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Christian Brothers Bi-Centennial launched

The bicentenary of the establishment of the Christian and Presentation Brothers by Edmund Rice in Waterford in 1802 will take place this year.

To mark this important anniversary in the history of both congregations a series of events will take place nationwide and internationally throughout 2002 commemorating the work of Edmund Rice and his thousands of successors over the last two hundred years.

The programme of events for 2002 was officially announced by Br Andrew Hickey FPM and Br Edmund Garvey CFC, the Congregation Leaders of the Presentation and Christian Brothers respectively, at a launch event held in the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin this week. Also present at the launch were members of the International Bicentennial Committee who will co-ordinate all events during the bicentenary year, members of both congregations as well as their colleagues, associates and friends.

The Executive Coordinator on the International Bicentennial Committee is Br Daryl Barclay, a Christian Brother from St PatrickÕs Province Australia. Br Barclay took up his position early last year, after completing eight years as principal of St VirgilÕs College in Hobart.

The keynote event in the bicentenary calendar is the ŌShare the VisionÕ international event, which will take place in the RDS from April 5th to 7th. This event will see the coming together of members of the worldwide Edmund Rice Family in Dublin for three days to remember the work of those who dedicated their lives to continuing on the founderÕs 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. The international event will conclude with a celebration of the Bicentennial Eucharist. The principal celebrant will be Cardinal Desmond Connell, Archbishop of Dublin.

Speaking at the launch Br Andrew Hickey said that the events organised to commemorate the bicentenary would give a boost to those people associated with the Edmund Rice Family. "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 Garvey expressed his deepest thanks to those people in Ireland and around the world who will commemorate the bicentenary. "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 Barclay called on those present at the Launch in Dublin to remember the many thousands of people around the globe who share in the work of the Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers. "For reasons historical and geographical, todayÕs launch occurs on Irish soil Š 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.

For further information on the bicentenary contact: Br Daryl Barclay, Bicentenary Co-ordinator, Tel: 01 830 9811; E-mail: Information is also available at