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Toronto Catholic District School Board

HISTORY
 
St Jean de Brebeuf
The name Brebeuf was chosen for the new Toronto Catholic High School that opened its doors to the first students in 1963 for three reasons.  One of Ontario’s most illustrious and heroic pioneers was Jean de Brebeuf who first came to Canada in 1625, only 17 years after the founding of this country by Champlain’s French colonists in 1608.  Brebeuf journeyed to the area around present-day Midland, Ontario and introduced Christian values to the Huron Indians of that area.
 
Another compelling reason for selecting the name Brebeuf was that Jean de Brebeuf was a French Jesuit priest and the priests who founded Brebeuf College School in 1963 were the Jesuits of the Upper Canadian Province.  Brebeuf College School’s first principal was Father Robert Meagher, S.J., a native of Montreal and a follower of the Loyola tradition in that city.  Brebeuf’s first staff consisted of 8 Jesuit priests, 1 Jesuit brother and 6 laymen.
 
Finally the name Brebeuf was chosen to provide each student and staff member with a person to emulate in his daily life. Jean de Brebeuf was a giant among men, not only physically with his six-foot plus posture, but also academically with his exceptional linguistic skills, and more so spiritually with his dedication, zeal and courage.  In 1649 Brebeuf was martyred after serving for 16 years among the Hurons.
 
Jean de Brebeuf died at the age of 56 years for the faith he hoped to implant in the hearts, minds, and souls of his Huron brothers.  In 1956 his grave was discovered by Father Denis Hegarty, S.J. at the present site of Ste. Marie-among-the-Hurons, near Midland, and a simple, hand etched lead plaque told the story of his heroic life:
 
P. Jean de Brebeuf        Brûlé par les Iroquois     Le 17 de Mars, 1649
 
The Presentation Brothers
The Presentation Brothers are a religious congregation founded by Blessed Edmund Rice in 1802 in Ireland to teach the poor.  Blessed Edmund Rice was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Rome on Sunday, October 6, 1996.  The Presentation Brothers serve God through education and profess vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
 
LITURGICAL LIFE OF THE SCHOOL
 
Brebeuf College School offers excellence in a wide-ranging program of academic subjects and creative arts but not without a commitment to respond to the deeper aspirations of the students.  It attempts to carry its students beyond academic excellence to the meaning of their lives.  For this purpose Brebeuf pursues its goals in the context of the Christian vision of life, a vision that gives everything in the school its character and direction.
 
Our school year begins with the Eucharist celebration of the Holy Spirit. A Para-Liturgy is celebrated daily in our school chapel at 8:05 a.m.  Our daily classes begin with morning prayers recited over the P.A. system.  The Angelus is recited during the first period of the day. On the first Friday of every month Mass is celebrated in our auditorium.   
 
A special Advent and Lenten corner, with the appropriate symbols, is set up in our school entrance and posters of these liturgical seasons are displayed on the walls and stairwells to remind staff and students of the Christian preparation for the great feasts of Christmas and Easter.  During Lent, the sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated by our parish priests and chaplain for the Brebeuf community.  A para-liturgy is held on the closing days of school in December and April as a fitting close to Advent and Lent.  Each student, as part of his religious education program, participates in a day of reflection.  Our school year ends with a Closing Mass of Thanksgiving.
 
 

The link to our Brebeuf Youth Ministry website is:  http://www.brebeufyouthministry.com/