Brother James Miller, FSC Chapel
The Brother James Miller, FSC Chapel was dedicated on February 15, 2017 as part of Lewis University’s commemoration of the 35th Anniversary of Brother James’ death and his life as a De La Salle Christian Brother committed to the poor of Central America.
This sacred space is made possible through a generous gift from Patty and Phil Dion to Lewis University in honor of Brother Philip Johnson, FSC, a classmate and friend of Brother James.
"I am personally weary of violence, but I continue to feel a strong commitment to the suffering poor of Central America. ... I pray to God for the grace and strength to serve Him faithfully among the poor and oppressed in Guatemala. I place my life in His Providence. I place my trust in Him."
Brother James Miller, FSC
Brother James Miller, FSC
De La Salle Christian Brother, Friend of the Poor, and Martyr
Brother James Miller, FSC was martyred on February 13, 1982 at the age of 37 in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. James Alfred Miller was born into a family of farmers near Stevens Point, Wisconsin on September 21, 1944. He attended Pacelli High School where he met the De La Salle Christian Brothers for the first time. He joined the Brothers in September 1959 and formally took the habit in August 1962. He was assigned to Cretin High School (now Cretin-Derham High School) in St. Paul, Minnesota for three years, where he taught Spanish, English, and Religion, supervised school maintenance, and coached football. In 1969, he was sent to Bluefields, Nicaragua.
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He taught there until he was assigned to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua in 1974, where he helped build an industrial arts/vocational complex and supervised the construction of ten new rural schools. His religious superiors ordered him to leave Nicaragua in July 1979 during the time of the Sandinista revolution. It was feared that since he worked for the Somoza government, he might be at risk. For that reason, he returned to the United States in 1979. In 1981, Brother James was sent to Guatemala, where he taught and worked with the young indigenous Mayans.
On February 13, 1982, while outside repairing a wall of the Casa Indigena De L a Salle, he was brutally shot by several armed men and died instantly. Attempts to identify the assassins were unsuccessful.
In 2009, the Diocese of Huehuetenango, Guatemala initiated the process for Brother James Miller’s canonization by declaring him a martyr. The Vatican recognized the validity of his cause and in 2010 Brother James was designated a “Servant of God and martyr for the faith” and began the process of beatification. Because Brother James is considered a martyr, a miracle was not required for his beatification; consequently, on December 7, 2019, he was beatified in a ceremony in Huehuetenango. A miracle will be needed, however, for Blessed Brother James Miller to be declared a saint in the Church.