U.S. Church News


Good Shepherd sister receives 16th annual Opus Prize for work in Congo

By Catholic News Service

CNS photo/St. Louis University

Sister Catherine Mutindi, a member of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, who founded Bon Pasteur in Congo, smiles after receiving the 16th annual Opus Prize Nov. 21, 2019, at St. Louis University. The award is given annually to a leader in faith-based humanitarian work. (CNS photo/St. Louis University) See OPUS-PRIZE-MUTINDI Nov. 22, 2019.

ST. LOUIS (CNS) -- Sister Catherine Mutindi, founder of Bon Pasteur in Congo, has received the 16th annual Opus Prize, which comes with $1 million for her humanitarian work.

St. Louis University and the Opus Prize Foundation bestowed the award on the Good Shepherd sister Nov. 21 at the Jesuit-run university's Center for Global Citizenship.

"Sister Catherine is working to address modern-day slavery, in children as young as 4 and 5, working in highly toxic cobalt mines, to earn enough to feed their families that day," said Don Neureuther, director of the Opus Prize Foundation.

"In a relatively short period, she has transformed the lives of 3,000 children and countless adults, and literally restored their humanity," he said in a statement. "She gives them hope."

Sister Mutindi's religious order, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, is an international congregation with sisters in 73 countries. The order is known for its ministries protecting and empowering adolescent girls, women, children at risk and victims of human rights violations, including trafficking and sexual exploitation.

In 2012, Sister Mutindi started Bon Pasteur after being invited by the local bishop to come to the city of Kolwezi to work with widows and orphans. She first listened to the community and within 10 months developed a five-year plan which focused on addressing alternative livelihoods to mining, including farming.

She tackled gender violence and the physical abuse of children; child protection policies and schooling for children; and "civic strengthening" to address the "gold rush" environment of the mining entities.

Bon Pasteur's work has been recognized by the Congolese government and numerous leading nongovernmental organizations, including Amnesty International as the only NGO "working effectively" to address the widespread human rights abuses against children, adolescent girls and women in Kolwezi's "ASM communities," as they are called. ASM stands for "artisanal and small mining."

"Bon Pasteur's vision is an inclusive and democratic Congolese society where the rights of girls, women and children are protected and promoted," said a news release on this year's Opus Prize winner.

"To realize this vision," it said, "Bon Pasteur has developed an extensive child protection program, which includes remedial holistic education, psychosocial support, a referral system for abused persons and human rights education, all of which seek to mitigate the phenomenon of worst forms of child labor for orphans and vulnerable children."

Bon Pasteur's efforts also have been recognized by the several Congolese national and local government offices as well as the United Nations, UNICEF, the World Bank, World Vision and representatives of numerous international mining companies.

The Opus Prize, awarded each year in partnership with a Catholic university, recognizes faith-based, nonprofit innovation and work. The $1 million award and $100,000 prizes for the other finalists make up one of the world's largest faith-based awards for social entrepreneurship.

Sister Mutindi was one of three finalists for the award. The other two received $100,000 for their organizations. They are:

-- Michael Fernandez-Frey, founder and director of Caras con Causa, an NGO that serves economically poor families in communities bordering the Bay of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Caras con Causa is committed to children's education, restoring the wetlands after the hurricane and organizing communities to rebuild homes threatened with destruction by the government.

-- Brother Charles Nuwagaba, provincial vicar of the Bannakaroli Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga. Brother Nuwagaba oversees a primary school and vocational education program run by his religious community on the edge of the Kibera slum, the largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya, and the largest urban slum in Africa. The primary school currently enrolls 280 students and 260 young people, including teenage mothers who are enrolled in vocational programs, such as motor vehicle maintenance, hairdressing and beauty, hospitality and computer technology.

"As a global Catholic, Jesuit university,' St. Louis University "values opportunities to be informed and inspired by transformational leaders like the three humanitarians honored as Opus Prize finalists," said Fred P. Pestello, the university's president.

"Through their shared experiences, our students, faculty and staff have had the opportunity to see how incredibly impactful being men and women for and with others can be," he added.


