One of the most influential American Christian Brothers, Brother Justin (McMahon), died on this day. He became the first Visitor of the San Francisco District in 1868 and guided the expansion of the Institute in California and other states as well.
Brother Angelus Gabriel, The Christian Brothers in the United States 1848-1948 : A Century of Catholic Education (NY: McMullen, 1948), pp. 458-463.
Today is the Feast Day of St. Gabriel Possenti. Young Francis Possenti was a student of the De La Salle Brothers’ school in Spoleto, Italy, before he joined the Passionist order in 1856 with the pious religious name of Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. An exemplary seminarian aged only 23, he died of tuberculosis on this date and was canonized in 1920. The Philadelphia Protectory for Boys (near Philadelphia) was renamed St. Gabriel’s Hall to honor him in 1962.
This was a big day at St.Gabriel’s Hall, near Philadelphia. A special prayer service and reception were held, attended by the Superior General during his pastoral visit to the U.S., to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Gabriel Possenti and especially to mark the 100th year of the ministry of St. Gabriel’s Hall (1898-1998) for at-risk youth.
De La Salle and two Brothers arrived in Paris. This was the first expansion of the Institute outside of the Lasallian schools in the Rheims area. The first Lasallian ministry in Paris was the school in the parish of St. Sulpice.
Brother Luke Salm, The Work Is Yours (Landover, MD: Christian Brothers Publications, Second Edition, 1996), pp. 55-59.