To use his considerable financial and business acumen in ways that empowered the have-nots in his Ireland of the early 19th century. His determination to be of service to others would appear to have flowed from the pain and anguish which he felt with the tragic loss of his young wife. it led him inwards to discover a God who was love; and outwards to find that God present in every aspect of life.
One might consider him to have two sorts, an inner and an outer circle. The first group joined into various communities of brothers. They went where they were needed opening schools for children who could not afford a Catholic education. These brothers groups have spread to many different places throughout the world and are continuing to make openings in the third world countries.
The outer group are those who have been touched by his example in some way and wish to give something back to society as he did. In his own way such people were his step sister who raise his disabled daughter. There was the publican who lent him the bar stools for his teachings during the day so long as he got them back in the evening! There were the sisters who inspired him with their teaching methods. In return he looked after their finances offering 10% interest no less!
These days his followers would include those Edmund Rice Camp Leaders, young people who run camps for disadvantaged kids during the uni holidays. In South America it would be the better educated mothers offering one-on-one tuition from the slums.
EDMUND RICE AND THE INTERFACE WITH CELTIC SPIRITUALITY
You might think that an Irishman would naturally reveal his "Irishness" in the way he went about things. But then again you might think, if you are pretty familiar with Celtic Spirituality, that it was nowhere to be seen during the 18th and 19th centuries. There were far too many overlays of Roman Catholic, Janenism, Anglicanism, Revivalism; or that the Industrial Revolution had destroyed it. I am interested to unravel some of the pieces of this puzzle to see if in fact Edmund Rice had a Celtic Spirituality flowing through his veins.
I would appreciate your thoughts and comments !
Br Peter Hardiman
Br Peter Hardiman
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