The Vision Began with Saint John Baptist De La Salle
De La Salle, the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the patron saint of educators, believed that education should be relevant, accessible, and affordable. Saint Mary’s believes that too.
It would have been impossible for a 17th-century man who never once ventured from his native France to predict the worldwide educational network now built upon his foundation—or to foresee that many of the visionary teaching principles that he and the early Brothers established would be considered common today.
Together and by association for more than 80 years, the De La Salle Christian Brothers— in dedicated partnership with a large community of lay people— have enhanced learning at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and furthered its strong educational mission.
Throughout the university’s history, hundreds of Brothers have worked at Saint Mary’s. Some names, like those of the De La Salle Christian Brother presidents, will forever be remembered for their leadership and guidance. Many De La Salle Christian Brother educators have become legends, not only for their dedicated teaching skills and their lengthy tenures but also for their strength of character and inspirational vision.
The face of Saint Mary’s has changed through the years. Where many De La Salle Christian Brothers once filled the classrooms and offices, a much smaller number serve today. But the legacy handed down more than 300 years ago by Saint John Baptist de La Salle and the De La Salle Christian Brothers continues to thrive.
This vital charism—the gift of De La Salle and his Brothers to Church and society—is evident in so many aspects of the work being done at Saint Mary’s. The Lasallian spirit is enriched by a faith-filled community of employees, who devotedly share the important work of educating and preparing tomorrow’s ethical leaders.