RICE HOUSE, Glenorchy Campus
BLESSED EDMUND IGNATIUS RICE, founder of the Christian Brother
Edmund Rice – businessman, husband, father, widower, visionary – founded the religious congregations, the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers, in Ireland.
Edmund was born in Callan, Ireland, on 1 June 1762, into a wealthy Catholic family. He married and a daughter, Mary, who suffered from a physical handicap, was born on the deathbed of Edmund’s wife. Mary was brought up by Edmund with the help of his sister.
Edmund, a successful merchant businessman in Waterford – a millionaire by today’s standards – was a devout Catholic and deeply involved in work for the needy people in the town. Although he considered joining a monastery in Europe, he was persuaded to stay and help the local street kids. He set up a bakery, tailor’s shop and a classroom and, with the help of hired assistants, began to help young boys. His hired assistants soon left because of the hard work but other men volunteered to join him – and so the Presentation Brothers congregation was formed in 1802, with the first vows being taken in 1808. The congregation spread throughout Ireland, but where under the control of the bishop of individual dioceses.
Rice successfully approved for the congregation to become a pontifical congregation with a superior general. However, in the 1820’s more difficulties arose due to the expansion of the group and two distinct congregations emerged: the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers.
Edmund died on 29 August 1844. He was beatified by St Pope John Paul II in October 1996. His feast day is May 5.
Edmund Rice’s main work became education and Christian Brothers have spread throughout the world, working with committed laymen and women in 29 countries in schools and other ministries related to people on the margins.
The Christian Brothers first came to Australia (Sydney) in 1843 and left in 1946 to return, to Melbourne, in 1868. They came to Tasmania in 1911 and established St Virgil’s College, the current site of the GYC Hobart Campus. The Presentation Brothers congregation continues today, but the congregation has not been established in Australia.
Links with GYC:
the CONGREGATION OF CHRISTIAN BROTHERS is a founding congregation of GYC
RICE HOUSE (Glenorchy Campus)
ST VIRGIL’S COLLEGE, Austins Ferry, founded by the Christian Brothers, and now operated by Edmund Rice Education Australia, is one of GYC’s Association Colleges.
MACKILLOP CATHOLIC COLLEGE, Mornington, although a diocesan college from its foundation in 1994, had a Christian Brother as its founding Principal. It is an Association College.
ST JAMES CATHOLIC COLLEGE, at Cygnet, was formed by the amalgamation in 1973 of Lourdes Hill Agricultural College (Christian Brothers) and St Mary’s School (Tasmanian Sisters of St Joseph). St James has been known by its current name since 2009.
Christian Brothers were GYC staff members for a number of years.
A work of today’s Christian Brothers, Edmund Rice Tasmania, is strongly supported by the College, especially through the work of Eddie Rice Camps.
Guilford Young College acknowledges the influence of Edmund Rice through a commitment to helping the marginalised and needy in our community and through supporting Edmund’s vision for young people to receive an education that develops them intellectually and spiritually. The invitation for Guilford Young College is to commit ourselves to this holistic approach with full energy and care for others.