De La Salle statue at Saint Mary's College.On Sunday, while some of us searched for the perfect stuffing recipe, the Brothers held their annual Thanksgiving dinner. Twenty-one Brothers from two Saint Mary’s communities broke bread and gave thanks with a progressive dinner provided by Sodexo Food Services.

“We generally have a traveling Thanksgiving celebration,” says Brother Michael Meister. “This way we can celebrate with our “Brother” family and then spend the actual holiday with relatives and friends like everyone else.”

The appetizers included favorites like prosciutto wrapped melon, crispy potato latkes and chicken skewers. Dinner featured the traditional turkey and ham with cornbread and oyster dressing, cranberry sauce, two kinds of potatoes, grilled asparagus, and pumpkin pie for dessert.

When it comes to traditions, Brother Michael says they tend to have more rituals at Christmas, but there’s no shortage of lively conversation at Thanksgiving.  “Do we have fun? You bet! Arrests for disorderly reveling? Not in recent years.”

Here are some things for which the Brothers are grateful this Thanksgiving:

Brother Ron Gallagher: I am thankful for the many students, faculty and staff who embrace Saint Mary's mission.

Brother Brendan Madden: That the LEO Center (Lasallian Educational Opportunities) has survived bigger and better than ever without any government or De La Salle Institute help.

Brother Michael Meister: "Family and friends; the Brothers in my Community; the students who give meaning to our lives!"

Brother Michael Avila: "I am most thankful for the students who are such an integral part of my life and calling as a Brother, as well as for my family, friends and Brothers with whom I share my vocation."

Brother Mark McVann: "I am grateful for my calling to the Christian Brothers. The Brothers have given me a wonderful life in community, a first-rate education, and great schools to teach in!"

Brother Mel Anderson: "I am thankful that the remarks of President Jim Donahue indicate that Saint Mary's will maintain its Liberal Arts, Catholic and Lasallian heritage."

Brother Christopher Donnelly: I am very thankful for the many lay colleagues here at SMC, in the San Francisco Province, and around the world that have embraced the mission of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. These dedicated ministers have made it possible for the Brothers and these partners to greatly expand the number of young people we serve, bringing the good news of Jesus Christ.

Brother Charles Hilken: "I am thankful for my students, their eagerness to learn, their responsiveness to what I try to offer them, and their politeness with me and with each other."

Brother Camillus Chavez: "I am thankful for the supportive community of Brothers I live with and the students I have whom I instruct in meditation. Ultimately, I am thankful for the gift of life and God's infinite all-encompassing love."

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