The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools— commonly referred to as Christian Brothers—were founded in 1680 by St. John Baptist de La Salle, the patron saint of all teachers. The Christian Brothers are called to faith, service, and community, and that has been on full display at West Catholic since the Brothers arrived at West Catholic in the 1920s.
The current Superior General of the Christian Brothers is West Catholic alum Brother Robert Schieler ‘68. Elected in 2014, Brother Bob is the 27th successor of De La Salle and is the worldwide leader of the Christian Brothers.
When he is not traveling, Brother Bob spends much of his time in Rome, providing leadership to Lasallian schools and organizations in over eighty countries. This past November, Brother Bob left Rome where he currently resides, and visited the Lasallian ministries along the east coast. Of course, Brother Bob was sure to stop by his alma mater at 45th and Chestnut Street!
Raised in Southwest Philadelphia on Yocum Street, Brother Bob attended the Most Blessed Sacrament Elementary School followed by West Catholic before matriculating to La Salle University.
While visiting West Catholic, Brother Bob met with students, school administrators, teachers, Bishop Michael Fitzgerald from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and Irene Horstmann Hannan from the Faith in the Future Foundation.
“When I first met him, I was happy to hear he was an alum,” said Cashana Cooper ‘20. “He was very caring and serious about supporting the community. He clearly understood the struggles that this community faces and wants to do all he can to help.”
During his visit, Brother Bob spoke about the importance of missions like that of West Catholic Prep, and how the work happening here greatly impacts the young men and women we are entrusted to serve. He also spoke about his experience at the school and how it helped to shape his life’s path.
Before Brother Bob departed, he was presented gifts by the students, including a framed photo, West Catholic apparel, and of course a basket of Tastykakes for him to bring back to Rome. We’re thankful to have one of our own leading the Christian Brothers.
*Disclaimer: These photos were taken in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic began.*