History of the Sulpicians in the United States

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Wed, 01/01/1986

The "History of the Sulpicians in the United States" grant provided partial funding for Christopher J. Kauffman's research on an understudied religious community with considerable significance in the history of American Catholicism. The Sulpicians, a French community of diocesan priests dedicated to preparing candidates for the priesthood, first established a seminary in Baltimore in 1791. During their early years in the United States, the Sulpicians helped to found several religious communities of women, ministered to African Americans, and served as bishops, in addition to educating seminarians. In later years, they staffed numerous seminaries all over the United States. Their schools were known for the close bonds that developed between faculty and students. Thus, although the Sulpicians were never very numerous, they exerted great influence upon the American church through the priests they trained. In order to chronicle the struggles and accomplishments of this remarkable community, Kauffman traveled to archdiocesan archives all over the United States, as well as to the Vatican archives and to Sulpician archives in the United States, Canada, and France. In 1988 his history of the Sulpicians, Tradition and Transformation in Catholic Culture: The Priests of Saint Sulpice in the United States from 1791 to the Present, was published by Macmillan.