On June 5, Brendan J. (B.J.) and Isabel Cassin were awarded membership in the Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester, Pope and Martyr, by Bishop Patrick J. McGrath for their contributions to the Diocese of San Jose.
Active parishioners of Saint Nicholas Parish in Los Altos, the Cassins have been instrumental in the founding of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Grace Nativity schools, as well as the Saint Katharine Drexel Foundation, which is re-imagining Catholic elementary education within our local Church through the establishment of a network of schools called the Drexel School System.
B.J. Cassin is the founder and chairman of the Cassin Educational Initiative Foundation, launched in 2000, to establish private, college preparatory middle and high schools in economically challenged communities throughout the country. This foundation provided start-up funds for 18 Cristo Rey High Schools and 37 Nativity Miguel Middle Schools. He was a founder of the Cristo Rey Network, serving as its chairman from 2003-2009. He was also a founder of the Nativity Miguel Network in 2006 and served as its chairman until 2011.
In addition, Cassin is on the Investment Committee of the Western Province of the Society of Jesus.
Isabel Cassin has been her husband’s constant companion in their many, many good works.
The Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester is one of five Orders of Knighthood awarded directly by the Pope as Supreme Pontiff and head of the Catholic Church and Head of State of Vatican City. Subsequently, the Cassins were named Knight Commander and Dame Commander.