The Basilian Fathers were established as a religious congregation as a
result of the closing of seminaries in France in 1822. They reasoned that
the school, by then located in the nearby city of Annonay, would have a
better chance of continuing if it were conducted by a Religious
Congregation that could accept and train new members to continue the
operation of the school after the founding fathers' retirement. The
original members chose St. Basil the Great, a fourth century teacher,
bishop and doctor of the Church, to be the namesake of the new
community. The Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. Francis of Assisi and
St. Thomas Aquinas have also been our patrons. Since those early days
of the congregation, St. John Bosco has been added to the list of patrons
because of his admirable work with youth.
In the middle of the nineteenth century the French Basilians came to
Canada on invitation of Bishop de Charbonnel of Toronto who had been
a student at Annonay. They opened St. Michael's College in 1852,
offering, in the French style, a combination of what we would call
high-school and university education. Today, the University of St.
Michael's College and St. Michael's College School continue the work
begun in 1852. The Congregation grew in numbers and activities in the
New World. Assumption College in Windsor, Ontario was opened as well
as several parishes. Work in the United States began in a permanent way
in 1886 at St. Anne's Parish in Detroit, Michigan and by the end of the
nineteenth century the community was working also in Texas. From
these beginnings the Basilians have spread across Canada, and across the
United States where we work in the archdioceses of Detroit and Santa Fe
and in the dioceses of Rochester, Gary, Galveston-Houston, Las Cruces,
Phoenix and Oakland." to "the archdioceses of Detroit,
Galveston-Houston and Santa Fe and in the dioceses of Rochester, Gary,
Las Cruces, Phoenix and Oakland."
For more detailed information about the Congregation of St. Basil, please
visit the Basilian Fathers website.