Faith and Service
Days after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Mona Mengler opened a box containing a tube of toothpaste, a toothbrush and a bar of soap. She thought, “Why bother?” when Hurricane victims needed so much more.
Hurricane Maria swept over Puerto Rico with nearly Category-5 force on Sept. 20, 2017, a mere two weeks after Hurricane Irma made a damaging pass over the U.S. territory.
Martin Beirne (J.D. ’69), Chairman of the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees, has significantly impacted the future of St. Mary’s University and the School of Law — twice.
For 12 weeks this spring, James Greenaway, Ph.D., heard the sound of prison doors lock solidly behind him as he walked past the stern-faced guards controlling access to the Ruben M. Torres Unit, a men’s state prison in Hondo.
Sight unseen and armed with faith, Anthony Selvanathan traveled more than 3,600 miles from his home in Hawaii after graduating from Chaminade University to pursue a Master of Arts in Theology at St. Mary’s University.
A brief stop in Calcutta, India, while serving Marianist communities in the region in 1997 gave the Rev. Jim Tobin, S.M., now the Greehey School of Business chaplain, the chance to experience the holiness of Mother Teresa in person — a memory he cherished as she was canonized Sept. 4.
Spring break is not often synonymous with volunteerism and sacrifice, but since 1999 groups of St. Mary’s University students have spent the week giving to others, through a transformational experience called Alternative Spring Break.
Amir Samandi didn’t plan to start a nonprofit that takes young people on life-changing trips around the world. It just happened. A classroom conversation provided the spark.
The numbers are stark: The 313 Marianist brothers and priests in the United States have an average age of 74, and only about 25 of them are under age 50.
As a teenager, Jason Valendy (B.A. ’04) considered pursuing a career in ministry. His only stumbling block was a doozy: He didn’t particularly like “church.”
Nicole Trahan’s path to becoming a member of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate — the Marianist sisters — wasn’t direct. “Religious life was never even a thought in my mind. The sisters I knew seemed so perfect. I wasn’t.”
Aaron Tyler grew up in the Baptist religious tradition, the son of an Air Force chaplain. It was a childhood that uniquely prepared him for a life dedicated to the study of faith-based peace building.
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Marina Salgado (B.A. ’17) and her husband, Mario Salgado (B.A. ’17), didn’t expect to find chemistry in a Biology class. But in Fall 2013, the couple, in the first semester of their first year of college, met in Biology 1301 at St. Mary’s University.
She may not have a crystal ball, but Economics Associate Professor Belinda Román was recognized by the Wall Street Journal for giving a most accurate 2023 U.S. economic forecast.
Many may see Alex Pérez (J.D. ’96) as an international attorney, a tax law expert or a leader in San Antonio’s philanthropic efforts as the San Antonio Area Foundation’s board chair. But he views himself, fundamentally, as an interpreter.