. Province. Today, the Society is comprised of three provinces: France, Canada, and the United States and have founded and staffed seminaries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

It should be noted that the superior/provincial of the U.S. Sulpicians also served as president of St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore until 1968, when the decision was made to separate the two positions. The records in this series, then, provide a rich source of information for the individuals who held this dual position. Researchers are currently able to access the papers of the first superior, Rev. François C. Nagot (d. 1816), through the first provincial, Rev. Edward Dyer (d. 1925). The papers of Rev. John F. Fenlon (d. 1943) are scheduled to open in 2013.

 

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Rev. François C. Nagot, 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.

Fr. 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 who were sent to the United States in 1791 to open the nation’s first Roman Catholic seminary, St. Mary's in Baltimore. He remained at St. Mary's until his death in 1816 and was noted among his contemporaries for his deep piety. 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 Nagot's 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.

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Rev. Jean-Marie Tessier, S.S.
Rev. Jean-Marie Tessier, 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.


Fr. 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. Domingue black refugee population, conducting catechism classes and ministering to the faith community that worshipped at St. Mary's. Fr. Tessier was noted for being a fastidious chronicler of the Sulpician community in Baltimore. He helped guide the seminary through the financially difficult early years. This collection contains both official and personal papers, including correspondence, account books and journals, diaries, 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.

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Rev. Louis R. Deluol, S.S.
Rev. Louis Regis Deluol, S.S., Papers (Born: 1787, St. Privat, France; Superior, U.S. Sulpicians, 1829-1849; Died: 1858, Paris, France). Size: 2 records storage boxes and 4 letterbooks; date span: c. 1817-1858.

Fr. 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 for the next 20 years. He held the confidence of the Archbishops of Baltimore and played an active role in the seven Provincial Councils held between 1829-1849. He also served as Superior General of the Sisters of Charity and negotiated their alliance with the Daughters of Charity in France. Fr. Deluol was recalled to France in 1849, where he lived out the remainder of his life. He was noted for the American innovations he promoted within Baltimore's Sulpician community. This collection contains both official and personal papers, including account books, notebooks, correspondence, diaries, and biographical information. 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.

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Rev. François Lhomme, S.S.
Rev. François Lhomme, 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.

Fr. 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, portrait images, and theological manuscripts. See also Sulpician letterbooks 4 and 5 for official copies of outgoing correspondence, as well as photocopies of correspondence on deposit in the Sulpician Archives in Paris.

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Rev. Joseph Paul Dubreul, S.S.
Rev. Joseph Paul Dubreul, 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, portrait images, and subject index to one of Abp. Ambrose Maréchal's letterbooks. See also photocopies of correspondence on deposit in the Sulpician Archives in Paris.

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Rev. Alphonse Magnien, S.S.
Rev. Alphonse Magnien, 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 Fr. 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. See also photocopies of correspondence on deposit in the Sulpician Archives in Paris.

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Rev. Edward R. Dyer, S.S.
Rev. Edward R. Dyer, 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). Size: 24 records storage boxes; 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. Fr. 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 Fr. Dyer's role in the establishment of the Catholic Education Association and National Catholic Welfare Conference, as well as his role as secretary-treasurer for the Commission for Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians. See also photocopies of correspondence on deposit in the Sulpician Archives in Paris.

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