Edmund’s new school, Mt Sion, opened in Waterford in 1804. To provide the basic daily needs of the children, a bakery and tailor were set up, as well as a residence for staff. Edmund, determined to bring the most modern of teaching methods, enlisted financial support from his business colleagues. The numbers of poor Catholics wanting education for their children grew quickly.
By 1807, three schools, including brothers’ residences, were operating in Mt Sion, Dungarvan and Carrick-on-Suir. In 1808, with the help of the bishop, Dr Power, the congregation began to take shape, initially taking vows as Brothers of the Presentation.