The Baltimore Venture
It was on the 9th of February, 1846, that the Brothers were amazed when they received a letter from America. They were even more amazed when they read the letter and found that a Reverend James Dolan, pastor of Baltimore in the State of Maryland, was asking them to take over an orphanage school for boys in his parish.
The Brothers saw this as a call from God, but they were not sure how they could possibly respond to it: Brothers were far and few between. However the fledgeling communities of Tullow, Mountrath, and Galway, were prepared to tighten their belts even further and to find the necessary Brothers. By late March of 1846 the Brothers were able to tell Father Dolan that they were coming - the Patrician community had taken its first steps to an overseas establishment.
After a few set-backs and a rejection of another American invitation, three Brothers sailed from Liverpool, England, to America on the 12th of August, 1846. By September the three Brothers "were hard at work, seeking to cope with the task of providing a religious, literary, industrial and agricultural education for more than thirty Catholic orphans" (Fire-Tried Gold, Br Linus Walker, page 147).)
Unfortunately the endeavour was not to succeed: the Brothers found that their literary training did not prepare them for the industrial/agricultural demands of the educational system within the orphanage. The Brothers remained in Baltimore but taught in a literary school where they were soon approached by young men seeking to join them.
Nashville, Tennessee - The Hope
With the apparent consolidation in Baltimore, the Brothers in America decided to take on another school in Nashville. Unfortunately by 1850 it was obvious that the Nashville filiation was not going to succeed. Baltimore remained the only Patrician filiation on America, but only for a few more years despite extra Brothers being sent from Ireland. The Brothers had soon to accept the failure of this first attempt at an American settlement.
The American Venture Revisited
None would say that we have a very clear understanding of what exactly took place during the Brothers’ time in Baltimore and Nashville. To remove some more of the mist American resident and once Patrician Pat De Mendoza has spent some time over the past few years peering into that mist to see what can better be discerned. Thanks, Pat. Click on the graphic above to see what Pat has discovered for us. (Photo: Pat and Jean De Mendoza Patrician Affiliates)
The Californian Settlement
St. Monica's High School - Santa Monica (1948-1977)
The Brothers had to obtain visas from the American Legation at Merrion Square in Dublin. They were interviewed by the American vice Consul and presented their visas. On August 21, 1948, they left Cobh on board the SS Washington and arrived in New York on August 27th. After spending a few days in the rectory of St. Matthew’s Church, they left by train for Los Angeles on August 31st. The heat was oppressive and the Brothers finally arrived in Los Angeles on September 3rd. They were met by Msgr. Connelly and Father Fogarty, pastor of St. Brendan’s and Father Michael O’Callaghan. Both priests had been students of the Patricians in Ireland.
The Brothers started teaching at St. Monica's High School on Monday, September 13, 1948.
A new building was opened in September 1958 with an enrollment of 400 boys. Brother Evaristus was Dean of Boys and Brother Romuald was Athletic Director. Brother Aquinas organized the California Scholastic Federation for the school.
In 1977, the Brothers long association with the school came to an end.
St. Bernard High School – Westchester (1958-1961)
Southern California experienced unprecedented growth during the late 1950’s and 1960’s. Over 60,000 people per day were making the State their new home. This growth required opening new Catholic elementary and high schools. A new high school was planned for the area surrounding the Los Angeles airport.
Work on St. Bernard’s High School progressed and on September 22, 1958 225 boys and 220 girls started classes in the new building. Cardinal McIntyre requested the Brothers staff a new high school in Glendale, and the Brothers left St. Bernard’s at the end of the 1961 school year.
Pater Noster Community - Los Angeles (1961-1991)
Discussions were held during 1960 and the Diocese Chancery Office suggested the Brothers staff a new all Boys high school being completed in Los Angeles. After much deliberation, it was decided to withdraw from St. Bernard’s and take over the new school. In September 1960, Brother Hilary was transferred as Superior to the new community. The school known as Pater Noster High School was located in a five story building that had been a hosiery factory. This school was closed in 1991.
Mater Dei High School (1953-2005)
Mater Dei High School was established in 1949 as a Diocesan school to serve Orange County. The school was built on a 20 acre sight in Santa Ana and was originally intended as a school to be conducted by the Sisters of Charity.
In 1953, the Brothers were invited to join the faculty of Mater Dei. Brothers Livinus, Ignatius and Thomas (just arrived from Ireland) pioneered the second foundation in California. The Brothers taught at Mater Dei from 1953 to 2005.
Midway City Novitiate
The chapel was dedicated by Bishop Manning on February 12, 1966.
Present Patrician Locations in U.S.A.
1. Midway City
Midway City and Glendale are 50kms (30 miles) apart1. The population of the state of California is more than 39 million. It has a total area of 2,000 square miles (5180 square kms.)
1949 Staff - Brothers on farm - Novitiate in 1961 - Br Joseph, 2010 - Ron Knowles & Br Mathew (sitting)
Pater Noster - Mater Dei - Midway City monastery & chapel