In 2013, Christian Brothers High School leadership tasked the newly established Brothers Leadership Council (BLC) with creating a House System to infuse a greater sense of brotherhood throughout the student body.
The system is made up of 10 Houses, each bearing the name of a former Brother or teacher who has made a positive impact on our school and the greater community. With a special symbol tied to the school’s history and a designated color, each House is made up of approximately 70-80 students in a given year.
What makes our system truly unique is how it is organized. Each House consists of four advisories, one in each grade, so that older students can serve as leaders and mentor underclassmen in their House. Advisories are intentionally organized to represent a true cross-section of our student population. Great consideration is taken to ensure that each house includes students from different schools and zip codes so that every student feels a sense of belonging no matter his background. This forces our students to go beyond their comfort zones to meet and make new friends. An assigned faculty advisor is responsible for encouraging the boys and serving as a role model on their path to becoming men. The boys remain in that advisory with the same advisor all four years.
Weekly activities organized by the BLC and Campus Ministry give students opportunities to work together and strengthen their bond within their respective advisories, Houses, and ultimately the school. These activities earn them points for their Houses and can include mission collection drives; attendance at dances, sporting events, and theatre productions; and participation in advisory trivia contests and intramural competition, including basketball, video game tournaments, ping pong, cornhole, etc. The BLC keeps up with the points accumulated from these activities and awards the Brothers House Cup to the House with the most points at the end of the year. The winning House is also given the opportunity to go on a field trip together.
"We want to make our students’ high school experience unlike any other, for them to truly connect with one another, and for no student to feel excluded from student life at Christian Brothers High School. Ten and 20 years from now, we want them to look back on these years as some of the greatest and most influential years of their lives."
- Webster Cannon, BLC Moderator
Brother Abban of Jesus
John Shelle, 1843-1929
Born in Meinkembracht, Germany, John Shelle immigrated to Canada with his parents and older brother, Gaspard. In 1858, both John and Gaspard entered the Brothers’ Montreal Novitiate – and with his habit, John took the name Brother Abban of Jesus. After teaching in the Brothers’ schools in Canada for some years, Br. Abban was transferred to New York where he continued to teach mathematics and science. In 1870, when the St. Louis District was officially formed, Br. Abban was assigned to Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, where he taught for two years. Following his assignment in St. Louis, he taught and served as Sub-Director of Christian Brothers College in Memphis from 1873-1877. While in Memphis, he served as the president of the Literary Society, and one of his pupils, Malcolm Patterson, later became governor of the state of Tennessee. After 73 years of serving as a De La Salle Christian Brother, Br. Abban passed away at the age of 86.
Brother Anthony of Rome
John Walsh, 1854-1919
John Walsh was born in Wilmington, Ohio and first met the Christian Brothers when his family relocated to St. Louis. On April 2, 1866, John earned the distinction of being the youngest man to ever enter the Brothers’ Novitiate, at 11 years old. On May 9, 1866, he received the robe of the Brothers in Carondelet, Missouri and took the religious name of Brother Anthony of Rome. He first taught at St. Patrick School in Chicago, where he remained until 1871, teaching at Bridgeport Orphanage and St. Mary’s School. In the wake of the Great Chicago Fire, Br. Anthony was one of the four brothers sent to Memphis to establish the first community at Christian Brothers College. He spent seven years in Memphis before being assigned to Christian Brothers College in St. Louis. He would return to Memphis to become the second president of CBC and for the next 40 years, Br. Anthony held leadership positions throughout the Midwest, including being named Inspector of Schools in 1910. His 53 years of service as a Brother came to a close with his death in 1919.
Brother Bernardine Peter
John Robinson, 1856-1930
John Robinson was born in Toronto and entered the Brothers’ Novitiate at Carondelet at the age of fourteen - he received the habit and religious name of Brother Bernardine Peter on August 14, 1871. After teaching several years in St. Louis, Br. Bernardine was assigned to CBC in Memphis in 1876. While continuing to teach, he helped to establish the Committee of Hygiene with the aid of the Br. Maurelian, to fight the yellow fever epidemics that plagued the city. Later, the State Legislature officially approved the committee under the name The National Council of Health. For the next 25 years, Br. Bernardine served in various positions throughout the Midwest and East Coast districts. At age 66, he experienced an attack of paralysis which deprived him of his speech. He was sent to the Community of Ancients at Glencoe, Missouri, where he continued his interest as a collaborator in the Review of Education. I n 1930, at the age of 74, he died on the same date as his entrance, July 19, after serving as a De La Salle Christian Brother for exactly 59 years.
Brother Clement Bernward
Joseph Eul, 1833-1902
A native of Kurscheid, Prussia, Brother Clement immigrated with his family and would enter the Carondelet Novitiate 1867, at the age of 34. The Brothers initially assigned Clement at St. Mary’s in Chicago, where he served as prefect and professor of languages. After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, Brother Clement was one of the four Brothers assigned to Tennessee with orders to establish Christian Brothers College in Memphis. After surviving two separate yellow fever outbreaks, he was transferred to Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, Missouri in 1878, where he served as prefect and teacher of German and drawing. He succumbed to pneumonia in February of 1902, after serving as a De La Salle Christian Brother for 35 years.
