Category: Featured News

Statement on Clergy Abuse

Office of the President-Rector
Statement from Father Phillip J. Brown, P.S.S.
August 21, 2018

 

Recent revelations about former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report convince me that I should address these matters as President-Rector of St. Mary’s Seminary & University.  Pope Francis released a very powerful letter today on this critical matter which I urge you to read. 

Some suggest that the Church is being treated unfairly, perhaps even persecuted. The Catholic Church is not the victim here anymore than Penn State or Michigan State University have been victims through revelation of criminal misconduct by their faculty or staff members. The thousands of children and vulnerable young people who have been sexually abused and harassed by priests and members of the Catholic hierarchy are the victims. And the People of God, who have not deserved this, are victims also.

This is a very sad time for the Catholic Church. But it is not a time to try to deflect responsibility. It is time to acknowledge responsibility, do penance and most importantly to reform: to reform not only words spoken, but reform the culture that made these horrible events possible.

St. Mary’s is committed to learning from what came before, and enacting policies and practices to assure no blind eye will ever be turned to wrongful behavior; that it will be confronted and addressed as soon as discovered, and those responsible dismissed from St. Mary’s.  We are also committed to forming priests who will support a culture where the vulnerable are protected fully by the Church, where not just abusers but anyone who covers for them are held accountable.

Here is my attitude: I have no tolerance for sexual abuse or sexual harassment, or any other kind of abuse or harassment on the part of anyone I supervise, work with or am responsible for. I am committed to investigating any and every allegation thoroughly and fairly. Any suggestion of child abuse is reported to civil authorities. As a Christian I believe in forgiveness, but forgiveness does not dispense with the need for accountability. I cannot change what happened in the past, but I have been and am committed to preventing improper behavior as long as I am in charge of St. Mary’s, and to make amends for past wrongs when that can be done. I cannot share confidential information, but if I could I believe you would be convinced that I mean what I say.  I am also responsible to insure that every faculty member at St. Mary’s today understands and enforces the same policy.

My predecessors started strengthening admissions standards, human formation resources and faculty screening over 30 years ago, something that continues on an ongoing basis. We want to be an important part of the solution, not to perpetuate the problem. We are profoundly aware that words and policies are not enough: actions must prove that our words are sincere. Those who know St. Mary’s today know of results that reveal themselves in outstanding seminarians and priests. I ask for your prayers and support so St. Mary’s can continue to provide the People of God with the kind of priests you deserve.

Please see Archbishop Lori’s statement on recent revelations to show our solidarity and commitment to confront and resolve these serious problems, in particular in the way we strengthen and grow St. Mary’s program of priestly formation. For the harm that has been done, I want to express my sorrow and beg forgiveness on behalf of the Church. I also want to pledge to you our undying efforts to do all we can to reform so that such horrors never happen again.

Sincerely yours, praying for the assistance of Jesus and Mary,

 

 

Rev. Phillip J. Brown, P.S.S.
President-Rector

 

...

Diaconate Ordination

Most Rev. Robert Cunningham, Bishop of Syracuse NY, ordained Nathan Brooks, Diocese of Syracuse, to the Order of Deacon at St. Mary’s Seminary on Saturday, April 21st.  Rev. Mr. Nathan Brooks was joined in celebration by Fr. Brown, St. Mary’s faculty members, and many priests of his home diocese of Syracuse as well as the community of St. Mary’s Seminary.  Over 100 family and friends traveled to Baltimore for the Liturgy and Celebratory Reception.  Rev. Chris Celentano (SM, Class of 2008), who is Rev. Mr. Brook’s pastor from Syracuse, celebrated the Mass of Thanksgiving for the community on Sunday morning, and Rev. Mr. Brooks preached.

For photos of the event, please click on the link to the gallery below.

https://larrycannerphotography.shootproof.com/gallery/4-21-18

...

Dr. Freeman Hrabowski Gives the 2018 Carroll Lecture

On April 12, 2018, the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council, St. Mary’s Seminary & University, and St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute co-hosted Dr. Freeman Hrabowski for the 2018 Carroll lecture. This year’s lecture focused on where we are 50 years after Dr. King’s assassination. Dr. Hrabowski reflected on his participation in the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade, and the impact of his childhood experiences on his philosophy of education. The audience was challenged by Dr. Hrabowski’s provocative question “What is our society doing for the least of us?” He also reminded us to hope, as Dr. King did, that we can learn to trust one another. In an era where language is often divisive, Dr. Hrabowski’s words stand as a prophetic call to embrace speech that unites by remembering our common humanity and our vocation to the office of citizen.

