August 3 – HIGHER STUDIES
In the Institute, Br. Cyprien, future Provincial of Midi, was the first Brother to pass his higher certificate in secondary education on 24 October 1882, and Br. Sebastien, future Superior General, the first to obtain the Bachelor’s degree on 3rd August 1889. Diplomas in Higher Education would come later. When in 1908 Br. Anastase, another future Superior General, holding a Bachelor’s since two years before, requested to be enrolled at the Sorbonne university, he was refused permission. But in 1923, Br. Jean Sabin at Saint-Laurent obtained the permission to prepare for a M.A in Mathematics. He was the first Brother in the Institute to get this degree.
The licentiates (in English-speaking countries it is the B. A. or ‘Bachelor of Arts’) were many in the 1960s, in all the Provinces, often followed by the Master’s (or A.: ‘Master of Arts’). The subjects for this latter were varied: philosophy (God’s existence), literature (Du Bos, Sophocle, Tommaso Marinetti, Senghor, Theresa of Avila), cinema (the suspense), history (separation between the Church and the State in France, franco-siamese relations, Cesare Balbo, the Ngbandi), linguistis education (the pedagogical counsellor, the documentation centre, self realisation, education in the 17th century, the African child, the Congolese child), religious sciences (religious education of the child, the Canadian liturgical renewal, the catechesis of children in Gabon, religious inculturation in Africa, Christian spirituality in India on the Gandhian model, a Catholic school in the mission context, the Gospel as catechetical tool, Karl Rahner), etc.
The equivalent of the Master’s for teachers of the deaf and the blind was CAP 2nd degree, which many Brothers in France did with success (on freeing dumbness, partial deafness, teaching language to the hearing impaired, pre-school education of blind children, the educational situation of young blind persons).
Last stage of higher studies: doctorate of the 3rd cycle and State doctorate (or Ph. D.: “Philosophiae Doctor”). Without sounding exhaustive, we can say that the Brothers chose subjects for theses from all domains: philosophy (Descartes),.literature (Peguy, Claude!, Black-African novel), education (the Brother educators of Quebec from 1920 to 1960, alcohol use among the youth), linguistics (problems of language for the Church in the West), Mathematics (linguistic mathematics, analysis of data), theology (on religious hymns of Prudence; on Mark’s verse: “Who is my mother?”; in on Wisdom; on the Trinity).
While in former times doctorates were taken in Europe and Canada, today they are many in Thailand and India, especially in counselling (psychological accompany ment), in management and in school pastoral.
Montfort has inspired a doctoral thesis (obedience in his spirituality) and especially many memoirs: his educational work, his missionary catechesis, his rapport with popular religion, the scriptural basis of his spirituality, his obedience, his poverty, Mary in his canticles, etc.