Grassel, LORENZ, Coadjutor-elect of Baltimore; b. at Ruemannsfelden, Bavaria, August 18, 1753; d. at Philadelphia, U.S.A., October, 1793. He was a novice of the Society of Jesus at the time of its suppression and was subsequently ordained priest. In 1787 he left his native land for the American mission at Father Farmer’s invitation, and in March, 1787, he was given charge of the German members of St. Mary’s congregation in Philadelphia, and of the Catholics scattered through New Jersey. He spent six years in Philadelphia and during that time became noted for his learning, zeal, and piety. When it became necessary, owing to the spread of the Faith, to appoint a coadjutor to Bishop Carroll of Baltimore Father Grassel was chosen for the office and the petition for his appointment was formally made to Rome, September 24, 1793. The petition was granted, Grassel thus being the first German born Catholic appointed to a bishopric in the United States, but before the arrival of the Brief naming him titular Bishop of Samosata (December 8, 1793), Grassel had succumbed to yellow fever contracted while attending the victims of the plague which that year ravaged Philadelphia.
BLANCHE M. KELLY