"Who cares for the poor in this world of ease and comfort?
Who feels for them?
This, then, is our privileged lot, to see and attend to the needs
of the suffering members of our beloved Savior."
(Moreau Circular Letter 44).

Father Sorin had 2000 francs (roughly $400). He also had ambitious plans for a university. It would include a manual labor school to teach trades to orphans and other poor boys who needed to learn how to support themselves. It would have at its heart a great church which would serve as a center for missionary visits to Indians and other Catholics in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. By 1844 the brothers had built a three-story college and laid the cornerstone for a chapel; the state had chartered a new university and a manual labor school.

Father Sorin laid the cornerstone for the church in 1847, and in his chronicles says this about himself: "F. Sorin, ever full of confidence in the merciful riches of Providence, wished to bless the cornerstone of this new church on the octave of the Assumption. It was in reality somewhat bold for a man who had nothing collected, nothing even promised for this new enterprise; but it seemed to him a matter of necessity; he left to God the care of finding the resources. Who that has ever hoped in the Lord was confounded? One year later the church was up, to the great joy of the house and of the whole Catholic congregation, as will be shown presently. And in the month of November of the year 1849 this same church had the honor of being solemnly consecrated under the title of the Sacred Heart of Jesus . . . . "

Both Father Moreau and Father Sorin had this boldness of faith: both went ahead without funding in the expectation that God would provide. However, Father Moreau felt that Father Sorin should take a more businesslike approach to finances. Father Sorin felt that in his place Father Moreau would behave in exactly the same way. This disagreement based on similarity of character led to bitter feelings on both sides.

But an examination of Father Sorin's writings reveals that in his religious devotion and in his educational theory he continued to follow the way that Father Moreau showed him before he left for America. Father Moreau wrote: "the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart" (Moreau Circular Letter 36) and Father Sorin emphasized "the cultivation of the heart as well as the mind" (Sorin Circular Letter 125).


University of Notre Dame