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The Brotherhood of Canisians is a Roman Catholic religious order that was founded in 1854 by the then pilgrimage rector and later Bishop of Münster , Johann Bernhard Brinkmann , following the " World Priests Congregation under the title of the painful Mother of God in Cevelaer " in the Marian pilgrimage site of Kevelaer .


The members had initially taken on brotherhood services in the house of the Congregation for Priests, but in 1857 they became independent as the “Congregation of Brothers of Christian Love”. Their first establishment was the “ Haus Hall ” near Gescher , a newly established reformatory for neglected boys, which the brothers took care of. Soon other similar houses were added: in 1899 the Martini-Stift near Appelhülsen and in 1902 the St. Josefshaus Wettringen . In 1928 the Sacred Heart Convent in Ellewick near Vreden was rebuilt as a novitiate.

When the Congregation for Priests was abolished in the Kulturkampf in 1875, the Congregation of Brethren remained unmolested because of its social activities. In 1951 it was founded by Bishop Michael Keller as the “Cooperative of the Brothers of St. Petrus Canisius of the Christian Apostolate “reorganized and received his own superior general. Since 1965 it has been called the Canisian Brotherhood. You can also include priests and deacons today. In 1952, Bishop Keller left today's Canisiushaus in Münster to the community for novitiate formation, where the Order's leadership has also been based since 1965. The Sacred Heart Monastery in Vreden is today the retirement home for the fraternity and at the same time the home for the brothers who work in the adjacent disabled facility “Haus Früchting”.

One focus of the religious order was the educational work with young people at risk and with disabilities and the establishment of appropriate facilities. This fact facilitated a renewal of the community through Bishop Michael Keller in 1951 , which now opened up to additional areas of responsibility and tried to find new forms of common life. Today the brothers mainly work in social and pastoral areas. Currently they work as social workers, educators, nurses, pastoral officers, pastors, sacristans or administrative staff.


In 2013 the Catholic order had 36 members in seven conventions in Germany a. a. in Münster, Kevelaer and Vreden. From 1968 to 2013 there was also a branch in Mexico .

Today there are 34 brothers in the fellowship and two candidates are in formation. In addition, there are still two communities in Vinnenberg and Recklinghausen today.

The rector of the Canisius House is Pastor Ludger Bornemann and the leader of the Canisian Brotherhood is Brother Helmut Zech.


  • Brotherhood of Canisians 1979: 1854 Priest's House, Kevelaer, 1929 House Früchting, Vreden, 1954 Canisiushaus, Münster . Münster: Palka, 1979

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Church and Life, Münster, Germany: Brother Christoph's friends live on the street . ( [accessed on August 29, 2018]).
  2. Martin Kalitschke: From the pilgrim house to the Canisiushaus . In: Westfälische Nachrichten . ( [accessed on August 29, 2018]).