Charleville C.B.S. Primary School

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First School 1802

Br. Rice > Life

For Edmund Rice, however, his teaching apostolate was only at a stage of germination.
His sights were set on a fully-fledged Religious Congregation, governed by traditional vows and recognised by the Holy See in Rome. He took a crucial step towards this end when, in June 1802 he commenced the building of a monastery on an elevated site in a working-class district in Waterford City.
The building, again funded out of Edmund's private resources, was large and comprised living accommodation and a school. There were two classrooms on the ground floor and, overhead, seven bedrooms which were small and sparsely furnished. They had wooden beds fitted into wall recesses; an alcove served as a wardrobe and the furniture consisted of a table and a stool. Pictured here is a well-researched model of that original building.


          First Monastery                               Mount Sion

The school at Mount Sion was built to accommodate about one hundred boys in each classroom. The Brother teaching the class was helped by the older boy ‘monitors’, who examined the homework and the catechism. All the boys were taught reading, writing, arithmetic and religion. With the more senior pupils other useful subjects were added, like bookkeeping, geography and navigation.
The boys received special preparation for first Holy Communion and Confirmation.
Each school had a library. The boys brought books home to read them to their parents who were unable to read. In this way their parents received education as well.
Twenty years after the death of Edmund this beautiful monastery pictured above was built at Mount Sion in 1864. It has served as the residence of the Brothers since then. Today the Primary and Secondary Schools are on the other side of this building.

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