Sulpician Father Phillip J. Brown has begun his tenure as the 15th rector of Theological College, the national diocesan seminary of The Catholic University of America.
The former pastor and faculty member of St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Roland Park, began his new job July 1.
“I have been blessed in many ways in my life, but this is without a doubt the greatest and also the most humbling privilege I have ever had,” Father Brown said. “I know personally all of the former rectors of Theological College who are still living. All of them were superb rectors; they set a high standard. As a graduate of Theological College, I am very familiar with the seminary’s excellent formation program.”
Father Brown noted that as a faculty member of Catholic University’s School of Canon Law prior to his appointment as rector, he is familiar with the “exceptional academic programs at the university.”
Father Brown was ordained for the Diocese of Bismarck in 1989, serving in several parishes and as a high school chaplain. He taught at Catholic University’s canon law school from 2006 to 2010, also serving as an extern spiritual director to the seminarians.
Earlier, the priest was assigned for five years to the faculty of St. Mary’s Seminary and University. While there, he served as academic dean for two years.
Father Brown earned a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Georgian University in Rome and served as a judge of the Marriage Tribunal in Bismarck from 1999 to 2001. He is a former member and senior consultor of the Board of Governors of the Canon Law Society of America and has chaired several committees of the Canon Law Society. Since 2007 he has served as general treasurer of the worldwide Society of St. Sulpice, headquartered in Paris.
He earned his law degree from the University of North Dakota in 1979. As a lay attorney, he focused on areas related to child welfare, including the protection of the rights of neglected and abused children. As a lawyer and priest he has also worked in the areas of domestic violence and addiction.