75th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Presentation Brothers in the West Indies!
The Presentation Brothers and the Presentation Family in Grenada St. Lucia are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Brothers on these islands. A special Mass was held on Tuesday January 11th, the actual day of the arrival of the Brothers in St. Lucia, 75 years ago.
“The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Robert Rivas, in the presence of the two Brothers presently in community in St. Lucia and representatives from the ministries the Brothers are involved with and the Presentation Brothers Associates and Family. The Mass was also live streamed and is now available on YouTube for viewing at any time.
Here are the links:
January 11th , 4:30PM – 75th Anniversary of the Arrival of The Presentation Brothers in Saint Lucia. – YouTube
Our Graced Story
Here gives a brief summary of some historical information of the amazing story of our early Brothers in the West Indies:
According to the annals the Brothers arrived in Grenada on 19 November 1946. They were:
- Cornelius Dunstan Curtin, Provincial of the West Indies (who had previously been Provincial of England)
- Patrick Gregory Sheehan, Superior and Principal of Presentation Brothers’ College, St George’s, Grenada.
Presentation Brothers’ College, St George’s, Grenada opened on 21 January, 1947 (Br Dunstan missed the opening of the college because he had to travel to St Lucia to assist with the new foundation there). The college building had previously been known as the Vicariate and occupied by the Dominican Fathers of the English Province.
They were joined by the following Brothers on 14 February 1947:
- Liam Dromey
- Leonard Dennehy
The first Brothers arrived in St Lucia on 11 January 1947 (they had departed Avonmouth, England on 28 December 1946 on a 6,000 tonne “banana boat”). The first Brothers were:
- Michael Canice Collins, Superior
- Macartan Sheehy, Assistant Superior and College Bursar
- Br Lawrence Reynolds, Monastery Bursar
St Mary’s College, Castries, St Lucia opened (under the Brothers management) on 22 January 1947.
See also attached:
- Click here to read an extract from the St Lucia Foundation_Annals
- Click here to read an extract from the Grenada Foundation_Annals
The annals are a fascinating read! The originals also include some contemporaneous newspaper cuttings. If interested copies can be requested form Mr Felix Meehan (Archivist), Presentation Brothers, Mount St Joseph, Cork.
We congratulate the Brothers and Presentation Family in both islands on this special occasion. We look forward to further celebrations to mark this important anniversary throughout 2022. We include in our thoughts and prayers all the Brothers who have served in the West Indies – Grenada, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Barbados, over many years. We salute all associated with our Presentation Family, school communities and ministry projects in the West indies today.
The Brothers and the Presentation Brothers College community in Grenada had planned an opening Mass to mark the arrival of the Brothers in Grenada and the beginning of a year of celebrations, but unfortunately had to postpone this event as a result of a rise in the number of cases of the Omicron COVID virus on the island. A future date will be set for this event later.
The L.E.A.F. Project will also organise a Zoom event to connect the Presentation Family in the West Indies with other parts of the Congregation, in particular those Brothers in Ireland, who are the carriers of our early story in the Caribbean. We look forward to tuning in for this event in due course, and to highlighting our life and ministry in Grenada and St. Lucia today.
West Indies Pioneering Group_1946: (front row) Liam Dromey, Dunstan Curtin, Leonard Dennehy; (back row) Lawrence Reynolds, Macartan Sheehy, Gregory Sheehan; (inset) Canice Collins.
The First Community of Presentation Brothers in Grenada
Presentation Brothers in St Lucia in 1950
Grenada 1948: Liam Dromey, Leonard Dennehy, unknown O.P. priest, Gregory Sheehan, Joachim Stack.