An important note from our Principal re: the Presentation Brothers…
January 25, 2021
Dear Brebeuf Community,
We hope everyone continues to be well during these challenging times. We ask that the Lord continues to intercede and provide his loving mercy and grace to each of us.
The reason for this letter is to mark an end but also a new beginning in many ways for Brebeuf College School. On Monday January 18th, 2021, I received a letter from the Presentation Brothers informing us that the Presentation Brothers would be closing their Toronto community and relocating to various Presentation Brother communities around the world. For those who are not aware, the Presentation Brothers arrived at Brebeuf College School in 1984 and took over administration from the Jesuits until 1996, at which point a lay person was appointed Principal. Despite the changing of guard, the Presentation Brothers and especially Brother Henry Spencer continued volunteering in the community each day to make a significant difference in the lives of Staff and students.
I’m sure as many of you read this you may be experiencing a moment of shock, just as I did when I opened the letter. When I was appointed Principal at Brebeuf College this year, and walked through the doors, there was no doubt that the impact the Presentation Brothers and especially Brother Maher and Brother Spencer made at Brebeuf was still very alive and well; in many ways as alive when I graduated in 2002. On a personal level, and as an Alum, the Presentation Brothers were so instrumental in my formation as a Catholic Educator – especially Brother Spencer who taught me Grade 9 Religion before retiring at the end of the year.
In many ways then, this marks the closing of a chapter to a long tradition and connection with the Presentation Brothers in Toronto. However, there is little doubt, that this end also marks a new beginning, one which will include the use of ZOOM, Google Meets etc., technology we have all become very familiar with during this pandemic, to stay connected with the Presentation Brothers and continue animating their rich spirituality at Brebeuf College School. It is in this way that the everlasting spirituality of the Presentation Brothers at Brebeuf will be present. This will keep us very well connected and will continue to ensure that we are focussed and intentional in bringing the charisms of the Presentation Brothers to life at Brebeuf College School.
We will certainly miss the Presentation Brothers who’s legacy and tradition has made an indelible mark in our school community. Just as Brother Maher came on Staff at Brebeuf in 1983 to ensure a smooth transition from the Jesuits, we are certain that the Presentation Brother’s transition around the world, to continue their amazing ministry, will be smooth and seamless. We are confident that as a Brebeuf Community we will be able to animate and stay connected with the Presentation Brothers in the years to come just as we have stayed connected and animated the Jesuit spirituality at Brebeuf College School since their departure. It will be very important to ensure that future Brebeufians are aware of the charisms of the Presentation Brother and Jesuits and can use those charisms to be Men for Others.
We would like to again thank all the Presentation Brothers who were teachers, volunteers etc. and called Brebeuf home, literally, as their residence was attached to the school until 2002. These brothers and in a special way Brother Maher and Brother Spencer instilled in the Brebeuf student body and Staff humble examples of prayer, service, and love in the spirit of their Founder, Blessed Edmund Rice. We have certainly been so fortunate to be part of the larger Presentation Brother family in Ireland, Ghana, West Indies and beyond and look forward to continuing this meaningful partnership and relationship in the years to come.
God Bless the Presentation Brothers and may the Holy Family protect and guide them as they continue their important ministry around the world.
Linton Soares ’02