Lasallian educator for Social Justice and Social Change Remembered
36 years ago, on February 13, 1982, Brother James (Santiago) Miller, FSC, was martyred in Guatemala. Brother James, a classroom teacher originally from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, was gunned down by three masked gunmen while he was repairing a wall at the Lasallian school in Huehuetenango, Guatemala – where he was teaching.
After his death Brother Paul Grass, the De La Salle Brothers Regional Superior at that time, released the following statement to the press:
"I want to state very clearly that Brother James’ death was no accident. Brother Santiago died for what he was and for what he stood for – a Lasallian educator, and apostle of the poor and underprivileged, a worker for justice and of social change."
On the afternoon of February 13, 1982, Brother James Miller, FSC (Brother Santiago, as he was known to his students and colleagues in Guatemala) was shot several times by three hooded men and died instantly. Attempts to identify the assassins were unsuccessful. After funeral rites in Guatemala and in Saint Paul, Minnesota, he was buried in the parish cemetery in Polonia, Wisconsin. Bishop Frederick Freking, who attended Brother James’ funeral mass in Wisconsin, said the following about Brother James,
"I see in Brother James’ death the witness of Christ’s love, a witness to the dignity of the human person, and the right to freedom and justice that should be all of ours. Today we need to take a stand on these rights, especially of the poor. Thank God there are people like Brother James to do that."
The Vatican will formally hear the cause for the beatification of Brother James (Santiago) Miller, FSC, in March 2018. For more information, click here.