Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploërmel

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Sometimes called La Mennais Brothers (Institutum Fratrum Instructionis Christianae de Ploërmel, FIC); Official Catholic Directory #0320; a religious congregation with papal approval (1891, 1910) that emerged from the union in 1820 of a group in Brittany founded by Gabriel deshayes in 1816 at Auray with another started by Jean de la mennais in 1819 at St. Brieuc. La Mennais administered the congregation until his death (1860), when the direction passed to a superior general and six assistants. The original apostolate of teaching in elementary schools was later extended to include agricultural, commercial, and nautical education. Secondary education was undertaken, and eventually college instruction. Missions were undertaken by 1837. The first school in the U.S. opened in Plattsburgh, NY (1903). Twenty brothers assisted the Jesuits in their work on the Native American reservations of Idaho, Montana, and Alaska from 1903 to 1910. In 1946 a separate American province was organized with headquarters at Alfred, Maine. The generalate is in Rome.

Bibliography: a. p. laveille, Jean-Marie de La Mennais, 17801860, 2 v. (Paris 1903). h. c. rulon and p. friot, Un Siècle de pédagogie dans les écoles primaires, 18201940 (Paris 1962).

[e. g. drouin/eds.]

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Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploërmel

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