University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts

EDWARD, BROTHER (John Fitzpatrick) (Received habit: 1854)

Teacher at Toledo in 1855. (200 pupils) Teacher at Cincinnati in 1855 and 1856.

Toledo: "Brother Edward is getting along very well. He has about 70 boys in his school . . . The good fathers here -- Campion, Foley -- are striving all they can to procure postulants and students for our Community." Bro. Edward Joseph, Provincial, 1855

(St. Francis de Sales School) (See "Philadelphia and Baltimore")

Cincinnati -- October 7, 1855. "Brother Edward arrived here September 28. I had always a good opinion of him, and find that I am not deceived. He keeps good discipline over the boys, which is the principal thing for a teacher . . . The priests and pupils are well pleased.

"With Brother Edward I opened today a Sunday school for young men. Class was from one to 2:30. We had 40 scholars. For our reward we will take the blessings of Heaven, but hope to procure by doing so, some good vocations.

"I agreed with Brother Edward to begin next month an Engineering school, if you will approve of it. If we made but $50 on it, we would pay that on our house.

"We have formed a regular class among ourselves at 4:00 every afternoon." (Signature of writer torn off letter.) Provincial, See also "St. Joseph Church," 1873

1869: Treasurer (Provincial)

1868: Provincial Councilor and Steward; Council of Administration.

1864: "It was also agreed to retain John Mulqueen as bookkeeper for three months longer at a salary of $50 per month. Brother Edward will immediately prepare himself to replace him." LOCAL COUNCIL, April 11

(Visitor) "Brother Edward has been absent for a couple of weeks visiting the different schools of the Congregation in Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Covington, Hamilton, and other places." SCHOLASTIC, Nov. 2, 1878

Trustee and Treasurer of Notre Dame . . . . 1874

"Bro. Edward, one of the best members of the society." SORIN CHRON., 1860

(1870) "We are happy to renew the praises we bestowed in 1867 upon the two offices and the manner in which the books were kept, giving entire satisfaction to the public dealing with Brother Edward in the General office" Sorin Visit: CIRCULAR LETTERS, p.288, 1870

"Father Corby as President of the College aided by . . . the cool heads and ready pens of Brothers Edward and Gabriel in the Steward's Departments, and Brother Francis de Sales as Procurator, maintains the College of Notre Dame in its old standing among the best educational establishments of the country. Brother Eugene, the Chief of the Industrial School, has made the young men of his department experts in the various trades and good Christians. Need we add that the farm, with Brother Lawrence and Brother Paulinus as directors, begins forth fruit as well as the College Industrial School and Novitiate?" SILVER JUBILEE, p.45

"Another link between the old days and the new was snapped when the venerable Brother Edward passed away last Monday (January 14) afternoon. For the past two or three years his health has been failing; for many months he had taken an active part in the Councils of the Administration; day by day his strength failing, until at last his gentle soul went forth to receive the reward exceedingly great.

"Few lives -- at least to human seeming -- deserve that reward so thoroughly as did Brother Edward's. The beautiful analysis of his character pronounced by Father French at the funeral impressed all hearers with its justice and adequacy . . . Brother Edward was one of the trusted counsellors of Father Sorin in the upbuilding of Notre Dame; for 38 years he was the Treasurer of the Congregation of Holy Cross, deputed to worry over financial matters while his fellow-religious labored in the pulpit or class-room. His problem was to make a small income fit a large expenditure, and in the terrible days following the great fire of 1879 that problem was distressing painfully. Earlier in the history of Notre Dame -- when angry creditors stalked through the halls of our University threatening to foreclose mortgages and to turn the halls of our University threatening to foreclose mortgages and to turn the Community, few in numbers and destitute of resources, into the street; when horses were unyoked from the plow to be sold that a pressing debt might be paid, and when religious who had taught laboriously during the school year were required to seek relaxation in the harvest fields during vacation -- in those earlier days there were indeed heavier anxieties. But no one will ever know the laborious days and sleepless nights which made up Brother Edward's life when fire swept away the work of 35 years and when the makers of Notre Dame had to begin all over again with the same old problem of big debts and small resources to face.

"It would not surprise us if a life so entangled in secular affairs should be wanting somewhat in religious regularity, but it is to the testimony of Brother Edward's confreres in religion that in all the observances of he Community life he was a model and an inspiration. He was a man of great faith and great charity. To innumerable persons he was 'guide, philosopher, and friend', and his daily round of duties was never comlete until he had imparted advice, consolation, or encouragement to such as needed these helps. He was not a mere business man wearing the habit of a monk; he was devoted wholly to his office work because it was imposed on him by religion. In short, he was of old heroic mold, a worthy coadjutor of Father Sorin, and the brave, strong men who built an institution of higher learning in the wilderness with a hope that time has justified and a courage that later generations can never cease to admire." SCHOLASTIC, 34:279-80, 1901

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›