The Patrician Brothers were founded 200 years ago in Tullow.

Celebrations will be taking place not just in Tullow but around the world where the Patrician Brothers are serving the Gospel – Australia, Ghana, Kenya, India, Papua New Guinea, and the U.S.A.

On Sunday 3rd February, a special Mass took place in Tullow to mark the bicentenary. A further gathering will take place in Tullow on Wednesday 9th July, which will be attended by Patricians from far and near.

Click here for Homily by Mgr Brendan Byrne (3 Feb 2008, Tullow).

The first Brothers

During morning Mass on 2nd February1808, Bishop Daniel Delany gathered four men at Tullow to form the first community of the Brothers of Saint Patrick.

They were a school master who had worked in Tullow for a number of years and three local tradesmen and labourers, one of whom had dome experience with the Trappist monks in England. They supported Bishop Delany in his wish to provide religious, moral and literary education to children at a time when the British penal code prohibited the public expression of the Catholic faith and when Ireland was gripped by general poverty and lawlessness.

The group of men quickly grew to 12. However, this project soon failed and the Brothers were sent to work “to thresh corn, dig potatoes or to quarry stones.” The plight of the Brothers became so desperate that Bishop Delany offered the Brothers the freedom to disband, “but they decided to cling together” and to continue Bishop Delany’s purposes for the Brothers of Saint Patrick: to lead each of the Brothers to follow Christ; to help in the work of the parish; to be catechists for the Sunday schools; and to provide religious, moral and literary education of children in day schools.

On February 2nd, 1810, four Brothers established a combmaking, weaving and teaching school in Mountrath, whilst another Brothers remained at Tullow.

Nearing his death, Bishop Delany asked both the Patrician Brothers and the Brigidine Sisters (whom he had founded in 1807) “to love God and live together in peace and charity”. Both communities remained under Bishops Delany’s care until his death on July 9, 1814.