This small museum is generally visited as part of a guided tour of the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, America's first Catholic cathedral.  (The diocese, which dates from 1789, was the first to be founded after the country itself was formed). The Cathedral is a wonder,  designed in the early 1800s by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect responsible for the U.S. Capitol.  It's considered one of the finest 19th century buildings in the US, with particular praise given to its exquisite dome. As for the museum, it  takes up only a small space of the church's arched undercroft where there also is a chapel and tributes to religious communities and American saints. On display are rich gold vestments worn by Cardinal James Gibbons, chalices, and other vessels used during Mass. The museum also takes a look at Baltimore history—from its days as a leader in American independence to the visits of Pope John Paul II, who is now recognized as a saint. Tours of both the basilica and the museum are scheduled weekdays and Saturdays at 9am, 11am, and 1pm, and Sundays at noon. Saturday tours may be canceled in the event of a wedding or other special event.