University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


"Brother Augustus and his associates in the tailor shop are kept busy making suits, so much so that the director of the shop had to go to Chicago this week for a new supply of goods. He is furnished with choice samples of merchandise by the principal dealers in Chicago and the East, and the care which he takes to have the most approved styles and to give a neat fit cannot fail to satisfy his customers." SCHOLASTIC, October 18, 1879

"If I knew whom you had chosen for our mission, even though I am a little tired, I would stay up still longer to congratulate them on their beautiful vocation. I would tell them of our beautiful lake, our delightful riverbanks, etc. O what happiness I behold in store for those generous souls who have no fear of the icy North! True, it is somewhat cold here; but even though at times the blood does not circulate freely down to the tips of our members, nevertheless as long as the heart can beat with love for the work of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, what more is needed to make a Christian or a religious happy." Fr. Sorin to Fr. Moreau, MOREAU's CIRCULAR LETTERS (II, pp. 62-63), December 5, 1842

"Brother Augustus, 28, tailor, pretty good Brother but a bit flighty. Devoted, good of house ever at heart." Sorin Memo., 1846

"Brother Augustus invites the public generally to call and see the fine large painting which has been placed in his rooms in the tailoring establishment. It is a canvas picture (6' x 4') with three figures represented -- two seniors and a minim -- dressed in the latest style. The words "Merchant Tailoring" are place above in large highly colored letters. The whole is the work of Profesor Ackerman. Call and see it." SCHOLASTIC, September 29, 1883

"Professor Stace speaks of the braying bassoon of Brother Augustus who played in the Band with the future Archbishop Reardon, Southern France." SCHOLASTIC, March 31, 1888

"Brother Augustus, the active and energetic Director of the tailoring establishment, has received a fresh supply of Winter goods. Give him a call." SCHOLASTIC, December 13, 1886

"The lecture of Brother Augustus at the Manual Labor School was well attended. Among those present were Messers, J.F. Edwards, Joseph A. Lyons, Brother Marcellinus, Alban, Alexander, Celestine, Columbkille, Leander and others. The lecture entitled "Auld Lang Syne" relating many interesting and instructive incidents in the early history of Notre Dame was listened to with much attention." SCHOLASTIC, November 21, 1874

"The increasing demands for uniforms for the members of the military companies keeps the genial Director of the Tailor Shop and his numerous assistants constantly busy. But all orders are filled as speedily as can be expected, and perfect satisfaction given." SCHOLASTIC, February, 1886

"Brother Augustus is engaged in preparing his reminiscences of the early days of Notre Dame for the forthcoming "Annals of the Congregation of Holy Cross." The good Brother came to Notre Dame a year after its foundation, and his memory of facts and events is very accurate. His contribution to the ANNALS will be important and interesting." SCHOLASTIC, 28:355, 1894

"Thirty-one days in crossing the ocean from France to New York; fourteen days in going by rail and water from New York to Detroit, from Detroit by Stage coach to Notre Dame. This is the trip that Brother Augustus made fifty-three years ago. The Notre Dame of the time was a lonely log cabin built by the side of a lake in a large, wild forest. Indians roamed freely about the woods, and used frequently to walk in where the little band of white men were dwelling, and without asking permission, take whatever they wished to have.

"It was primeval America; bears and other wild animals strayed about the little college building, and their presence certainly added very little to the comfort and peace of its inmates. There were five students at that time, two of whom were Indians.

"This was Notre Dame as Brother Augustus found it. Since that time he has lived here and his life is very closely connected with the history of our institution. He helped to replace the log cabin by the little frame building. When Brother Augustus first arrived, he was but a novice, three years later, November 20, 1847, fifty years ago today, he made his profession in the little church of the Sacred Heart.

"The work that Fr. Sorin had proposed was a great one; and great works are not accomplished without much toil and sacrifice. Yet the Brothers who assisted our Father Founder were ideal co-workers; without complaints they went cheerfully about the tasks which he had assigned them, and were never weary until they had completed their work.

"Old students will remember Brother Augustus as a prefect in the Seniors. Many a time with him as their leader, they forgot their studies for a while, and roamed through the woods and neighboring country . . . After serving as guestmaster for four years Brother Augustus was employed as superintendent of the tailoring establishment.

"Brother Augustus is the sole survivor of the second band of colonists -- heroes, I might say -- that came to Notre Dame. His companions are all resting in the little cemetery near the lake . . . His whole heart is in Notre Dame and it is a pleasure for him to look back through the long avenue and see the little log hut growing steadily into our beautiful college of today." P.J. Ragan in the SCHOLASTIC, 31, pp. 179-180

" . . . was one of the second band that crossed the seas to join the Very Rev. Ed. Sorin in the wilds of Indiana, there to fill the gap made by death in the ranks of our first missionaries. Then Brother Vincent, it is well known, had been sent to ask aid from the Very Rev. Father Moreau. In response to this petition came Fr. Granger, several other religious and three Sisters of the Holy Cross. These had embarked at Havre on the 10th of September 1844, and after a stormy voyage, in which they outraced death, landed at New York on the 11th of October. Thus they set foot on much-desired America; but there still remained great distances to be travelled and new dangers to be encountered before arriving at their destination. From New York they ascended the Hudson to Albany, took the train thence to Buffalo, and then traversed Lake Erie, weathering a storm so violent as to exhaust all their strength. After a few days rest at Detroit, they continued their journey by stage via Marshall and Kalamazoo to Notre Dame, where they arrived on the 27th of October. Brother Augustus died a sudden but not an unprepared death. For, besides having a conscience delicate almost to scrupulosity, he had made an excellent retreat to which he gave himself up with a fervor undoubtedly inspired by grace. The evening before his death he assisted at Benediction, and joined in the singing. At recreation that same evening he appeared more joyful and more exhuberant than usual. He went to bed quietly at the regular hour. In the morning the bell for rising did not awaken him. For, without making the slightest noise and without making the least movement, he had passed from the calm repose of sleep to the reposeful calm of eternity." Fr. Francais, CIRCULAR LETTER, August 2, 1900

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›