Category: St. Mary’s News

Commencement 2016

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On Thursday, May 12th, Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Chancellor of the University, presided over Commencement Exercises at St. Mary’s Seminary & University. The Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology conferred eighteen Baccalaureates in Sacred Theology and two Licentiates in Sacred Theology and the School of Theology conferred one Bachelor of Arts (Theology), three Masters of Arts (Theology) and seventeen Masters of Divinity. The Ecumenical Institute of Theology conferred ten Masters of Arts (Theology), eight Masters of Arts (Church Ministries), and one Certificate of Advanced Studies in Theology. St. Mary’s Seminary & University also conferred a Doctorate of Divinity, honoris causa, upon His Eminence Edwin Cardinal O’Brien, former Archbishop of Baltimore, now a member of the College of Cardinals and the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Click here to read Cardinal O’Brien’s Commencement Address .


Canon Law Workshops and Course

Fall 2015 Bldg-Pope Banner

St. Mary’s Offers Canon Law Workshops and Course This Summer

Two divisions of St. Mary’s Seminary & University are offering excellent opportunities this summer to learn more about Canon Law. The Center for Continuing Formation will host two all-day workshops (June 14 and 28) focusing on Roman Catholic Canon Law in Parish Life. Summer-term course offerings through St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute include a three-credit graduate course, Sacramental Theology & Canon Law for Pastoral Ministers, to include both workshops plus six additional class sessions. Rev. Msgr. David Fulton, St. Mary’s Associate Professor of Moral Theology, is the instructor for the course as well as the workshops. CEUs available.

See flier for details and registration.


St. Mary’s honors Fr. Thomas Hurst, President Rector 2007-2016

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Over 200 seminarians, faculty, staff, board members and special guests gathered on Thursday, April 21st to honor and thank Fr. Hurst for his exemplary leadership of St. Mary’s over the past 9 years.  Archbishop William Lori presided at Evening Prayer for the entire community.  Remarks by Fr. Kemper, Fr. Witherup and Mr. David Kinkopf, Vice Chair of the Board concluded the service.  All the guests enjoyed a cocktail reception in Laubacher Hall where they were able to thank Fr. Hurst personally for his leadership and dedication of America’s first Roman Catholic Seminary.

Click below to read the speakers’ remarks.

Archbishop Lori

Fr. Hurst, P.S.S.

Fr. Kemper, P.S.S.

Fr. Witherup, P.S.S.

Mr. David Kinkopf

Please view gallery images below:


Holocaust Remembrance

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From the first blast of the shofar to its final, haunting note, St. Mary’s annual Yom HaShoah service was a moving and memorable interfaith prayer service. Planned and led by members of the Richman-Linehan Course in Jewish-Christian studies, it featured an address by Holocaust survivor Mr. Herbert Hane, prayer from the Psalms, Yom Kippur, and Taize, and an original litany. This was St. Mary’s Seminary & University’s 32nd annual Holocaust Remembrance service.

Between the lighting of the fifth and sixth candle on the Holocaust Menorah, the words “Forgiveness is a seed for Peace” were proclaimed in eight different languages, suggesting the amazing diversity of this class. St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute professors Dr. Rebecca Hancock and Rabbi Dr. Avram Reisner have been co-teaching the “Ten Commandments” with twenty-two students, including a typically diverse group of EI students, seven seminarians, and two visiting students from Towson University’s Jewish Studies program. The integrity and power of the service bore witness to the great collegiality the classmates have developed for one another, as well as their deep care for the occasion.



Festival of Preaching April 15-16


Three notable preachers will keynote St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute’s second Festival of Preaching, April 15-16. The festival’s focus is “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – The Preacher as Public Theologian.”

The festival begins at 7 pm with Dr. Arthur Sutherland’s talk, “Where Have All the Prophets Gone?: The Theological Role of the Preacher in the Public Square,” followed by the preaching of Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington.  The evening concludes by considering “After Ferguson, Charleston and Sandtown: Preaching and Public Theology Today.”

Saturday, Rev. Dr. S. Todd Yeary of Douglas Memorial Church will preach at 9, followed by discussion of “Half Truths and Little Lies: Partisan Politics and Preaching Today.”

The morning concludes with Dr. C. Anthony Hunt’s address, “I’ve Seen the Promised Land: The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Prophetic Preaching” and a discussion of “Prophetic Preaching and Public Theology for Today and Tomorrow” by Dr. Reginald Thomas (moderator) Bishop Wolfgang Herz-Lane, Dr. Lisa Weah, Dr. C. Anthony Hunt.

