Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stephen Theodore Badin, Proto-Priest of the United States

Father Badin bears that title because he was the first priest to be ordained in the United States, meaning under the government of the United States, not in the territory. He was born at Orleans, in France, in 1768 and came to America, in 1791, to escape the persecution of the Revolutionaries. After completing his studies, in 1793, Fr. Badin was ordained by Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore.
In those days, priests didn't always have a set parish. They went where they were needed, and Fr. Badin managed to range all over the landscape, from Pittsburgh to Illinois. His primary field was Kentucky, however.
In the 1830's, Fr. Badin was headquartered in the Cincinnati Diocese, and went to whatever part of Ohio needed him most. From 1835 to 1837, he helped out in Fremont and Tiffin, in what's now the Diocese of Toledo.
Fr. Badin retired ( At least as far as was possible ) to Cincinnati and died there, in 1853. HERE'S a brief account of his life.