• Chamber Celebrates the Brother James Miller House at Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center

  • GREATER STILLWATER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE / PRESS RELEASE Chamber Celebrates Blessing and Dedication of the Brother James Miller Garden House
    Jerome Meeds, Director, Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center cut the ribbon at the Chamber celebration on October 11th, 2022.

    Marine on Saint Croix, MN. The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce celebrated the blessing and dedication of Brother James Miller House with a ribbon cutting celebration on October 11th, 2022. The event took place at 15525 Saint Croix Trail North, Marine on Saint Croix, MN.   Jerome Meeds, Director, and staff, along with Greater Stillwater Chamber ambassadors, members and staff were there to join in the celebration.

    Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center (known in business as “Dunrovin”) opened in 1964 as a retreat facility for high school boys of the De La Salle Christian Brothers Schools. The first retreat took place on Ash Wednesday, February 12, 1964. In 1970, Dunrovin Retreat Center opened its doors to external groups, inviting other schools, parishes, and nonprofits to rent the facility and experience its Lasallian-inspired hospitality. Today, Dunrovin’s professional staff continues to offer a Christ-like welcome for the diverse peoples who come from all over. Located within the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, guests come for Dunrovin’s beautiful 50-acre wilderness and leave refreshed by God’s peace.

    Blessed Brother James Miller, FSC, gave his life to God when he became a vowed De La Salle Brother of the Christian Schools. He gave his life to God again – and declared a martyr for his faith — when killed by three masked men in Guatemala while fixing a wall in a courtyard garden. The Brother James Miller Garden House at Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center is named in honor of this man of courage, generosity, faith, and zeal.

    Born in 1944 and raised on a farm near Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Brother James devoted his life to teaching children. While a teacher at Cretin High School in St. Paul during the late 1960s, Brother James visited Dunrovin, a place of rest and recreation for the Brothers. During that time and still today, Cretin brought students to youth retreats at Dunrovin.

    However, Brother James’ passion for students and the poor took him to Nicaragua, where he taught at both the elementary and secondary levels. During the Nicaraguan revolution in 1979, he moved to a Brothers’ school in Guatemala. In both countries, students were registered illegally into the military, essentially kidnapped. As a protector, Brother James (“Santiago”) advocated for the students until the military reluctantly released the boys.

    Despite adverse conditions, Brother James continued his ministry to the poor in Guatemala.  From a Christmas letter written to family in 1981, Brother James wrote “The level of personal violence is reaching appalling proportions…I pray to God for the grace and strength to serve him faithfully by my presence among the poor and oppressed.  I place my trust in Him.”

     In early 1982, the four Brothers living in the Huehuetenango community were warned that their lives were at risk. They prayed. Certainly these men must have considered the “heroic vow” given to the Christian Brothers by their Founder. Independently, all four men chose to stay and continue their ministry. A month later, Brother James was gunned down and killed instantly. He is remembered for his infectious laughter, huge smile and sense of a good joke, courage, perseverance, and love for the children. 

    Blessed Brother James (Santiago) Miller, FSC was beatified by Pope Francis on December 7, 2019, and is being considered for sainthood. Brother James truly lived the words of our founder, Saint John Baptist De La Salle: “Are you ready to give your very life, so dear to you are the young people entrusted to you?”

    Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center
    15525 Saint Croix Trail North
    Marine on Saint Croix, MN  55047
    Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center


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