Leo Haid, O.S.B.
|Abbot nullius of Belmont Abbey &|
Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina
|Other posts||Titular bishop of Messene|
|Ordination||December 21, 1872|
|Consecration||July 1, 1888|
by Cardinal James Gibbons
|Birth name||Michael Haid|
|Born||July 15, 1849|
|Died||July 24, 1924 (aged 75)|
Belmont, North Carolina, United States
|Buried||Belmont Abbey Cemetery, Belmont, North Carolina|
Leo Haid, O.S.B., (July 15, 1849 – July 24, 1924) was an American Benedictine abbot and Catholic bishop, who served as the 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.
He was born Michael Haid on July 15, 1849, near Latrobe, Pennsylvania, to German immigrants John and Mary A. Stader Haid. 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 Apostolic Vicar of North Carolina and was consecrated bishop at the Baltimore Cathedral by Baltimore Archbishop Cardinal James Gibbons on July 1, 1888, becoming the first American abbot-bishop. Co-Consecrators were John Joseph Kain, Bishop of Wheeling, West Virginia, and Thomas Albert Andrew Becker, Bishop of Savannah, Georgia
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 (Benedictine College Preparatory), Georgia (Savannah Priory), and Florida (St Leo University).
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.