Adrian Nyel was the administrator of this house for the poor when Mme Maillefer sent him to Reims in 1679 to establish a school for poor boys. The Brothers eventually lived and worked here for some years when they first came to Rouen, before moving out to their own home and running several schools for the poor in the town. Nyel’s purpose was with the assent of the Rouen Education “Board” (or “Office of the Poor”) with various letters of introduction, including to De La Salle (her cousin) in terms of establishing education for boys in Reims.
At this particular time, Nyel was the leader and founder of a loose-knit community of poor laymen who were teachers, infirmarians, and sacristans. These men called themselves “Brothers” but were not bound by vows. When the Brothers were to be invited to Rouen in 1705 they were to live in this hospital, teach the children here, and serve meals before travelling the 4 km (approximately 2.5 miles) to Darnetal and the other schools in Rouen. Located on Boulevard Gambetta, only part of the eastern wing now remains. Nyel and his schoolmasters lodged in the former west wing.
What must this location have been like during the time Nyel worked here?
- This is where the poor, the elderly, the sick, and others came for help and charity. Where would a place like that be today?
- This is where Adrian Nyel worked and inspired others to work with him. What kind of man do you think he really was?
- Nyel was focused, charitable, outgoing, and faith-filled. How might he model what a Lasallian educator is for today?