Saint Mary’s Welcomes Brother Iñigo Riola, FSC, to Campus

by Annaliese Martinez ’21, College Communications Staff Writer | October 7, 2021

Brother Iñigo Riola, FSC, is a person with many interests. When he’s not busy studying in the Kalmanovitz School of Education’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership or serving with the Lasallian District of San Francisco New Orleans (SFNO) Office of Vocation Ministry, you can find him working out at the Rec Center or exploring the outdoors. 

Brother Iñigo arrived on campus from the Philippines in August of 2020. Since then, he’s found unique ways to connect with the Saint Mary’s community. 

“When I arrived here there were a lot of [COVID-19] restrictions,” said Brother Iñigo. “After a few months, when things were opening up a bit, I tried being present in some of those activities. For example, if I was available, I would attend the outdoor Sunday Mass on campus in my religious habit just so that students would see the Brothers’ presence,” he said.

Throughout the pandemic, Brother Iñigo bonded with his fellow doctoral students through his love of cooking. “When I was a young teacher, my Brother-Principal of the school asked me to go to culinary school to start a culinary arts program for young kids. So, I’ve learned how to cook. I cooked some Filipino dishes, and during the height of the pandemic, I took some food to my classmates, to their homes—of course, physically distant, safely delivering it to them—just to see them in person, just to have some connection.”

Before coming to Saint Mary’s, Brother Iñigo served as the president and principal of Saint Jaime Hilario School, a Lasallian school for poor students in Bataan, Philippines. When he was invited to help in vocation ministry in the SFNO District, and had the opportunity to earn his doctorate degree in the United States, Brother Iñigo felt drawn to Saint Mary’s.

“Of course, I thought about Saint Mary’s since I’m a De La Salle Brother and it’s a Lasallian school. And also, one of our Brothers in the Philippines [Brother Augustine Boquer], took up his master’s in Education Leadership here at Saint Mary’s in the 80s, so he was encouraging me to go to Saint Mary’s even before that invitation,” said Brother Iñigo. 

Brother Iñigo also enjoys staying active on and off campus. “I really enjoy going to the Rec Center. I go there almost every day, maybe five to six times a week,” said Brother Iñigo. “Aside from doing weights, sometimes I swim, and then after that, I read a chapter of a book, and continue my exercise.”

“There are a lot of beautiful places here in the Bay Area, so I take advantage of that, going on hikes on different trails in the East Bay or the Bay Area. Once in a while, I go to the beach and spend a Sunday morning on the beach just to relax and read a book, and enjoy the California sun.”

Now that campus has reopened, Brother Iñigo looks forward to being more involved. “I really enjoyed my first year here at Saint Mary’s. It’s been a great experience, and I’m very excited to see more students on campus.” 

Brother Iñigo offered a reflection on the Lasallian Core Principle “Concern for the Poor and Social Justice” to first-year students and their families at the Welcome Liturgy on August 26. To read Brother Iñigo’s reflection on the Cummins Institute blog, click here