Father Phillip J. Brown,'79, Named President-Rector of St. Mary's Seminary & University

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News Article

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School of Law


Baltimore, MD – The Provincial Council of the U.S. Province of the Society of St. Sulpice has appointed Sulpician Father Phillip J. Brown, P.S.S., J.D., J.C.D., as President-Rector of St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland, effective July 1, 2016. This appointment has been made by the Sulpician Council with the approval of Most Reverend William Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Chancellor of St. Mary’s, and the Holy See.

The Sulpician Provincial Father John C. Kemper praised the appointment, saying, “Father Brown brings a wealth of experience in priestly formation to his new position. He is a dedicated and hardworking priest who has a wealth of experience in seminary administration.”

Father Brown has been Rector of Theological College, the national seminary at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC since 2011. An alumnus of Theological College, Father Brown was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Bismarck in 1989. He has been a Sulpician since 2005.

Father Brown holds a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, and he also holds a civil law degree as well. Prior to his current position at Theological College, he was a faculty member of the School of Canon Law at The Catholic University of America from 2006-2010 and President of the Canon Law Society of America from 2012-2015. Since 2009, Father Brown has served as the General Treasurer for the Society of St. Sulpice, Paris, France.

Father Brown will replace the Reverend Thomas R. Hurst, S.T.L., Ph.D., who has been President-Rector for nine years. “Among the many accomplishments during his tenure at St. Mary’s, Father Hurst was responsible for significantly strengthening the priestly formation program of the Seminary; he likewise saw a complete audit of the entire facility and reworked St. Mary’s approach to managing the school’s endowment. Tom has been an outstanding steward of resources of St. Mary’s Seminary & University and a good pastor to its students, faculty and staff.” said Father Kemper.

St. Mary’s Seminary & University was founded by Sulpician Fathers from France in 1791 and is the oldest Catholic seminary in the United States. This year marks the 225th Anniversary of St. Mary’s Seminary and the Sulpician fathers in the United States. In addition to the Seminary, St. Mary’s also sponsors a continuing formation program for priests and the Ecumenical Institute of Theology, a graduate evening division.