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Requiescat: Douglas Brown, Holy Cross prior

[Holy Cross Monastery, ENS]  The Rev. Douglas C. Brown, OHC, the prior of Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, New York, died at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, New York May 5. He was 61.

He collapsed on his way to Noonday Prayer and died shortly there after, according to a statement on the monastery's website (

Brown was born on November 26, 1944, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, the son of the late Beatrice M. Davison and Charles Brown.

He received his bachelor and master of arts degrees and master's degree in theology from the University of Toronto.

On May 21, 1972, he was ordained priest at St. James Cathedral in Toronto, where he served as an assistant priest until 1974. He was rector of a three-point parish in Minden, Ontario Canada, from 1974-1977. 

He entered the Order of the Holy Cross in 1977 and served as guest master at Holy Cross Monastery from 1980 to 1981. In 1982 he was the interim at Trinity Church in Watervliet, New York. Brown made his life profession of vows as a monk of the order on September 8, 1983.

The Order of the Holy Cross is a Benedictine Anglican monastic community that was founded in 1884 by James Otis Sargent Huntington to provide a specifically North American expression of monasticism. The OHC has five houses in the United States, Canada, and South Africa.

In 1998 Brown became the prior of Holy Cross Monastery. He also served as the assistant superior of the order from 1999 to 2005. He was widely known and respected throughout the church as a spiritual director, teacher, preacher, and retreat leader.

Brown was part of a group of people who, on September 11, 2001, were to be part of an all-day filming of a program of meditations and dialogue with Archbishop Rowan Williams sponsored by Trinity Wall Street. Brown spoke and wrote eloquently about his experience of being very near the site of the World Trade Center attack. His article for the Episcopal News Service is available at

Brown is survived by his sister Shirley and her husband, the Rev. Canon Milton Barry; his niece Catherine and family; a nephew Matthew and family; and a stepsister, Linda and her husband, all of Toronto, Canada.

A vigil service was held at Holy Cross Monastery on May 8. A memorialservice at General Theological Seminary in New York, where Douglas was a spiritual director to many seminarians, was held May 9. The Requiem  Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on May 10 at Holy Cross Monastery; the Rev. Adam McCoy, OHC, was preacher. Brown will be interred at the columbarium at Holy Cross Monastery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Capital Fund Campaign of Holy Cross Monastery, P.O. Box 99, West Park, NY 12493-0099.