| Dominicans honor Catholic educators
Father Michael Sweeney, OP
Each year the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology honors men and women who have contributed significantly to the life of the Church in the West with the Archbishop Alemany Award.
In memory of Joseph Sadoc Alemany, OP, the first archbishop of San Francisco, the award will be presented to Brother Dominic Berardelli, FSC, Brother Edmond Larouche, FSC, Sr. Christina Maggi, DC, and John F. Scudder Jr., each vital collaborators in Catholic education. The celebration will take place on May 10 at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco beginning with Mass at 5:30 p.m. and a reception and dinner at 6:30 p.m.
One of Archbishop Alemany's first priorities, having arrived in California, was to see to the education of young people, especially young men for the priesthood. Accordingly, he sought to attract teaching orders to the new archdiocese in San Francisco. In 1857 he first approached the Lasallian Brothers of the Christian Schools.
It was part of the character of Archbishop Alemany that he was persistent. He first approached the Brothers in 1857. Having failed every other means, in 1867 he requested the intervention of Pope Pius IX who instructed the Brothers to accede to the archbishop's request and in 1868 the first Brothers arrived in California.
In the interim, in 1863 Alemany had founded Saint Mary's College, a high school that he intended to become a college. The project floundered, but all of that changed with the arrival of the Brothers of the Christian Schools five years later. Within the next 20 years Brothers had begun grammar schools and high schools in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Sacramento, Martinez and Santa Inez. The Archbishop's hope in what the Brothers would accomplish had been fully exonerated.
Each of this year's honorees continues to fulfill the mission of John Baptist de LaSalle and the legacy of Archbishop Alemany.
Brother Berardelli worked in the United States and abroad in elementary, secondary and higher education. He was a teacher and principal in the Philippines for 10 years. He taught at La Salle High School in Pasadena, and was superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Orange. Having served as co-director of mission at the Brothers' headquarters in Rome he returned to De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon, and in 1995 came to Saint Mary's College as special assistant to the president.
Brother Larouche has served as president of Saint Mary's College High School in Berkeley since 1997. Very much in the spirit of St. John Baptist de LaSalle, he fostered a wonderful cultural and racial diversity in the student body with a heart for disadvantaged families; the high school offers more than $2 million in annual financial assistance to its students. Prior to his appointment at Saint Mary's, Brother Edmond taught at Cathedral High School, Los Angeles, Justin Siena High School in Napa, and served as Auxiliary Provincial of the District of San Francisco from 1988 to 1995.
Collaboration with lay men and women has been important for the Brothers. John F. Scudder Jr., president of Sacred Heart Cathedral High School Preparatory in San Francisco, has been involved with Lasallian education for over four decades.
Another collaboration important to Lasallian education and to the Church in the Bay Area has been that between the Christian Brothers and the Daughters of Charity.
Sister Christina Maggi, DC served as teacher and principal in San Francisco, Carson City, Nevada, and Los Angeles. In 2000 she served as Provincial Secretary for her province and, since 2007 on the Provincial Council. She is presently the Counselor for Education Ministry for the Daughters of Charity, member of the Board of Regents at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, and Chair of the Board of Trustees for de Marillac Academy.
Please join us in honoring Catholic education in the Bay Area. Tickets for the Alemany Awards Celebration may be purchased at www.dspt.edu/alemany2014 or by dialing 888-450-3778.
(Father Michael Sweeney, OP, is president of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley.)
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