irish christian brother

James Miller (De La Salle Christian Brother)

Brother James Miller  F.S.C. (1944 - February 13 1982) was a De La Salle Christian Brother born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin who grew up in Custer, Wisconsin. He joined the Christian Brothers during his freshman year of high school and received a master's degree in Spanish from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona, Minnesota.

In 1969, Brother James was sent to Bluefields, Nicaragua, where he taught in both elementary and high schools. Miller taught at Cretin High School in St. Paul, Minnesota before returning to teach in Central America, first working in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, where he helped build an industrial arts/vocational complex and later Guatemala. On February 13 1982, Miller was shot and killed by masked gunmen while on a ladder repairing a wall at the De La Salle Indian School at Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

Some suspected that his killing was in retaliation for the work of the Christian Brothers to prevent Indian boys from being conscripted into the military. Miller had dedicated himself to providing job and leadership skills to Indian people to help ease the oppression suffered by Guatemalan Indians. Although students were exempt from the military, two days before the shooting an Indian student was forced into the army. A different Christian Brother went to the authorities to obtain the student's release. The military refused and the Brother, adamant, infuriated them.

The Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin sponsors an annual The Brother James Miller Social Justice Award.

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