Sunday, February 2, 2014
Brothers in books
It was 206 years ago to the day, in 1808, that the Society of the Brothers of St Patrick was founded in Tullow, Ireland. Unlike many of the religious orders that were begun around that time, the Patrician Brothers, as they were called, did not concern themselves with bringing the word of God to the masses. They were rather more concerned about helping people figure out such words for themselves, because its founder, the Rt Rev Dr Daniel Delany believed that it was education which caused hope for the future. His followers took this to heart and established such a good reputation in Ireland, that even the British colonies began to take notice.
Madras was the first to go beyond just taking notice. The Bishop of Madras invited the Patrician Brothers to take over the orphanage at Kondi Chetty Street and so three of the members were sent over: Bros. Ignatius Price, Paul Hughes and Fintan Parkinson came to Madras in 1875 and in that year itself, they started the St Patrick's School in Armenian Street. But they did not stop with just that one.
St Michael's Academy is much younger. But it has built up quite a reputation for itself and is today one of the sought after schools in Chennai. Its entrance seems quite cramped, but don't let that fool you. The grounds open up inside and there is quite a bit of space for the children to enjoy their day at school!