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Christian Brothers in WA confirm decision to leave schools

The West Australian newspaper reports this morning that the Christian Brothers "will pull out of all its WA schools" after receiving a directive from its international head that it should no longer be involved in education in Australia.

Today's report claims the Brothers' departure "is not expected to lead to closures, but it could result in big shifts in management style and the sale of some schools".

It correct, it reveals that the Holy Spirit Province (WA/SA) is responding differently to the St Mary's Province (NSW/ACT/PNG).

Deputy leader of the St Mary's Province Br Paul Oakley told the Catholic Weekly that the Congregation won't be "walking away" from its schools in response to the communication from world leader Br Philip Pinto. Br Oakley said the communication was a "suggestion", not a "directive", and the Brothers are spending "a lot of energy" in implementing a new charter for their schools.

The West Australian quotes Holy Spirit Province deputy leader Br Dean McGlaughlin's acknowledgement that his Province is leaving the schools. It reports Br McGlaughlin's assessment that the "biggest change would be the handover of capital development and planning power from the Christian Brothers hierarchy to the schools".

International head Br Pinto said Christian Brothers are no longer urgently needed in schools and they would be better off concentrating on missionary work in Asia.

Christian Brothers quit WA schools (The West Australian 16/7/04)
Christian Brother says world head's 'quit schools' missive was not an order (CathNews 15/7/04)
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

16 Jul 2004