Update: Want to add to hope, joy, reflection, healing? You can do Advent

By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service

CNS photo/Ann M. Augherton, Arlington Herald

The sequence of lighting the candles on an Advent wreath is to light the first purple candle on the first Sunday of Advent, which is Dec. 1 this year. Then move clockwise and light a second purple candle for the second Sunday of Advent, Dec. 8. On the third Sunday of Advent, Dec. 15, also known as Gaudete Sunday, the pink candle is lit. The last purple candle is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 22. (CNS photo/Ann M. Augherton, Arlington Herald) See ADVENT-PREPARES-THE-WAY Nov. 18, 2019.

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Compared to Christmas, Easter and Lent, Advent is the Maytag repairman of liturgical seasons. Hardly anybody calls on it.

To many, Advent may seem like four weeks of the priest wearing purple vestments at Mass, while people are otherwise hurtling about trying to get ready for Christmas. The sentiment is understandable, since Walmart posted Christmas displays in stores even before Halloween was over, and some radio station in virtually every city of any size has been playing nothing but Christmas songs since before Veterans Day.

But if Catholics do take time for Advent, which begins Dec. 1 this year, they can find it to be a meaningful season.

"I love Advent!" said Kim Smolik, CEO of the Leadership Roundtable. "I love that Advent is a time that we have an opportunity to reflect on the many blessings in our life and to show our gratitude."

"I know we get pulled in other directions," Smolik added, but advent is for her "a time to slow down and to be with people. That's what I think the season is about.

"And hope. Hope. It's a season of hope."

Given the scandals that have scarred U.S. Catholicism over the past year and a half, Smolik said, Advent can be the time for Catholics to ask themselves, "How can I contribute to the healing in our church? What new life can I bring to the church and how can I bring that forward in the next year?"

Smolik said one help for her is a Nativity scene. "I think that is putting our focus on Jesus, on healing, on light, on hope," she added. "I think we can use that nativity scene in our home. We can sit and be present at a place of meditation and prayer."

Joe Boland, vice president of mission for Chicago-based Catholic Extension, also finds great comfort in the creche.

Catholic Extension, which provides material and spiritual assistance to mission territories in the U.S. church, promotes a concept called "Meet Your Creche," catholicextension.org/nativity. "The way that I'm going to meet my creche through the lens of Catholic Extension and as a Catholic is really through an encounter with the poor," Boland told Catholic News Service.

"Pope Francis keeps calling us to this idea of encounter. For me, for us, the creche and the Nativity scene is a moment of encounter. It's Christ encountering the world in a very unique and special way now," he said.

"It's going be my moment with my own kids -- they're 10, 8 and 6. They know their dad goes out around the country and meets a lot of kids. We have to pay attention to one really important to think about the creche. Jesus is born into poverty, and from poverty, we learn a lot."

He spoke of the hope people in Puerto Rico have despite the devastation they have suffered. Catholic Extension has ministered in Puerto Rico for a century, yet many are "recovering from the still-devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. Two years later and still absolutely no rebuilding yet," Boland said.

"But people still talk about their hope and God's solidarity with them as a people," he said, and "a sense of joy that God has given them life and they're going to use the best of their ability to help them and their neighbor."

The destruction there includes hurricane damage to 20 churches, yet people are "going out and still meeting their neighbors."

He recounted the tale of a Puerto Rican boy whose father has to work far away from home to earn money for the family. When the subject of Christmas came up, the lad's idea, according to Boland was: "We can put our gift in the front, and Dad will come home."

De La Salle Christian Brother Javier Hansen, a religion teacher at Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas, sets out to instill habits his students may not have in cultivating Advent customs.

"A lot of our students cross the border (with Mexico) every day. I envy them in some sense because they go home and pray the rosary together," said Brother Hansen, adding that earlier in November, he "went over with them.

He noted that various institutions have their own calendar -- the school year, the monthly calendar and "the church also has a liturgical year that begins in Advent."

A big fan of Advent music, Brother Hansen said he'll sit with his students and sing Advent songs with them.

"Advent tells a real story of our faith," he added. "Part of my job is to write reflections to the parents and the larger school community on virtues such a patience. That's a big virtue that's associated with the season."

Students, he said, "need a small reminder at times that secular society's not helping us all the time when they're putting Christmas ornaments in stores and everything, and (make it seem) that Advent doesn't exist. That's not their main intention, but that's kind of what it's doing to us."


