For the past seven and one half years the development and growth of the Province continued to be characterized by an increase of brothers and schools. This increase therefore enabled new schools to be opened in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Florida and in the mission areas of the Philippine Islands and Japan. Because the government of such a large group of brothers became difficult for one man, provincial visitors were appointed to assist the Provincial. Finally in 1959 the General Council of the Institute divided the United States Province into two autonomous provinces. Since that time two Provincials generally have confined the development of their respective province to geographical areas: in New York and New England for the Poughkeepsie Province; and New York, New Jersey and the South for the Esopus Province.
This expansion period occurred at a time when the majority of the schools, whether provincial, diocesan or parochial, underwent remodeling, construction changes, and expansion of facilities. In spite of the increase of personnel during this period, it became necessary in some schools to hire a number of lay teachers, or to withdraw the brothers from schools such as Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, Illinois.
Significant progress was also made in the mission territories during this period. In 1953 there were three high schools, conducted by fourteen brothers in the Philippines; today there are twenty-nine professed brothers in six high schools, three colleges, and a novitiate. The original mission schools have been replaced by sturdier buildings constructed by the brothers during their summers and leisure time. On September 12, 1960 this mission territory was given its autonomy as a Marist district. In addition a second Marist mission territory was added in 1957 to the Province of the United States. A small English speaking high school in Kobe, Japan was assigned to this province by the General Council. That year the first group of three American missionaries left for Japan. A second school was under study at Kumamoto since 1959 and was opened two years later.
Since the division of the United States Province in 1959 the mission territories have been administered separately by each of the two new provinces, the Philippines mission by the Esopus Marists until September 1960, and the Japanese mission by the Poughkeepsie brothers.
Other missions received brothers during these years. In 1954 two brothers travelled to South Africa to teach in schools in the Province of South Africa. In 1960 Brother Paul Ambrose, Assistant General for the American and Chinese Provinces, convinced the American Provincials of the extreme need for help in the Far East. In answer to his appeal four American brothers have left. for Hong Kong and Sarawak, respectively.(1.)
During the expansion period the professional advancement of the brothers was furthered by the inauguration of the Marist Educational Conferences in 1955. The stimulus which these conferences has added to the brothers' professional growth has been evident in the number of projects undertaken in programming; in the addition of more degreed men to the faculties, and in the number of grants and honorary degrees awarded to the brothers.(2.)
Other noteworthy events occurring in this period include the dedication of several school buildings, special observance of the Marian year, and above all the beatification of the Founder of the Institute on May 29, 1955. Finally the convocation of the Fifteenth General Chapter of the Institute in 1958 brought important changes in the regular observance which modernized customs and rules, and in the personnel of the General Council at the Mother House.