Category: St. Mary’s News

2015 Graduation

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On Thursday, May 14th, Archbishop William E. 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, P.S.S., President Rector and Vice Chancellor of the University, thirty-one students received theological degrees from St. Mary’s three faculties.  The Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology conferred fourteen Baccalaureates in Sacred Theology and two Licentiates in Sacred Theology.  The School of Theology conferred three Masters of Arts (Theology) and fourteen Masters of Divinity.

The Ecumenical Institute of Theology conferred four Masters of Arts (Theology), six Masters of Arts (Church Ministries), and two Certificates in Advanced Studies (Theology).

St. Mary’s Seminary & University also conferred two Doctorates of Divinity, honoris causa, upon Rev. Msgr. Paul G. Cook and Rev. Dr. William C. Calhoun.  Msgr. Cook is a distinguished pastor and mentor to many seminarians over the years, and Rev. Dr. William C. Calhoun is a long-time and distinguished Ecumenical Institute faculty member as well as a leader in the Baltimore ecumenical faith community. Msgr. Cook delivered the commencement address on reflections on pastoral ministry, noting that he was speaking about parish ministry as the heart of where pastoral ministry takes place.



Benefit Concert for Catholic Charities

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On April 30, James O’Reilly, second year seminarian, Diocese of Richmond, performed a benefit concert for Catholic Charities of Baltimore that raised $2,500. The program consisted of sacred and contemporary classical music. Eleven other musicians performed with James including Daniel Molochko, James Smith, Ian McElrath, Christopher Pinto, and Paul Binko.


Happy Easter from St. Mary’s


In the name of the St. Mary’s Seminary and University community I would like to extend to you our warmest Easter greetings.  May the Risen Lord shed his Light upon you and your loved ones.  May his gift of Eternal Life be yours forever. 

Father Thomas R. Hurst, P.S.S.
President-Rector and Vice Chancellor


Family & Friends Weekend 2015

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St. Mary’s seminarian community celebrated the first Family & Friends Weekend, March 13-15, 2015.  Organized by the seminarians, over 175 family members and friends enjoyed tours of the building, a presentation on the history of St. Mary’s and formation program by Fr. Hurst, the Rite of Institution for Lectors and Acolytes celebrated by Most. Rev. Denis Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, as well as many wonderful meals.  It was a wonderful opportunity to welcome friends and family members to St. Mary’s.


Dr. Gorman Receives Luce Fellowship for 2015-16 Sabbatical

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Dr. Michael J. Gorman, who holds the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary’s, has been appointed a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2015-16. He will use this appointment to take a full-year sabbatical.

The Luce Fellows program focuses on theological excellence and creativity. It is the fruit of a partnership between The Henry Luce Foundation and the Association of Theological Schools. Past Luce Fellows include Mary Boys, Walter Brueggemann, Francis Fiorenza, Stanley Hauerwas, Richard Hays, Luke Johnson, and Sandra Schneiders.

“The reception of the Luce Fellowship is a wonderful tribute to Dr. Gorman and an honor for St. Mary’s Seminary & University,” noted Father Thomas Hurst, St. Mary’s President-Rector. “As the holder of the Raymond E. Brown Chair, Dr. Gorman is well known for his excellent teaching and insightful scholarship, which are greatly appreciated by the St. Mary’s community as well as the larger theological world.”

Dr. Gorman’s Luce Fellowship research project is entitled “Missional Theosis in the New Testament.” A continuation of his forthcoming book on mission in Paul (Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission [Eerdmans]; book launch at St. Mary’s on May 27), this project will explore the notion of mission as participation in the life of God in New Testament writings other than the letters of Paul.

E.I. Dean Dr. Brent Laytham said “I am thrilled for Dr. Gorman, for St. Mary’s (and the Ecumenical Institute in particular), and for the church. His scholarship has always empowered his excellent teaching, and his year as a Luce Fellow will further enrich that, enlivening our classrooms while enlightening biblical studies’ understanding of the centrality of mission in the New Testament. Nothing could be better for us, or for Christ’s church.”

Dr. Gorman may be reached at


March for Life 2015

March for Life 2015

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 21 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.


Ecumenical Prayer Service Well Attended

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.


Fr. Hurst and the St. Mary’s Seminary Community Congratulate New Provincial

New Sulpician Provincial and Consultors

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).


Worcester Seminarians Ordained to the Diaconate


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.