Lunch is provided in the refectory, followed by 7 exciting workshop choices:

  • Rev. Dr. Alvin Hathaway – “Crying in the Wilderness: Developing Community Partnerships”
  • Rev. Rodney Hudson – “Dry Bones Can Live: Preaching for Community Change”
  • Rev. Dr. Ruby Gilliam – “Prophetic Church Leadership for Women”
  • Rev. Michael Parker– “Preaching a New Song: Engaging a New Generation”
  • Rev. Dr. Christopher Dreisbach – “Just Policing: Developing Community-Police Partnerships”
  • Rev. Dr. Reginald Thomas – “Preaching for Church Growth”
  • Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt – “Foundations of Prophetic Preaching”

Our final preacher is Bishop Walter Scott Thomas of New Psalmist Baptist Church, with the day concluding at 3:30.

The $50 cost includes the entire program, including lunch and beverage break. Register online at


Lector and Acolyte Installation


On Saturday, March 12th, 2016, fifteen seminarians from the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Dioceses of Albany, Greensburg, Manchester, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Scranton, Syracuse, Wilmington and Worcester were installed into the Ministry of Lector.  Fourteen seminarians from the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Dioceses of Albany, Erie, Manchester, Metuchen, Richmond, Scranton, Wilmington and Worcester were installed in the Ministry of Acolyte.  Bishop Edward C. Malesic of the Diocese of Greensburg presided.

Lectors proclaim the Scriptures at liturgical celebrations and serve as catechists; acolytes serve at Eucharistic celebrations and bring the Eucharist to the sick


Father Phillip Brown, P.S.S. Appointed by the Provincial Council as President-Rector

Theological College





I wish to congratulate Father Phillip Brown, P.S.S. on his appointment by the Provincial Council, with the approval of Archbishop Lori, as the new President-Rector of St. Mary’s Seminary and University.

Father Brown is a Sulpician who was ordained for the Diocese of Bismarck in 1989.  He has been the rector of Theological College in Washington, D.C. since 2011.

An alumnus of Theological College, Father Brown holds a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome as well as a civil law degree from the University of North Dakota and an STB from The Catholic University of America.

After ordination Father Brown served in parishes in the Diocese of Bismarck and on the marriage tribunal.  He joined the Sulpicians in 2005 and has been the General Treasurer for the Society of St. Sulpice since 2009.  In addition, Father Brown was a member of the Canon Law faculty at The Catholic University of America and the President of the Canon Law Society of America.

With his appointment as President-Rector, Father Brown returns home to St. Mary’s Seminary and University where he served as a faculty member from 2001-2006 and the Dean of the School of Theology from 2004-2006.

I have great confidence that Father Brown will continue the strong Sulpician leadership that has guided St. Mary’s.  Father Brown brings intellectual gifts as well as administrative and pastoral experience to his role as President-Rector.  Having lived with Father Brown at Theological College, I know that he appreciates the Sulpician charism with its commitments to the priesthood and a collegial and apostolic style. His years of service on seminary faculties and in leadership roles in the Society of St. Sulpice as well as in the Church in the United States have equipped him well to guide the oldest Catholic seminary in the United States as it celebrates its 225th anniversary and moves into its bright future.

At the same time, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to Mr. Jack Cavanaugh and the members of the Search Committee as well as to the Board of Trustees for the important role they have played in this selection.

Finally, I wish to thank Archbishop William Lori as well as the Sulpician Provincial Council for their support of the mission and work of St. Mary’s Seminary and University.




March for Life 2016

March for Life 2016

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 and joined a huge crowd for a youth Rally & Mass at the Verizon Center hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.  Even with the prospect of a significant blizzard arriving in the area that day, the Mass was very well attended by men and women from all over the United States praying for an end to abortion in our land and the protection of the right to life of all people.


Diaconate Ordinations

Diaconate Ordination December 2015

Joseph Rice, Diego Buritica, and Wilmar Ramos were ordained December 19, 2015, at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Worcester.  The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester ordained them.

Ryan Ravis Diaconate 2015 2

Ryan Ravis was ordained December 13, 2015, at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg. The Most Rev. Edward C. Malesic, J.C.L., Bishop of Greensburg, ordained him.