Saint Mary’s presents Signum Fidei awards to De La Salle Christian Brother districts

On Dec. 7, 2019, Saint Mary’s University presented Signum Fidei Awards to two districts of De La Salle Christian Brothers, in coordination with and in honor of Blessed Brother James Miller’s beatification ceremony that day in Guatemala.

Signum Fidei Awards were given to De La Salle Christian Brothers Michael Ferhenbach, FSC, Visitor, Midwest District, and Alberto Mairena Floripe, FSC, Visitor, Central America-Panama District, in recognition of Brother James’ ministry in both the Midwest and Central American provinces. 

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Saint Mary’s University presents Signum Fidei Award to Pope Francis

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s second Signum Fidei Award was presented to Pope Francis April 15, 2015, in Rome. Conferring the award was Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s University, along with Mary Burrichter and Sandra Simon, both members of the university’s board of trustees.

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Saint Mary’s presents first Signum Fidei Award

At the occasion of the 125th anniversary celebration of the Diocese of Winona, Sept. 13, 2014, in Mankato, Brother William presented the inaugural Signum Fidei Award to Bishop Álvaro Ramazzini of Huehuetenango, Guatemala. It is fitting, as that is where Saint Mary's 1966 alum Brother James Miller was killed in 1982 while serving as a missionary. Bishop Ramazzini received a bronze bust of Brother James, a replica of the life-sized Winona Campus memorial that was dedicated during the university's centennial celebration last year. Brother James is remembered for his heroic contributions to humanity as a Christian educator, apostle of the poor and underprivileged, and advocate for justice and solidarity. 


Saint Mary’s Signum Fidei Award is bestowed by the university on an individual, group, or organization in recognition of extraordinary service to the vulnerable and marginalized members of society. It also recognizes and honors work that promotes human solidarity.

El premio Signum Fidei de la Universidad de Santa María es un galardón concedido a una persona, grupo de personas, u organización, por su extraordinario servicio a los más vulnerables y marginados miembros de la sociedad. Asimismo, reconoce y honra el trabajo en promoción de la solidaridad.

Its name, signum fidei or sign of faith, is taken from the great seal of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools; and it is to this international educational network that Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota belongs.

Su nombre, signum fidei o signo de fe, es tomado del emblema del Instituto de los Hermanos de las Escuelas Cristianas, la red educativa internacional a la cual pertenece la Universidad de Santa María de Minnesota.

The bronze bust of Brother James Miller, FSC, sits atop a piece of limestone that was quarried in Winona, Minnesota. The bust is a replica, prepared by Minnesota artist Alec M. Smith, of the life-sized memorial to Brother James that was dedicated during the university’s centennial celebration in 2013.

El busto de bronce en honor al Hno. Santiago Miller, FSC, se yergue sobre piedra caliza extraida de las canteras de la ciudad de Winona, Minnesota. Este busto es una réplica del original en tamaño natural, dedicado al Hno. Santiago durante la celebración del Centenario de la Universidad, en el año 2013, y diseñado por el artista Alec M. Smith, natural de Minnesota.

Brother James, who graduated from Saint Mary’s with a B.A. in 1966 and an M.A. in 1974, served as a missionary in Nicaragua and Guatemala. On Feb. 13 1982, he was shot and killed by masked gunmen at the De La Salle Indian School in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. His death was no accident; he was murdered for his work in defense of the young people he served. Saint Mary’s fondly remembers Brother James for his heroic contribution to humanity as a Christian educator, apostle of the poor and underprivileged, and advocate for justice and solidarity.

El Hno. Santiago, quien obtuvo de la Universidad de Santa María los grados de Licenciado en 1966 y Maestría en 1974, sirvió como misionero en Nicaragua y Guatemala. Un 13 de Febrero de 1982 fue asesinado a manos de un grupo de hombres armados en la Escuela Indígena de Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Su muerte no fue accidental; fue el resultado de su trabajo en favor de los jóvenes a los cuales él sirvió durante su misión. La Universidad de Santa María conmemora al Hermano Santiago por sus heroicos aportes a la humanidad, como educador cristiano, apóstol de los pobres y menos privilegiados, y defensor de la justicia y la solidaridad.