BLESSED EDMUND RICE
The culture and leadership of St. Kevin's College is deeply influenced by the Christian Brothers, who founded the school in 1927.
The Christian Brothers of Ireland is a lay religious order of men united in ministry to the poor and marginalized, and devoted to the Christian education of youth. The order was founded by Blessed Edmund Rice, a successful Irish businessman who devoted his life to the education and service of the poor after a tragic accident killed his wife and left his daughter disabled.
Edmund Rice established a makeshift school for poor youth in a converted stable in Waterford Ireland in 1802. He had to fight to open the school, as Ireland's authorities had banned Catholic schools. It was only through the help of some influential friends that Edmund obtained the school licence and opened the school's doors.
He took in the boys everyone else had given up on - the poor, uneducated, and marginalized "quay kids" of Waterford - determined to give them a proper education. He soon found these disadvantaged rough-and-tumble kids had behaviour problems that made them hard to manage, and his first two teachers quickly resigned. He also quickly realized that in order to educate these children, he had to care for their other needs for food, clothing and shelter as well.
Rather than give up in frustration at the difficulty of the task before him, Edmund sold his thriving business and devoted himself to training teachers who would dedicate their lives to prayer and to teaching the children free of charge. Eventually joined by a few men of similar heart and spirit, they worked such a transformation on the youth of Waterford that Edmund soon had requests to open schools in other cities.
In 1808, Edmund and several of his staff took religious vows, and in 1820, The Holy See formally established the Congregation of Christian Brothers. The congregation grew throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century, establishing schools, orphanages and ministries world wide.
Today, there are over two thousand members of the Congregation of Christian Brothers who follow in the footsteps of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice. Christian Brothers are not priests, but lay leaders who witness to Christ and manifest their dedication by taking vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, by living in community and by the observance of the Brothers' rule. They do the work of Jesus Christ who began "to do and to teach."
St Kevin's College and other Christian Brothers schools throughout the world remain committed to these Principles of an Edmund Rice Education:
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