University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


In those early days, Brother Francis de Sales, an old warrior of the first Empire, held the post which has since been so long and so efficiently occupied by Brother Benoit,whom he resembled both in strictness of discipline and partiality to snuff. J.A. LYONS, THE SILVER JUBILE

We played football then on a 40 acre field, which was used as part of the University's Athletic grounds. The two teams would line up on each side of the field, and Brother Francis then prefect of discipline -- and fully 6' 2" tall -- would toss the ball into the air in midfield and the rush began.

The boys would kick the ball across to the opponents' goal posts or carry it whichever way they chose to do it! Kicks in the shins were plentiful. JOHN DICKSON, HERE FROM 1863-66, ALUMNUS, 5:42

President of St.Joseph's Boating Club. -- (1869)

Brother Francis de Sales has severalhundred shade trees on his hands to be planted. SCHOLASTIC, April 6, 1872

Steward at Notre Dame, 1869.

Council of Administration, St.Joseph's Farm, 1871

Brother Francis de Sales is quite successful in the East for the Ave Maria.


I did not collect must last week as I had to go to Toledo to look after the property there, pay the taxes etc. I will try to get around this week to finish South Bend. 1883

I called on the Studebaker Brothers yesterday for their subscription to the Dome Fund and found the three brothers in the office. They received me most cordially and subscribed $500 . . . I will continue to solicit subscriptions in South Bend until I have called on all our friends. I cannot spare much time except three or four hours in the forenoon daily. April 22, 1883

An event occurred in the midst of our vacation that brought sadness to many a friend and student of Notre Dame. Brother Francis de Sales, who for upward of thirty years had been a prominent figure in all that concerned the educational and business interests of Notre Dame, departed thsi life, July 15, in the 54th year of his age. The deceased religious was in Chicago engaged in the transaction of important business matters connected with the University when he was taken suddenly ill with an affliction of th eheart to which he had been subject for some years, and lived by a few hours. The funeral took place at Notre Dame on Sunday the 17th, and was attended by the religious and many other friends of the deceased.

Brother Francis entered the Community at Notre Dame August 24, 1859, and for some years was a leading member of the faculty. During the year 1866-7 he held the responsible office of Prefect of Discipline and fulfilled its ardous duties with great ability and satisfaction. Afterwards his rare business tact was given a wider sphere of exercise in the office of Steward and the duty of superintending the real estate interests of the University. The energy and ability which he fulfilled the various trusts assigned to him by his superiors marked him as a man of more than ordinary capacity; whilst, at the same time, his duties in the religious life were accomplished in a manner exemplary to his associates. He had made hosts of friends among those with whom he had to deal during the years of his active life, and many a heart was pained by the sad tidings of his untimely end. But we may well believe that a life so useful and so devoted to the holy cause for which he forsook the world must have been deemed worthy of an unfading reward, and, with "the obedient soul" it has been crowned with victory. May he rest in peace. SCHOLASTIC, August 27, 1887

"I wish you were here. The Brothers are not wanted around the College as teachers, as is very clearly seen by everyone. Pride is corrupting the very spirit of a certain branch of our Community here." Brother Francis de Sales (Robert Sweeney) to Sorin, 1877

See: under Lafayette

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›