The community of St. Mary’s Seminary & University, organized by the Seminary’s pro-life subcommittee, was fully represented at the various activities associated with the Right to Life anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision . Early in the morning of January 22, seminarians and faculty members departed St. Mary’s and joined people from all over the country who were in Washington DC for the March for Life. The theme this year “Every Life is a Gift” had a special focus on preborn babies who are diagnosed in the womb with a fetal abnormality. Many in the community also attended the Solemn Opening Mass held on January 21st in the Basilica’s Great Upper Church with principal celebrant and homilist, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
The January 20 Service of Prayer for Christian Unity was attended by a diverse group—seminarians from the School of Theology and Ecumenical Institute students, along with faculty members from both divisions. Pastors from several Roland Park churches vested and joined in the processional. With President-Rector, Rev. Thomas Hurst, P.S.S., presiding, seminarians and students read Scripture and offered prayer. The sermon, “A bucket, a mountain, a table, and … the savior of the world” (John 4:1-42), was preached by Rev. Dr. Brent Laytham, Dean of the Ecumenical Institute, who brought fresh insight to the surprising encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. The St. Mary’s Schola, forming a small circle in the center of the Chapel, offered the Russian Orthodox chant of St. Symeon’s Prayer. With assistance from Dean Laytham, Rev. Daniel Grigassy, OFM, Associate Professor of Liturgical Theology, planned the service, which beautifully reflected the call that is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
New Sulpician Provincial and Consultors (l. to r.): Rev. Hy Nguyen, Rev. Daniel Moore, Rev. John Kemper, Rev. Richard Gula and Rev. Anthony Pogorelc. Rev. John C. Kemper, P.S.S. was elected Provincial Superior of the U.S. Province of the Society of Saint-Sulpice by the Provincial Assembly that met at the Center for Continuing Formation at St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Baltimore, from January 3-9, 2015. Fr. Kemper’s term of office begins July 1, 2015. Elected Provincial Consultors are: First Consultor, Father Daniel F. Moore, P.S.S.; Second Consultor,Father Richard Gula P.S.S.; Third Consultor, Father Anthony Pogorelc, P.S.S.; and Fourth Consultor, Father Hy Nguyen, P.S.S. Father Kemper, 57, a priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA and a member of the Society of St. Sulpice, is a graduate of Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg and holds a doctorate in Pastoral Ministry from Pacific School of Religion (GTU), Berkeley CA. He has served on the faculties of St. Joseph College Seminary, Mt. View, CA, SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary, Michigan, Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, TX. Most recently Fr. Kemper served as the Executive Director of St. Mary’s Spiritual Center & Historic Site, Baltimore. Father Kemper also served as a Provincial Consultor for the past twelve years. The Sulpicians are a society of diocesan priests dedicated to the formation and education of priests and future priests. In 1791 in Baltimore, the Sulpicians founded St. Mary’s, the first Catholic seminary in the United States. The Province staffs seminaries and continuing formation programs for the clergy in the Archdioceses of Baltimore, San Antonio, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Zambia, Central Africa. In addition, Sulpicians minister in other forums throughout the United States and Zambia. The new Provincial Council begins its term of office July 1, 2015. For further information, please contact Father Daniel F. Moore, P.S.S., Director of Communications (410-323-5070).
On Saturday, December 20 at 10 am, Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, ordained St. Mary’s Seminarians from the Diocese of Worcester to the transitional diaconate at the Cathedral of St. Paul. The transitional diaconate is the final stage of preparation for ordination to the priesthood. All three are currently in their Fourth year of Theology at St. Mary’s. Carlos Andres Ruiz Vasquez , Juan David Escudero Muñoz, and Mateus Monteiro De Souza are pictured with Bishop McManus after the ceremony.
A Blessed Christmas and joyful New Year’s to all from the St. Mary’s Seminary & University Community.
On Thursday, November 13, 2014, twelve seminarians – Edward Kennedy of the Diocese of Camden; Michael Sartori of the Diocese of Manchester; Jorge Ramirez of the Diocese of Rochester; Gregg Abadilla, Roy Ballacillo, Christopher Colavito, John Patilla and Daniel Price of the Diocese of Trenton; Lance Martin of the Diocese of Wilmington; and Juan Muňoz, Mateus de Souza and Carlos Ruiz of the Diocese of Worcester were admitted into Candidacy by the Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester. 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!
