– Diane Brown
Diane F. Brown of Clearwater, Florida, is Founder and Director of The Marian Servants of Divine Providence, Our Lady of Divine Providence House of Prayer and its Foundation. She was a thirteen year member of the Franciscan University Board of Trustees and an active force in many other Catholic organizations. A much sought after speaker, her message is that God has given a vision to all of us, and we need to stay faithful and hopeful while putting a radical trust in God. In her circumstance, through death God brought light. Her life’s mission for over four decades is to help those who recognize in themselves a yearning desire to know God more personally, to love God more deeply, and to serve God more generously, and for all people to come to a greater understanding of their personal mission in life.
Following the tragic death of her oldest son in 1971, Mrs. Brown experienced a dramatic conversion, which resulted in the founding of the “Tree House”, an ecumenical House of Prayer. Six years later, she learned the power of healing prayer when an accident nearly took the life of another son. In 1980, she founded Our Lady of Divine Providence House of Prayer® in Clearwater, Florida. In time, and under God’s inspiration, she founded the Marian Servants of Divine Providence®, a Public Association of the Christian Faithful in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida. The Marian Servants now have twelve communities formed in Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and Maryland.
In 1992, she founded the Cenacle of Our Lady of Divine Providence School of Spiritual Direction, and the Retreat Ministry of the Marian Servants. The School of Spiritual Direction is associated with Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio and the Institute for Priestly Formation.
Diane has served on the Catholic Charismatic Commission of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, the Diocesan Board of Spirit FM, the 24 Hour diocesan radio station, and the first Diocesan Scholarship Board of Directors.
Diane has traveled extensively for many years with her husband Herbert, who was actively involved in humanitarian projects of global scope. In March of 1996, Diane and Herb were awarded the Medal of Honor from the Knights of Malta for their work in these Health, Hunger and Humanity programs. In 1992, Tampa Bay Life magazine named Diane Brown as one of Tampa Bay’s most influential women. In May of 1996, Mrs. Brown received an Honorary Doctorate in Christian Letters from the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. This honorary doctorate recognizes her “responsiveness to God’s call even in the midst of trial and difficulty, and for allowing God to use her as an instrument of renewal and healing in the Diocese of St. Petersburg and beyond.”
In 1997, Mrs. Brown received Rotary International’s Jean Harris Award for her “outstanding service to the development and progress of women in society.” Diane is currently listed in Who’s Who of American Women 1998/1999, and Who’s Who in the World 1999. She is also a recipient of the National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Catholic School Graduate Award.
In 2006, Mrs. Brown was the single diocesan recipient of the St. Jude the Apostle Award given by the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg for her “significant contribution [of time and talent] to the entire local Church through her work of establishing and nourishing the House of Prayer and its availability to the people of the diocese.”
In 2013, Diane Brown was honored as a Catholic Education Foundation recipient from the Diocese of St. Petersburg. That same year, Mrs. Brown and her husband, Herbert, received the distinguished Pontifical Award, “Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice“, the highest award conferred by the Holy See for distinguished service to the Church by lay people and the clergy.
Diane has spoken at many Magnificat Meals, Charismatic Conferences, Rotary meetings, and Conventions throughout the world. She has been a guest on several of Mother Angelica’s shows on EWTN and helped host several series on the station.
Diane was born and raised in Louisiana. She is the mother of five children, the grandmother of nine and great grandmother of three.
Diane’s remarks at the Catholic Education Foundation Award ceremony.