The Christian Brothers

Dunrovin is a ministry of the De La Salle Christian Brothers of the Midwest District.  The Christian Brothers are a teaching order in the Catholic Church founded in France to teach poor children.

Midwest District Mission:

We are Lasallian ministers, called together in association to serve and empower God’s people and one another through the educational mission of the Church.

We are men and women, young and old, Christian Brothers and colleagues exercising our shared ministry in faith and zeal.

Together we stand – open to the Spirit, rooted in the Gospel, enriched by our traditions, preferentially committed to the poor.

Together we enthusiastically forge a common future as Christian educators.

History:

A Memoir written in Rouen in 1721 expresses succinctly what John Baptist de la Salle had achieved between 1679 and 1719.

“Monsieur de La Salle had the idea of setting up gratuitous schools where the children of workmen and the poor would learn reading, writing and arithmetic, and would also receive a Christian education through catechisms and other forms of instruction appropriate for forming good Christians.  For this purpose he brought together a group of young unmarried men.  He strove to have them live in a way which was consistent with the end of their Institute, and in order to recreate the life of the first Christians . . . he composed Rules for them.”

The formal approval of the Institute of the Brothers was done by Pope Benedict XIII.  Unfortunately, the legal existence of the Institute in France was terminated from 1792 until 1805.  Only a small group of Brothers in some of the Papal States and Rome continued to exist officially.

In 1805, the French restored the Lasallian brothers.  In a century of extraordinary growth, this religious group expanded from France into 35 different countries, developing into a missionary policy beyond anything their founder had imagined.  The 160 Brothers in France and Italy in 1810 became some 14,631 Brothers by 1900.    That same year, John the Baptist de la Salle was canonized.

However, the secularization laws in France 1904-1912 changed the schools dramatically.  Many were forced to close causing some religious to exclude faith in their teaching.  Others considered this a betrayal and left France to continue their work.  Some moved to Southern Belgium, Canada, and Spain while others joined existing communities in Argentina, Ecuador, Egypt, Brazil, Panama, Mexico, North Africa, and Australia.

In 1966,  the Institute had the greatest number of brothers ever.  After this, however, there was rapid decline as less youth entered and a significant number of members left for various reasons.  By 1986, there were half as many members as twenty years before.  Yet, the apostolic works were even more numerous because of growth of the Lasallian Family.

Today, the Brothers and 73,000 lay colleagues minister to more than 900,000 students in 80 countries.

For more information, link to www.cbmidwest.org or www.lasalle.org.

Call us today for info on youth programs or to reserve meeting space: 651-433-2486