Luke Salm, FSC, S.T.D. (1921 – 2009)


In this address delivered by Brother Luke on March 17, 1998, at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee, we have a scholar’s words reorienting us to the Lasallian educational mission, calling our attention to “the vision and the achievement of the man that the Catholic Church calls a saint and the patron of teachers.” Brother Luke addresses the shared reality of the seven American Lasallian colleges, noting that none have moved very far from their original foundation as four-year colleges and that “most are struggling for survival in an increasingly complex and competitive educational environment. They are struggling, too, with identity problems in terms of their relationship to the Roman Catholic Church as well as to the Lasallian tradition.” Brother Luke’s invitation remains relevant today as we, whether college or university, attempt to discern the answer to a critical question: Is it an oxymoron for an institution of higher learning such those in the United States to call itself Lasallian?


American Catholic Higher Education; Catholic higher education; De La Salle;


Is the Lasallian University an Oxymoron?

About the Author

Luke Salm, FSC, S.T.D.

Brother Luke Salm (1921-2009) was a professor of religious studies at Manhattan College for more than half a century. He was the first religious Brother and non-cleric to earn a doctorate in theology (S.T.D.) at The Catholic University of America (1955). He was an elected delegate of the District of New York to the 39th, 40th, 41st, and 42nd General Chapters of the Brothers of the Christian Schools; and he was a noted historian of the life of Saint John Baptist de La Salle.

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