The Pioneering Irish Christian Brothers

Dr. Goethal’s initiative

In 1886 Dr. Goethals  visited Rome and then Dublin. He had a letter from the  Cardinal Prefect of Propoganda requesting  the Superior  General of the Irish Christian Brothers to send Irish Brothers to India to help the Calcutta Brothers in their mission.

When Archbishop Goethals visited Dublin, he found the Christian Brothers were holding a General Chapter.

The Superior General at the time-Anthony Maxwell decided to send his second Assistant to India to examine the feasibility of the  request made by the Cardinal Prefect

Report of the Second Assistant

Since it began, 66 had joined the congregation over the years.

Of these 66, 30 were Irish, 26 were Anglo Indians, 7 were English and 3 were Scots.

Of the 66, 38 left, 9 died and 19 remained as members.

Of the 18, (one left before the Irish Brothers came to India),15 were brought up in the orphanage.

The Brothers were very committed to  their apostolate but all was not well in the communities

Negotiations with the Archbishop

In his report on the Finances of the orphanages,  Br. Joseph Butler found that the Brothers could not make both ends meet and suggested to the Archbishop that he meet the deficit that the Brothers incurred.

The Archbishop said that this was not possible but instead offered to hand over to them the former Jesuit Theologate in Asansol that could be run as a school

Br. Butler in his report said that the Brothers were zealous and thoroughly devoted to their school duties. The Brothers schools rank among the best in Eastern Bengal.

However Br. Butler hinted in his report that all was not well in the communities