The formal title of the De La Salle Brothers is Institut des Frères des Écoles Chrétiennes or The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Among the Brothers themselves, the Order is referred to as the Institute because it is an Institute of Pontifical right as classified under Canon Law (Blaikie, 2014).
The Institute was founded in 1680 by John Baptist de La Salle and his earliest followers called themselves Brothers. De La Salle felt himself “moved by the abandonment of the children of the artisans and of the poor” (Brothers of the Christian Schools, 2012a) and very gradually found himself more involved in the training of school teachers who were employed to teach these children by establishing schools and were run mostly on donations from the local town, village or parish community. John Baptist de La Salle was canonized in 1900 and in 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed him Patron of all educators (Brothers of the Christian Schools, 2012a).
Published Institute statistics as of 31 December 2012 show that the Institute as a world-wide educational organisation is involved in 1,049 schools ministering to 938,690 students, with 4,000 Brothers and about 84,703 teachers working in them in 80 countries around the world (Brothers of the Christian Schools, 2012b).
A short YouTube clip that explains the International characteristic of the Institute and the relationship of SJII (Malaysia) within the international Lasallian family can be viewed at http://youtu.be/ngOxZi5B0Iw
Blaikie, J. (2014). A Leadership Theory for the Institute (Unpublished post-graduate student paper), University of New South Wales, Australia.
Brothers of the Christian Schools. (2012a). St John Baptist de La Salle. Retrieved from http://www.lasalle.org/en/who-are-we/st-john-baptist-de-la-salle/
Brothers of the Christian Schools. (2012b). Statistics: The educational mission (schools). Retrieved from http://www.lasalle.org/en/who-are-we/statistics/
The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools continues the good work of St John Baptist De La Salle. It is a world-wide educational organisation which is involved in over 1,000 schools ministering to more than 938,000 students across 80 countries.
There are more than 4,000 Brothers working in association with about 85,000 teachers.