University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


"The intentions of the Bishop of Cincinnati (Fenwick, O.P.), another diocesan priest, S.T. Badin, had entered the novitiate of the Dominicans at the Minerva, Rome, on April 21, 1827. He received the habit on May 5, but withdrew from the Order after six months in the novitiate." HISTORY OF THE ARCHIVES OF CINCINNATI, p.180, Lamothe, 1827

"The land donated by the Bishop (de la Hailandiere) consisted of about 600 acres, originally purchased from the government in 1830, for about $1.25 an acre, by the Very Rev. S.T. Badin, the first Catholic priest ordained in the United States." AVE MARIA, 27:161, 1830

"Considering the spot as possessing peculiar advantages for an educational institution, he bought from the Government the sections of land which included the lakes, erected a log chapel 24x40 feet, and put up a small frame building of 2 stories to serve as a convent and school for the Sisters, as he appears to have had in view at first a Sisters' school and academy." 1830-1

Badin bought 524 acres at $1.25 an acre. Sold to Bishop Brute for $1.00 on July 1, 1835 "all land and appurtenances thereto belonging, which he, the said S.T. Badin, owns within two miles of South Bend, on the east side of St. Joseph river, St. Joseph County, Indiana, embracing two small lakes of about 60 acres, and consisting of 3 tracts containing about 250 acres all bought of the Commissioner of the Michigan Road land; secondly of 50 acres and upwards of Congressional land bought of the office in Fort Wayne, and thirdly of two tracts bought of Mr. Merril of Indianapolis, all of these tracts being connected. Now the conditions of those transfers in such that the grantee above named or his heirs or assigns shall apply the said estate . . . to the establishment of an orphan asylum or to such other religious, charitable, institution as they will judge more proper and beneficial to humanity and morality. The second condition is that the grantee aforesaid, his heirs or assigns, shall cause to be paid unto the grantor above named, $750 for buildings and other improvements made on said land and the other expenses incurred in commencing the said establishment of one orphan asylum on said land." S.T. Badin, delivered at Louisville, February 18, 1836. Brute paid Badin, September 3, 1885, $750, 1836

" . . . I had the pleasure of seeing the good Brother Anselm of Madison some months ago. Please remember me kindly to him and his excellent pastor. (Delaune)." Steamboat 'Monongahela'- Ohio River; Dec. 20th, 1843

"In 1830, St. Mary of the Lake's was purchased from the Government by the Rev. Theodore Badin, the first priest ordained in the U.S. Here dwelt the zealous missionary and his successors . . . After a while, however, as large numbers of the Pottowattamies had gone elsewhere out of this region the mission was abandoned. Then the Bishop of Vincennes offered the grounds to the Congregation of Holy Cross on condition that they would erect and maintain a college building." SCHOLASTIC, May 26, 1888

"It appears that Father Chandon, S.J. was the founder of the mission of St. Joseph near Niles which flourished about 100 years and expired with twenty years . . . After the conquest of Canada by the British whose abominable policy would not permit the Indians to enjoy the instructions of Catholic priests . . . The American Government has not been very favorable to Catholic Missionaries. If it had done for us the 10th . . . or 20th . . . of what has been done in favor of Protestant Ministers." Badin to Sorin, SCHOLASTIC, April 4, 1885

"Father Badin quotes from the letter of one of the two 'Charity Sisters' in the Indian Village on the St. Joseph's River: 'My dear Father, I am quite glad to inform you that we are so happy that we would not exchange our situation for anything. Eliza Jackson.'" From a letter of Fr. Badin, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Feb. 15, 1834, THE DIOCESE OF FT. WAYNE, p. 65

"I saw two of your children, the tutors of Catholic youth, in Madison. I put them to many questions about St. Mary of the Lakes, etc . . . " Louisville- Was enroute to New Orleans, for his health, 1845

Letter of November 5 to the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, apparently dictated by Father Badin: (in archives)

"today I find a well-organized college, a novitiate of Brothers, houses well-constructed, 300 acres of land under cultivation, a community consisting of 6 priests, 3 seminarians, 40 Brothers, novices, and postulants . . . All students are Catholics, although their parents are so poor that only about a dozen families are able to pay their bills." SCHOLASTIC, Sept. 18, 1930 (His grant of land on which N.D. stands, comprised 524 acres.)

"The tract known as Notre Dame was purchased from the government by Father Badin in 1830.. When Father Badin thus identified himself with early history of Notre Dame, the proto-priest was 76 years of age."

"Badin: proto-priest of United States, known all over the New World where he spent himself for more than 60 years, but nowhere in the almost boundless field of his labors did he leave his mark and immortalized himself as he did here. Nowhere did he ever purchase any land but here. But, as he stated to Sorin one day, once after ministering to the wants of his dear Indians while gazing over the two pretty lakes on the shores of which he stood in admiration, a thought flashed through his mind, that such a beautiful spot should be secured for God. What a delightful place for an orphan asylum or a college. Instantly he resolved to buy it. 'Now well inspired,' he said to Sorin another day, fifteen years later, when he returned again to Notre Dame, 'How well inspired I was when I entered these 524 acres!' That it was a providential design he himself never doubted. He rejoiced about it as he never did on any other of his undertakings. He looked upon it not as proof of his personal foresight or sagacity, but as a superior design of which he had been simply the executing tool. So deeply was he convinced of it that when he revisited Notre Dame he gave itall that he possessed, namely, $6000 on which he received small annunity till his death in 1853."

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›