Brother Flavian of Jesus
John Baum, 1849-1924
Brother Flavian immigrated to the United States from Cologne, Prussia and entered the Novitiate of the Brothers at Carondelet, Missouri, on June 13, 1876. He received his habit and religious name in August of the same year, and was assigned to Christian Brothers College in Memphis in December, where he taught in the primary grades. After a brief two-year term in St. Louis, he returned to CBC in Memphis in 1882 and served six years before being assigned to teach in New Orleans. For the next 15 years, Br. Flavian held positions across the Brothers’ Midwest District - he was not only a “capable teacher, he was a repair man…and financier.” Br. Flavian faithfully served the institute as a Christian Brother for 48 years.
Thomas Bray, 1848-1874
St. Louis-born Thomas Bray entered the Brothers’ Novitiate in June of 1868, at Carondelet, Missouri where he received the habit of the Brothers and the religious name of Brother Luperius. He was sent to teach at St. Mary’s in Chicago and, after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, Brother Luperius was assigned to Memphis, where he and three other brothers founded Christian Brothers College. In February of 1874, Br. Luperius was transferred to the College in Pass Christian, Mississippi and later that year to Sante Fe, New Mexico. He died at the age of 26, after serving as a De La Salle Christian Brother for only six years.
Mr. Daniel B. Lyne
Born in Ireland during the Great Famine, Mr. Daniel Lyne immigrated to the United States with his older brothers at the age of eight. After returning to Ireland for a time, he settled in Memphis in 1870 and began his service to the boys of Christian Brothers at the school’s founding in 1871. Lyne wed Tennessee native Joanna Ford in 1874, and would welcome three sons, Thomas, James Joseph, and Eugene Daniel to their home at 90 Beale Street. Mr. Lyne serves as a reminder that the faithful have served alongside brothers from the beginning - he and four Brothers of the Christian Schools made up the first faculty of Christian Brothers College in Memphis. By 1880, he became a grocer and later a city salesman. Dan Lyne left a long legacy of descendants who would become Christian Brothers alumni, including six great grandsons and seven great-grandsons. His lineage continues to breathe life into the school.
George Sheel, 1842 - 1920
A native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, George Sheel entered religious life through the novitiate in Montreal, Canada on March 7, 1855, and he received the robe and the religious name of Brother Maurelian on July 2, 1855. He first taught at St. Michael’s School in Philadelphia in 1856 before moving on to St. James in Brooklyn, where he assisted with both the choir and orchestra. In 1860, the Brothers sent him to St. Mary’s School in New Orleans and appointed him Vice President of Christian Brothers College in Pass Christian, Mississippi in 1867. In 1871, Br. Maurelian was chosen to serve as founding president of the new Christian Brothers College in Memphis, which he opened on November 20, 1871. The following year, he founded and directed the Christian Brothers Band, which to this day is recognized as the oldest high school band in America. He survived two Yellow Fever epidemics in 1873 and 1878 and did much to assist in eradicating the plague from the South. In 1894 he was named Auxiliary Visitor of the St. Louis District and was later chosen as chairman three times for national educational exhibitions. Because of his pedagogical devotion to the study of Latin in a well-rounded college education, the Brother’s briefly removed him from duty but returned to Memphis in 1902, assuming the role of President. He died in 1920, having served as a De La Salle Christian Brother for 65 years.
Brother Osmund Joseph
Daniel O’Meara, 1839-1910
Following his family’s immigration to the United States from Tipperary, Ireland, Daniel O’Meara entered the Novitiate in St. Louis in 1853 at the age of 14 and received the habit and religious name of Br. Osmund Joseph. After serving for nearly 20 years in various positions throughout the country, Br. Osmund served at Christian Brothers College in Memphis from 1874 to 1878, where he taught Latin and Greek. He continued on to postings in New Orleans, Sante Fe, New York, and St. Louis and retired in 1909, after 57 years, as one of the most noted linguists in the district.
Professor Paul Schneider
Professor Schneider emigrated from his native Prussia, and at the age of 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a bugler in the Fifth U.S. Artillery from December 1, 1862 through the end of the Civil War. His veteran’s schedule listed him as “slightly wounded but entirely recovered.” A trained bugler and cornetist, Schneider was also known for his skills as a violinist and performed in touring orchestras around the country, including one that performed in Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. the night President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. He married in 1871, and by 1874 he was living in Memphis with his first child. He was a part-time music teacher in 1880 and taught on the Christian Brothers campus by 1883. He donated the first gold medals to the campus for the music awards, and he directed the Christian Brothers band for both President Grover Cleveland and the dedication of the Great Mississippi River Bridge.