Blessed Brother James Miller, FSC is Officially Beatified

December 11, 2019

Frank Miley, Peter Gleich, Joe Miley '11, and Lou Anne Tighe attended the beatification of Blessed Brother James Miller.

Brother James (Santiago) Miller was beatified in Huehuetenango, Guatemala on December 7, in a Mass attended by more than 5,000 people.  A contingent from Cretin-Derham Hall, including President Frank Miley, campus ministers/teachers Lou Anne Tighe, Peter Gleich, and Joe Miley '11 were honored to be in attendance at the beatification.  The rest of the American contingent included his family and representatives from St. Mary's University in Winona.

"It was incredibly moving to be a part of this holy celebration of this humble man's life and his devotion to teaching," noted Frank Miley.  "He was tireless in his dedication to the mission of education and to the students he served."

Frank Miley explains that our community's strong connection to this man is that he was a student at Cretin High School in the early 1960s and later taught here twice - once in the late 1960s as well as many years in the late 1970s, with stints of service in Central America in between.   

"It is not lost on our faculty/staff and students, as well as many alumni who knew him, that this man walked our very halls and was an important part of our community and our history, and thus, has become a very real and relevant source of inspiration to us,"  noted Miley.  

After several years of teaching at Cretin, he was sent to Guatemala in January 1981. There, he taught at the local secondary school and at the Indian Center.  In the afternoon of February 13, 1982, at the age of 37, in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, he was shot several times by three men while repairing a wall of the school where he taught. He died instantly. 

Pope Francis approved a decree on November 8, 2018, recognizing that Brother James Miller died as a martyr. The process for declaring him a martyr began in 2009. Br. James is the first De LaSalle Christian Brother from the United States to be beatified. As a martyr, Br. James must have one miracle posthumously attributed to him to reach the next level toward official sainthood, which is canonization.

Brother Pat Conway, FSC '71, who was a student of Br. Miller in 1967, also attended the beatification. 

“Jim was just an ordinary man who did things in an extraordinary way," he said. "He was human. He worked hard, he made mistakes like all of us, and he loved to joke and laugh. Above all, and this is from my firsthand experience, he had a huge heart for the students he served.”

Just this month, CDH has installed a bust of Blessed Brother James Miller, and is renaming the courtyard near the Commons after him. The school is also in the process of renaming the chapel in his honor.  In addition, the classroom where he taught has been dedicated to him and our daily prayer includes: Blessed Brother James Miller, pray for us.


Watch the beatification ceremony here.

Read more about Brother James Miller

A Saint of Their Own: Cretin-Derham Hall Prepares for Brother James Miller's Beatification - The Catholic Spirit

James Miller, America's Newest Blessed - National Catholic Register

U.S. Brother Beatified on Soccer Fields of Guatemalan School He Served - Catholic Sun


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Fr. Pat Kennedy led Easter Mass in the field house on April 4, with several students and staff taking part with the readings and music.