Montforian Education History
The almost three hundred years of Montfortian Education, as inherited and practiced by the Brothers of St. Gabriel is replete with commitments to realize the Montfortian vision in different societies and cultures. The pioneering work of the Brothers in the field of education for the visually and hearing impaired in the post-revolutionary France, under the inspiration of Gabriel Deshayes, has been a contribution of immense value to the world. So also has been their contribution to general, technical and non-formal education. Ever-attentive to the signs of the times, this legacy has been carried on in manifold ways by the Brothers of St. Gabriel all over the world in new and creative ways.
As the 29th General Chapter recalls, “Our history is inspired by the vision and spiritual experience of Montfort, the audacity in mission of Gabriel Deshayes, and the courage of our pioneers. These live on in our own times in a thousand ways, in the remotest villages as in the modern cities, the world over.” Today, they take different forms: “Our traditional mission of education has found renewed expressions of concern for the poor through schools, boarding houses and extension centres; technical schools and training programmes for the unskilled; professional and higher education for the sensory handicapped; educational facilities for girls; orienting our large institutional network to provide logistics and support for concerns of justice and peace, human rights and integrity of creation.” (GC 29, I. No. 1-2)
In more recent times, we have taken new initiatives for greater justice: participation in the struggles with the poor; livelihood and human rights; work with refugees and migrants; support for women in their demand for equity and participation; initiatives among the poor, street children, victims of disasters, mentally and physically handicapped, youth in difficult circumstances.
“We are dedicated to the clear expressions of a preferential option for the poor, the commitment to networking with the Montfortian Family, other religious communities and ecclesial initiatives, lay collaborators, NGOs, socio-political and human rights movements.”(GC 29, No.3)
Thus the transformative experience of Montfortian Education is gathering ever-new dimensions both in terms of its content and its pedagogical method. However, general, technical and special education at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels remain the mainstay of the mission of the Brothers of St. Gabriel even today. The Montfortian Education pays special attention to the signs of our times, not only in our formal Institutions, but also in other spheres of mission.
Montfortian Vision Statement
Montfortian Education has the person in society at its focus. It transforms individuals and communities to be spiritually inspired, respect the community of life, be fraternal in orientation, and just in all relationships. The goal of Montfortian Education is to form enlightened and harmonious persons committed to a just and fraternal world.
Montfortian Mission Statement
Inspired by the mission of Jesus to proclaim the good news to the poor, liberty to captives, sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those who are oppressed (Lk. 4:18-19), Montfortian Education in its different forms is committed to the empowerment of youth, particularly the poor (C 89), and all those struggling for justice (C 92). It seeks transformation and self-realization of the person at the intellectual, moral, spiritual and social levels to be able to contribute to the world in its quest for respect for the community of life, longing for just and fraternal relationships, and attaining sustainable development.