Moreau The Sorbonne
"We shall always place education side by side with instruction;
the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart.
While we prepare useful citizens for society,
we shall likewise do our utmost to prepare citizens for heaven."
(Moreau Circular Letter 36).


19th-century Notre Dame Curriculum

In Father Moreau's view, teachers had to be concerned with the education of the whole person -- with the head as well as the heart. The prevailing opinion among the clergy of France in his time took the moral formation of students far more seriously than their intellectual development. Of course, because of the destruction of Catholic education in the French Revolution, priests themselves were often very badly educated. While he emphasized the importance of forming the Christian heart in the love of God and neighbor, Father Moreau insisted that his priests should be well educated. In fact, he sent Holy Cross students to one of the greatest universities in the world, the Sorbonne.


"Sending these students to the Sorbonne ranged Father Moreau publicly on the 'progressive' side in a bitterly controversial issue. For he was proclaiming that Catholic education must incorporate the best elements of the secular system, that the schools he hoped to establish could attract top students only if the teachers were fully qualified. Later, he would apply the same principle for the Brothers of St. Joseph, insisting that they spare no effort to get state diplomas." (MacEoin p. 60).


University of Notre Dame