University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


Founded in 1844, taught by Brother John. Eighty-four students -- fifty-four boys, four Protestants. General Archives 70.3 or 78.3, 1845

Another record notes: Ft. Wayne school opened December 1, 1843. One Brother at first, then another for German.

Male Free School at Fort Wayne, conducted by a Brother of St. Joseph. CATHOLIC ALMANAC, p. 110, 1846

Brother John Chrysostom, Superior 1871

Brother Emmanuel to Ft. Wayne Local Council, August 27, 1847

Brother Basil director of school at Fort Wayne. (Ibid, 1847 and 1862

Rev. Julian Benoit asks for a teaching Brother to replace another. Sorin's Letter, February 12

Impossible to build school for Brothers because Civil War enlistments have taken mechanics and labor commands double prices.

1859 . . English school, Boys eighty; Brother Bernadine, Director. DUNNIGAN'S CATHOLIC ALMANAC

1856 . . Cathedral School for Boys. Brothers of Holy Cross. Brother Bernard, Superior.

1869 . . Five Brothers, Brother Ephrem, Superior

1872 . . Six Brothers, two hundred and fifty pupils. Brother John, Superior.

1873 . . Brother Cyprian, Superior

1880 . . Six Brothers, three hundred and fifty-seven pupils.

1895 . . Six Brothers, Brother Engelbert

1900 . . Seven Brothers. Brother Marcellus, Superior. Rev. J. Durham and P. J. O'Rielly, Directors. Pupils 245.

1908 . . Five Brothers, Brother Marcellus. Boys 250.

1860 . . "It is now several years since the Brothers resumed charge of this Cathedral school, which is very satisfactory and gives not a bit of trouble. There is only one Brother, but two will be needed at the next term." Sorin's Chronicles, 1860

1860 . . Brother Stanislaus, teacher.

"I am building for the Brothers four school rooms, 40' x 26', and a dwelling house with six or seven rooms. The cost will be $5,000. I have been slow, but better late than never.

"I am delighted at the complete success of your establishment. 'Post tenebras lux.' Now take your time to form excellent teachers, and the pride of your undertaking will be in every mouth, and what is still better you will work for the glory of God and the salvation of souls." Julian Benoit, 1863

"We will want three Brothers next year. Brother Bernard must be one of them." Julian Benoit, 1864

"The school of the Brothers is doing well, even better than I expected. It will pay this year, and I have no doubt next year it will yield a handsome profit." January 20, 1865

The Council ordered Brother Joseph from Pokagon to Ft. Wayne. December 4, 1843

"To Very Rev. Julian Benoit, V.G., Pastor and builder of St. Mary's Cathedral, the city is indebted, not only for the new Cathedral, its chiel monument, but also for two excellent schools attached to it -- one for the boys conducted by four Holy Cross Brothers." AVE MARIA, March 3, 1866

"Fort Wayne is likewise to have a footing of its own for the Congregation. The four Brothers who conduct the school are doing well and are very happy." SORIN'S CHRONICLES, 1866

(Fr. Benoit to Sorin:) "Will send title of Brothers' school in Ft. Wayne shortly. Property 200' x 120'." August 24, 1868

(Fr. Benoit to Fr. Sorin: January 20, 1865) "School of the Brothers is doing well, even better than I expected. It will pay this year and I have no doubt . . . ."

"On the 29th of December, I, Alexis Granger, Provincial, visited this establishment. It possesses a large school house near the Cathedral. The building, however, needs repairs and is not solid. Five Brothers direct the establishment. Bro. Ephrem, Superior, Brothers Emmanuel, Cyril, Camillus, and Ildephonse. The school is attended by about 200 boys, all day scholars except two. Owing to the vacation of Christmas the school was vacant and would not be visited.

