Sulpician Priests' Hallowed Ground is at Charlestown

CATONSVILLE, MD (April 30, 2015) – More than 200 priests who once taught at seminaries in Maryland and throughout the United States rest eternally in the Sulpician Cemetery’s hallowed ground near Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Charlestown retirement community. 

Rows of metal crosses – aligned in syncopation and nestled among trees -- mark the graves of the priests. Accompanying plaques note their names, geographic places of birth, days of birth and days of death. A total of 150 of the priests once taught at St. Charles College Seminary, the site of what is now Charlestown

Father Leo Larrivee, the Pastor of Our Lady of the Angels, visits the cemetery daily as he takes his morning walks. Many of the priests taught him when he attended St. Charles College Seminary, eventually graduating in 1973.  “I feel a great sense of gratitude for what these people did, educating thousands of priests over the years,” he said. “There is a lot of service here by a relatively small handful of people.”

Father Hector Joubert, S.S., who along with Mother Mary Lange founded the Oblates of Divine Providence, is buried in the cemetery. So is Father Oliverius Jenkins, who built the first Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in Ellicott City, MD.

Centuries of spiritual grace are ever-present. A central statue in the landscaped, one-acre cemetery is that of Sades Sapientiae, the Patroness of the Sulpicians. “She stands vigil over her sons,” said Father Larrivee, who estimates there are just 60 Sulpician priests left in the United States.

A column at the cemetery’s entrance gate is engraved with the words “Vivere Summe Deo in Christo Jesu.” (English translation: “To Live Fully for God in Christ Jesus”). Their eloquence connects past with present.