The Presentation Brothers are a congregation of men who consecrate their lives to the education of youth and conduct schools and colleges in various parts of the world.
The Brothers are not priests, they do not marry, and they are governed by a Superior General and Council, elected every six years according to Rules and Constitutions approved by the Catholic Church's Sacred Congregation for Religion in Rome.
A layman, Edmund Rice, founded the congregation in the early nineteenth century. Mr. Rice was initially a businessman. After the death of his wife he considered becoming a priest, but after much thought and reflection, he decided to devote the remainder of his life and his material goods to the education of youth.
The Catholic people of the colonial Ireland of Mr. Rice's day, were very poor and little education was available to Irish youth. Mr. Rice saw education as the key to a better way of life, the way to instill Christian values to build up in youth a sense of personal dignity, to enable them to face life with courage and confidence.
Mr Rice's early efforts were met with frustration, but he was a man of strong faith and courage. He did not give up. He realized that if he were to succeed he needed to gather around him a group of men who were prepared to dedicate themselves to the education of youth, with little hope of any monetary or earthly rewards. The great motivating force was to be a religious one - love of God, and love and concern for youth.
Inspired by his example and dedication, others joined him and after some time they became a religious Congregation, officially sanctioned by the Church and known as the Brothers in Ireland.
As their numbers grew, their work spread to other lands. Today the twin Congregations founded by Mr. Rice (the Presentation Brothers and the Christian Brothers of Ireland), serve in many countries in five of the seven continents. In the Caribbean, the Presentation Brothers operate colleges in San Fernando and in Chaguanas in Trinidad; in St. John, Barbados; in St. Lucia, and in St. George's, Grenada.