Edmund Rice – the foundation for liberating education
Edmund Ignatius Rice was born in 1762 in Ireland where he received a good education. He created a successful business in the city of Waterford, supplying ships for long journeys. At the age of 23 he married Mary and together they had a daughter. By 1802, he was a wealthy man, and increasingly disturbed with the lot of the poor Irish Catholics.
Thirteen years after his wife died, having provided for his daughter, he sold his business and began a night school for the “Quay” kids of Waterford. Edmund’s first helpers deserted him leaving him desperate, but then two men from his native Callan joined him not only to teach but to help Edmund found a religious order to educate poor boys.
By 1825, Edmund Rice and his team of thirty Christian Brothers were educating, free of charge, 5,500 boys in 12 different towns and cities. Many were then clothed and fed.
Currently, 1,700 Christian Brothers are educators and carers of the poor in twenty-eight countries around the world.
Creed of Edmund’s People
We proclaim …
We believe the God fire burning in our hearts can transform both ourselves and our world.
We believe we are called by God to a deep personal relationship with Jesus, the lover of all creation, as brother.
We believe we are called to be good news people.
We believe we are called to be stewards of creation.
We believe we are called to keep our hearts and minds open and attentive to God’s will.
We believe we are called to witness by prophetic action to our option to the poor, the oppressed, and people at the margins.
We believe we are called to immerse ourselves in the culture in which we live and work.
We believe in community which is prayerful, inclusive and welcoming.
We believe our international brotherhood and sisterhood is a witness to a search for global unity.
We believe it is in facing our own fragility that we can accompany others in theirs.
We believe that by sharing Eucharist and reconciliation that we are drawn beyond ourselves to the mystery of God.
We believe others share the charism of Edmund, and are one with us in living it out.
We hear the call to live justly, love tenderly and to walk humbly with our God.
Edmund Rice Education Australia
Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) is the body of schools, entities and offices offering a Catholic education in the tradition of Blessed Edmund Rice.
EREA schools strive to offer a liberating education, based on a gospel spirituality, within an inclusive community committed to justice and solidarity.
EREA has its own canonical and civil identity but remains closely connected to the Christian Brothers and their ongoing ministry. Schools operate in dioceses with the mandate of the Bishop of the Diocese and work closely with local Diocesan education authorities.
The opportunity for Edmund Rice Education Australia is to reinforce the distinctive values of Edmund Rice Education through a national and unified network of Australian schools and educational entities.