February 20 – THE PROVINCE OF SOUTHERN FRANCE
THE PROVINCE OF SOUTHERN FRANCE
The Province of Southern France was set up in 1852. Its organisation started from two places, Lorgues and Les Mees, which gave their names to two Districts. One was entrusted to Br. Louis de Gonzague and the other to Br. Eugene-Marie from 1852 to 1862 before he became Superior General.
The District of Lorgues had its novitiate in Lorgues itself and included ten or so schools started between 1852 and 1885: at Bargemon, Entrecasteaux, Le Muy, Barjols, Roquebrune, Allauch, Cannes and Saorges. Among these fairly modest schools, the one at Cannes with 600 pupils, stood out.
The District of Les Mees comprised the department of Basses-Alpes (today Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) plus Poussan in Herault and Serres in Hautes-Alpes. To the very old school at Banon (1825) were added those of Mees (1852), Mane (1854), Seyne-les-Alpes (1855) and Oraison (1856), and later on those at Castellane (1874), Sisteron (1874), Forcalquier (1876), Digne (1880).. The department of Basses-Alpes was a notable one in the Institute: it included two novitiates (Les Mees from 1837 to 1839 and from 1852 to 1862, and les Minimes at Mane from 1876 to 1903), a thriving boarding school (St Joseph’s at Mees) and 100 Brothers were born there.
The Province.ofSouthernFrance also included .the.school for the.deafand dumb.— . at Curriere, a charity run by the monks of La Grande Chartreuse (1876); the Jesuit school at Avignon (1878), a school at Berland (1883) and another at La Ruchere in Isere, two in the district of Endoume in Marseilles (1895 and 1896), three in Herault: one at Bassan (1893), one at Marseillan (1895) and one at Thezan-les-Beziers (1898); the orphanage ofLerins Abbaye (1898) and the Jesuit school in Monaco (1902).
The Brothers stayed in the last school, which did not come under the French law, until 1910. They had to withdraw from all the others without exception in 1903. Thus ended a beautiful Province which after being governed by Br. Louis de Gonzague for 38 ye rs, was governed by Provincials . for short periods: Br. Adalbert (1890-1896), Br. Aristide (1896-1898), and Br. Cyprien (1898- 1903), who afterwards expanded the Province of Italy