Knights still honor Kennedy as order's 'most distinguished' member

By Andrew Fowler Catholic News Service

CNS photo/courtesy Knights of Columbus

U.S. President John F. Kennedy is seen at the White House Oct. 11, 1961, with Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart of the Knights of Columbus. Kennedy was a member of the Knights' Bunker Hill Council 62 in Charlestown, Mass., joining on St. Patrick's Day in 1946. He became a fourth-degree Knight in 1954. Kennedy, the first Catholic to be elected president, was assassinated Nov. 22, 1963. (CNS photo/courtesy Knights of Columbus) See KNIGHTS-JFK-ASSASSINATION Nov. 22, 2019.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CNS) -- The date was Nov. 22, 1963. That day, the seemingly peaceful world of 1950s America was torn apart.

President John F. Kennedy -- the first Catholic to be elected commander in chief -- had been assassinated.

Grief was immediate among Catholics, including the Knights of Columbus. Knights were "overwhelmed with grief," noted then-Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart, after the death of their "most distinguished" member.

Kennedy had been a member of the Knights' Columbus Bunker Hill Council 62 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, joining on St. Patrick's Day in 1946. He became a fourth-degree Knight in 1954.

In a letter to their Supreme Convention in July 1961, Kennedy praised the Knights' charity and service, writing that their "countless allied activities all unselfishly offered in the name of our common humanity have served to strengthen and solidify their hold on the public heart."

But this man -- who, according to Hart, "our country has never known his equal" -- was now dead. Hart attended the funeral. In fact, he was the only layman seated in the sanctuary at the funeral Mass at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington.

The late president adorned the January 1964 cover of Columbia, a magazine distributed to every member of the Knights of Columbus around the world. Hart praised Kennedy, writing:

"He had faith, education, intelligence, culture, personal charm, wisdom, breadth of vision, human understanding, courage and loyalty to his country and to his God. ... But he had not lived in vain. He demonstrated a truth which Catholics have asserted since the founding of the Republic, i.e., that a Catholic might be president of the United States and that a Catholic president would prove to be worthy of that high honor."

In February 1964, the Knights of Columbus passed a resolution extending their "most heartfelt sympathy" to Kennedy's family and made a "firm promise" to pray for his soul. Knights continue to this day to fulfill this promise at St. Mary's Church in New Haven -- where the organization was founded -- during a daily Mass offered for all deceased members.

The sympathies expressed by the executives at the Knights of Columbus at the time also were expressed by Knights throughout the fraternal order. Knights in British Columbia held living rosary devotions in memory of the late president. Bishop Clement Smith Council 838 in Iowa held a Holy Hour for him. Every council in Maine offered a Mass for their brother Knight, while Knights in California, Kansas and parts of Canada held memorial services for him.

Other Knights of Columbus councils, more than 25 of them, named themselves after John F. Kennedy.

As noted at their Supreme Convention in 1964 held in New Orleans, the Knights of Columbus saw Kennedy as a "Knight who was never a traitor to his conscience, who never abandoned the principles in which he believed nor the people who believed in them."


New religious liberty index shows Americans OK with level of freedom

By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A religious liberty index unveiled by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty shows a comfort level among Americans with the degree of religious freedom they have in the country.

On a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being worst and 100 being best, the Becket Fund's index has Americans at a composite score of 67.

More than 2,100 Americans were asked 21 questions across six broad areas, which the Becket Fund described as religious pluralism, religion and policy, religious sharing, religion in society, church and state, and religion in action.

"No dimension, nor any single question within a dimension, is supported by less than a majority of respondents," the report said. "Even in the dimension showing the lowest levels of support -- the church and state dimension -- a majority of respondents side with a broad interpretation of religious freedoms."

Montse Alvarado, CEO of the Washington-based Becket Fund, said she was not surprised by the overall results.

"I was quite more surprised by some of the deeper data, some of the cross-sections, the intersection of religion and civil rights, the way millennials responded -- to say they were the generation to most likely have felt religious discrimination," Alvarado told Catholic News Service in a Nov. 22 phone interview.

Respondents were asked whether they "completely accept and support," "mostly accept and support" "somewhat challenge and oppose" or "heavily challenge and oppose" the concepts broached in each of the 21 questions that made up the poll.

Answering one question, 70% of respondents supported to some degree the ability of religious organizations to make hiring decisions free from government interference. And 63% said they supported the freedom to practice one's faith in daily life or the workplace even when it imposes on or inconveniences others.

A majority of the respondents gave "completely accept and support" responses for a majority of the questions. The exception was religion and policy, where none of the six questions got majority "completely accept and support"; the closest was 46% for "the freedom for people to rely on their personal religious beliefs to guide their voting decisions -- which candidates to vote for and how to vote on different issues."

In one question, 43% said businesses "holding unpopular views -- or what some might consider repulsive or discriminatory views -- deserve to be boycotted, harassed or even shut down." That number shrinks to 32% when replacing "business owners or private organizations" with "people of faith."

Asked whether religion was part of the problem or part of the solution, 56% said the latter, but those numbers were buttressed by 65% of African Americans and 68% of Hispanics saying so. The percentage of nonblack, non-Hispanic respondents saying the same was not immediately available.

Breaking out responses among individual religious groups, Catholics included, was fairly scant in the 68-page Becket Fund report.

One instance noted that 73% of Catholics said they felt the freedom to preach the doctrine of their faith with others, which was a tick higher than the overall response of 72%. Bringing up the rear, at 45%, were atheists.

One question asked, according to the report, "whether public officials should be blocked or disqualified from serving based on their religious views, or lack thereof. Three-quarters of respondents agreed that public officials should not face the threat of being blocked or disqualified from public office for their religious beliefs or lack thereof.

"A notable group within this question's context are atheists, who were the first to face such religious tests for public office. On this question, atheist respondents followed the majority with 69% siding with the statement that elected officials should not face religious tests."

Catholics constituted 23% of all survey respondents. Christians of all varieties totaled 66% of all those surveyed. Self-identified Protestants made up 21%, and there were single-digit totals for evangelicals, Mormons, the Orthodox and Jehovah's Witnesses. But racking up 14% was a group described as "other Christians."

Those are "people who don't ascribe to a denomination," Alvarado said. They may be the people, she added, who say, "'I have my Bible at home, I believe in Jesus, not in any institution,' which is also interesting."

Millennials, she said, "don't identify with an institution. But it doesn't mean that they're not religious people. 'If you're registered at a parish, you must be Catholic.' Not necessarily. 'If you're registered at a megachurch, you must be a Protestant.' Mmm, not true," she told CNS. "Not belonging doesn't mean they don't have an attitude about religion."

Alvarado said the survey would be an annual event "for as long as I'm head of the Becket Fund. When we say annual, we mean it. When it's an index, you have to keep (asking) the same questions, or else it's no good."

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Editor's Note: The full survey results can be found on line at https://www.becketlaw.org/index.


Immigration counselor uses own experience as refugee to help newcomers

By Patricia Kasten Catholic News Service

CNS photo/Sam Lucero, The Compass

So Thao, an accredited immigration counselor with Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., shows a photo of himself when he served in a U.S.-backed unit of Hmong soldiers working against the communists during the Laotian Civil War. Thao and his family were refugees after the Vietnam War. (CNS photo/Sam Lucero, The Compass) See IMMIGRATION-REFUGEES-THAO to come.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (CNS) -- Even after 36 years at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay, So Thao isn't thinking about retirement. His job, as an accredited immigration counselor, is too fulfilling.

Especially so, since Thao and his family were refugees themselves after the Vietnam War.

"I work here because of the mission of the church. ... If you work for something you believe, I think that's important," he told The Compass, Green Bay's diocesan newspaper.

His job has meant "many overtime hours," and traveling to various airports to greet refugees, even late at night or in snowstorms.

"You have to get your job done," Thao said. "Because of what we are about as a church, I feel very happy. We have to do what we have to do. My wife is so understanding, because ... she knows it's important. The refugees at the airport have no one."

In 1969, the 16-year-old Thao joined a special unit of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in Laos working against the communists. It also was called "the Secret Army" and made up of Hmong people.

"The Hmong people had a history of fighting communism. ... That's why we got the special duty," he explained.

Thao joined for two reasons: First, in third grade, he chose to learn English at a private school. This meant he was able to pass the English exam to join the Secret Army. Secondly, there weren't "many career opportunities" in Laos. He said the choices were teaching, nursing, truck driving or joining the army.