"I found the spirit of the house good and that the exercises were attended regularly. But the Brothers need encouragement. I left no ordinance, being satisfied to recommend the observance of the Rule and fraternal charity." Minute Book, Provincial Archives (Granger), 1868

" . . . .will do all he can to assist Sorin to have a number one college here but in a different locality." Bishop Joseph Dwenger, 1872

Director -- Bro. Gabriel, 1884

Director -- Bro. John Chrysostom, 1872

"We have about sixty students in the Commercial class and about forty-four in the primary class, which makes one hundred and four in the Academy, including the nine boarders. I have two drawing classes, one for the boarders and one for the Brothers." 1872

"Our Academy is crowded. I had forty in my little school room today." February 18, 1872

"You desire to know on what terms we have the schools . . . I never received any official information about them. I acted upon what the Rt. Rev. Bishop told you last vacation: that he wished to have three parochial classes, and that if the Brothers did not collect a sum equal to a liberal salary he himself would supply the deficit. I understand this was agreed upon. As the school stands now it will pay about as follows: first class, commercial, $600 a year; one Parochial, $250, second Parochial, #370, third Parochial, $370, which equals $1590, or $318 for each Brother.

"The Rt. Rev. Bishop told me he would pay for the wood and keep the school in repair. If I had been told to make my own agreement, or to take the school and make it pay, I would not have made such an unbusiness like contract . . . There is no chance to buy land in the suburbs of Irishtown for Mr. Williams." Brother John Chrysostom to Sorin

"The night school, I suppose, will have to comprise at least two classes. Some smart boys will wish to perfect themselves in writing, bookkeeping, etc. Some poor boys, the rudiments of catechism. Please call Brother Ephrem's attention to it that he select good, competent Brothers, and please let me know your terms." Bishop Dwenger to Sorin, August 5, 1875

"Brother Benedict will be a teacher in Ft. Wayne." Local Council, Oct. 13, 1848

" . . . I was much edified indeed by the good spirit manifested by all. The health of the Brothers is good, though they work extremely hard, being occupied with their pupils ten hours a day . . . This strain tells on the Brothers, since they have no time for exercies. No matter how cold the weather, the children are taken to Mass in a fireless church at 7:00 o'clock. From that time the Brothers are with the boys till about 5:00 o'clock. The sacristan has to serve two masses in addition to his other church duties, and to teach ninety pupils. Total number, three hundred." J.M. Toohey, C.S.C. Visitor, 1875

"I want to get out of the miserable condition in which I am placed. This state of things must have an end. (You know what I mean) We must have good schools for our boys; but nothing can be done unless you take my house . . . I will take $5,500 which you offered, to be paid, as we need the money for the building; but the whole amount to be paid during the year . . . So let us close up the matter at once and your Brothers can move into my house by September 1st. In their present condition, they cannot remain." Bishop Luers to Sorin, April 18, 1871

June 30: "I will be able to give you possession the first Monday in September and Brother John can make the necessary preparations for the purpose.

"I am truly grateful for the efficient Brothers you gave us this year, and I trust you will let them remain, especially Brothers John and Camillus. If you want to give the new Institute a good start, you must do this."

June 22: "I received today the $2282 which I have credited to your note.. I will be able to give you possession in time to commence in September next, and if you give us the Brothers again we had last year, especially Brothers John and Camillus, they will have a good school. Brother John is already at work preparing for next year. He is a pious and efficient Brother; he is universally beloved and has the good will of all. And, as he is already well knows here, he can, under existing circumstances, accomplish more than any other Brother you can possibly send. Only give him the opportunity and he will make a fine thing of the property. We will also do all we can to help him.

"I could upon no account pass any of the Catholic property out of my hands, because who knows by some means or other, against your will, however, it might not pass out of your hands or that of your community (but I hope not). If that should happen, to what an annoyance might not be exposed on our own premises and around the Cathedral.

"As it is now, it is, I think, safer for both sides. The conditions being so easy you will have no difficulty in complying with them; hence it will be to you the same as if you had it in fee simple . . . .

