University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


" . . . .and after the blessing of God one secret of the success of Notre Dame has been the spirit of enthusiasm and union among the priests, Brothers, and Sister of Holy Cross. They measured their service with no niggard hand, and the day was not long enough for the labors they were eager to perform. Temptation to discouragement there must have been then as there will always be, but they faltered not . . . .

"Embrace a profession and no man will chide you if you labor in it only during office hours, embrace a vocation and every hour of the day and every thought of your life ought to be given unreservedly to that vocation . . . the man is master of the profession, but the vocation is master of the man." SCHOLASTIC, 40:226

"I tell you that Notre Dame was built up, not by any man whatever. It was built first by the blessing of God and the protection of His holy mother, and then not by a man who went around the country giving talks, not by any wonderful foresight in a president. The patient, faithful workers day by day in the classroom and on the campus were the men who did it. They, and not any other, deserve the gratitude, and it is a real joy for me to express to them the admiration I feel for them and the pride I have in the association of those most interesting and happy years . . . . to be privileged to work side by side with the Priests whom I know and admire and love so much; to be privileged to stand side by side with the noble Brothers." SCHOLASTIC, 52:438, 1919

"Poor, untried, ignorant of the customs and language of the people, he and his brave Brothers looked smiling and unafraid into the face of privations and labor." SCHOLASTIC, 39:489

" . . . .of the examples of his heroic sacrifices and the instances of his self-denial -- at one time exchanging his dry clothing for the wet garments of the Brother who brought their provisions from Niles, at another gathering firewood in mid-winter, or trudging through deep snows to light a fleeting spirit on its way -- of these sweet deeds of charity no formal record remains. They are the heritage of his beloved family, and the good old Brothers who have survived those days still hold in affectionate remembrance the traditions which cluster round the old settlement, and love to recount past dangers and trials for the edification of numbers who now throng from every land to swell the ranks of Holy Cross." SCHOLASTIC, May 18, 1889


"Perhaps we elders are to blame for not indoctrinating freshmen more zealously in Notre Dame traditions -- for not telling them that Sorin and Granger at one time possessed only one hat between them (poverty!) so that when one was seen abroad on the campus the other was known to be, for most excellent reason, at home; that once the students must have gone supperless to bed had not the arrival of an unexpected gift from a friend relieved their distress; that while the foundations of our resplendent art traditions were being laid by the purchase of pictures many years ago the horses were once actually unyoked from the plow to be sold for debt." RELIGIOUS BULLETIN, Sept. 20, 1937

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›