Christian Brothers launch bicentenary celebrations

 A number of celebrations are being planned around the world this year, to celebrate the bicentenary of the establishment of the Christian and Presentation Brothers, by Edmund Rice in Waterford in 1802. At the Marino Institute in Dublin, Br Andrew Hickey FPM and Br Edmund Garvey CFC, Congregation Leaders of the Presentation and Christian Brothers announced some of the forthcoming events. Br Daryl Barclay, a Christian Brother from St Patrick's Province Australia who heads the International Bicentennial Committee also took part. The keynote event in the bicentenary calendar will be the 'Share the Vision' international celebration, taking place in Dublin from April 5 - 7. This will see the gathering together of members of the worldwide Edmund Rice Family for three days, to remember the work of those who dedicated their lives to continuing their founder's legacy. A series of workshops will also take place that will explore the many facets of the contemporary work of both congregations and their associates. Cardinal Desmond Connell, Archbishop of Dublin will be principal celebrant at the Bicentennial Eucharist. Speaking at the launch, Br Andrew said the events organised to commemorate the bicentenary would give a boost to those people associated with the Edmund Rice Family. He said: "We hope that our associates, our network of schools and the young people in schools in the trusteeship of the two congregations plumb the depths of what Edmund Rice was about and then give it expression in the culture of our time". Br Edmund expressed his deepest thanks to those people in Ireland and around the world who will commemorate the bicentenary. He said: "I hope and pray that in honouring the vision of Edmund Rice that all who associate themselves with the celebration of 200 years will seek new expressions of that vision as we move to the newness of a third century". Referring to the international dimension of the celebrations, Br Daryl called on those present to remember the many thousands of people around the globe who share in the work of the Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers. He said: "For reasons historical and geographical, today's launch occurs on Irish soil, and rightly so, of course. But let us not forget that in over 30 countries worldwide, the work of Edmund Rice is being carried on as we speak by people of diverse languages, cultures and backgrounds." Among those countries planning bicentenary events are: Zambia, Ghana, England, South Africa, Australia, India, New Zealand and the United States. The Christian Brothers' first foundation outside Ireland was at Preston, England, in 1825. Today there are Brothers' communities in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Sunderland. For further information on the bicentenary contact: Br Daryl Barclay, Bicentenary Co-ordinator, Tel: 01 830 9811; E-mail: Information is also available at

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