Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Brothers of Saint Gabriel

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 6
Brothers of Saint Gabriel

by Francesca Maria Steele


The Congregation of the Brothers of Christian Instruction of St. Gabriel was originally founded by St. Louis Grignon de Montfort in 1705, but it did not spread much till it was amalgamated with one founded in 1835 by Monsignor Deshayes. Vicar-General of Rennes. It took the anomalous title of the Brothers of St. Gabriel; because the first chapel of the congregation was dedicated to St. Gabriel; this was at Boulogne. The object of the congregation is the Christian education of the young and also of the blind, the deaf, dumb, and the care and education or orphans. The members take no vows, but after making a novitiate of three years they promise to obey the superior and to devote themselves to the works of their institute; they are generally men of sufficient means to support themselves. They are governed by a superior elected by the votes of the whole community for three years: he is assisted by four counsellors elected in the same way. The congregation in 1851 had as many as ninety-one houses mostly in France and in the Diocese of Frankfort in Germany. Later it had 122 schools in France besides two for the blind and eight for the deaf-mutes. The French mother-house was at St. Laurent-sur-Sevre in Vendée: in 1880 it had 790 members. Recent statistics give the congregation 170 schools and colleges, eight asylums for the deaf and dumb, three for the blind, and several homes for orphans. The novitiate for Canada is a Sault-au-Recollet near Montreal. The brothers have a college at Montreal and four schools in the archdiocese, besides three schools in the Diocese of Three Rivers and one at St. Ours in the Diocese of St. Hyacinth.

Francesca M. Steele.