"By all means send us back Brother Camillus, who is such an efficient teacher. Nothing pleases your Brothers so much and tends to tie them to the Community and to work for it, as when they meet with success. They feel that it is their work, which they do not when teaching in the University, at least not to the same extent." Bishop Luers to Sorin, April 18, 1871

"On February 9, 1879, the Rt. Rev. Josehp Dwenger, Bishop of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, issued a pastorial letter, establishing a system of diocesan supervision by which all the schools of the diocese were brought under the general control of a school board, consisting of eleven members, all priests. The board had power to prescribe studies, text-books, the qualifications of teachers, and, in general, to take any action that was calculated to make for the betterment of the schools. Teachers were to be examined by the board, and to each member were assigned a certain number of schools in his vicinity which he was to visit annually and examine." THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES, Burns, p.200

"I spent Monday in examining the lower classes, and I am happy to inform your Reverence that their success is an honor to the Congregation.

"Brother Ephrem, the worthy Superior, is well satisfied with his Brothers, and I think he has every reason to be so, because they do their work (duty) as well as religious as teachers. There is no complaint so far as I can ascertain." Rev. P.J. Franciscus, Visitor, 1882

Central High School . . .

As far back as 1884, Bishop Dwenger urgently appealed to the priests having charge of city parishes to combine and erect at least one high school for boys in each large city. So far this appeal has remained unanswered, mainly on account of an obstacle thus far insurmountable -- lack of funds.

Another serious difficulty is the scarcity of male teachers, combined with the refusal of the religious communities of women to teach boys over fifteen.

We are not, however, without schools teaching above the 8th grades, even for boys. Several parishes have more advanced grades. 1884

" . . . .I have seen some strangers here, who, I suppose, are Brothers sent to teach our Catholic School. I do not know -- at least they brought no letters, and I have no information of any changes whatsoever. Is it not a mistake to treat me as if I had nothing to say about the Cathedral school? I should say it would be wrong if a mere parish priest were treated that way!

"I have no undue attachment to Brother Ephrem -- at least he did not seem to take that diligent interest he ought to have taken; but these constant and complete changes are certainly not beneficial to schools. I do not know any one of these strange Brothers; I have no personal objection to any of them, but I give you fair notice I will not stand for such treatment. The Catholic School is my school, and not a private college exclusively belonging to your order. You know I am a true and faithful friend, but I must uphold my authority as long as I am forced to exercise it" Bishop Dwenger to Sorin, Aug 28, 1883, Provincial Archives

"Typical among these is the school conducted by the Brothers of Holy Cross in the Cathedral parish of Ft. Wayne. The course occupies three years of English, Latin, algebra, bookkeeping, stenography, typewriting, commercial law, and of course religious instruction." THE DIOCESE OF FT. WAYNE, p. 513

"The Brothers of this order (C.S.C.) have in connection with the parochial school attached to the Cathedral in Ft. Wayne, a high school in which about fifty students pursue the higher branches of education." Report of Parochial Schools of Ft. Wayne, 1893

"The school for boys attached to the Cathedral is attended by three hundred and eighty one pupils under the supervision of eight Brothers of Holy Cross, with Rev. John Durham as director." Blanchard's History of Catholic Church in Indiana, p. 276, 1898

"The flourishing school known under the above title (Cathedral School for Boys) dates its origin back to the year 1848, when the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Julian Benoit opened a school for boys in a frame building erected for that purpose at a cost of several thousand dollars. Mr. A. Walters was placed in charge and under his management the school was carried on during a few years. In 1858 three Brothers of Holy Cross assumed control of the school and taught in the frame building until 1862 when the new brick school-house was ready for occupancy. This edifice, on the corner of Jefferson and Clinton Sts., was erected also by the good, generous Fr. Benoit, whose name the people of Ft. Wayne cherish as that of a loving father and true friend.

