What began, in 1943, as a high school religion textbook publishing project for the schools of the Christian Brothers, over the years has expanded far beyond that initial focus. The reason: A distinguishing mark of Lasallian Educational and Research Initiative’s (LERI’s) mission is to always follow the needs of young people and seek to respond to those needs in innovative ways.
The publishing program is known as Saint Mary’s Press, one of the leading Catholic publishers in the United States with distribution throughout the world. In its early years, Saint Mary’s Press operated as a direct ministry of the Christian Brothers’ Minnesota District. In September 1991 Saint Mary’s Press was separately incorporated as a 501(c)3 in the State of Minnesota, Saint Mary’s Press of Minnesota, Inc. The publishing scope of Saint Mary’s Press now serves the needs of young people pre-K through university level.
In March 2009 Saint Mary’s Press of Minnesota, Inc. started a “small business” to leverage its investment in print-on-demand technology-Professor’s Choice ™, a custom-publishing business serving primarily secondary and university level professor’s needs for customized content for their students. And in June 2009 Saint Mary’s Press of Minnesota, Inc. launched a new publishing imprint, Anselm Academic, delivering accessible university-level theology, religion, and ethics texts to the US university market.
Beginning in 2012, management and the Board of Directors began to consider the long-term. Sustainability of the Lasallian mission in light of profound shifts in the religious landscape and changing ways in which young people pursue and express faith, religious practice, and spirituality. In June 2019, the Board of Directors approved a significant structural change for Saint Mary’s Press of Minnesota, Inc. to position the organization to better advance the Lasallian mission to meet the contemporary needs of the young, especially moving the organization into expressions of mission beyond the work of publishing.
In August 2019, Saint Mary’s Press of Minnesota, Inc. legally changed its name to Lasallian Educational and Research Initiatives-a 501(c)3 corporation in the State of Minnesota. Under this new name and redefined statement of purpose, the organization was restructured to begin giving birth to new Lasallian expressions. The first such expression was the establishment of Springtide Research Institute, birthed July 1, 2019.
Lasallian Educational and Research Initiatives corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, literary, or scientific purposes as specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of a future federal tax code. This corporation is not operated for profit, but rather is operated exclusively for charitable purposes.
Core Strategic Focus
Lasallian Educational and Research Initiatives advances its mission by establishing works in service of young people, attending especially to works that are good and beneficial for young people to realize integral human development and the common good. Such works may include projects or institutes that serve the human and religious flourishing of the young, especially the poor, works that promote or advance interreligious dialogue and understanding, research and advocacy on behalf of the religious.