The Brothers of Saint Patrick, popularly known in most countries as the Patrician Brothers, is a Roman Catholic Religious Congregation founded by Bishop Daniel Delany in Tullow, Ireland, on Tuesday the 2nd February, 1808.
Bishop Delany founded the Brothers to educate the boys of his diocese in the faith and traditions of the Catholic Church. Under British rule for several centuries, the Catholic faith in Ireland had been suppressed by the British and thus near forgotten by the Irish.
From this small Irish town, the Brothers reached out to every corner of Ireland and eventually to every corner of the globe. From Galway to Los Angeles, from Aitape to Chennai, from Dormaa to Sydney, the Brothers travelled with their primary message Christus in Corde Omnium: Christ is in all people and in all of His creation.
We Patricians, inspired by the life of Jesus Christ, rise to proclaim His option for the poor.We hold all of creation to be holy and worthy of reverence. Its song of praise is spoiled only by sin. We dedicate ourselves to restore right relationships to our world by compassion and action for justice.
Like Daniel Delany, we refuse to separate our faith from life. Through life-giving Brotherhood and prayer, we strive for a union of hearts and minds which will transform us and lead us to witness and service. We set ourselves firmly against whatever may cause injustice. We tend to the marginalized and in so doing, glorify our Creator-God.
We resolve to carry forward the enduring educational initiatives of our forebears and the newer ministries of our apostolate. But we will test them all, for their benefit to the poor and for justice’ sake. Wherever we are, we will promote wholeness, welcome and self-worth.
As the future unfolds, our hope remains secure. Because our call is for service, we are ready to venture, risk, even fail, that some good might take hold, that some hope might be shared and that the poor might have their voices heard.
Daniel Delany was born in Paddock, a small village in central Ireland, in 1747. His parents were relatively well-to- do but when his father died Mrs Elizabeth Delany agreed to have young Daniel spend the rest of his childhood with his two aunts in the nearby village of Mountrath. It was here that Daniel received his elementary education. It was here too that the parish priest, Father Denis Lawlor, influenced Daniel's decision to enter the priesthood.
The public practice of the Catholic Faith in Ireland was outlawed by British Law during these times. Therefore, Daniel was smuggled out of Ireland to France in order to receive his priestly education. After excelling in his studies, Daniel was ordained a priest in 1770. He then spent some six years as a lecturer at St. Omer, France, until his return to Ireland in 1776.
On his returned to his native land he found that the condition of the Catholics had worsened considerably during his absence. Poverty and hunger had turned the country into a land of misery and lawlessness. Drunkeness, fighting, and the lack of religious observance in a Catholic country helped him to decide to return to France. Only the pleas of his mother kept him in his native Ireland.
Father Delany took up his duties as assistant priest in the parish of Tullow. A small village 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Dublin. His work with the people of Tullow made him realise that the cause of much of the evil of the day was the lack of education among the people. Determined that the Irish Catholics deserved better, he started Sunday schools for the children of his parish. In these classes, Father Delany taught the children Catholic doctrine.
Naturally Father Delany needed help to get his catechetical program properly established. Therefore he gathered around him the better educated adults of nearby townships to be catechists. However, he could never rely on having the necessary number of teachers for this task. This was a problem that he solved only in the latter years of his life.
In 1783, at the young age of thirty-six, Father Delany was consecrated a Bishop, and three years later he became the Bishop of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. As Bishop, Daniel Delany did much to better the conditions under which the people of his diocese lived.
After organising many public religious functions which were still illegal under British law. Bishop Delany finally took steps to secure for his Sunday schools a reliable source of catechists: he founded two religious congregations. On February 1st, 1807, he received the first women to start the Sisters of Saint Brigid (Brigidines). A year later on February 2nd, he received four men to start the Brothers of Saint Patrick (Patricians).
For the remaining six years of his life, Bishop Delany helped the Sisters and Brothers in the education of the young of his diocese. He helped them to live the religious life, frequently said Mass for them, and spent many hours in conversation with them. Bishop Delany died in 1814. His remains were buried in the Tullow church.
The Congregation of the Brothers of St. Patrick, was founded by Bishop Daniel Delany in the year 1808. The Congregation derives its name from the Great Apostle of Ireland, St Patrick, who in his time fought ignorance, injustice, wickedness and immorality, just as our founder did in his own time. The founder realized that the root of universal demoralization was ignorance and hence, he began to impart moral education. He had in mind the religious, moral and literary education of children in schools..
The Brothers came to India in 1875 and took charge of a large Anglo-Indian School. This seed has grown into a large tree spreading its branches to various parts of the country, producing thousands of eminent men and women, who have contributed and continue to contribute to the country in various capacities.
In our commitment to serve people, we find our primary inspiration in the life and teachings of JESUS CHRIST. We experience anxiety in this period of rapid change, as we are beckoned beyond the bounds of safe securities. However, like the founding Patricians, we will step forward in faith with the courage of our convictions and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT: Our apostolic endeavors are inspired and nurtured by the Good News of Jesus Christ.