In 1866, seven years before he died, Father Moreau resigned as Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross. In 1868 Father Sorin assumed that responsibility. By this time the American Notre Dame had no serious financial difficulties. But in France Notre Dame de Sainte-Croix had such a heavy burden of debt that the very survival of the congregation seemed uncertain.

Starting in 1869 the new administration had to sell whatever property it could to pay creditors -- including first the furnishings of Notre Dame de Sainte-Croix and then the motherhouse itself with its college, residence for religious, and church. Concerned that creditors should be paid in full, especially since the loans had been made to him personally, Father Moreau resisted some of the measures taken by those who were now his religious superiors. When Father Sorin chided Father Moreau for being less than obedient, Father Moreau reminded him of his own past behavior.

Contrary to expectations, Father Sorin decided to return to Notre Dame du Lac and govern from America rather than from France or even Rome. Notre Dame de Sainte-Croix no longer belonged to the Congregation of Holy Cross. But the legacy of Father Moreau continues in the place he must have thought of as "the other Notre Dame".

In 1926 a Notre Dame alumnus named James Donahue became the first American Superior General of the congregation, which in 1931 reacquired and by 1937 restored the church of Notre Dame de Sainte-Croix. It once again serves as the spiritual heart of Holy Cross.



1832 Father Moreau acquires a house and land known as Notre-Dame in the Sainte-Croix (Holy Cross) neighborhood near Le Mans, France.

1835 Brothers of Saint Joseph, led by Father Moreau, move into this house and soon establish a novitiate and boarding school.

1836 Father Moreau acquires adjacent house and grounds. His priests make their home there and start a boarding school or their own.

1840 Father Moreau breaks ground for the Church of Notre Dame de Sainte-Croix.

1842 Father Edward Sorin and several Brothers of Saint Joseph found the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

1844 Brothers have built a three-story college at Notre Dame and lay the cornerstone for a chapel.

1847 Father Sorin lays the cornerstone for a new church at Notre Dame.

1849 The new Sacred Heart Church at Notre Dame is consecrated.

1866 Father Moreau resigns as Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

1868 Father Sorin becomes Superior General.

1869 The church of Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix has to be sold to settle debts.

1931 The Congregation of Holy Cross acquires and begins to restore the church of Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix.

1937 The restoration is complete.


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