Brother Michael Collins, FSC, died early Sunday morning at the Catholic Eldercare hospice following a month-long battle with lung cancer. Brother Michael, one of the first black graduates of DeLaSalle, was 74. He was largely responsible for the growth and resurgence of the Minneapolis Catholic high school.
Before returning to DeLaSalle in 1990, he served as president of Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, as well as Bishop Shanley High School in Fargo, and St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, California. He received a doctorate in private school leadership from the University of San Francisco.
He was beloved by generations of students at all of the schools he led and set new standards for attracting students of color and those from low income families. He demanded academic excellence of his students and 96 percent of DeLaSalle’s students go on to college.
He also served on the Archdiocesan Schools Commission and was a trustee of St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and Lewis College of Illinois. Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty appointed him to the Council on Black Minnesotans.
Brother Michael’s funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 14 at the Basilica of Saint Mary. His body will lie in state at the Casanova Room of DeLaSalle High School, One DeLaSalle Drive, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Friday, January 13, 2012, with a prayer service open to the public at 7:30 p.m.
For more information about Brother Michael, see the article in thecatholicspirit.com.