University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


See under "Brother Stephen," 1850

Cincinnati, Provincial council of 1858, see under "Benoit, Rev. Julian," (Holy Trinity -- 1833)

"When the Germans organized the second Catholic parish in Cincinnati in 1833 Holy Trinity, a school was immediately opened also . . . . " Rev. J.A. Burns, PRINCIPLES OF EDUCATION, See also "Sorin -- Purcell, 1848" (St. Joseph's Orphanage)

"A Priest and four Brothers of Holy Cross conducted St. Joseph's Orphanage for Germans. Abandoned after eighteen months because of disagreement with congregation's administration." PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES, 1851

"In 1851 the Society of Holy Cross founded an establishment of four Brothers and a priest for the orphans of St. Joseph's a German house that had existed for ten years. The difficulty of getting along with the lay administration of the orphanage caused the foundation to be abandoned after eighteen months. The Brothers were transferred to St. John's, a large parish, where they taught 400 pupils. The Brothers number five. Paid $1,000, and they find their own board and lodging. Three Brothers teaching in German, one in English, and the fifth is a cook.

"The establishment has always given satisfaction, having been the first school in Cincinnati in the manner of conducting it, and in the progress and number of its pupils. It was founded not only to do much good in the parish, but also in the hope of securing vocations. It serves as a postulate for Germans.

"Everyone knows that the city is peopled by Germans, and there is every reason to think that in time there will be among them a rich harvest of subjects for the Society. Moreover, it is a center of business and commerce, and Notre Dame cannot but derive great advantages from a house in this vast center (150,000). The Brothers own a brick residence facing St. John's Church. Now 500 children, four grades." SORIN CHRONICLES, 1851

(See "Missions 1866"

"Resolved: That a letter should be sent immediately to Rev. Mr. Fernending of Cincinnati to ascertain about the contemplated establishment of our Brothers there." Local Council, December 28, 1852

"That Father Voors with three Brothers should start for the Cincinnati Orphan Asylum." January 17, 1853 St. Aloysius Orphans -- . . . .dependent on the house at Notre Dame du Lac: St. Aloysius Orphan Asylum, Cincinnati, 75 children. Rev. F.B. Farce, Director.

CATHOLIC ALMANAC, 1855 German Male Orphan Asylum, 1858 CATHOLIC ALMANAC St. John's School. Five German Brothers, 500 boys. Brothers of Holy Cross,

DUNIGAN'S CATHOLIC ALMANAC, 1856 Holy Trinity, 281 pupils 1885 St. Joseph's, 300 pupil prospects Brother Arsene, 1872 Holy Trinity . . . "If he could get a Brother able for the organ he would give

everything free and $300, for a teaching Brother I guess, $200." Fr.

Fr. Eberhard to Bro. Boniface, 1855 Holy Trinity . . . "My health is good, but this summer has had too great effect on

me. The cause is doubtless my schoolroom, which is too deep in the

ground." Brother Boniface, 1855 "We have upwards of 100 children at present . . . We commenced night school

October 20. We have about 33 night scholars, each paying $1.10 per month.

We begin at seven and end at eight thirty." Brother Bernard Joseph St. John's School -- Contains upwards of 1200 children. The boys are taught by

five Brothers of Holy Cross and the girls by Sisters of Notre Dame.


"As you requested I asked the Rev. Pastors if they would supply the Brothers with a house, and was very promptly answered, 'No, they would do no such thing.' They expressed themselves well satisfied with the Brothers, and would be sorry if they were taken away. They also admit that the house was not fit for us to live in but they think we ought to buy another and establish a novitiate. Nothing was said about the basement . . . . I showed them that if we have to pay rent for a house we couldn't support ourselves. If we have to board with a family it will be equally expensive . . . . It will always be difficult to get Brothers satisfied to teach in a basement. No one wished to teach in it a second year. The upper classes are good. Brother Edward to Fr. Sorin, 1858

"We have now received the money for the house. On Friday we got $625, the balance $200 he could pay in only small amounts . . . . We are obliged to remain in the house until the end of May. Brother Edward to Fr. Sorin, 1858

"And among the directors of our parochial schools our Council is particularly pleased with those of Cincinnati, Columbus, and Philadelphia." SORIN CIRCULAR LETTER, 1858

Two Brothers shall be sent to Cincinnati for the Cathedral School if Brother Edward can be replaced at Columbus. Local Council, May 9, 1859

"And this morning, as I promised to you, I would go and see the Archbishop (Purcell). He told me he had gone to see the Jesuits Fathers, and had told them that if there was a settled agreement, they should not break it, and if not, will they hold on till he should receive and answer from the Superior of the Christian Brothers. And he says that he could not -- it would be outrageous to permit the place to be occupied whilst they had written to others about the occupation. That his Lordship was awaiting an answer, that he had no want of affection for our Society and had no objection to us if the answer was favorable. He, however, referred to the college of Chicago and said that it seems they are not at all pleased with our Society there. He asked me how many schools we had in Cincinnati. I told him only St. John's. He said you would do well now only to confine yourselves to the German schools. I told him how much I was disappointed by these affairs . . . .

