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Christian Brothers - Provinces

Spread of Brothers

The Congregation is divided into a number of geographical areas:

Africa Province


Christian Brothers from Ireland first came to the African continent at Kimberley in 1897. The Vice-Province of South Africa was constituted in 1950. In 1954 the Vice-Province extended into Zimbabwe when a house was opened in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and in 1966, the Province of Southern Africa [St Joseph's] was established.

American Christian Brothers arrived in Mazabuka, Zambia [then Northern Rhodesia] in 1964. In 1967 Brothers from Ireland came to Zambia to replace the American Brothers. The Zambian Region [Mater Dei] was formally constituted in 1984.

In 1969 Brothers from England opened a mission in Liberia and in 1985 in Sierra Leone. The Region of West Africa was constituted in 1994.

The Gambia became an Area with the arrival there of Brothers from India in 1988.

East Africa became an Area with the arrival of Brothers from Australia in Tanzania in 1988 and then in 1991 in Kenya.

Separate houses, initially under the jurisdiction of the CLT opened in Khartoum, Sudan [1988] and Yambio, South Sudan [1993]. In 2000, South Sudan became the responsibility of the Area of East Africa. Namibia was established in 1996 as an extra-Region house of the English Province.

Pan-African Formation Houses were established at Lusaka, Zambia [International Spirituality Centre, in partnership with the Presentation Sisters] 1997; at Tamale, Ghana [Paul Noonan Formation Centre] 2001; at Nairobi [House of Studies] 2003; Greenpoint, South Africa [2006] and Stellenbosch, South Africa [2007].


Early attempts to provide coordination of the Christian Brothers Mission across Africa saw the establishment of the biennial Pan-African Conference in 1989 and the Pan-African Commission [meeting annually]1991.

These two forums were supplanted by the Pan-African Leaders Conference [meeting annually] in 1996. This latter group consisted of the Leaders of the five separate entities [i.e. one Province, two Regions, two Areas], together with a member of the CLT and the Leaders of the sponsoring Provinces in Ireland [SMI and SHI], England and Australia [SPA].

In 2001, a decision was taken that this larger grouping would no longer meet but rather the five African Leaders, together with a member of the CLT, would meet twice a year.

The previous administrative entities within Africa, namely the Province of Southern Africa, the Regions of Zambia and West Africa and the Areas of East Africa and the Gambia, were reconstituted into four Districts of equal status in 2004 - namely Southern Africa [South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia]; Zambia; East Africa [Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan]; and West Africa [the Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia].

North America Province

Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America

Web: www.ercbna.org

Latin America Region

Web: edmundorice.net

European Province

Christian Brothers' Province Centre


The Feast of Blessed Edmund, Saturday May 5th, 2007 was the day on which the new European Province of the Christian Brothers in Europe came into existence. At a special ceremony in Marino on that day the new Leadership Team was installed. This event celebrated not only the inauguration of the new team but the birth of the new province.

Restructuring is happening worldwide across the Congregation at this time. From January 2005 onwards Africa was restructured into four districts, East, West, Southern Africa and Zambia, all under an African Province Leadership Team. In July 2005, the two American and Canadian provinces united to form one North American Province, of which the Latin American Region is part.

Province Celebrations
The three provinces, St. Helen's and St. Mary's, Ireland and St. Mary's, England have ceased to exist as administrative regions within the Congregation. All three held Province Gatherings to celebrate the life of their Province and to mark the transition to the new Province. St. Mary's, Ireland came together at Emmaus, Dublin on February 3rd, 2007. The Brothers of St. Helen's gathered for a two-day event, April 2nd and 3rd, at their old novitiate, St. Helen's, Booterstown, now the Radisson Hotel. In England, the Brothers gathered at Hale Barns in Altrincham on March 31st to remember and celebrate the past. For the Brothers of each Province it was a time to let go and to embrace the new

Eighty Years of Life
The Irish Province first came into existence in 1923 and was named St. Helen's. St. Mary's Province, England was founded in 1945. By the mid-fifties the Irish Province had grown to such an extent that it was necessary for it to be divided into two for administrative purposes. That division came in 1956 with the creation of a second Irish Province. A line from Galway to the centre of Dublin city divided the country, with St. Mary's on the northern half and St. Helen's on the southern side.

India Province

St Joseph's Province Centre
c/o St Columba's School
Ashok Place
New Delhi
Delhi 110 001
Phone +91 11 2374 7637
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Oceania Province

Christian Brothers Province Centre

Web: edmundrice.org


The Oceania Province of the Christian Brothers commenced on 1 October 2007 and comprises the four former provinces of the order in Australia; the former New Zealand province; and the regions of Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. It also covers East Timor and the Cook Islands.

Like the brothers and the members of the wider Edmund Rice Network who gathered in India for the 30th Congregation Chapter, the Oceania Leadership Team recognises that the establishment of our new Province is a dynamic process in which "the Spirit enters our lives to unsettle us, to encourage us to leap into the Mystery of God".

Mission Statement

Faithful to the call of Jesus
and inspired by Edmund Rice,
we, living in solidarity with the whole earth community,
and walking with those whom society has marginalised,
particularly young people,
proclaim liberation and justice for all creation.