March 1 – THE DIRECTION OF STUDIES
THE DIRECTION OF STUDIES
The first Superior General to put in place a means for facilitating the studies of the Brothers was Br. Eugene-Marie. In 1864, two years after his first election, he set up a Programme of studies consisting of five parts: Christian life, religious life, education, instruction and practical life. Each part by itself had four degrees, the first two being required to appear for the elementary school teacher’s certificate. On the whole it was prepared by the First Assistant, Rev. Brother Jeremie, who was already in charge of the examinations of the Brothers since 1848 and who was just appointed as master of studies.
The Direction of studies,_s_tarted_by Br. Hubert, prQlonged the Programme_Qf studies. It published, starting from 1st March 1891, a monthly review giving exercises and corrected homeworks. To ask for exemption from this correspondence course without reason was enough to be barred from perpetual vows. The Direction of studies prepared the Brothers for the elementary school teacher’s certificate, the higher certificate and the Bachelor’s. For young Brothers who did not have official examinations in view, it organised compulsory studies, and they had to take the exam before the annual retreat. Between 1891 and 1898, it awarded 1989 certificates. It concerned all subjects: religion, pedagogy, literature, history and geography, mathematics, physics, natural sciences, drawing, languages (English, German, Italian, Spanish).
The 27th and last issue of this bulletin was dated 1st July 1901. The Direction of studies resurrected from its ashes in various Provinces:
– in Belgium, from 1st October 1910 to 1st May 1914, with compulsory study of Flemish;
– in Spain, from January 1913 to April 1914, with compulsory study of Spanish for Brothers coming from France;
– in Canada, from 1st October 1919 until1956;
– in France, once again, from 25 September 1935 until the Second World War;
– in India, from 1951 to 1964, a religious studies programme stretched over 7 years.