Brothers of Our Lady of Mercy

After the Brothers had buried their honourable father, the congregation continued his work the same way he did.

The main accent was education

Brother Cassien, 2nd General Superior

With Cassien van Herzele, they got an experienced and for the first time a chosen Superior. Until 1940 a few Brothers would still stay active in the older people’s care in Oliveten.

The main accent of the pastoral activities now laid in a growing way upon education (boarding schools and day schools, primary schools, secondary schools and professional schools, education of teachers) as well in houses at home and abroad.


Missionary work 

Graduated teachers at the ‘Scheppersnormaalschool’ in 1940

After the First World War the Brothers were part of the renovation plans of the Church. An important gain was the foundation of a school for teachers, first of all in Mechelen and then afterwards in Alsemberg. Here, the young Brothers  were formed in the spirit of the congregation to educate.

In the year 1939 they reached the highest number of Brothers ever: 385. Meanwhile the congregation extended in the Netherlands, Spain, Uruguay, Canada and Argentine. After the Second World War they worked further on in the same perspective.

Especially the general Superior, Brother Leonard Roekens, marked the most recent decennia. He opened the way for missionary work in Ruanda and Burundi. Now the Brothers could also become priests.

Cardinal van Roey 

Until the beginning of the 1950’s, the congregation seemed to have a great future; the figure of her founder was honoured a lot. Cardinal Van Roy even said the following words at the memorial of Scheppers in 1952:

"It is an extremely honour for Mechelen to have been the cradle of two cloister foundations who dedicated themselves to the youth education. They were born out of the heart of an eminent and holy Priest of Mechelen, whom we celebrate today together with the 100 year existence of the institute of the Brothers of Our Holy Mary of Mercy.


Humble an simple they started and in an extreme way the Congregation of the Brothers of Monsignor Scheppers (like people called him so thankfully) developed, not only in our town, but also in Italy and in different overseas regions, and everywhere they developed rich fruits of apostolate.

The Brothers especially worked on the great theme of modern times: the Christian formation of the youth: they educated thousands and thousands of children and youngsters in their excellent schools and institutes; they educated them to become strong and developed young men who knew how to make their way in life and who stayed faithful to their country and their Church and who fulfilled their duties in society.

Today, when we consider that 100 year apostolate with all its miracles of dedication and of fertility, we are amazed about the fact what Christian love, that was indeed the deepest source of this apostolate, could have created."

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