Christian Brothers announce major changes in Oceania...
The Christian Brothers have been engaged in a long process internationally of reassessing their mission in the wake of the profound changes that have been taking place in the world, and in the Church over recent decades.
As one of the major teaching orders of the Church they played a profound part throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries in educating Catholics and giving them "a fair go" in important parts of the Western world, including the countries that make up Oceania. Thanks to their work Catholics today largely take their place as equals with all other citizens in the countries where the Christian Brothers had influence. Their principal work as teachers has today largely been taken over by lay people and recently, in Oceania they handed over management of their remaining schools to lay trustees.
The work of the brothers has not ceased though. They have now refocused their attention to "being brother" to the disadvantaged in less developed regions of the world and to those who have "fallen between the cracks" in Western countries such as our own.
With fewer vocations to the celibate life, the brothers have been engaged in a long process of discernment over the last decade charting a new future. This has already led to amalgamations of provinces in North America and other parts of the world. Today the Brothers announced the new leadership team which will take the Brothers forward in the new Province of Oceania.
In a media release announcing the changes today the Christian Brothers gave an overview of their present work. In Oceania today the Brothers have over 60 separate ministries which include:
The new Oceania Province will formally come into being on 1st October 2007.
The Christian Brothers are present in 27 countries worldwide and the Oceania province, including its outreaches in the Philippines and Africa, consists of some 450 Brothers and over 4,000 employees and volunteers.
©2007 Brian Coyne/Vias Tuas Communications