About Us

The Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action (CILSA) is both an organization and a catalyst to integrate social justice into the curricular and co-curricular experience of Saint Mary’s College of California.

Founded in 1999, CILSA is the academic center at Saint Mary’s College for promoting a culture of service and social justice education consonant with Catholic social teaching and integrating the three traditions of the college: Catholic, Lasallian, and Liberal Arts. 

The goal of CILSA is to support students, faculty, staff, campus units, and community partners to work together to promote intellectual inquiry and student leadership and development through action in academic, co-curricular, and community settings to foster personal and social responsibility for the common good.


HEAD – CILSA programs foster students’ intellectual and and social responsibility for the common good.personal development through academic exploration of issues related to justice that prompt critical thinking in and outside the classroom.  For faculty and staff, CILSA provides resources, materials and education in best practices to integrate social justice within the curricular and co-curricular experience.

HEART – CILSA programs nurture students’ critical reflection of their experiences as they relate to meeting academic, intellectual, and other personal goals.  The process promotes an understanding premised on knowledge coupled with compassion.

HANDS – CILSA programs provide an array of service activities through coursework and co-curricular experiences that enable students, faculty, and staff to apply their knowledge and understanding in order to engage critical social issues and promote social justice for the common good.


 Q: Where can I find CILSA on campus?

 A: CILSA offices can be found at two different locations on campus: 

1. CILSA Information & Resource Center (IRC), a.k.a. “The Fishbowl” 1st Floor of Ferroggiaro Hall (across from the ATM machine)

Visit CILSA student leaders in the IRC to sign up for ongoing community service opportunties and social justice education, including speakers, and service-learning and community-based research courses. The Fishbowl is CILSA’s “front door” – an education, service, and leadership hub for all of our programs. Call: (925) 631-8161 E-mail a staff member of choice based on your interests and needs. See our Staff page for details.

2. CILSA Administrative Offices 2nd Floor of Ferroggiaro Hall (Suite 203) (Learn more about CILSA staff)