Badin, Stephen Theodore
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Time Period
7/17/1768  - 4/21/1853
Stephen Badin was born in Orleans, France. After fleeing to the United States in 1792 to escape the French Revolution, Badin completed his studies at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained by Bishop John Carroll in 1793, becoming the first Catholic priest ordained in the country.

His main field of missionary activity was in Kentucky, where he labored for 26 years. Badin’s work earned him the title of "Apostle of Kentucky." Standing against such early 19th-century democratizing practices in the American church as lay trusteeism, Badin promoted conservatism in church governance. He sought to "Europeanize" or "Romanize" the American church in terms of aesthetics, organization, and praxis. This extended to the active role in overseeing the private lives of the lay Catholics under his watch. He also worked closely with Charles Nerinckx, a fellow missionary, and Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget in establishing the Diocese of Bardstown.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
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Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
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Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other ARDA Links


Stephen Badin portrait- Internet Archive- from Centenary of Catholicity in Kentucky by Benedict J. Webb

Stephen Badin portrait- Internet Archive- from The Columbian Jubilee or Four Centuries of Catholicity in American, vol 2
Book/Journal Source(s)
Dolan, Jay P., 1985. The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Dolan, Jay P., 2002. In Search of an American Catholicism: A History of Religion and Culture in Tension. New York: Oxford University Press.
Pasquier, Michael, 2010. Fathers on the Frontier: French Missionaries and the Roman Catholic Priesthood in the United States, 1789-1870. New York: Oxford University Press.
Web Page Contributor
William S. Cossen
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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