Rector Fr. Oaklye, S.J. said he did not want a priest of another society to have to do with his boys, for he would be working for his college. That is, I would be trying to take away subjects or students for Notre Dame College. I told the Bishop that there was no such intention, that I have been sent only for the good of his parochial schools and to establish a novitiate, or rather a preparatory one to receive such as should have a desire, etc.

So that we are stuck in the mud by these good people who desire so much the glory of God and the salvation of soul -- yet whilst we are negotiating, souls are perishing . . . . The Brothers know nothing of the contradictions." PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES -- L'Etourneau to Sorin, May 30, 1859

(Apparently the Jesuits were losing the Christian Brothers as teachers of their parish school and we were desirous of supplying our Brothers. An English speaking school.)

"I told you in my last letter that the Bishop Purcell said to me that we might confine ourselves to the German schools. I suppose by these words he approved our getting as many German schools here as we please or can." Father L'Etourneau to Sorin, June 13, 1859

"If you can provide our school (St. Xavier's) with three or four teachers, they will find Cincinnati a great field of labour and also a nursery for your novitiate. If your Brothers succeed in our school, I know that the Archbishop will be glad to place the other English schools under their direction." Rev. F. Driscoll, S.J. to Fr. Sorin, 1859

"Next in importance to Chicago mission is the German school of St. John's, Cincinnati. It has 575 pupils, taught by five Brothers, earning $200 each. Reputation of being the finest Catholic school in the city. Its success caused another priest to ask for our Brothers. Brother Boniface deserves great praise for his devotion and success." 1860

"The Archbishop Purcell is satisfied that I should apply to you, and I do so with confidence, for three Brothers by August 14 next." Fr. C. Driscoll, S.J. to Sorin

I am satisfied with the conditions proposed by Fr. L'Etourneau last year. 1860

Brother Vincent de Paul shall replace Brother Boniface as director of Cincinnati. Local Council, July 20, 1862

St. Joseph's School in Cincinnati shall be accepted for next August. Local Council, April 27, 1863

The embarrassed condition of St. Joseph College was considered, also the plan to purchase the mortgage of the Building Association for $6,500, but no definite action was taken. Local Council, Feb. 7, 1863

It was decided to furnish the money for the payment of the Building Association in Cincinnati of $6,500 and so release the mortgage. Local Council, Feb. 14, 1879

"We learn from Brother Boniface, Superior of our Brothers in Cincinnati, that some day last week, the most Rev. Archbishop Purcell visited their numerous classes at St. Francis School, and gave each teacher and each scholar a medal blessed by the Holy Father, thus making hundreds of young hearts delighted. The archbishop was surprised to see the classes so crowded. Another Brother, the 15th, has been sent there since, to lighten the burden of his confreres. They teach at this time in Cincinnati over 1600 boys, all Germans." SCHOLASTIC, October 12, 1867

On the 1st of April, I, Alexis Granger, have visited this establishment.

It possesses a house where dwell 13 Brothers. Brother Boniface, Superior, Vincent de Paul, Dominic, Constantine, Amadeus, Cosmas, Philip Neri, Placid, Sophronius, Maurice, Norbert, Martial, Modestus. They have three schools under their direction: (1) St. Francis, Bro. Boniface, Director, 1000 boys. (2) Holy Trinity, Brother Philip Neri, Director, 400 boys. (3) St. Philomena's, Brother Placidus, 200 boys. Having visited the House as far as circumstances permitted, I have found in general regularity in attending the exercises, but not strict economy which religious should observe . . . The actual debt I have found to be $4,100, price of the house lately purchased. The profit of the schools is allowed to go toward the payment of this debt.

How to promote the spiritual and temporal welfare of the House, I have decreed: 1. that the Council of Administration be held every week, that no purchase be made without having been previously approved by the said council, and that personal articles be purchased by the steward or his assistant, Brother Constantine, and always according to the spirit of the Rule.

