Monsignor James Lavin ’40 is remembered by many as the “peanut butter priest.” For decades, he handed out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, also known as “Lavin Burgers,” to residence hall students one or two evenings a week.

Father James Lavin serving peanut butter sandwiches to students in the basement of Ireland Hall.

Since his death earlier this year, countless St. Thomas alumni and students have paid tribute and shared stories about the impact Monsignor Lavin had in their lives. (See a selection of those tributes here and in the comments section of this story.)

Alumni relations manager Nadine Friederichs ’90, ’12 M.A., recalls celebrating Lavin’s birthday every year while they worked together in the Alumni Association and after he moved off campus. “It’s always been a big deal to celebrate with him,” Friederichs said. “I remember celebrations being held at The Lexington, and later in his life we would celebrate on campus.” The largest celebration was his 90th birthday party in 2008.

The on-campus celebration of Monsignor Lavin’s birthday continues Nov. 12, what would have been his 94th. The Alumni Association invites the entire St. Thomas community to enjoy complimentary peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Scooter’s, the restaurant bearing the beloved priest’s nickname.

And you can look forward to the tradition continuing for years to come as Nov. 12 has been officially declared Monsignor James Lavin Day at the University of St. Thomas.

For more information, contact Friederichs.