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Celebrating a 300-year Lasallian heritage

by Deb Nahrgang

November 15, 2019

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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 between 3,500 and 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 Mass to commemorate the 300th anniversary will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, at 4 p.m., celebrated by Father President James P. Burns, IVD, Ph.D., in Saint Thomas More Chapel on the Winona Campus. A reception will follow at 5 p.m.

Additionally, a number of events have been planned in celebration of our heritage.

Ignite 300 grants

Saint Mary’s University, in honor of the 300-year anniversary, has announced recipients of 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.

Other events

  • In October, as part of our annual Lasallian Day of Service, 70 students here at the College completed service projects in about 30 locations, and about 125 alumni volunteered at sites in Winona, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, as well as Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and New York.
  • In early November, Saint Mary’s undergraduate students sent personalized thank-you letters to grade school teachers who have influenced their lives. We celebrate all educators who are providing a caring and transformational experience to the students they teach, just as De La Salle once did.
  • Students have enjoyed a movie about Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s life, a medallion hunt, and a Lasallian talent contest.
  • The Saint Mary’s community was invited to submit Lasallian essays reflecting on “What does it mean to be at a Lasallian Catholic University.”