Blessed Edmund Rice founded the Christian Brothers in 1802. His life had led him to explore at a deeper level his experience of religious faith while also reaching out to the neediest in society. He decided to found schools for the education of poor boys. The Christian Brothers have followed and adapted this tradition in more than twenty-six countries throughout the world.
In the developing world, there is still a pressing call to provide education for the poor as a pathway to liberation and human dignity. Nowadays, Brothers also work in townships, villages and slum areas as teachers while also co-ordinating health, social services and adult education among the people of these communities.
In the western world, Brothers still teach in schools and colleges. In more recent times they are engaging in projects for youth, the disadvantaged and migrant peoples. They run centres for spiritual development, educational life centres and adult education.
Christian Brothers today recognise the need to engage in a new spiritual search and in a new search for meaning. There has been a rapid change in the faith and consciousness of people in the twenty-first century. Scientific and religious knowledge are discovering each other in new and creative ways. The challenge today is for education in a new experience of religious meaning and purposefulness in the world.