Faith. Values. Help.

USA History of Ministry

In 1866, two years after the death of our founder John Hoever, five Brothers were sent from Aachen, Germany to Teutopolis, Ilinois to assist with the ministry of aiding German immigrants. This ministry lasted for two years. In 1868, at the request of Archbishop Purcell from Cincinnati, Ohio the Brothers relocated to Cincinnati to establish an orphanage in his diocese. It was named Mt. Alverno Boarding School and Orphanage and was in full operation from 1870 to 1972.

In 1921 Bishop Morris of Little Rock, Arkansas invited the Brothers to his diocese to establish a boarding school for boys. These two educational ministries occupied the time and the energies of the Brothers until the year 1958. At that time it was determined to expand our educational ministry to parish schools in New Jersey. Two schools welcomed the presence of the Brothers -Assumption School in Emerson, NJ and St. Anthony in Northvale, NJ. In 1970 Brother Mark Gastel and Brother William Anuszkiewicz responded to the invitation to administer and teach at the Cure of Ars School in Cincinnati, Ohio. By the 1960s the Brothers embarked upon ministries other than education -Sky Ranch in South Dakota, Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago, Illinois, and Boys Home in Scherville, Indiana.

In 1971 Young House Family Services was founded by Brother Bob Reinke to provide group home care and social services .In the 1970s the Brothers expanded their ministries to work with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor at the Schroder Manor, a retirement home, in Hamilton, Ohio. Brother Howard and Brother Eric were very active in this ministry for twenty years. In 1981 our educational ministry extended to North Little Rock, Arkansas at Immaculate Conception School with Brother Edwin and Brother Philip and in 1983 Br. Richard Sanker accepted a teaching and counseling position at Catholic High School for Boys.

In the late 1980s Br. Bob Reinke located to Hoboken, New Jersey to serve the needs of AIDS patients and their families. In 1989 Brothers Edwin, Richard, and Philip were invited to St. Joseph School in El Paso, TX to be administrators and teachers; this ministry served the needs of both El Paso and Juarez, Mexico. In addition to the educational ministry the Brothers were able to assist a group of contemplative Carmelites who came to establish their first house in Mesilla, New Mexico. For seven and a half years the Brothers were able to provide food and items necessary for their sustenance--ovens, computer operated sewing machines. Without our help they claim they would not have survived. In 1989 Br. Edward Kesler joined the faculty of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Cincinnati, Ohio as a middle school religion and history teacher. Br. Rock Larsen taught in the Covington, Kentucky area as an English, Spanish, and art teacher. At retirement he directed his energies to become a docent at the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Mary’s in Covington where he is also a lector, Eucharistic minister, and religious educator.

The twenty-first century has presented a different challenge for an aging community - retirement. Many beautiful memories of past ministries - education, social work, AIDS, prison ministry, care of the elderly, group homes - fill the minds and hearts of the Brothers. However, the primary focus of their energies is devoted to the interior and exterior life of prayer and volunteer ministries. How beautifully retirement facilitates these endeavors. These ministries completely fulfill the dream of the founder to be instruments of God’s Kingdom when, where, and how we can. There is no more exalted vocation than the call to prayer and service.

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