Remarks by Brother Ronald Gallagher at the Sesquicentennial Mass

Saint Mary’s College of California
September 15, 2012

It is indeed fitting today to celebrate the beginning of our sesquicentennial year in this beautiful Chapel, with a liturgy which is the heart of the expression of our Catholic faith. 

During this year we are turning our heads and hearts back to see the paths we have followed and celebrating with joy all that we as a College and a community have achieved and have become.  It is indeed humbling to recognize the many Brothers and partners whose zeal, genius and faith have sustained Saint Mary’s College for 150 years. With awe and gratitude, we stand proudly today on their shoulders, both gazing back and into the future, animated by and impelled by the same faith, the same wonder about the world and the same commitment to the Christian education of the young, and especially the poor. 

The nine Brothers who came to take over SMC in 1868 were almost all immigrants. So our welcome today begins with their languages: Two were born in Germany: Gruss Gott; one in Switzerland, Grutzi; five in Ireland, Caed Mille Failte; and one in New York. And all were educated in the French rule of the Brothers: Bienvenue. Furthermore, the founder of Saint Mary’s, Bishop Sadoc Alemany, was born in Spain, Bienvenidos!

Today, blessed with an enriching diversity of students, faculty and staff, we continue to serve an immigrant population dedicated to the Lasallian mission and to the building of the Church in the Bay Area, the state and the nation. 

I now welcome our dear friend and brother, Bishop John Cummins, to begin this liturgy.