"The original cost of this structure, including the ground upon which it stands, was $10,000. It is a solid brick building, 458 x 60', stands 100' north east of the Cathedral with the main entrance on Clinton St. It contains seven classrooms, well ventilated and completely furnished with maps, charts, globes and other aids for the practical illustration on the branches taught in the schools. Those rooms afford a total seating capacity for 375 boys, and at present accomodate 334 students, under the control of seven Brothers of Holy Cross. In 1884 the course of studies hitherto pursued in the school, was extended to embrace a commercial department in which is given a thorough training in bookkeeping and typewriting. From this department were graduated many of the most successful business men in Ft. Wayne.

"The average annual outlay for the support of this school is $2500, which amount is derived from two sources:

1. From tuition fees varying from 75 cents to $2 a month according to the pupil's grade.

2. From the revenue of the Cathedral. The average annual expense per pupil is about $7.50. Value of school building and equipment is about $50,000. The house occupied by the Brothers which also belongs to the congregation is worth about $3,000."


"A meeting was held on Monday at Dujarie Hall to discuss the opening of a high school by the Brothers at Ft. Wayne. Brothers Peter of Chicago, Marcellus of Ft. Wayne, Marcellinus of Watertown, and Gabriel of Cincinnati attended. It was decided to open the new institute." SCHOLASTIC, 42:256, 1909

1859 -- Ft. Wayne
see under "Hesse Cassel, Indiana"
see under "Noll, Bishop"

"Fort Wayne -- Cathedral School for Boys.
Pupils, 350
Average attendance, 275
Brothers of Holy Cross, 6
Extra Studies: Music 'vocal' -- pupils, 20
Catechism taught six days in school, one hour daily, one hour on Sundays.
Receipts from Tuition, $1,255.30"
Report of Diocesan School Boards, 1878-80

"Fort Wayne Boy's Catholic School -- 1880-81
Enrollment, 372
Average daily attendance, 275
Brothers of Holy Cross, 6
Terms in school year, 4
Total days in School Year, 308
Opening at 8:00
Closing at 4:00
Total hours per day, 6
Receipts . . . .
Tuition, $1,307.78
From Church fund, $1,464.96
Total . . . . . $2,772.74

Cathedral School -- June 1882
Enrollment, 384
Male, 384
Average daily attendance, 300
Brothers of Holy Cross, 6
Months in school year -- 10
Days in each year, 198
Opening at 8:00
Closing at 4:00
Total hours per day, 6
Tuition . . .
Primary, monthly . . . 75 cents
Intermediate . . . 75
Senior (by term . . . 5.00
(by month . . . 2.00
Vocal music free

 CASH RECEIPTS Tuition fees              $1,301.37 Church fund                  789.63 Average amopunt paid   per pupil                    3.38 

EXPENSES Fuel                      $   85.36 Repairs                       49.08 Sundry                        11.55 

  Total                   $2,693.09 

Annual average expense   per pupil               $    7.01 

"The present custom of depending on tuition fees for school support imposes too great a burden on the poor, who may happen to have large families. Many of these poor people have true CAtholic hearts; not, (being) unable to pay tuition, often keep their children from school altogether . . . The burden of education should be borne by the whole congregation. The wealthy members should bear the principal part . . . .

"Many of our wealthier Catholic could give annual sums of $50 to $100 for the support of the parochial schools belonging to their churches, and thereby enable us gradually to make our schools free." Diocesan Report, 1881-82 -- Bishop Dwenger on Tuition Fees

Ft. Wayne Diocese

 Primary grade 1st year . . . children    6-7 2nd                        7-8 3rd                        8-9 

Intermediate 4th                        9-10 5th                       10-11 6th, 1st Communion yr     11-12 

Senior Grade 7th                       12-13 8th, Confirmation yr      13-14 

"Grade school speller completed, grammar completed, number three geography completed, physiology (optional), U.S. History with written series of reviews of each lesson, bookkeeping (single entry), letter-writing weekly, catechism." Report of Diocesan School Board, 1882-3

