University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


"Although not incorporated as a charitable institution until 1851, still the feeble beginning of St. Joseph's Boys Orphan Asylum dates back to the year of 1849.

"It was during this year, in the month of August, when the cholera raged fearfully that the first efforts were made in Buffalo for a boys' orphans asylum. Bishop Timon and his clergy were compelled to take this step, as the orphans of very poor parents, who had been swept away by the pestilence were principally supported by them in Buffalo, until they removed to Lancaster in April, 1850 . . . It continued in Lancaster until April 19, 1854. At this time the zealous Bishop most earnestly desired (in addition to the usual branches of education) that these orphans should learn a trade to adapt them afterwards to habits of industry. The resources of a location outside of the city limits rendered this impracticable. Therefore the orphans were removed to Buffalo." Life of Bishop Timon, p. 170, Charles G. Deuther, 1870

"At Lancaster, Erie Co there are Brothers of St. Joseph. (Attached to the Redemptorist parish is a parochial school)" Catholic Directory, p. 129

"Male Orphan Asylum at Lancaster under the care of the Brothers of the Order of St. Joseph." Forty three orphans. Catholic Directory, 1852

"Since the Sisters of Charity were now confining their efforts to the care of the girls, Bishop Timon made separate provision for the boys whose parents had been swept away by the cholera of 1848. A boys' asylum known as St. Joseph's was opened at Lancaster in 1850. Four years later the boys were removed to a building on Best Street, in Buffalo." Msgr. O'Grady, Charities, p. 74

" . . . I do not think that you or your exemplary society in Europe would expect me to pay just double what the Sisters of Charity receive, and at least 50% more than the Christian Brothers. These last at first required $150 per year, a house, etc., and they fed and clothed themselves; subsequently that it should be under the conditions of being found all that the Christian Brothers require, and that your Brothers would do as they do. I thought the terms very generous, but as you understand it would make it a 50% more than their rate of $200. I do not think it just, and I know that any rate not based on justice cannot be permanent. As for taking no pay for postulants I am not aware that it ever was exacted. I would wish the asylum in Buffalo to serve as a nursery for your beneficent order; and I would never grumble at anything that might serve so desirable an end . . . I am ready to agree to the same terms as those which the Bishop of Albany and others make with the Christian Brothers." Bishop Timon to Sorin, 1856

"Brother Francis and August sent to Buffalo to take charge to the Orphan Asylum there." Local Council, Sept. 17, 1856

" . . . In November 1856, Bishop Timon of Buffalo, New York secured the services of four Brothers and Three Sisters to found an orphan asylum in this city . . . Financial difficulties caused the closing of the institution one year later." ON THE KING'S HIGHWAY, p. 286

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›