February 27 – THE SCHOOLS FOUNDED BY FATHER DESHAYES
THE SCHOOLS FOUNDED BY FATHER DESHAYES
The school at Lorgues was the last that Fr. Deshayes entrusted to his Brothers. It was the 85th one. This is a large number for a Congregation which numbered barely 100 Brothers when its second founder died. However, while Fr. Deshayes was alive, the Brothers had withdrawn from 35 out of 85 after a comparatively short time (in the case of 20 of them from six months to three years). The foundations were not prepared properly, either by the parish priests who had no financial resources and could not face the costs, or by Fr. Deshayes himself who staffed some schools with Brothers, and as often as not even novices, whose knowledge of teaching was rudimentary. Let us note, by the way, that all the founders of teaching Congregations of that time acted no differently.
Out of the 85 schools, let us set apart the five schools for the deaf and dumb: at Cqartreuse d’Auray, Loudun, Orleans, Lille and Soissons. The 80 primary schools were mainly in the west of France, around Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre (the others were in the south of France).
At the end of the 19th century, 33 of the schools founded by Fr. Deshayes were still running. In 1903 or a few years later, the Brothers were forced to withdraw from 18 of these schools, but three of them were handed back later on.
We publish the list of the schools founded by Fr. Deshayes and which were run by the Brothers for at least 100 years. The figure 108 in brackets after Le Longeron means that when the Brothers withdrew from that school in 1937 they had run it for 108 years, etc..