Christian Brothers amalgamate Oceania provinces

The Christian Brothers have amalgamated their Australian, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand provinces into the new province of Oceania, which includes a new structure to manage the congregation's Australian schools.

To head the new Oceania province, the Congregation Leader of the Christian Brothers in Rome has appointed as Province Leader, Br Vince Duggan, a Christian Brothers statement announces.

According to the statement, the new structure is intended to achieve more efficient administration and to make it easier to expand the work of the Christian Brothers.

As well as the new province headquarters in Brisbane, there will be regional offices in other major cities in Australia as well as in New Zealand and PNG.

In Australia, PNG and New Zealand, the Christian Brothers have been known principally for their work in schools but in more recent decades they have also expanded their work in adult education, social justice activities with refugees, asylum seekers, indigenous people and disadvantaged youth.

To assist Br Duggan in his role, a leadership team consisting of Brs Peter Dowling, Peter Harney, Joe Lauren, Julian McDonald, Dean McGlaughlin and Paul Robertson has also been appointed.

Br Vince said Christian Brothers throughout the region had sought a new structure which affirmed an educational tradition which could grow separately while marshalling resources in an effective way to allow for expansion of work in social justice and other areas.

"This social justice focus is on the poor and marginalised, with special emphasis on care of the young, and the Christian Brothers increasingly work collaboratively with other people in the Edmund Rice network to meet the demand for this type of service," Br Vince said.

A feature of the new organisational structure is separate governance and administration of the Christian Brothers' schools, under the banner of Edmund Rice Education Australia, with leadership of the schools largely of lay people.

The Christian Brothers in Oceania have over 60 separate ministries and among examples of this work.

The new structure will come into operation on 1 October.

The Christian Brothers began in Ireland in 1802, with the Blessed Edmund Rice as founder.

There have been Christian Brothers in Australia since 1842, for three years initially and continuously since 1868, in New Zealand since 1876 and in Papua New Guineas since

A similar restructuring process is also underway in Europe with the Rome-based Congregational Leadership Team and provinces that cover Ireland and England combining to form a single European province.

Christian Brothers establish single Oceania province (CFC Oceania, 22/3/07)
Christian Brothers Oceania Leadership Team (CFC Oceania)
A tribute to the Christian Brothers

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
CFC Oceania
Edmund Rice Oceania
Edmund Rice Centre, Sydney | Edmund Rice Centre for Social Justice, Fremantle

Christian Brothers advance plans for Philippines focus (CathNews, 11/4/05)
Christian Brothers world leader signals end of schools ministry (CathNews, 8/7/04)

26 Mar 2007

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