Dunrovin | Christian Brothers Retreat Center
De La Salle Christian Brothers

De La Salle 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.

The role of the Christian Brothers in building Dunrovin


A Memoir written in Rouen in 1721 expresses succinctly what Saint 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 of the Christian Schools 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.

With a vibrant focus on five core Lasallian principles, the Brothers continued to grow strong:

  1. Faith in the Presence of God, God is living and present in our world
  2. Concern for the Poor and Social Justice, with a call to respond to the needs of others
  3. Respect for All Persons, the heart of acknowledging all as children of God
  4. Quality Education, prepares students for college, career, and life
  5. Inclusive Community, a united community where everyone finds a place

Today, the La Salle Christian Brothers and lay Lasallian Partners minister to more than 900,000 students in 80 countries. 

More information can be found at www.cbmidwest.org or www.lasalle.org