Comprised Catawba, Cleveland, Burke, Gaston, Lincoln, McDowell, Polk, and Ruthreford counties, an area of 3,626 square miles. Also called Maryhelp Abbey, it was founded as Saint Mary’s College by the Benedictines in 1878, raised to an abbey in 1884, and erected into an abbey nullius on 8 June 1910. The college received its charter for secular education in 1886. Connected with it were an academy and a seminary, founded in 1888, for students for the abbey nullius and Southern missions. The abbey was suppressed in 1977, its territory incorporated into the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina.