In lasting tribute to the Christian Brothers who have been watching over, guiding and praying for students at Saint Mary’s for 80 years, a lifesize bronze statue of a Christian Brother will soon look out over the Winona campus plaza.
During the June Centennial Celebration weekend, this special 6-foot, 300-pound statue, designed by Brother Jerome Cox ’60, will be unveiled on the Winona campus. A similar sculpture is located at De La Salle High School in Minneapolis. The statue symbolizes and represents the more than 200 Brothers and educators who have served at Saint Mary’s throughout its history.
“While Saint Mary’s celebrates its Centennial, the university also recognizes the 80th anniversary of the Brothers in 2013,” said Brother Larry Humphrey, associate vice president of mission. As several first names duplicate, Brother Jerome said a total of 143 of the 200 Brothers’ names have been inscribed in the form. Visitors are invited to touch the names of the Brothers they remember, ones who made a difference in their time at Saint Mary’s.
The Brother depicted in the statue, Brother Larry said, is appropriately taking a reflective pause as he is observing students. Behind his back, he is praying the rosary.
“Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the Patron Saint of Educators, said that a teacher’s role is ‘to touch hearts.’ ” Brother Jerome said, explaining that one of the Brother’s hands is open, symbolizing acceptance and femininity; the other is shaped in a fist as a symbol of determination
and masculinity. “The two together are a symbol of balance, united in prayer, the Holy Rosary.”
Additionally, imprinted on the rear lower section of the statue is the Prayer of the Teacher Before School:
You, O Lord God, are my strength,
my patience, my light and my counsel;
it is You who opens the hearts and minds
of the students entrusted to my care.
Abandon me not to myself for one moment.
For my own conduct and for that of my pupils,
grant me the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and fortitude,
the spirit of knowledge and piety,
the spirit of holy fear of You,
and an ardent zeal to procure Your glory.
I unite my efforts to those of Jesus Christ,
and I beg the most Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph,
the Guardian Angels, and Saint John Baptist de La Salle,
to protect me this day in the performance of my duties.
As the university welcomes hundreds of guests to campus in June, the statue is in place for generations of alumni to pay tribute to the Christian Brothers who transformed Saint Mary’s.
To be a part of this enduring tribute to the meaningful role of the Christian Brothers in Saint Mary’s history, contact Audrey Kintzi at (507) 457-6647 or firstname.lastname@example.org