Institute of Charity
Blessed Antonio Rosmini founded a religious order in 1828, in Sacro Monte Calvario near the border town of Domodossola, north Italy, not far from the Simplon Pass into Switzerland. He called it The Institute of Charity. His intention was for a group of men to serve God and the needs of the Church and the world in whatever way the signs of the times indicate; in Rosmini’s language – Universal Charity guided by God’s Providence. Central to his thinking is the mutual help and support the members give each other in their pursuit of serving God. Lay people and priests of other orders can be members of this spiritual family, known as Ascribed Members. Rosmini also founded an order of religious sisters endowed with the same spirit. They are the Sisters of Providence. The common name for all the members of this spiritual family is Rosminians; hence Rosminian Fathers, Rosminian Sisters and Rosminian Ascribed Members.
Ratcliffe College, a Rosminian Foundation.
In 1835 Blessed Antonio Rosmini sent a small group of men to the English Mission. In 1828 Parliament repealed the Penal Laws against the Catholics allowing them to live and practise their faith in public. Their leader was Father Luigi Gentili. Initially they worked for Bishop Baines at Prior Park, Bath, a college and seminary. Later Gentili came to the Midlands as house chaplain for Ambrose Phillipps De Lisle at Grace Dieu. In a couple of years he collaborated in establishing Ratcliffe firstly as a noviciate in 1844 and soon to become a boarding school in 1847. The Rosminian Catholic ethos has pervaded the life of the College through the long service and tradition established by the Fathers and Brothers since the foundation. We now have the third lay Headmaster in Mr. Gareth Lloyd and the Rosminian tradition is still a powerful hallmark in the life of the College. This is enhanced by the presence of the Rosminian Community living within the grounds of the College, in the land previously known as the “Aerodrome”. The Fathers continue to have roles in the many aspects of College life.