 

...

Friends and Family Weekend

Brandon Feikles (Diocese of Erie) gives a tour to visiting friends and family.

St. Mary’s celebrated the bi-annual Friends and Family Weekend on March 16th-18th.  Over 100 family members joined the community for prayer and fellowship throughout the weekend. The highlight of the weekend was the celebration of the Installation of Lectors and Acolytes on Saturday, March 17th.   Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly was the main celebrant.

Photo Galleries:

Friends and Family Weekend

” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]Lector and Acolyte Installation

” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]

...

Joint Service for 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

On March 11, 2018, St. Mary’s Seminary & University hosted an ecumenical prayer service for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The service in St. Mary’s chapel marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with common prayer focused on the journey from conflict to communion. Archbishop William Lori and Bishop William Gohl presided, assisted by Bishop Dennis Madden and Rev. Dr. Eric T. Campbell. Catholic participants included the St. Mary’s faculty and seminarians, and faculty from Mount St. Mary’s. Lutheran participants included seminarians from United Lutheran Seminary (both the Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses) and Princeton, area pastors, and Dr. Kathryn Johnson, who traveled from Chicago to represent Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

You can read Archbishop Lori’s full homily from the event here.

...

2018 Carroll Lecture

St. Mary’s Seminary & University is pleased to announce The 2018 Carroll Lecture Thursday, April 12th, 2018 | 7:30 pm | Laubacher Hall

Speaker: Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III

President of UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992, is a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities, and school systems. He was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He also chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads (2011). His 2013 TED talk highlights the “Four Pillars of College Success in Science.”

Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME (2012) and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2008), he also received TIAA-CREF’s Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence (2011), the Carnegie Corporation’s Academic Leadership Award (2011), and the Heinz Award (2012) for contributions to improving the “Human Condition.”

For more about Dr. Hrabowski, see https://president.umbc.edu/

This event is free and open to the public.
Registration is requested: 2018carrolllecture.eventbrite.com

Co-sponsored by the
Central Maryland Ecumenical Council and St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute

For details:
stmarys.edu/ei • 410.864.4202 • 5400 Roland Avenue • Baltimore, MD 21210

Download flyer

...

Guatemala Mission Trip

February 25, 2018

Dear all,
We have safely made it back to St. Mary’s Seminary and have begun classes again.  We return to the seminary filled with hope and renewed by the people we encountered in Guatemala.  
After my last post, we learned about the people of Guatemala, the coffee farming/making process, their reforestation work, and the daily life of Guatemalan men and woman.  We also worked hard on some “block houses” in a rural area of Guatemala.  Some of the group worked on building stoves in the homes of some Guatemalan people in another part of the town.  
We learned quickly that building these homes was not easy but it gave new meaning to the words in the celebration of the Eucharist when the priest says: “Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.  Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made.  It will become for us the bread of life.”
The commitment of the Guatemalan people working with their hands brought this to life.

During our work, as we served alongside one another and the Guatemalan people, a deep sense of community, hospitality, and relationship, a deeper sense of life emerged, an encounter with Christ.  Through God’s goodness and the work of human hands, our hands and the hands of others, we encountered Christ this past week.

Thank you for your prayers and support.  We are grateful you have journeyed with us.  
In the hope & peace of Christ discovered more beautifully in Guatemala,

Matt Himes
Peace & Justice Chair
Seminarian | 3T | Archdiocese of Baltimore  

********************************************************************************

Hello all,
Today, February 21, is our 4th full day in Guatemala! We cannot believe the time we have spent on our mission.

So far, we visited Santiago Atitlan where Blessed Fr. Stanley Rother ministered to the people and died for his people. We celebrated mass in the room where he was martyred and we were able to pray before his heart, buried in the church.

We have also had a tour of all of the work of the mission (Health clinic, School, women’s center), sorted coffee beans, worked at construction sites (of peoples’ homes), and went on a beautiful hike.

