Welcome from the President-Rector
Rev. Phillip J. Brown, P.S.S., President-Rector, Vice Chancellor, B.M., S.T.B., J.D., J.C.D.
Peace Be With You!
Welcome to the St. Mary’s Seminary & University website! I hope you will find our website interesting and useful.
It’s a great honor to have been asked to serve as St. Mary’s Rector. St. Mary’s is the oldest Catholic seminary in United States, where more priests have been ordained for service in the U.S. than from any other seminary. St. Mary’s has always dedicated itself to training pastors attuned to the needs and the sensibilities of American Catholics. St. Mary’s can therefore justly be called America’s “cradle of pastors.”
But St. Mary’s is not only the nations premier seminary, it also has boasted since 1968 a unique Ecumenical Institute contributing to superior theological training and scholarship, and as a matchless forum for ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. Add to that St. Mary’s renowned Center for Continuing Formation, the Knott Library and the Associated Archives of St. Mary’s, the American Province of the Society of St. Sulpice and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and one realizes what a historic, vibrant and outstanding center of learning, scholarship and formation St. Mary’s Seminary & University and its associated institutions truly is.
Those seeking theological and pastoral education are men and women who have experienced the Lord’s peace and want to pass it on. The need for this peace is deeply felt today. Life in this world has always been marked by turbulence and the felt need for peace. Christians have discovered how to be at peace in the midst of the world’s turmoil; peace that leads men to the priesthood, others to other kinds of ministry. The Christian’s mission is to bring peace to the world, the priest’s to do so through sacramental and pastoral ministry.
When I left my first assignment to St. Mary’s 10 years ago we had just experienced violent storms that uprooted trees and left people homeless. Among the many trees that were still standing on our beautiful grounds was a mighty oak which served for me as a powerful metaphor for seminary formation and pastoral ministry. When I spoke to the community, I used that metaphor to express my feelings about the ministry of priests and others, and what St. Mary’s is really all about, citing the words of Psalm 1:
Happy the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent
But delights in the law of the Lord
and meditates on his law day and night.
He is like a tree planted near running water
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
I also shared a favorite poem by Robert Frost which expresses my feelings about being a minister of the Gospel in this world:
Tree at My Window
Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.
I offer these same words as welcome to St. Mary’s and to our website, and as a touchstone for what I hope our ministry here will continue to be: a conduit for Christ’s peace to enter more profoundly into the lives of those who live and work and who are formed here, into your life, and into our world.
The mission statement of St. Mary’s Seminary & University:
America’s first Catholic seminary, St. Mary’s Seminary & University continues its tradition of excellence since 1791 in preparing candidates for the Roman Catholic diocesan priesthood. Adhering to the Sulpician Tradition of priestly formation, taking place within a single community of formators and seminarians sharing one rule of life with strong mentoring relationships, we facilitate personal integration of the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral dimensions necessary for authentic priestly witness and service in the image of Jesus Christ.
Through its Center for Continuing Formation and Ecumenical Institute, St. Mary’s also provides for advanced theological study, the ongoing formation of those in ministry, and a center of preparation for missionary discipleship.
Approved by the Provincial Council, January 21, 2021.
Approved by the Archbishop and the Board of Trustees, March 1, 2021.
ST. MARY’S SEMINARY & UNIVERSITY’S SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY AND PROCEDURES
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The St. Mary’s community fully supports and complies with all applicable local, state, and federal laws prohibiting rape, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking. It is the responsibility of all students (which includes seminarians), faculty, and staff to be aware of and adhere to these laws and St. Mary’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures. Further, it is our
expectation that members of the St. Mary’s community will respect the rights and dignity of all persons.
Although St. Mary’s is not subject to Title IX because it does not accept qualifying federal funding, St. Mary’s considers it a moral imperative to take immediate action to eliminate sexual harassment, including sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
In applying, implementing, and interpreting these Procedures, St. Mary’s complies with the Benchmarks for Seminary and House of Formation Sexual Misconduct Policies promulgated by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.
These Procedures apply to any allegation of sexual misconduct involving two or more members of the community (i.e., students, faculty, and staff) or occurring on St. Mary’s property or in the course of its programs and activities (whether on or off campus). All participants to proceedings under these Procedures will be treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity by St. Mary’s officials. St. Mary’s encourages reporting of sexual misconduct involving a St. Mary’s community member even where the respondent is a third party. For instance, participants in parish assignments are encouraged to report any suspected sexual misconduct or other concerns even if the respondent is a parish employee or community member unaffiliated with St. Mary’s. Where St. Mary’s does not have “control” over the respondent, St. Mary’s ability to take action related to the respondent may be limited. However, St. Mary’s will pursue opportunities to improve the living, educational, or working environment for the complainant.
As used in these Procedures, the term “complainant” refers to the person who alleges that he or she experienced a violation of St. Mary’s Policy, and the term “respondent” refers to the person the complainant alleges violated the Policy. All proceedings and resolutions under the Policy and these Procedures will be prompt and equitable and will provide an opportunity for both the complainant and the respondent to be heard.
St. Mary’s strictly prohibits sexual misconduct, which for the purposes of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures includes:
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to St. Mary’s education program or activity; an employee of the institution conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of St. Mary’s on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
Sexual Assault: Any actual or attempted sexual act or sexual contact without consent, including rape, sexual violence, and the unconsented to touching of an intimate body part of another. Consent is the voluntary agreement to engage in the particular sexual act or contact in question. Consent may not be obtained through force, threat, intimidation, coercion, or taking advantage of a victim’s inability to understand the nature of the conduct being engaged in as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason.
Domestic violence: A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim; or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Maryland.
Dating violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
REPORTING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ON CAMPUS
- If you believe you are a victim of sexual misconduct, you are encouraged to report the incident to the Vice Rector or the Associate EI Dean of Administration. You will be asked to give a statement to the Vice Rector or the Associate EI Dean of Administration (and investigating police officer, if applicable) at that time.
- If you believe that you are a victim of sexual misconduct but do not want to report it to St. Mary’s for investigation, you may access confidential rape crisis counseling from TurnAround, Inc., located 2300 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218 ((410) 837-7000) and 401 Washington Ave., Suite 300, Towson, MD 21204 ((410) 377-8111).
- If you are aware of an instance of sexual misconduct as identified and defined herein by an employee of St. Mary’s Seminary & University, it should be reported to the Senior Vice President of Administration and Advancement who will refer the matter to the Vice Rector or Associate EI Dean of Administration to initiate an investigation consistent with the procedures described below. If you are aware of an instance of sexual misconduct as identified and defined herein by a seminarian or SOT faculty of St. Mary’s Seminary & University, it should be reported to the Vice Rector who will initiate an investigation consistent with the procedures described below.
St. Mary’s Seminary and University
5400 Roland Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21210-1994