University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


See under "Motto".

"He who records the good deed of others is himself a doer of good deeds" Archbishop John Hughes

"This I hold to be the chief office of history; to rescue virtuous actions from the oblivion to which a want of records would consign them." Tacitus

" . . . They are your predecessors; it belongs to you to collect all that regards them. It is a treasure, a perfume of virtues, a true glory."

Letter of Bishop de la Hailandiere, pertaining to death of Father de Seille, addressed to Sorin, March 30, 1843, Vincennes

"It is a good thing for a man in his individuality and also in his associated relations occasionally to take a survey of the past." H.S. Cauthorn

"Once in a a hundred years retrospect becomes a historical duty." Sister M. Madeleva, 1945

"A Christian school is the manifest will of God." Sister M. Madelva, 1945

" . . . it is true that the first priests on the missions were content to labor and to leave the records of their labors of God." Lambling's "Historical Researches of Western Penna."

"A learned Catholic writer and historian in enumerating the difficulties a searcher after historical data concerning the church has to contend with said: 'Every year the means of remedying the deficiency in historical records of early days of Christianity grows more difficult. Old men decay like old landmarks, and important facts were never reduced to writing and so are forgotten with the remembrances of the men who know them." H.S. Cauthorn

"It cannot be denied that too little interest, especially among the Catholics has been manifested in collecting and preserving the records of the past. Some people think the work of little importance, and that such reading is dry and uninteresting. But this view is only taken by barren and uncultured minds. General history must be compiled from local annals, and the more detailed and accurate the latter, the more correct and satisfactory the former will be."

"It is a burning shame to the Catholics of the United States that the history of the early pioneers of the faith is yet to be written." Cauthorn, p. 171

" . . . it is nevertheless true that they were fugitives pieces; for the days of old, the days of gold were long and burdensome days with very brief twilight in which to indulge in reminiscence or record." Rev. John W. Cavanaugh; "The Priests of Holy Cross", 1905

"In no better way can insight of character be gained than by letters." Cardinal J. Gibbons

"But the missionaries kept no journals -- memoirs must remain unwritten where there are souls to save -- and if anything exceptionally romantic or edifying occurred in the early thirties, no man knows it." D.V. Casey

"I have long felt that far too little interest is manifested in collecting and preserving the records of the past especially among Catholics." Rev. Lambing: Historical Researches of Western Penna.

"The Council decided that the secretary should take a note of whatever may come to his knowledge giving particular care to the reason of our misfortunes that this journal might be used in the compiling of our chronicles." Council of Adminisitration, 1847

"All the establishments who have to write their Chronicles and have not yet begun, must have a book opened for this purpose in the first week of next January . . . " Ordinance of Rev. Victor Drouelle, Visitor- November 21, 1848

"The Sisters of Holy Cross have always been, thank God, a busy Sisterhood, too intent upon the task at hand to leave in writing the testimony of their labors. Such testimony must be sought, not in the archives but in the stones of the institutions built of their love and sacrifice, in the sould to whom they brought the sweet, saving word of God."

"The Dominicans of Kentucky did much and wrote little." Archbishop M.J. Spalding, 1844

"Properly speaking, all history should be for instruction for edification, and for warning." Benjamin Webb

"In the month of May 1930, Michael Williams, editor of the COMMONWEAL and happy adventurer into the Catholic Church complained to the faculty and students of St. Mary's that America as a whole is thoughtless of her history and her tradition." THE KING'S HIGHWAY, p. 360

"Let these things be written for another generation." Ps. 101

"As in similar circumstances elsewhere, those who were making the history of the West and the Congregation there, were not concerned to record fully their achievements. In some of the archives of the Province an account of a whole year is often telescoped into four or five lines." THE WESTERN PROVINCE, p. 111, Sr. M. Renata

"It was urged by the Rev. F. Corby that "Chronicles" be opened in every house as had been done in former years. The object of this record was to make note of any transaction worthy of mention; change of members, celebration of feasts, commencements, and the like." Provincial Chapter, 1895

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›