Santiago Community

The Santiago Community is a living-learning community for juniors and seniors who share a desire to explore spirituality, justice, and community while living together in Ageno East.

The Santiago Community is named after Brother James Miller FSC, who worked with the indigenous people of Guatemala. He died tragically in Central America when his work to educate the poor came in opposition to the military powers.
Santiago Community students seek to uphold Br. Miller’s legacy in three distinct ways:

  • Spirituality: students enroll in a .25 course designed to examine social justice as both theory and practice with a particular emphasis on the Lasallian Tradition and Catholic Social Teaching.

  • Justice: students participate regularly in service-learning with a local community partner

  • Community: students participate in an annual fall retreat at the Russian River, have regular dinners together, and work to live in an inclusive and welcoming environment. Every Monday night from 7-9PM is set aside for suite mentors, suite dinners, community events, and time for members to see one another.

Additional benefits:

  • Each suite meets monthly, over dinner, with a “suite mentor."

  • Regular community building events 

  • Opportunities to grow in critical thinking, personal spiritual awareness, and confidence to respond to the complexities in the world today.  


For next year, the Mission and Ministry Center and CILSA are starting a new collaboration to bring the strengths of both offices in order to provide a dynamic learning environment that will promote and develop the core values of the Santiago Community: justice, spirituality, and community.

Here is what previous students have said about their Santiago Community experience:

“I learned about my limits and how much I am willing to be bothered or hurt by others. I also gained new skills in regards to meeting new people and how I should deal with both the pleasure and difficulties of it.”

“My favorite activity was really the retreat! It was super fun to bond with everyone in a beautiful place. But other than this I also really liked the suite dinners because it was a way for all of us super busy students to not only sit and be with each other but to remember to take care of ourselves and cherish these genuine interactions.”

“Honestly, my favorite part about being in this community was my suite. I really appreciated the fact that we could all be so comfortable with each other to leave our doors open, invite each other to different events, stay up doing homework together in the living room, and even just have silly moments together...this is the most at-home that I've ever felt in my living situation at SMC.”

“I learned to value community more so than I had in the past - it is now an integral part of my being that will guide me to make career choices where I can cultivate a community wherever I go.”

Ericka Lacsamana Community Leader, Ericka Lacksamana

For more information:

Email Nick van Santen: or call 925-631-4075

Email Samantha Coon: or call 925-631-8168

Read about the Santiago Community in The Catholic Voice!