- Leonard Neale
name = Leonard Neale, S.J. †
Archdiocese of Baltimore
Archbishop of Baltimore
December 3, 1815— June 18, 1817
Predecessor = John Carroll †
June 5, 1773
date of birth =
October 15, 1746
place of birth =
Port Tobacco, Maryland
date of death =
June 18, 1817
place of death =
The Most Reverend
Leonard Neale, S.J. (
October 15, 1746– June 18, 1817) became, in 1800, the first Roman Catholicbishop ordained in the United States, and the second Archbishop of Baltimore. He devoted considerable time to the establishment of the Visitation Sisters, and also served as president of Georgetown College.
Early life and ministry
Leonard Neale was born in
Port Tobacco, Marylandon October 15, 1746 to William and Anne (Brooke) Neale. He was educated in the College of Saint Omer, France, and later at Brugesand Liège, Belgium. [ [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10728d.htm Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X, Robert Appleton Company, 1911] ]
He became a member of the Society of Jesus, and after his ordination on
June 5, 1777he taught in colleges and officiated as pastor in different places in Europe. Father Neale was teaching in the Jesuit college of Bruges when that institution was seized by the Austro-Belgian government, and along with the other Jesuits was expelled. He moved to England, where he had charge of a small congregation, but after several years he sailed in 1779 for Demerara, where he worked zealously among the natives and settlers. At length his health was almost ruined by the inclemency of the climate and the severity of his labors. He left Demerara in January, 1783, and after a dangerous voyage, in which he fell into the hands of British cruisers, he reached the United States in April 1783.
In June of 1783 he attended a meeting of the clergy of Maryland at Whitemarsh and took an active part in its deliberations. He was stationed at [http://www.potomacheritage.org/pathfind/tmano.asp St. Thomas's Manor] among his relatives until 1793. He then went to
Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniaand tended to victims of a yellow feverepidemic, even though his own health was in a delicate state. He was vigilant in his attentions to the sick and dying, and on the reappearance of yellow-fever in 1797 and 1798 he resumed his former exertions until he was stricken by the disease. While he was in Philadelphia he was appointed vicar-general for the northern states.
According to Jesuit ["Information", "Was Washington a Catholic?, Doran Hurley, January-February 1957, Vol. 71, pages 2-6.] and slave [quote = "These were not Catholic Negroes; it is part of the tradition that weeping and wailing occurred in the quarters that Massa Washington had been snared by the Scarlet Woman of Rome, whom they had been taught to fear and hate."
"Slaves Held Washington Died Baptized Catholic", National Catholic Register, February 27, 1957, page 11.] tradition Father Neale baptized George Washington on his deathbed, however, eyewitness accounts make no mention of such an event. [cite web
url = http://www.fathom.com/course/10701018/session4.html
title = George Washington and the Legacy of Character: He Died as He Lived
publisher = Fathom.com (on-line archive from
quote = According to the extant record of Washington's final hours, there was no reference to any religious words or prayers, no request for forgiveness, no fear of divine judgment, no call for a minister (although ample time existed to call one if desired), no deathbed farewell, no promise or hope of meeting again in heaven.
accessdate = 2008-03-29 ]
President of Georgetown
In 1798 Bishop Carroll called Father Neale from Philadelphia to succeed Rev. Dr. Dubourg in the presidency of the college at Georgetown. He acted in the dual capacity of president and tutor for several years and under his guidance the institution was developed from an academy into a college in 1801.
In 1799, Neale founded the
Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, under the direction of the Sisters of the Visitation. Both the school and the convent are still vibrant more than 200 years later in the heart of Washington, DC.
The venerable Bishop Carroll had some time previous to this applied to Rome to name Father Neale as his co-adjutor bishop. Neal was consecrated a bishop by Bishop Carroll in 1800, but remained as President of Georgetown College until 1806
In 1809, his brother,
Francis Neale, became president of Georgetown College.
Archbishop of Baltimore
Neale succeeded John Carroll as archbishop of
Baltimoreon December 3, 1815 and served until his death on June 18, 1817. As archbishop, he presided St. Mary's Catholic church's operations and decided upon his decision that appointed French priest Joseph Clorivière was to serve at St. Mary's Catholic. This wasn't welcomed by Irishman John O'Rawand this nominee refusal was met with the Charleston schism(1815-1819) [http://www.library.georgetown.edu/dept/speccoll/fl/f119%7D13.htm Georgetown University Archives] ] .
His other brother,
Charles Neale( - 1823), was the leader of the Jesuit Mission in Americaby the time he died.
* [http://www.archbalt.org/our-history/ordinaries-detail.cfm?customel_datapageid_999=2196 Archdiocese of Baltimore Page About Leonard Neale, S.J.]
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Leonard Neale — Leonard Neale † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Leonard Neale Second Archbishop of Baltimore, b. near Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland, 15 Oct., 1746; d. at Georgetown, D.C., 18 June, 1817. He was a descendant of Captain James Neale,… … Catholic encyclopedia
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History of Georgetown University — The history of Georgetown University spans over four hundred years, and is closely tied to that of America. Georgetown University has grown with Washington, D.C. and the United States, each of which date their founding to the period from 1788 to… … Wikipedia
Ambrose Maréchal — † Archbishop of Baltimore See Archdiocese of Baltimore In Office July 4, 1817 January 29, 1828 Predecessor Leonard Neale † Successor … Wikipedia