Brothers of Our Lady of Mercy

Only ten years after the foundation of the congregation, the question to new action areas forced itself to the Brothers.

In 1849 they took over the old peoples’ home “Oliveten” in Mechelen. The foundation “Oliveten” was known for a long time. In the 15th century the Gods house “Oliveten” was a reception centre for poor old people. Until the French revolution it was kept that way.

The “Olivetenhof” bought

In 1836 the name of the foundation was used by benefactors who wanted to teach poor children, but soon they took care for older people as well.

Especially nice ladies, with whom V. Scheppers was in contact, were active in those institutes. Originally, the room of the foundation was in the “Molenstreet”. When that place became too small, they moved to the “Ancient Hospice dit “Oliveten”.

Education as well in “Olivetenhof”

The Motherhouse of the Brothers in Mechelen

To improve the quality of care for older people, they asked the Brothers help who received a salary therefore. The Sunday and midday service at the Melaan, as well as the day school, was brought now to “Olivetenhof”

The return of many Brothers tot the motherhouse in Mechelen now gave possibilities to put them elsewhere. Besides the old people’s home and the apostleship for the poor, education got more and more attention.

Scheppers- and Saint-Victorinstitute

Saint-Victor Institute in Alsemberg

Even during Scheppers’ life the boarding-school Saint-Vincentius – nowadays the Scheppers Institute- was founded in 1851 and in 1869 the day school “Saint Libertus”

In 1861 the Brothers took over a less successful boarding-school in Alsemberg and formed it into the successful Institute Saint Victor. As long as he was healthy, V. Scheppers himself did the services and the prayers.

The school battle in 1878

After his death, the attention for education didn’t diminish, on the contrary. The school battle that started by the policy of the radical liberal government, put the Catholic community on to found free Catholic schools. The question for conventuals who wanted to spend their life to education, was great. The Brothers as well would develop those activities more and more. 

Source: SCHEPPERS, OUR SCHOOL by An Hermans, printed in 2002