No one should covet presents. Should any gift be spontaneously offered it may be received on the condition, however, that it be remitted to the Superior, who may leave it in the hands of the recipient if he needs the article, but according to the spirit of the rule. Otherwise, he should dispose of it in favor of those who may need it, or sell it for the benefit of the House.

3. The Chapter of Accusation must be held every week.

4. Silence is recommended everywhere.

Some modifications in the Metropolitan Reader are desired. Some parts seem too hard for Children, e.g., the chapter "Predominant Passion." 1869

Trinity School . . . .

It was suggested to establish a special School at Trinity School, Cincinnati, but no decision was made. Brother Arsene was authorized to make inquiries and report to the Provincial. Provincial Chapter Minutes, 1870

On account of the lack of subjects it was decided that the school of St. Francis should be given up; and that the three month's notice required by contract, should be given to the Franciscan Fathers. Provincial Chapter Minutes, 1870

The question of establishing in Cincinnati a higher school to which the pupils of the parochial schools after making their first Communion might be admitted was discussed, but nothing was decided upon. A committee was appointed to prepare the question and report to the Chapter. It was decided not to undertake the Select School this year, but to have only the Trinity School; to rent the Brothers' house to others, and instead to rent a house for the Brothers near Trinity Church. Minutes of Provincial Chapter, 1870

St. Joseph's College, Cincinnati . . . .

Founded in 1871 as a select day school. Located in center of city, not far from the cathedral. Classical and Commercial courses offered. School will be patronized. Enrollment 200. Brothers Albert, Cyprian, Hubert, Alban, Adolphus in 1895 (?). Chronicles of Holy Cross, page 14, 1871

The Fathers of the Holy Cross, who have their provincial house of Notre Dame, opened the College of St. Joseph on October 2, 1871. On May 3, 1873, the college, which afforded a classical and commercial education, was incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio. For a time it prospered, but adverse times came to strip it of all its former glory. Archives of Cincinnati -- Lamott, p. 284

St. Joseph's Academy, Eighth St. Near Central Avenue. Brothers of the Holy Cross, 190 pupils. CATHOLIC DIRECTORY

1880 . . . Holy Trinity taught by four Brothers of Holy Cross. 298 boys.

1880 . . . St. Philomena's . . . 225 boys. Taught by six Brothers.

1877 . . . St. Joseph's Academy . . . 120 pupils, Rev. P.J. Franciscus, President

The question of Cincinnati was taken up and the former decision was re-affirmed, viz., that no select school should be commenced this year, and on putting the question to a vote -- as to whether the property on the corner of Mound and Richmond Streets should be bought -- it was decided in the negative. PROVINCIAL CHAPTER MINUTES, 1871

The question of establishing a select school in Cincinnati was considered and after due deliberation was postponed as we have not Brother capable of teaching the high class. PROVINCIAL CHAPTER, August 26, 1871

Brother Arsene, the President (St. Joseph's College) is a good zealous religious. He tries to secure everything for the reputation and welfare of the College and Community. But he is overburdened with work. He has no Vice- President, no assistant to aid him and to take his place when he is absent. This mistake had been a great loss to the spirit and discipline of the house during the year . . . This is not Brother Arsene's fault, for, he told me, he asked for an assistant, but didn't get one. There is not sufficient recognition of his authority by the Brothers of the Community. Of course, what I have stated above would have this tendency. But there are other causes. One of the principal ones is that the Brothers have not been accustomed to obey a Brother as President of the College. They feel it to be incompatible with the genius and intent of our Institute for Brothers to conduct colleges. A priest should be at the head and a Brother might be Assistant. They have not expressed this in words, but I think I have given here the expression of their thoughts. In this I fully agree with them; and this is the first time, either in word or writing, that I have ever given expression to this conviction, although it is far from being the first time I have had occasion to reflect upon it. As coadjustors in the work of conducting colleges the Brothers will do well, and will then be carrying out the original design of our Congregation as we all understand it. To undertake to carry on or conduct colleges, independent of the priests of the Congregation, the Brothers will be a failure, simply because they are not independent. We are two societies in one. And the priests, by the very nature of their acquirements and sacred office, are best suited to govern. Where both elements, therefore, of the Congregation are together and the inferior is made to govern, the order of nature is reversed, and a failure must be the consequence. This the Brothers themselves feel as well as the priests . . . . The example of the Christian Brothers cannot be brought as an exception, simply because the Christian Brothers are in themselves an independent order. Their Institute was not organized to exist with another -- of a superior nature. They are intended to exist alone, and their studies and intention are directed to that end . . . .

