Leo Haid

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The Right Reverend
Leo Haid, O.S.B.
Abbot nullius of Belmont Abbey &
Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina
Abbot Leo Michael Haid.jpg
Other posts Titular bishop of Messene
Ordination December 21, 1872
Consecration July 1, 1888
by Cardinal James Gibbons
Personal details
Birth name Michael Haid
Born (1849-07-15)July 15, 1849
Latrobe, Pennsylvania,
United States
Died July 24, 1924(1924-07-24) (aged 75)
Belmont, North Carolina, United States
Buried Belmont Abbey Cemetery, Belmont, North Carolina
Nationality American
Denomination Roman Catholic

Leo Haid, O.S.B., (July 15, 1849 – July 24, 1924) was an American Benedictine abbot and Catholic bishop, who ruled as the Territorial Abbot of the Abbey of Mary Help of Christians, in Belmont, North Carolina, from 1885 to 1924 and as Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina from 1888 to 1910 and Territorial Abbot from 1910 to 1924.[1]


He was born Michael Haid on July 15, 1849, near Latrobe, Pennsylvania, to a family of German immigrants. He studied at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe and there became a novice of the Benedictine Archabbey of Saint Vincent in 1868. He made first profession as a monk on September 17, 1869, and was ordained a priest on December 21, 1872, serving the monastery college thereafter as professor and chaplain.

Haid was sent to North Carolina in the late 1870s to help in the founding of the new Monastery and College of St. Mary's (now Belmont Abbey College) which had been founded by the archabbey in April 1876. In 1885 he became elected the first abbot of Mary Help of Christians Abbey in what was then Garibaldi, North Carolina, and in 1886 founded there a seminary. On February 4, 1888 he was appointed Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina and was ordained bishop by Baltimore Cardinal Archbishop James Gibbons on July 1, 1888, becoming the first American abbot-bishop.

Haid served as president of the American Cassinese Congregation from 1890-1902 and was a prominent authority on monastic life in the United States. He helped establish and supervise Benedictine foundations in Virginia, Georgia, and Florida.

On August 27, 1899, Haid dedicated St. Nicholas' Catholic Church (Zanesville, Ohio), as Bishop John Ambrose Watterson had died the previous April, 1899. In 1909 he laid the cornerstone of the St. Mary Catholic Church in Wilmington, North Carolina.

On June 8, 1910 Pope Pius X erected Belmont Abbey as a territorial abbey and appointed Haid abbot nullius with canonical jurisdiction over eight counties in North Carolina (Gaston, Catawba, Cleveland, Burke, Lincoln, McDowell, Polk, and Rutherford).

Haid died at Belmont Abbey July 24, 1924, aged 75, and was buried in the abbey cemetery.


  1. ^ "Bishop Leo Michael Haid, O.S.B.". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.