A congregation founded in 1820 at Lyons, France, by Father C.M. Bochard, Doctor of the Sorbonne, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Lyons. Father Bochard was the first superior general (1820-34). He had as successors the Rev. Father Corsiain (1834-65) and the Rev. Father Bernard (1865-74). Until then the direction of the principal houses was entrusted to Fathers who were members of the congregation. In 1873 Bishop Richard of Belley, afterwards ( Cardinal and Archbishop of Paris, employed the Fathers as parish priests and the congregation was henceforward composed of Brothers only. The superiors general from this epoch, have been the Reverend Bros. Pierre-Joseph (1873-85), Lucien (1885-98), and Firmin (1898--).
The name of the congregation indicates its distinctive spirit. It grew during the nineteenth century in eastern France and in Switzerland, until the persecution of 1903, which destroyed nearly all its establishments. Brother Firmin, Superior General, sent Brother Evariste with 32 religious to establish a province in North America, under the patronage of the Right Rev. A. A Blais, Bishop of Rimouski, Canada. The institution, incorporated in Canada by a bill of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec (May, 1905), possesses at Rimouski, a "house of formation" novitiate and scholasticate), where the young members of the congregation are taught all the high-school branches and the commercial courses both English and French. At the request of the Most Rev. L.P.A. Langevin, Arcbishop of St. Boniface, Manitoba, the institution has opened, since 1904, the colleges of St-Jean-Baptiste and of St-Pierre, Joly, Manitoba.
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