Early St. Joseph Brothers
The first postulant to the Brothers of St. Joseph entered in Ruille on July 20, 1820. He was just the first of many who answered the call of the Lord and entered the new community. Seventeen years later, 54 Brothers of St. Joseph would sign the "Fundamental Act of Union" with Blessed Basile Moreau's Auxiliary Priests to become what we now know as the Congregation of Holy Cross. The spirituality, style of education, and way of life that they brought with them to their new community has shaped the identity and the mission of Holy Cross up until the present day.
We invite you to learn more about the legacy of these early religious pioneers: Read short biographies of some of the earliest Brothers of St. Joseph. View a list of the Brothers who entered prior to 1841 and gave their lives and their lives' work within the community. Explore a list of the first schools staffed by the Brothers. Read the vow formula professed by the early Brothers of St. Joseph. View a gallery of pictures and portraits of some of the key early members.
Read short biographies about the men who shaped the early years of the Brothers of St. Joseph, including Br. André Mottais and Br. Vincent Pieau. The biographies including Br. James Kane, C.S.C.'s portrait renditions of these early brothers.
Explore the Brothers of Saint Joseph who entered the community before 1841 and passed away in religious life.
View the list of Brother of Saint Joseph schools and their dates of operation. To the left is a typical chair used by teachers, much like the Brothers of Saint Joseph, in the early 1800s.
At the end of the annual retreat, those who have completed two years of formation would profess a vow of obedience. Those who were already professed would renew their vow for one year. Read the vows the early Brothers of Saint Joseph professed.
View the photo gallery of the early Saint Joseph Brothers, including Br. Remi Merrianne, Br. Francis Xavier (René) Patois, and Br. Lawrence Ménage.
Read the letters from an early Brother of Saint Joseph to his family. These letters were recently given to the Congregation by the Mottais family.