Mount Sion (above) soon became famous. Parents noticed the changes in their children. The Brothers at Mount Sion also began to provide night courses for illiterate adults and weekend classes. The Brothers also made visits to the local jail, supported charities, and on an individual basis, assisted alcoholics and those in need.
As news of Edmund’s work spread, more men came to join him. By 1808, two new schools were established in Dungarvan and Carrick on Suir.
Edmund and his companions were not priests. Technically, they were still laymen. However, Edmund devised a “Rule of Living” based on the Rule used by Nano Nagle’s Presentation Sisters. The men made three vows: poverty, celibacy and obedience.
On 15th August 1808, eight men wearing a simple, black habit joined Edmund at the chapel at Mount Sion. They gave themselves the name “Society of the Presentation” under the authority of the local bishop. They referred to one another as “Brother” and Edmund took a new name – “Ignatius” – after St. Ignatius of Loyola.
This was the first venture of its kind in the English-speaking Church.