SANTA FE, N.M. — Around 165 years ago (1851!), Bishop Lamy brought four de la Salle Christian Brothers to Santa Fe to establish what were to become both Saint Michael’s High School in 1859 and The College of Santa Fe in 1947. Other de la Salle Christian Brothers settled in New Orleans and San Francisco. They flourished, “feeding the souls and minds of the young” (males) for decades. But their numbers eventually dwindled to 11 brothers at the high school and now all of them are retired. It is now fully staffed by lay teachers … a generation gone by, a tradition expired … and the College of Santa Fe has become the now defuncting University of Art and Design.
Men of the cloth with vows of humility, they live simple lives of service without trust funds or power jobs on the side. No fun income to look forward to. Bread and soup. Hence the fundraiser held at the Bourbon Grill, chaired by St. Michaels alumnus Max Myers of the New Mexico Bank & Trust and his wife Linda, to generate funds to help support the group home in which the brothers reside.
Brother Don Mouton, visiting from the New Orleans branch, was welcomed into the restaurant’s kitchen to prepare huge cauldrons of his famous gumbo – andouille sausage with either shrimp or chicken (you had a choice) in a savory sauce over rice. Seventy-five guests gobbled it up and, like Oliver, held out their bowls, “Please sir, may I have some more?” For seconds, we all tasted the kind we hadn’t already tried and both took you right down to the French Quarter. Brother Mouton had brought his own spices with him – yum yum!
The silent auction offered lovely things from pottery and old Navajo rugs to noteworthy wines, things for your house, and gifts – $20,000 was raised for the brothers!
“We owe a lot to the Christian Brothers,” says Max Myers. “If it wasn’t for them, there’d be a lot fewer educated people in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico! They made a HUGE difference, a significant impact on education and who we are today! There was no education here before them!”
This event was such a success, so fun, and so tasty that the organizers are considering a repeat performance next year. Stay tuned!
Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email email@example.com.
Max Myers from New Mexico Bank and Trust.
Maya and Keith Watson.
Fred Cisneros, advertising mogul.
Fidel Kirk and Laurie Lucero.
Christian Brother Don Mouton of New Orleans made his famous gumbo.
John Fox, Joe Tapia, Max Aragon and Judge Ray Ortiz of the St. Mike’s Class of ’71 gather at the fundraiser.