In the Secret Army, Thao could have been a T-28 pilot or a "forward aide." Since "90% of the pilots got shot down," he chose forward aide.

Forward aide officers were assigned to multiple battalions and were the only communications link between the Lao and the U.S. air forces. U.S. planes flew from Thailand and, once over the Laotian region, the forward aide relayed "drop orders." Drops ranged from food parcels, to picking up wounded soldiers, to bombs. Thao was the youngest aide in his group and later earned the rank of lieutenant.

In 1975, as war wound down, people tried to escape from Laos into Thailand. However, Thao had been to Thailand and didn't like the conditions there. So he decided to stay, even though that meant detention in a POW camp.

Life in the camp -- with 500 to 600 prisoners -- was hard, entailing heavy labor and what Thao now calls "brainwashing."

He learned to survive, though "I felt hungry all the time," he said. "I felt depressed. I felt many things." He wanted to escape, but he didn't.

An opportunity to leave the camp came in early 1979 at the Hmong New Year. He was a good prisoner, so he was allowed a leave to visit his parents. He was told to return in 30 days.

After walking for two days, he reached Long Cheng, the village where his family lived. He stayed there for about 15 days and then became aware his life was in danger. So he left his parents and siblings -- he is one of seven children -- to stay with cousins for a while.

He wanted to go across the border to Thailand, but he knew he had to return to Long Cheng first -- he had a brother to rescue from a local work farm: Shoua. The two finally made their way to Thailand, crossing the Mekong River.

They were placed in the Vinei Refugee Camp, where Thao later met his wife, Pai Lor. There, Thao also reconnected with Jerry Daniel, the officer who had headed up his old CIA unit. Daniel recognized Thao by his code name: "Tech 2."

After Daniel heard Thao's story, he hired him as an interpreter at the U.S. Embassy for six months. During that time, he also enrolled Thao in a refugee program for those who had served in the CIA units. That program allowed Thao to come to the United States.

In June 1980, Thao and his wife arrived in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where his married sister already lived. Three Presbyterian churches had sponsored them. The pastor of one even taught Thao how to drive a car. (The Thaos later joined the Catholic Church.)

Thao took a cleaning job at a grocery store. Later, he worked at a Green Giant plant. A job with the Madison health department followed and, in 1984, he came to Green Bay and Catholic Charities. By then, he was a U.S. citizen.

Most of the money So and Pai made went back to his parents in Laos, so they and the rest of the family could come to Wisconsin as well. In 1986, the time was right for his family to leave Laos for Thailand, and eventually the family was reunited.

Thao credits the bishops of Green Bay for supporting refugee resettlement.

Sometimes, he admitted, his job is not easy. Some refugees are angry about their situation, but he counsels the newcomers that "things take time in relocating your life." He reassures them from his own experiences.

"Refugees are not just (going) for a better life, but for freedom" from the fear of persecution, he said.

"Home is where you can be safe and treated with dignity. ... This is my home because this is where I am treated right, I have freedom. It's the land of opportunities," he said.

"I am thankful to the American people who opened their mind and heart to refugees who come to this country. That's our strength."

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Kasten is associate editor of The Compass, newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay.


Update: Minnesota high school prepares for beatification of one of its own

By Christina Capecchi Catholic News Service

CNS photo/Dave Hrbacek, Catholic Spirt

Frank Miley, president of Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn., stands next to a bronze bust of Brother James Miller that sits in the courtyard of the school. Brother Miller, who taught at the school from 1966-1971 and again from 1979-1980, was officially recognized by Pope Francis as a martyr last year, clearing the way for beatification. He will be beatified Dec. 7 in Guatemala. (CNS photo/Dave Hrbacek, Catholic Spirt) See MILLER-BEATIFY-HIGH-SCHOOL Nov. 21, 2019.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) -- A man who scrubbed toilets and shoveled sidewalks at Cretin-Derham Hall High School is on his way to becoming a saint, and the school is celebrating his beatification by elevating his presence on campus and connecting students to his legacy.

Christian Brother James Miller taught at then-Cretin High School in St. Paul from 1966 to 1971 and again from 1979 to 1980, teaching Spanish, founding the soccer team and serving as maintenance supervisor.

