Our Founder

Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice, CFC (1 June 1762 – 29 August 1844), is the founder of two religious institutes of religious brothers: the Congregation of Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers.

Edmund was born in Ireland at a time when Catholics faced oppression under Penal Laws enforced by the British authorities. He forged a successful career in business and, after an accident which killed his wife and left his daughter disabled and with learning difficulties, thereafter devoted his life to education of the poor.

After settling his business affairs in 1802, Edmund devoted his life to prayer and charitable work, particularly with the poor and marginalized of Waterford. In 1802, when he established a makeshift school in a converted stable in New Street, Waterford, he found the children were so difficult to manage that the teachers resigned. This prompted him to sell his thriving business and devote himself to training teachers who would dedicate their lives to prayers and to teaching the children.

Today, the Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers schools around the world continue to follow the traditions established by Edmund Rice.

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