June 19 – REVIVAL IN SOUTHERN FRANCE
REVIVAL IN SOUTHERN FRANCE
In the wake of secularisation in 1903 all the schools run by the French Southern Province had been abolished, as well as most of those run by the French Central Province. Their modest revival began in 1911 with the promise on 19 June to send Brothers to Livinhac-le-Haut (Aveyron) when term was due to begin in October. When choosing to make this first foundation in the very Catholic diocese of Rodez, the authorities of the Congregation were hoping to arouse vocations there. The Brothers took charge of other schools in Aveyron in 1912 (Entraygues) and 1913 (Aubin-les-Mines). However, the First World War put an end to this because the Brothers working in these schools were called up. These three schools were closed in 1914: the one at Livinhac was closed for good, the one at Aubin was closed for the duration of the war – out of the four Brothers working there, three were killed in action – and the one at Entraygues was closed until 1931.
The year 1919 saw the Brothers taking charge of two schools; this enabled the two old Provinces now called Central France-and-Spain and Southern-France-and-Italy, to depend on a solid basis in their French territory.
The French Southern Province revived in Marseilles with the fast-growing school for the deaf and dumb and for the blind. The French Central Province started again with StMartin’s School at Ussel, which also housed juniors. In 1924 they moved to the estate of Theil, on the outskirts of the town, and a novitiate was added to the juniorate.
Then, due to various circumstances, the houses of formation had to move repeatedly. In 1931 the novices moved from Theil to La Peyrouse, which the Congregation had just acquired. When the lease of Theil expired in 1937 the juniors took refuge at Tauves, then Bagnols, before taking the place of the novices at La Peyrouse who moved temporarily to Montalier and finally returned to La Peyrouse after two years.
In the French Southern Province a juniorate which had been opened in 1930 in an annexe of the school at Sommieres run by priests, was closed in 1937, then it moved to Chateauneuf-de-Randon, then to Nant two years later.
The French Southern Province opened a school at Greasque, in 1930, another at Camares-sur-Dourdan in 1938 and another at Luc tlie same year. The Province of Central France opened one at Egletons in 1937. In 1935, when the Province of Spain was set up, the French Central Province extends only in France. In 1940 it merged with the French part of the Province of South-and-Italy and was called the Province of Central-and-Southern France which existed until 1958. Later it became part of the Province of West-and-Vendee.