Cardinal William H. Keeler 1931-2017

Statement of Fr. Phillip Brown, P.S.S. on the death of Cardinal Keeler:

October 8, 1995 Cardinal Keeler and Fr. Robert Leavitt, P.S.S. welcoming Pope John Paul II to St. Mary’s. St. John Paul II was canonized in 2014.

We join Archbishop Lori and the entire Archdiocese of Baltimore in prayer and gratitude for the life of Cardinal William Keeler. In the Sulpician tradition, Cardinal Keeler was the first superior of St. Mary’s Seminary & University during his years of exemplary leadership of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In 1995 Cardinal Keeler was instrumental in bringing Pope John Paul II to Baltimore, and St. Mary’s Seminary had the honor of being his final visit before departing the area. We remember a great priest, bishop and leader. May he rest in the Lord’s peace.



You may read more about Cardinal Keeler at

DMin Partnership Moves toward Second Year

One year ago, St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute announced a new partnership with Ashland Theological Seminary, offering local access to a Doctor of Ministry program. Last fall the first group of students began their DMin coursework here on the St. Mary’s campus. The program allows them to complete their first year of coursework with three intensive classes in Baltimore at St Mary’s Ecumenical Institute . Then, students finish coursework with two intensives at the Ashland campus in Ohio (one week in the Fall, one in the Spring). Finally, students develop a major ministry project which they document in a thesis.

A program overview will be presented by  the Deans of both institutions on Wednesday, March 29 at 7 pm on the St. Mary’s campus. The event is open to all. Individual admissions conversations can be scheduled for Thursday morning or afternoon, March 30. For details or to schedule an admissions conversation, contact Patty Rath (410.864.4203).

Dunning Lecture

The Ecumenical Institute of Theology will host Robert Louis Wilken, William R. Kenan Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia, for its Dunning Lecture on Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm. The lecture, “Liberty in the Things of God: Christian Origins of Religious Freedom,” is free and open to the public. For more information, please click here to see the flier.

Ecumenical Institute Welcomes 12 New Students

With the 2017 spring semester poised to begin on January 9, St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute is pleased to welcome 12 new students to campus. The group gathered for the first time on January 4 for pizza and orientation with the deans and staff as well as a few faculty members. As is always true of Ecumenical Institute students, these women and men represent a rich array of denominations. Their goals, whether focused around professional excellence or personal growth, are equally diverse. We wish each and all a robust and rewarding first semester of graduate theological study.

Candidacy Mass 2016

On Thursday, November 17th, 2016, seven seminarians – William Leonard Keown, John Carlos Martine Jusino and John Jeremiah Streifel of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Javier Julio De Arco, Juan Sebastian Sanchez Guzman, Victor Alonso Sierra Lopez and Henry Ramirez Pinzon of the Diocese of Worcester were admitted into Candidacy by the Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, MA.   Candidacy is a liturgical rite of admission requested by a seminarian of his own Ordinary, which formally acknowledges and enrolls him as a candidate for Sacred Orders.  Congratulations!

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225th Anniversary of the Society of St. Sulpice Province of the United States and the founding of America’s first Roman Catholic Seminary

On Tuesday, November 15th there was a celebration to mark the 225th anniversary of the arrival of the Sulpicians in America and the founding of St. Mary’s Seminary.  His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet, P.S.S., Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops, received an honorary degree from St. Mary’s Seminary & University.  To read Marc Cardinal Ouellet’s remarks, click here. The ceremony was attended by several of the United States’ Cardinals; Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Seán Cardinal O’Malley, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop Christophe Pierre (the Apostolic Nuncio of the United States) and over 30 Bishops and Archbishops who are in Baltimore at the time for the USCCB meeting.  The Province of the United States invited the seminarian communities of Theological College of the Catholic University of America, the other Sulpician seminary in the United States, and Mount St. Mary’s in Emmetsburg, founded by the Sulpicians, to join the seminarian community of St. Mary’s Seminary & University for the special celebration.

On April 8, 1791, with the blessing of Father Jacques-André Emery, superior general of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice, four priests and five seminarians embarked from Saint-Malo, France on a chartered ship destined for the port of Baltimore, Maryland.  Upon their arrival, Father Francois Chares Nagot, the superior, accompanied by Fathers Antoine Garnier, Jean-Marie Tessier, and Michel Levadoux, was welcomed by Bishop John Carroll, the first bishop of the diocese of Baltimore — which at the time encompassed the entire fledging nation.  Eight days after their arrival in Baltimore, Maryland, the Sulpician community moved into a large building on Paca Street, just one mile north of city center, which was to become the first Roman Catholic seminary in the United States.   St. Mary’s Seminary was officially opened on October 3, 1791.

225 years later St. Mary’s Seminary & University continues to thrive and serve the original mission of preparing men for the Roman Catholic priesthood and proudly counts over 6000 living alumni in the United States and throughout the world.    St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute, founded in 1968, expanded the mission to serve men and women seeking graduate theological degrees, many of whom have served the Archdiocese of Baltimore over the past 48 years.    Fr. Phillip J. Brown, P.S.S., the President Rector of St. Mary’s Seminary & University remarked “The priests of the Society of St. Sulpice have been forming priests for service in diocese of the United States for 225 years. Theirs is a unique contribution to the life of the Church in the United States, as we represent the only religious community whose principal and virtually sole work is the initial and ongoing formation of parish priests. St. Mary’s has formed more priests for service in the United States than any other seminary and can therefore justly be called America’s “cradle of pastors.”

From the Catholic Review:

Sulpicians mark 225 years of training men to be priests

November 23, 2016
By Christopher Gunty

In October 1791, five men began studies for the priesthood at the first seminary in the United States, just a couple years after the Diocese of Baltimore was established as the first in the country in 1789.
At the time of that humble beginning – when Bishop John Carroll, Baltimore’s first bishop, welcomed four priests from the Society of St. Sulpice and the five seminarians – the Diocese of Baltimore encompassed the whole fledgling nation.

– See more at:

Copyright (c) 2016, Catholic Review Media, All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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Ecumenical Institute Announces MDiv Partnership

St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute will now offer Baltimore-area students a pathway to the Masters of Divinity through a partnership with Lancaster Theological Seminary. “This pathway is ideal for working adults who cannot enroll in traditional, daytime MDiv programs” said Dean Brent Laytham. “I’ve long known that there are Baltimore students who want to study here with us, but need to earn a degree we can’t offer—the MDiv. Now they can.”

The first half of the degree is taken at St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute; the second half is earned through Lancaster’s easily accessible weekend program of unique and integrative courses. Most of the classes taken at the Ecumenical Institute are foundational in content and typically offered on weeknights. Most of the classes taken at Lancaster are integrative and contextual in focus; they are always scheduled on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings.

This partnership pairs America’s oldest Catholic seminary (celebrating its 225th year) with one of America’s oldest Protestant seminaries (in existence for 190 years). Lancaster’s newly revised, 72-credit MDiv is designed to address the pressing needs of the church and the realities of student’s busy lives. It is fully accredited, and is also approved for United Methodists who are pursuing ordination.

See more information, or contact Patty Rath (410.864.4203).