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.”
On Thursday, April 3, Bishop Rowan Williams (the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury) delivered the 2014 Dunning Lecture, titled “Theology as a Way of Life,” to a record audience. Approximately 600 people gathered in Laubacher Hall and two simulcast areas to hear Williams’ winsome invitation to “theological behavior” that is unafraid of self-scrutiny, patient with life’s deepest mysteries, and hospitable to conversation. Inviting hearers to reflect on moments of new possibility and on practices of prayer and contemplation, Williams concluded that “what it all adds up to is joy.”
St. Mary’s Laubacher Hall was close to full on November 20, when Dr. James D. G. Dunn delivered the Ecumenical Institute’s annual Dunning Lecture to over 250 eager listeners. The lecture, “Jesus as Remembered by John,” was followed by a lively period of Q&A and discussion. Hearts and Minds Books of Dallastown, PA sold copies of his many books, and Dunn graciously signed for all who cued up.
On Thursday, November 14, 2013, eight seminarians — Andres Alberto Araque Castrillon, Daniel Eduardo Moreno Jimenez, and Juan Sebastian Ramirez Acosta of the Diocese of Worcester; Eric Jordan Dinga and James Barra Morely of the Diocese of Greensburg; Edgar A. Madarang of the Diocese of Metuchen; and Renato Luigi Esposito and Arian Hernado Wharff Galvis of the Diocese of Trenton — were admitted into Candidacy by the Most Reverend Lawrence E. Brandt, Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
More than 125 alumni from St. Charles Seminary in Catonsville.
On Thursday, May 16, 2013, St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore celebrated the graduation of 14 seminarians from the St. Mary’s Seminary School of Theology and 22 men and women from St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute of Theology.
The community of St. Mary’s Seminary and University was fully represented at the various activities associated with the Right to Life anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, January 22, 1973, organized by the seminarians Right to Life subcommittee.