Celebrating #300

Saint Mary’s University joins Lasallians across the globe in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the death of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the patron saint of educators and founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

The Holy See declared 2019 a jubilee year in honor of De La Salle and his life’s work of making a quality and relevant education accessible to all students, especially the poor.

In addition to recognizing the anniversary of De La Salle’s death, the jubilee celebrates the impact of the mission he started. The Lasallian mission is present in 80 countries around the world, with 4,000 De La Salle Christian Brothers and 90,000 Lasallian Partners serving 1 million young people in 1,000 educational ministries. Saint Mary’s University — as one of 65 Lasallian higher education institutions — is one small portion of a global Lasallian network of dedicated educators.

Today, Brothers and Lasallian partners work together and by association to create communities that demonstrate diversity, human dignity, and virtue and that provide transformative experiences that are innovative and holistic. A number of events are planned in celebration of our heritage.

Ignite 300 grants

Saint Mary's University, in honor of the 300-year anniversary, has announced the Ignite 300 Mini Grant Program.

The Ignite 300 Mini Grant Program encourages innovative research within our community by incorporating an appreciation for the Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher. These mini grants are designed to assist faculty in conducting original research that may be pilot in nature or to further a strand of current research efforts. 

Grant Information

Celebration Events

In honor of the 300th anniversary of the death of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers and the patron saint of educators, Saint Mary’s is planning several events to celebrate and educate the university community about the inspirational man who dedicated his life to educating the poor.


Enjoy a movie about Saint John Baptist de La Salle 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in the Dr. Philip A. Cochran Auditorium in the Science and Learning Center of the Winona Campus.

Lasallian Day of Service

Lasallian Day of Service is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 26. Each year, students volunteer for this fall service day and engage with the Winona community. Additionally, Saint Mary’s alumni participate all over the U.S., often at sites including the Twin Cities, Chicago, New York City, and more. Learn more about Lasallian Day of Service.


Mass for the 300th anniversary of the death of Saint John Baptist de La Salle will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, at 4 p.m., celebrated by Father President James P. Burns, IVD, in Saint Thomas More Chapel on the Winona Campus. A reception will follow at 5 p.m. 

RSVP online or by calling 507-457-6647 by Friday, Nov. 8.

Thank You Letters

In early November, Saint Mary’s undergraduate students will be sending personalized thank-you letters to grade school teachers who have influenced their lives. We celebrate all educators who are teaching the minds and touching the hearts of the students they serve.

Win Prizes

The Office of Campus Ministry is offering three upcoming chances to learn more about Saint John Baptist de La Salle and win prizes:

Lasallian Talent Competition:Saint Mary’s undergraduate students are invited to showcase their talents for a chance to win $300. Individuals or teams are asked to create a short play, original song, computer-generated presentation, or other act that focuses on some aspect of Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s life. Presentations will be judged on subject matter, accuracy, creativity, professionalism, and audience response. The talent showcase will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in the Dr. Philip A. Cochran Auditorium. Email campusministry@smumn.edu if you’d like to participate or for more information.

Lasallian Essay Contest: All faculty, staff, and students of Saint Mary’s University are invited to submit essays for a chance to win cash prizes. In less than 1,000 words, participants are invited to celebrate De La Salle’s inspiration by sharing their own reflections in response to this question: What does it mean to me to be at a Lasallian Catholic university? For ideas, authors might consider how they have come to appreciate the Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher; how they have learned from the example set by De La Salle; or how they have been inspired by the service and teaching of the De La Salle Christian Brothers or other members of the Saint Mary’s University community. All essays should have a title. Participants should place their names and email contact information at the end of their essays, which should be double spaced and paginated. All entries should be submitted as a Word document attachment to campusministry@smumn.edu by Nov. 1. The first-place winner will receive $1,000, second prize is $750, and third prize is $500.

Medallion Hunt: Between Monday, Nov. 11, and Saturday, Nov. 16, students on the Winona Campus are invited to participate in a medallion hunt. Follow the clues, which will be given Monday through Thursday of that week via email, to find the medallion, cleverly hidden somewhere on campus. If you find the medallion, go to the Campus Ministry Office in Vlazny Hall to collect your $500.

Additional Resources

Message to the Brothers on the 300th Anniversary of the Death of St. John Baptist de La Salle

#300 Calendar