A Month to Reflect on Our Mission

Dear Members of the Saint Mary's College Community,

April is a month to reflect on our mission. With a number of impressive speakers and events in the next few weeks, the entire SMC community has the opportunity to think about both why and how we live the values expressed in our mission. As is our tradition at Saint Mary's, we welcome many to our community in a variety of capacities.

During the liturgy this past Sunday, we joyously welcomed five students into the Church with the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. Many from our community have provided support, encouragement and education to these students during this process, and I thank them for their commitment.

Later this week, we welcome two distinguished speakers to our campus to offer reflections on our Catholic higher education tradition and mission. The first of these is Father John Haughey S.J., who will speak to the College on Wednesday in Hagerty Lounge during Community Time on the topic "Cum Laude: The Reason for a Catholic College." This semester, the Cummins Institute has been discussing Father Haughey's excellent book on Catholic Higher Education, "Where is Knowing Going?"

The second speaker this week is Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Diocese of Oakland who will give a presentation on Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. In his first official visit to the campus this Wednesday, Bishop Cordileone will give his talk titled "Caritas in Veritate: Economic Justice and Human Ecology" in the Saint Mary's College Chapel at 3 p.m., followed by a reception at 4:15 in the Faculty/Staff Lounge. He will celebrate Mass at 5 p.m. The Henning Institute and the Cummins Institute are co-sponsoring this event.

All in the community are encouraged to attend any of these events and to welcome our Bishop to campus.

During De La Salle Week, the last week in April, we will welcome to campus Brother Carlos Gomez-Restrepo at the College Convocation. Brother Carlos is a distinguished Lasallian educator from Columbia, and he will speak on the international Lasallian mission.

Several students and staff members will attend the funeral of sophomore Connor Redd tomorrow in Phoenix, Ariz. The College will hold an on-campus memorial service for Connor in early May, and we will welcome members of Connor's family at that time.

I offer my congratulations to professors Phylis Martinelli and Dana Herrera for their project with first generation students at Saint Martin de Porres School in Oakland. Many on campus helped welcome these students to our campus for a visit this spring and gave them an encouraging look at the possibilities of higher education.

The College Committee on Inclusive Excellence has invited the student group named "Our Struggle is Tied with Yours" to meet with them this Friday to discuss awareness of important issues of concern to them and the College and what actions we might take to respond to these concerns.

Thank you al for your commitment to and engagement with our mission.

Sincerely Yours,

Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC