University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


"Brother Augustine, assistant postmaster, who m ade his vows August 15, 1914, is the great grandson of a soldier of the Revolutionary War who served in Washington's Army, the grandson of a Confederate soldier, and himself a soldier for thirteen years before seeking the peace of the religious life."

"John T. Aldridge, the worldly name of Brother Augustine was born in Chambers County, Alabama, May 18, 1878. He worked on a plantation until he reached manhood and then his roving spirit led him to the logging camps of Florida, where he met a gang of roof-painters from the North. With them he travelled to California. He decided to go to the Leland Stanford University, but changed his mind and went to Ireland on the sailing vessel BRENDA of Creenock. From there he went to Dublin, thence to London, where he enlisted May 5, 1898, in the British army. He was in service in India, Burma, and Arabia for five years. In the latter country he was under fire in the Hinterland campaign. On May 26, 1905 he landed in Queenstown, Canada, after seven years' service in the British army. He worked on a Canadian farm for a few months, then returned to Alabama. He soon enlisted in the regular army at Birmingham, was sent to Columbus, Ohio, and then went to Alaska in the 10th regiment. At. Ft. William H. Seward he endured the cold of Alaska for two years. While there, under the influence of a Catholic priest, the chaplain of the regiment, he joined the Catholic Church on December 22, 1907."

"ON his return he was stationed for one year at Fort Benjamin Harrison near Indianapolis. At the end of his enlistment he began selling insurance, but soon gave this up in order to enlist in the 8th cavalry at Fort Robinson. The chaplain of the regiment was also a Catholic priest, Rev. Neil Breman, under whose influence Bugler Aldridge bought himself out of the remainder of his enlistment and entered the novitiate at Notre Dame, November 14, 1910, after serving almost six years in the U.S. Army. He is interested in the movement of the British army at present, but does not take sides, because, as he says, he is now in the religious life and not a soldier." Catholic Universe, Cleveland, November 6, 1914

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›