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Marist Brothers 140 years in Africa

09/11/2007: South Africa

Anyone familiar with the life of St Marcellin would know that towards the end of his life he sent some Brothers out to the “South Seas” (the Pacific Ocean) to accompany the Marist Fathers on their first great mission assignment. These Marist Brothers, formed at the Hermitage, however, were not destined to found schools, but to assist the priests in the evangelisation of the island people. The sending of Brothers outside of Europe to assist the Marist Fathers in this way continued for only a few years after the death of Father Champagnat. It was to the southern tip of Africa that the Brothers were first sent outside of Europe on mission to found a school.

With the willing collaboration of the authorities concerned, the Brothers have seen to the erection of a plaque commemorating the first Marist school outside of Europe.
A short ceremony of unveiling and blessing was held at the site on Wednesday 31 October. Highlight of the occasion was the presence of former pupils and teachers of the school to reminisce about their time at the former school. An unexpected boon was the arrival of the Archbishop Lawrence Henry of Cape Town to add his blessing to that of the Father Stan Botha.
A brief history of the school and the text of the plaque can be found in the programme for the ceremony.

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