Over 110 Graduates of St. Mary’s Seminary, St. Charles College and St. Mary’s Seminary College gathered for the annual celebration of Alumni Days. The priestly Golden Jubilariarians of the Class of 1964 and the 40 year anniversarians of the Class of 1974 were particularly well represented. Placeholder Festivities began on Wednesday and included tours of the newly renovated Paca Street chapel followed by Evening Prayer. After a cocktail reception, alumni celebrated their anniversary dinners. On Thursday, October 16th Fr. Hurst and the seminarian community welcomed alumni for Mass, celebrated by Rev. Robert F. Leavitt, S.S., President Rector 1980-2007 and France-Merrick Professor. Fr. Leavitt, St. Mary’s class of 1968, was celebrating the 50th anniversary of his arrival at Roland Park. The homilist was Fr. Larry Terrien, Director of Spiritual Life Programs for St. Mary’s. Click here to read his homily. Placeholder The luncheon honored alumnus Fr. James Mazzone, St. Mary’s 1999 alumnus, of the Diocese of Worcester with the Jean Jacques Olier Outstanding Alumnus Award for Fr. Mazzone’s dedication to the formation of priests, and in particular, for the insight, creativity and energy he has brought to the pre-theology phase of formation for priestly ministry. Click here to read Fr. Hurst’s tribute to Fr. Mazzone.
At the invitation of the Society of St. Sulpice, US Province, St. Mary’s Seminary & University conferred the Degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa to Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu on Monday, October 6th. Acclaimed as a champion of justice and peace by the faithful and the downtrodden, His Grace has faithfully given witness to the Church’s Social Justice Tradition. He continues to demonstrate his commitment to justice and peace, while exhorting and encouraging others to do likewise. The visit of Archbishop Mpundu to the United States marks the Sulpician Fathers’ Twenty-fifth anniversary of ministry in Zambia. The Archbishop was honored for his contributions as a stalwart herald of the Gospel, an effective pastoral leader and a staunch promoter of priestly formation and in recognition of his unwavering commitment to justice, peace and reconciliation. The ceremony was attended by the seminarian communities of St. Mary’s Seminary & University and the Theological College of the Catholic University of America as well as the Sulpician Provincial Council and invited guests. While in the United States Archbishop Mpundu will also be visiting Theological College, Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas and St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park.
St. Mary’s Seminary & University welcomes twenty-one new seminarians and two resident priest students from fourteen dioceses to its seminary community. Student leadership and seminarian volunteers helped the new seminarians move in and feel welcomed and at home at St. Mary’s during its 2014 Introduction to Seminary Life Program, August 21st – 25th. With the arrival of the returning seminarians on August 25th, the community begins the year, as always, with a retreat. This year’s theme: “Take, Bless, Break, the Eucharistic Pattern of the Life of a Priest” was led this year by new faculty members Fr. Scott Detisch and Fr. James McKearney, S.S. The new seminary year was then opened on August 28th, the Memorial of St. Augustine, with the Eucharist celebrated by Archbishop William Lori, Chair of the Board and Chancellor of the University. Archbishop Lori spoke with great clarity about St. Augustine and his human, spiritual, theological and pastoral growth. He encouraged the seminarians to follow the example of St. Augustine in their continued growth toward the priesthood.
On Thursday, May 15th, Archbishop William Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Chancellor of the University, presided over Commencement Exercises at St. Mary’s Seminary & University. After a welcome by Rev. Thomas R. Hurst, S.S., S.T.L., Ph.D., President-Rector and Vice Chancellor of the University and an invocation by Rev. James McKearney, S.T.D., representing the Provincial of the Society of St. Sulpice, forty-two students received theological degrees from St. Mary’s three faculties. The Ecclesiastical Theological Faculty, acting under the authority of the Apostolic See, and the Praeses Rev. Thomas J. Burke, O.SS.T. S.T.D., conferred eleven Baccalaureates in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) and two Licentiates in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.). The Faculty of the School of Theology, acting under the authority of the State of Maryland, and the Academic Dean, Fr. Burke, conferred four Bachelors of Arts, four Masters of Arts (Theology), and eleven Masters of Divinity. The Faculty of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology, acting under the authority of the State of Maryland, and the Dean, Rev. Brent Laytham, Ph.D, conferred fifteen Masters of Arts (Theology), four Masters of Arts (Church Ministries), and three Certificates of Advanced Studies (Theology). St. Mary’s Seminary & University also conferred two Doctorates of Divinity, honoris causa, upon Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L. for his work over a quarter of a century as bishop and twenty years as the Bishop of the Dicoese of Erie, and upon Rabbi Joel Zaiman, for his leadership in fostering community, particularly work his work with the establishment of the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies in Baltimore. Dr. Christopher Leighton, the Executive Director and Scholar of the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies delivered the Commencement Address. Dr. Leighton spoke eloquently of the need for all who minister to “come down from the mountain” as Elijah did and he concluded with these words, “And my prayer is that you, the graduates of this distinguished institution, will also find an imam, or a guru, or a philosophical sage, if not a rabbi, who will help you navigate a path down the steep cliffs, reminding you of your true calling, and equipping you to discern God’s presence where you may least expect.”