University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts

EARLY NOTRE DAME (The First Winter of the Sisters . . . 1843-4)

"The first winter in the New World was very hard. Despite the fact that the new College Building at Notre Dame was being completed and the fact that the people of South Bend were well-disposed toward the religious of Holy Cross, and were pleased to have the school opened in their vicinity, the direct sort of poverty prevailed. In one letter sent to the Mother House, the Sister Superior said that all were in complete destitution, with straw mattresses for their only beds, and that the clothes of the Brothers were in such a state as no longer to have material on which to sew patches. Once more the purse of the Mother House was opened for the poor little struggling colony; for although Father Sorin himself slept on a little pile of straw or in a chair, it broke his heart to have his children suffer through necessity what he suffered through choice." Sister Eleanore, "King's Highway," p. 127, 1843-44

(Second Colony . . . July, 1843.. Arrival)

"They (Sisters) immediately took charge of the housework and of the clothes of the Brothers and men, which having been delivered over to the needles of the Brothers all this time, were in a forlorn condition . . . Brother John, who had gone to meet this colony at the Mother House and had, all unknowingly, passed them in mid-ocean, returned to Notre Dame in November, bringing with him Sister Mary of Providence." . . . Mother M. Elearnore: "On the King's Highway," 1843

(First College, 1843-1845 . . . Mother Eleanore) "In the winter of 1845 they (Sisters) moved into a brick house which till then had served as a temporary college building. This house contained three rooms on the first floor; one large room the whole length of the house, which was used as a clothesroom for the priests, Brothers, and students; a refectory, and an entrance room. On the third floor were a large dormitory of the same size as that of the clothesroom and two small rooms. The chapel was in the cupola. The Blesed Sacrament was kept there, and Mass was celebrated occasionally. Under the house was a fine brick cellar, half of which was a bakeshop . . . " Mother Eleanore: ON THE KING'S HIGHWAY, p. 145, 1845

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›