Christian Brother says world head's 'quit schools' missive was not an order
Deputy leader of the Christian Brothers for NSW and ACT Br Paul Oakley has told the Catholic Weekly that the Congregation won't be "walking away" from its schools despite a "suggestion" from Rome-based Congregation leader Br Philip Pinto that the brothers switch their energies from schools to the missions in Asia.
Br Oakley blamed the media for reporting Br Pinto's suggestion as a "directive".
He said: "The letter from Br Philip is not a directive, but a suggestion that we look at a new direction in our ministry."
Br Pinto, who will visit Australia this month, told the leader of the Brothers in Western Australia and South Australia that Schools is "generally not the type of ministry that fires the imagination and attracts the idealism and commitment of today's young people." He identified missions in the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia, and work with the marginalised, as "greater areas of need".
Br Oakley said: "Education is central to the work of the Christian Brothers and we won't be walking away from any of our schools."
He told the Catholic Weekly that a charter for Edmund Rice education across the 38 schools in Australia will be implemented over the next year, focusing on what Christian Brothers schools are all about.
"A lot of energy has gone into implementing this charter which will embrace the spirit of Edmund Rice," he said. "Our role in education has changed over the last 40 years and like the rest of our Order's ministry it continues to evolve."
Christian Brothers won't quit schools (Catholic Weekly 18/7/04)
Premier pays tribute to Christian Brothers' schools ministry (CathNews 12/7/04)
Chris McGillion: Christian Brothers tend a wider flock (Sydney Morning Herald 12/7/04)
Christian Brothers world leader signals end of schools ministry (CathNews 8/7/04)
The Philippines brief to Brs Rod Ellyard and Steve McLaughlin (Edmund Rice Network News July 2004)
Edmund Rice Network News
Brothers seek 'spiritual accountability' in youth programs (CathNews 20/2/04)
Edmund Rice Network throughout Australia - Peter Nicholson (Feb 03)
The Christian Brothers in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea
Edmund Rice Online
Christian Brothers Congregational Leadership Team
15 Jul 2004