 Ft. Wayne Cathedral School, 1882-3             Cathedral School 1884 Enrollment, 380                                Pupils, 396 Average daily attendance, 300                  Brothers, 6 Brothers, 6                                    School months, 10 Tuition for grade, intermediate, 75 cents mo.  Opening at 8:30    "     "  Senior               $2.00 mo.     Closing at 4:00 Cash receipts . . . .                          Tuition, monthly, primary 75 c. tuition fees, $1330.41                         High School Tuition $2.00 Church funds, $769.41                          TEACHING CATECHISM Total..$2,099.82                               Days in school, 5 (Each Brother, $349.97)                        Hours each day, 3/4                                                Hours on Sunday, 1 St. Augustine Academy, 12 Sisters of           LIBRARY Providence teachers . . . Tuition $1147.01     Catholic literature, vols., 3875 Each Sister, $95.58                            Pupils attend daily mass.


1890-91 -- Seven Brothers, Pupils, 379
1889-90 -- Six Brothers, Pupils, 377

Received from tuition, $1360, from Church Fund $840. Tuition rates, 75 cents and $2.00.

1888-89: Six Brothers, Pupils, 345; Grades, 5 (Subjects taught include Bookkeeping, geometry, Algebra, American History, Physics, Geography, Natural Phiulosophy, Modern History.)

1887-88: Six Brothers, five grades. 350 pupils (exception of Saturdays and Holidays), Thanksgiving, March 17, March 19, June 14, Pentocost Monday)

Mass . . . .7:45

Tuition received, $1308.30

From Church Fund 791.70

Current Expenses 269.12

1885-86: Brothers Six, Grades three, Pupils 392

1884-85: Brothers Six, Grades four, Pupils 370

"This flourishing school which dates its origin back to the year 1848, is under the management of seven Brothers of Holy Cross. The present building was erected in 1862, and with its grounds is valued at $50,000. It contains seven class-rooms, well ventilated and completely furnished with maps, charts and other aids for practical illustrations of the branches taught. It embraces a Commercial Department in which a thorough training in Bookkeeping, Phonography and Typewriting may be obtained. The expenses for the support of this school amount to the annual outlay of about $2500 which is derived from two sources.

"1. From tuition fees varying from 75 cents to $2.00 per month according to the grade in which the pupil is taught.

"2. From the revenue of the church.

" . . . .the school at present numbers 245 pupils. From the school were graduated many of the most successful business men in Fort Wayne." Diocesan Report, 1893-1898

"With its students numbered among the faithful laborers in the vineyard of Christ, among our congressmen, doctors, lawyers, architects, men prominent in the commercial activities and municipal affairs of Fort Wayne and other cities, with its long list of bright, energetic and progressive business men, the Cathedral Boys' School of Fort Wayne is worthy of honor and is a striking examplification of the eminently successful work of the Brothers of Holy Cross whose labors at Fort Wayne began three score years ago." Helen May Irwin in the Catholic Columbian, Indianapolis, 1907

" . . . .then three young Brothers under the direction of Brother Bernard Murphy took up the scholastic work of the school. Brother Ephrem, one of the three young Brothers and an own Brother of the superior, Brother Bernard, was sometime afterward superior there for 17 years, and it was under his direction that the school - Cathedral - attained the high standard of efficiency that has characterized it ever since.

"Brother Bernard was followed by Brother John Chrysostom, Brother Ephrem Corley, Simeon, Gabriel, Engelbert, Marcellus, Remigius and Lucian . . . ."

Catholic Columbian, Indianapolis, 1908 -- Helen May Irwin 1912: Course: four years

Brother Marcellus, Principal, English Literature.
Brother Bernard (Gervase): Natural Science and Commercial Branches.
Brother Daniel(Schott): German, Latin, Ancient History.
Brother Ephrem(O'Dwyer): Mathematics, Science
Brother Nicholas(Ochs): English, Music
Rev. A.E. Lafontaire: Superintendent.
Rev. W.C. Miller: Ethics, Church History.
Rev. J.A. McCarthy: Christian Doctrine, Church History.
Enrollment, 80
Diocesan School Board Report, 1912

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›