Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools

From Academic Kids

The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools is a Roman Catholic religious teaching order, founded by John Baptist de la Salle, born in 1651 in Reims, France. De La Salle was a canon of the cathedral and came from a wealthy family. He had the idea of setting up free schools where the children of the working class and the poor could learn reading, writing and arithmetic. They would also receive religious instruction, and other training appropriate for forming good Christian citizens.

To this end, he brought together a group of men to live in community and conduct the schools. He is credited with establishing a regimen of education which emphasized the good of the student, banning corporal punishment from their institutions. The founding of the order is generally dated to 1680. It was the first religious community of men in the Catholic Church not to include clergy, the Institute being comprised solely of lay brothers who are often called Lasallian Brothers.

Today the order runs schools in 80 different countries, in both developed and poor nations. The community is headed by a Superior General with the assistance of a General Council. As of 2005, the Superior General is Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, FSC, of Costa Rica.

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