Mission Commitments

An illustration of James Miller, FSC holding a lamb

On February 13, 2020, the Mission and Ministry Center invited all members of our Saint Mary’s community to gather in honor of the first American De La Salle Brother beatified within the Catholic Church. Beatification is the step in the canonization process of the Catholic Church immediately prior to being named a saint. This event inaugurated the celebration of Brother James Miller’s liturgical feast day in the official calendar of the Church and among the international Lasallian Family. Pope Francis beatified Brother James Miller, FSC, known by his students in Nicaragua and Guatemala as “Hermano Santiago,” on December 7, 2019, recognizing him for his martyrdom and commitment to the Lasallian Mission. The new feast day was set on the date of his death. Along with members of the Lasallian Family around the world, SMC marked the 38th anniversary of his death with this liturgical celebration.

People standing behind a sign that says La Salle

The 2019 World Congress of the Association of Lasallian Alumni (UMAEL), an international assembly, was held in Minneapolis to celebrate its 25th anniversary, marking the first time the gathering was held in the United States. Its theme, “Beyond the Borders: One Heart. One Commitment. One Life,” highlighted not only global commonalities and goals, but also new leadership opportunities for Lasallian women. “The real gift of this international association is that it is a coordinated effort to share and discuss the long-term priorities of the Institute of the Brother of the Christian Schools to make Lasallian education available to the most vulnerable, and in turn, it inspires us all to bring our gifts to the table to support these priorities—locally and beyond our perceived borders,” said Director of the Mission and Ministry Center Karin McClelland ’90. McLelland served as the Lasallian Region of North America’s appointed representative and is the first woman to serve on the UMAEL executive committee.

Brother Camillus fist bumping two students

The Institute for Latino and Latin American Studies (ILaLS) announced the creation of the Brother Camillus Chavez ILaLS Student Award. This award is meant to provide support for students who are studying Latinx diasporas or Latin America. The award was announced at a celebration for Brother Camillus’ 90th birthday held on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. Brother Camillus, FSC, has been a key presence on the campus and has shaped and influenced the lives of many generations of students at Saint Mary’s. Through his support of students and his commitment to excellence and diversity, Brother Camillus has advanced the College’s core values. “I am very honored and very surprised in some ways, and very gratified by this,” said Brother Camillus, between teaching the meditation courses he offers to students and staff. “It’s wonderful. It’s the culmination of a lifetime: 44 years here and this comes up, so I’m very happy about that.”

A portait of Carrie Davis

The Mission and Ministry Center’s Carrie (Kiskila) Davis ’96 was the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Bassen Service Award from the Lasallian Volunteer (LV) program. The award recognizes former Lasallian Volunteers, Christian Brothers, and other significant supporters of the LV program who have dedicated their lives to service in the spirit of the Lasallian mission. Davis was presented her award at a luncheon at Mont La Salle in Napa in September 2019. An alumna of Saint Mary’s Integral Program, Davis serves as a steward of the Lasallian mission as director of the popular Lasallian Service Internship (LSI) Jan Term course. “I am honored to receive this award from the Lasallian Volunteer program,” Davis said. “I grew so much during my time as a LV at the San Miguel School in Chicago and am forever grateful for the opportunities it afforded me to live the Lasallian educational mission.”

Portrait of Edward Tywoniack

Brother Robert Schieler, FSC, PhD, Superior General of the Christian Brothers Institute in Rome, approved the affiliation of retired Communication Professor Edward Tywoniak ’75, EdD, AFSC, to the worldwide Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Tywoniak, who retired in 2020 following a 40-year career at Saint Mary’s, has been one of the champions of the Brothers’ educational mission throughout his career and in his many positions of faculty leadership. “I’ve said for years that I have been formed professionally and personally by the guiding hands of the Christian Brothers—not just here at Saint Mary’s College, but by all the Brothers I have been fortunate to meet around the world,” Tywoniak said. “This incredible honor of affiliation is extremely profound for me because it not only formally acknowledges my decades-long work in support of the Brothers’ educational mission, but also celebrates the deep friendship I have enjoyed with the Brothers over the years, especially the members of the Alemany Community…”