Brother Miller was martyred in 1982 -- at age 37 -- during the Guatemalan Civil War. Three hooded men found him on a ladder repairing a wall and shot him. Many assume he was killed because he fought to keep his students from being forced into the military.

Pope Francis officially recognized Brother James as a martyr last year, clearing the way for beatification. He will be beatified on Dec. 7 in Guatemala, a ceremony that four members of Cretin-Derham Hall will attend, including President Frank Miley.

Reminders of the late teacher pop up throughout the school. The chapel is being renamed in honor of "Blessed Brother James"; staff is working with the archdiocese to make the rededication official. The school commissioned a bronze statue of him that was recently installed in the courtyard, which is also being renamed after him.

Meanwhile, the original icon of Brother Miller painted by Nick Markell is displayed in the school's History Walk alongside other noteworthy memorabilia. A reproduction hangs in the classroom where he taught.

The students' education on Brother Miller is enhanced spiritually. Multiple times a day they participate in a call-and-response invocation that now includes, "Blessed Brother James Miller," "pray for us."

"He has a big footprint here," Miley said, "and the beatification is making that footprint even bigger."

The administrator said he could not hope for a more inspiring example to lift up to the students.

"One of the things we're in dire need of is heroes, especially heroes who point us to helping each other, loving each other and directing each other toward God," Miley said.

Brother Miller's courage in the face of danger is particularly appealing to young men, who are more likely to engage in service opportunities that are challenging or feel risky, Miley said. "For young men, that sense of adventure is another element that Brother James embodies."

Brother Miller was a farm boy from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, whose work ethic prodded him to quietly help across campus: mopping floors, cleaning furnaces and plumbing.

Students watched him lumber down the halls in his long black robe, tools strapped to his belt, and took to calling him "Brother Fixit." No work was beneath him.

He lived simply, wearing the same overalls every week. He coached soccer and taught Spanish. He related to his students, maintaining high standards that were softened by his ready humor and belly laugh.

But the plight of Third World countries was no laughing matter. Brother Miller seized every opportunity to educate his students. They collected money for their mission schools, and Brother Miller spoke passionately about his dream of becoming a missionary.

He never took for granted the luxury of being an American and had no patience for what today are dubbed "first-world problems," said Donny Geng, who taught at the school during the same time and is now retired. "He was tired of the American cavalier-ness about education. It's an entitlement."

Brother Miller's knowledge of Central America expanded the teens' horizons.

"It was clear from the beginning that he was a champion of the poor and wanted desperately to serve down there," said Christian Brother Pat Conway, a humanities professor at St. Mary's University in Winona, who was a student when Brother Miller began teaching.

Brother Miller was alternately firm and flexible. Once, Brother Conway was given a detention for missing school. As punishment, he had to take down hockey boards after school. Brother Miller knew the boy had been hospitalized at the time and discretely informed the dean. A few minutes later, the dean called out: "Conway, go home."

"It was that human side," Brother Conway said. "He was very quiet about it."

He likewise remained relatively quiet about the danger of his mission work but confided in close friends. Once, a round of machine gun had sent him for cover, Geng recalled. "He said, 'I never knew I could pray so fervently as when under my bed.'"

To teach at a Christian Brother school in Guatemala was the fulfillment of a dream. He felt purposeful and needed.

Three days after his death, a crowd gathered at the Cathedral of St. Paul for his funeral Mass celebrated by then-Archbishop John Roach. "The beauty of the life of James Miller, and those who serve God's poorest in that part of the world, is that they serve with faith and an absolute commitment to the belief that that's where the Lord wants them," the archbishop said.

Service to the neighbor in need is a charism of Christian brothers that Cretin-Derham Hall tries to instill in its students, pointing to Brother James as a poignant case study.

"We are really dedicated to keeping the notion of the needy right before our students," Miley said, "and Jim would be part and parcel in this." Food drives throughout the year are an obvious first step, but weaving service into the curriculum sets Cretin-Derham Hall apart, he said.

Every Thursday, seniors leave for a two-hour window to serve those in need. "A requirement of that is they must be in one-on-one contact with human beings," Miley said. "We believe that if you're going to embrace the poor, you need to know them. I don't know of another school that has embedded that in the program."

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