No system of teaching is followed in the College. Almost everyone has his own way of teaching and governing his class. No Prefect of Discipline, No prefect of Studies to check the whims or caprice of any teacher. What are Brother Arsene's authority and exertions against all these obstacles! The Brothers have little or no experience in College teaching; and the Parish School System will not do. Yet, the latter is all they know and some of them try to use it. "But", you may say, "how is it then that they have been so successful in getting such a large number of students during the first year of the college? This is the answer: Brother Arsene is widely and favorably known to the parents whose sons are in the college. Many of the boys were his students both as parish school teacher and as teacher in the academy which preceded the college. Some of the other Brothers were the same. Brother Arsene has a peculiar fact for ingratiating himself into favor with parents and pupils. With this and his extensive acquaintance, he secured a large number of students this first year. For this he spent all his energies and a great part of his time . . . . But to secure the presence of students for the first term, and to retain them are two very very different things . . . . Besides, many of the classes are now as far advanced as their teachers. Some have told me that they had to study hard to keep ahead of their classes. And the worst is that there is not time for study. Mushrooms are not long lived. They grow in a day and die in as short a time. Besides, a college in Cincinnati has to compete with the Jesuit College, splendidly equipped in talent and in energy of government. We have not an establishment, outside of Notre Dame, that can compare with our college in Cincinnati as far as the material of advancement and resources are concerned . . . . Another difficulty is the want of more ground. No less than an entire square of ground will be sufficient to meet the demands of a college in that part of town if it is properly conducted.

There is a square for sale not too far from the present location, which can be had for "$29,000" . . . . Sell where we are and buy there . . . our buildings are not suitable. Rev. P.P. Cooney, Visitor, 1873

(Besides Rev. John Lauth as chaplain, there were two seminarians, Messers, Shanahan and Mahony, one of whom the Visitor styles 'n.g.' The chaplain refused to hear the Brothers Confessions and they had to go outside, a fact of which the Archbishop became aware. Holy Cross priests were few at the time.)

. . . The pupils are punctual in their attendance and are actively engaged in prosecuting their studies, and we feel confident that while the office of Director of Studies is filled by Brother Boniface, C.S.C., late President of St. Mary's College, Galveston, Texas, in interests of the pupils will not be neglected. OBSERVER in the SCHOLASTIC, Oct. 18, 1873

Our good friend, Fr. P.W. Condon, accompanied the Archbishop and returned with him to Cincinnati. We hear the most flattering reports of St. Joseph's College over which he presides. SCHOLASTIC, 7:116, 1873

We have received from Brother Arsene, Superior of the Academy of St. Joseph, Cincinnati, an invitation to be present at the celebration of the patronal feast of this flourishing institution. SCHOLASTIC, 6:212, 1873

Brothers Constantine, Vincent, and Amadeus teach in Holy Trinity School and discharge their duty well in school. They have very good discipline in their classes and give satisfaction to the pastor and parents. They live at St. Joseph's College. Fr. Cooney, Visitor, 1873

St. Joseph's College and Parish School of Holy Trinity Church, a personnel of two priests and six Brothers . . . . The Brothers have to go the college for meals and sleep. Father Albring should be made to furnish a residence for the Brothers or they should be withdrawn. L. J. L'Etourneau, Visitor, 1876

St. Philomena's School . . . .

This school has been opened last September. For the present it has only 58 boys, under the direction of Brother Constantine. An assistant Brother will soon be sent. 1878

This College (St. Joseph's) founded for several years has been a source of great annoyance almost from the beginning owing to bad administration, and the defection of its first superior. Its present condition seem better, although the number of students is not as great as it should be, only 130 attending. 1878

All the establishments seemed to be in a fair way financially, except St. Joseph's Collegw which is falling behind at the rate of at least $2,000 a year. Provincial Chapter Minutes, 1878

"This school was abandoned (St. Philomena) for several years but it has been taken again in 1877 to the great satisfaction of the pastor and people. Five Brothers conduct it. Brother Vincent de Paul, Director . . . .240 boys attend. The school is in a prosperous condition and has not suffered by the late defection of a Brother." 1878

College: 133 students, 'Prosperous condition'. All very devoted and pious religious, who work very conscientiously and are highly pleasing to both students and parents Debt: $29,376.50 instead $55,000 some years ago, and is gradually decreasing.

Schools: In regard to our Brothers here in the various schools in Cincinnati and Covington, I am happy to say that they please the pastors and the Congregation as the pastors inform me. Fr. Franciscue to Sorin, Feb. 11, 1880

Nearly 300 boys and an equal number of girls are taught by the Brothers of Holy Cross and the Sisters of Notre Dame. AVE MARIE, 18:196, 1882

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›