Memphis- Christian Brothers University (CBU) recognized Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, FSC, as the 2011 recipient of the Maurelian Medal on April, 7 during his tour throughout the United States. The medal, one of the University’s highest honors, is awarded in recognition of an individual’s significant contributions through service to the good of the University or the community.
Brother Álvaro was named Superior General of the Christian Brothers in 2000, becoming the 26th leader of the order founded in the 17th century by St. John Baptist de La Salle, the patron saint of teachers. Based in Rome, Brother Álvaro holds the highest office of the Christian Brothers, whose 6,000 Brothers and 100,000 lay people teach more than 1 million students in schools, colleges, and universities in 82 countries worldwide.
Born in Costa Rica, Brother Álvaro graduated from Universidad La Salle Mexico. He then joined the Central American District of the Christian Brothers and later professed his perpetual vows. He began his career in education as a teacher and mentor in Mexico and Guatemala for eight years. In the 1970s and 1980s, Brother Álvaro worked in Guatemala and Nicaragua during a period when there was an undeclared war between the notorious Death Squads and the ordinary people of those countries, resulting in thousands of deaths. As a teacher, he personally experienced the violence and underlying tensions of these difficult years for the Brothers, their students and families.
In addition to serving as a teacher and administrator, Brother Álvaro is a former auxiliary visitor for the District of Central America and Vicar General. In 1992, he was elected Vicar General for the order, based in the motherhouse in Rome. He was elected to a seven-year term as Superior General of the Institute in 2000 (succeeding the late Brother John Johnston of Memphis) and re-elected in 2007 for another seven years.
The Maurelian Medal is named for the founding president of the University, Brother Maurelian Sheel (1842-1920). Since its establishment in 1984, the Maurelian Medal has been awarded to only 15 individuals; the award to Brother Alvaro is the first since 2008.
For more information about CBU, visit www.cbu.edu or call (901) 321-3000. ###