The people are beautiful in Guatemala. We have had many beautiful interactions with the people and have been moved by the simplicity, perseverance, hope, and faith of the people.

The work of the mission was established by Fr. Greg Shaffer, a diocesan priest sent on mission. Both he, Fr. John Goggin (who celebrating 50 years at the mission and is currently here with us), and Fr. Stanley Rother serve as incredible examples of the love of Christ and the true expression of priesthood.

This afternoon, as I write this, we are preparing to journey to learn about the coffee making process (coffee farming and exportation is a huge source of economy in San Lucas, Toliman), and then we will learn about reforestation efforts.

Please pray for us as we continue to be formed by beautiful people, one another, and ultimately Jesus, through our experiences and journey in Guatemala.

May God bless you,

Matt Himes
Peace & Justice Chair
Archdiocese of Baltimore | 3T

**************************************************************************

Saturday, February 17

During Winter Break (February 17 – February 24), a group of seminarians and one faculty member will be journeying to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala for a Mission Trip. We will be serving the community through San Lucas Mission. While there, we will work on various projects such as building stoves, building homes, coffee bean farming, etc. Most importantly we will strive to be present to all those whom we encounter. We also look forward to celebrating mass at and visit the site of martyrdom of newly beatified Blessed Fr. Stanley Rother.

“In 1963, Fr. Greg Schaffer from the diocese of New Ulm, MN came to San Lucas Toliman and began work as a parish priest. Responding to the expressed felt needs of the community he realized that his work as a priest would be broader than he had imagined. He soon started programs in education, healthcare, construction, coffee as well as a visitor’s program inviting groups from the United States to walk along side the people and culture of San Lucas. Fr. Greg died in 2012 and the Friends of San Lucas was born to carry on his legacy of working with the people of San Lucas to alleviate the process of poverty.” For more information about San Lucas Mission, please check out their website here: https://www.sanlucasmission.org.

I ask that you please consider praying for us this week as we prepare to go on the mission and next week while we are there. Please pray especially that we may meet the needs of the Guatemalan people and that we may be vessels of the love of God, radiating Christ, and truly encountering all who we meet.

Those going on the mission trip:
John Bilenki, Archdiocese of Baltimore, MD, Pre-T
Nate Brooks, Diocese of Syracuse, NY, 3T
Jose Carvajal, Diocese of Worcester, MA, 1T
Fr. Scott Detisch, Diocese of Erie, Systematic Theology, Faculty Member
Brandon Feikles, Diocese of Erie, PA, 1T
Brennan Ferris, Diocese of Wilmington, DE, 1T
Brendan Foley, Diocese of Syracuse, NY, 1T
Matt Himes, Archdiocese of Baltimore, MD, 3T
Kevin Holland, Diocese of Erie, PA, 2T
Dcn. John Streifel, Archdiocese of Baltimore, MD, 4T
Patrick Walsh, Diocese of Richmond, VA, 1T

Please check the website for more updates throughout the week!

...

March for Life 2018

The community of St. Mary’s Seminary & University was represented well at the various activities associated with the Right to Life on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, January 22, 1973.  The seminarians and faculty departed early in the morning on Friday, January 19th to join a huge crowd for the annual March for Life in Washington D.C.

...

2018 Carroll Lecturer Featured in News

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, our 2018 Carroll Lecture lecturer, was the front page feature in the Baltimore Sun’s Monday edition. The story, “‘A powerful and frightening experience:’ UMBC’s Hrabowski recalls King’s call for the Children’s Crusade of 1963,” was timed for the official Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Dr. Hrabowski’s Carroll Lecture at St. Mary’s on April 12, 7:30 pm will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King. President Hrabowski is uniquely positioned to reflect on where we are 50 years later–both in Baltimore and in our nation. The Seminary’s 2018 Carroll Lecture is an ecumenical endeavor, jointly sponsored by the Seminary, the Ecumenical Institute, and the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council .

...

Prayer Service for Christian Unity

On January 22, St. Mary’s Seminary & University will hold a joint prayer service for the School of Theology and the Ecumenical Institute. The service is held during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, whose theme this year is taken from Exodus 15:6 “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power.” Students, faculty, and staff will pray and share a meal together to embody their commitment to seek Christian unity.

...