Christian Education, Religious of
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, RELIGIOUS OF
(Abbreviation: RCE, Official Catholic Directory #3410), a congregation of sisters following the Rule of St. Augustine. They were founded in 1817 by Louis François Martin Lafosse (1772–1839) to work for the restoration of the Catholic faith in Échauffour, Normandy, a small parish ruined during the French Revolution. The community began with four religious who dedicated themselves to Christian education, especially in primary and secondary schools. Success at Échauffour and extension of the mission to neighboring parishes necessitated revision of the original constitutions. Subsequent petition for establishment as a papal institute was granted by Rome in 1893, and final approval of the constitutions came in 1931. Civic approbation of the work of the congregation, an early instance of which was the invitation of the government to found a teacher's college in France in 1838, encouraged steady expansion, but the hostile policies of a later anticlerical government (1903) caused withdrawal to houses already established in England (1889) and Belgium (1902). In 1905 the sisters began their mission in the U.S. The U.S. provincial headquarters is located in Milton, MA. The generalate is in France.
[a. m. mcnamara/eds.]