James Leslie (Brother Lambert Thomas) Matthews

Other Photographs of Brother Matthews

Brother Matthews was born in Estevan, Saskatchewan, on 12 February 1916.

Thanks to the meticulous record-keeping of the Christian Brothers, and the research done for me by archivist Brother Robert Werle, I have quite a lot of information on Brother Matthews. He was a Christian Brother -- a member of a Catholic order of men of the Church, who take priestly vows and give their lives to the service of the Church through education.

He had joined the Christian Brothers on July 1, 1938, and had taken his vows of poverty, chastity, and service on August 14, 1944.

He had been in the Baltimore area attending a conference of Provincials -- regional leaders of the Christian Brothers. He had served as Midwest Provincial Superior in Glencoe, MO, since September 1963. His previous service to the Christian Brothers included:

Sep 1939 Novitiate Staff
Sep 1943 Kansas City (teach)
Sep 1944 Christian Brothers College, St. Louis (teach/study)
Sep 1947 University of Notre Dame (study)
Jun 1948 Ph.D., Mathematics, University of St. Louis
Aug 1948 Sub-Director, Christian Brothers College, Memphis
Aug 1953 Director And president, Christian Brothers College, Memphis
Aug 1962 Director Of Scholastics, Memphis

His service to the Christian Brothers College in Memphis was extraordinary. The CBC had given up its accredited status as a college in 1914. Through his hard work, the school regained its status as a four-year college in 1953, and conferred its first degrees in 1955.

Though his body was never identified (the only things of his that were found were part of his religious collar and his driver's license), many memorial services were held in his honor throughout the country. A casket was buried for him in Shelbyville, though it was filled only with dirt. His true remains were the legacy of the work he had done, and the lives he had influenced, through his dedication to the Church.

As noted above, he was a graduate of St. Mary's College in Winona MN (1937), and held a Ph.D. in Mathematics from St. Louis University. He belonged to the fraternities of Sigma Xi and Alpha Sigma Nu.

He left behind two brothers and two sisters. One of his brothers, Phillip, was also a Christian Brother. His other brother James was a retired airline pilot.

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A marker for Brother Matthews in the LaSalle Retreat (Glencoe MO)
Thanks to Jim Dolan!

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Memorials for Brother Matthews:

from The Bell Tower, November 1969

from the eulogy of Brother Leo Kirby

from the eulogy of Brother Martin Toolis

another memorial for Brother Matthews

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