It was on the 9th of February, 1846, that the Brothers were amazed when they received a letter from America. They were even more amazed when they read the letter and found that a Reverend James Dolan, pastor of Baltimore in the State of Maryland, was asking them to take over an orphanage school for boys in his parish. The Brothers saw this as a call from God, but they were not sure how they could possibly respond to it: Brothers were far and few between. However the fledgeling communities of Tullow, Mountrath, and Galway, were prepared to tighten their belts even further and to find the necessary Brothers. By late March of 1846 the Brothers were able to tell Father Dolan that they were coming – the Patrician community had taken its first steps to an overseas establishment. After a few set-backs and a rejection of another American invitation, three Brothers sailed from Liverpool, England, to America on the 12th of August, 1846. By September the three Brothers “were hard at work, seeking to cope with the task of providing a religious, literary, industrial and agricultural education for more than thirty Catholic orphans” (Fire-Tried Gold, Br Linus Walker, page 147).)

Unfortunately the endeavor was not to succeed: the Brothers found that their literary training did not prepare them for the industrial/agricultural demands of the educational system within the orphanage. The Brothers remained in Baltimore but taught in a literary school where they were soon approached by young men seeking to join them. He returned to Ireland in 1777 and after fourteen years of living in Catholic France he was dismayed by the poverty that existed in his homeland: the poverty of the people and the poverty of their faith.

Around 1778, as a strategy to refamiliarise the people of his parish with the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church, Fr Daniel Delany began a Sunday School. At first he taught alone, but soon volunteers presented themselves to assist in this work. From these volunteers Bishop Delany chose six women to form the Brigidine Sisters in 1807 and four men to form the Patrician Brothers in 1808.
The Brothers lived as the people they ministered to: their home a hovel and their daily bread something uncertain. One Brother was able to support the community with a steady income through the pay school, but the other three Brothers had to rely on obtaining manual work. The situation soon became so chronic that Bishop Delany offered them the opportunity to disband. They continued on. Despite the hardships their numbers grew, and in February 1810 four Brothers were able to move to nearby Mountrath to begin a school there.

In 1819 Galway’s bishop Nicholas Archdeacon invited the Brothers to Clarenbridge, close to the west coast, to administer a free school. It was a free school so the Brothers would have to support themselves off the land that would come with the school and as tradesmen. The school opened in 1823. From 1827 to 1980 the Brothers opened a further twelve schools. The furthest north was Carrickmacross; furthest south, Mallow; furthest east, Finglas (Dublin); and furthest west, Galway.

Present Patrician Locations in USA

1. Midway City
2. Glendale
3. Hollywood

Midway City and Glendale are 50kms (30 miles) apart1. The population of the state of California is more than 39 million. It has a total area of 2,000 square miles (5180 square kms.)

usa map


1846 Baltimore
1848 Nashville
1948 Santa Monica
1953 Santa Ana
1955 Midway City
1957 Westchester
1999 Los Angeles

1902 Carrickmacross
1930 Ballyfin
1933 Abbeyleix
1938 Newbridge
1958 Ballon
1967 Finglas
1980 Castleknock


usa-brothers of special note
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Region Leader
St Patrick’s Novitiate
P.O. Box 116
Midway City
California 92655

949 Staff - Brothers on farm - Novitiate in 1961 - Br Joseph, 2010 - Ron Knowles & Br Mathew (sitting)
1949 Staff – Brothers on farm – Novitiate in 1961 – Br Joseph, 2010 – Ron Knowles & Br Mathew (sitting)

Pater Noster – Mater Dei – Midway City monastery & chapel