Sylvester F. Brown: Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

Sylvester F. Brown

Accused Priest Sylvester Brown


On October 7, 2014 the priest file of Father Sylvester Brown was released to the public. Along with Brown’s file, the files of thirteen other priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Winona were also released. The files were obtained as part of the Doe 1 v. Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona civil lawsuit filed in Ramsey County in May 2013. The lawsuit was made possible due to the Child Victims Act passed by the Minnesota legislature.

Ordained May 31, 1956, Father Sylvester F. Brown was named in court documents filed December 13, 2013 by the Diocese of Winona as one of 14 priests named in the John Jay Charter Study in 2004.

Father Brown was a faculty member at St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN and appointed Spiritual Director of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary and Vocation Director for the Winona Diocese. He worked in several parishes throughout the Diocese of Winona and served on the National Alumni Board of the Theological College of the Catholic University in Washington D.C.

According to the Diocese of Winona, Father Sylvester Brown worked in the following parishes:

  • 1956 – 1961: Saint Mary School, Owatonna, MN
  • 1961 – 1963: State School, Owatonna, MN
  • 1963: Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, Winona, MN
  • 1963 – 1966:  Saint Mary College, Winona, MN
  • 1966 – 1969: Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, Winona, MN
  • 1969 – 1971:  Saint Mary College, Winona, MN
  • 1971 – 1974:  Saint Martin in Woodstock, MN ; Saint Mary, Lake Wilson, MN
  • 1974 – 1981:  Saints Peter and Paul, Blue Earth, MN and Our Lady of Mercy, Guckeen, MN
  • 1981 – 1989:  Pax Christi, Rochester, MN
  • 1989 – 1992: Saint Ann, Janesville, MN
  • 1992 – 1995:  Saint Ann, Janesville, MN and Saint Clair, MN
  • 1995 – 2000:  Saint Ann, Janesville, MN
  • 2000 – 2007:  Saint Ann, Janesville, MN
  • 2007 – 2010:  Saint Ann, Janesville, MN and Saint Joseph, Waldorf, MN
  • 2010: Deceased

Father Sylvester Brown also served as President of pastoral ministerial groups whilst at Blue Earth and Rochester and retired in August of 2002 but continued to assist parishes nearby including ministries in Waseca and Faribault.

Father Brown was assigned by the Bishop of Winona on an interim basis to work St. Ann in Janesville, St. Joseph’s in Waldorf, All Saints in Madison Lake and Immaculate Conception in St. Clair, MN.