University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


" . . . have induced Msgr. Odin, Bishop of Galveston, to place in the hands of the Minor Conventuals, and to give entire control to them on the College of St. Mary, founded in 1854." CATHOLIC DIRECTORY, 1859

" . . . Would you accept a fine building in Galveston and found there a college of which the members of your society would have full control? Where you could carry out your own plans of teaching without being interferred with by anybody?

"Years ago, Archbishop Odin, then Bishop of Galveston, secured a block for college purposes . . . Now I do not know of any society I would like so much to see here as the society that has done so well at Notre Dame.

"What say you to my proposal? You can have the buildings with the grounds attached thereto. You have the whole for as long as you are willing to keep it and use it for school purposes." Very Rev. C.M. Chambodut, Administrator of Galveston, PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES

(Sorin: "Give us time . . . 12 months." Aug. 26, 1869)

"September 11: On October first the school must open in St. Mary's College of Galveston. Could you not send me one or two Brothers to prepare the way for next year, and to open now a day school? I will give them one or two of my 'sems' to help them in teaching." (Sorin: "We have none. But even if we could, Rome must be consulted.") 1869

"It was decided to accept the proposition of the Bishop of Galveston and establish a commercial college in the city of Galveston. Father Spillard was apointed Superior of the establishment which for the present is to consist of himself and four Brothers. Only two were named: Brothers Benjamin and Pancratius, the latter to serve as cook." PROVINCIAL CHAPTER, 1870

"We read in the New Orleans papers that the College of Galveston, which was lately placed by Right Rev. Bishop Dubuis under the management of members of Holy Cross, has opened with quite a large attendance of students. Brother Boniface, assisted by four efficient Brothers sent from Notre Dame, has been named Director of the College." SCHOLASTIC, Nov. 5, 1870

"The Very. Rev. Vicar General has given me yesterday the deed of St. Mary's College -- a quit claim deed in your name and your successor, in office, so that the Congregation of Holy Cross owns this place forever. I will have it properly recorded and send on the original. April 23; Brother Boniface -- Sorin, PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES

"(The same) April 20. Last night I had an opportunity to see Very Rev. Fr. Chambodut. He told me that the documents, the transfer of property, etc., had been yesterday duly signed and sealed. The land in Bee Council is 6,000 acres." Bro. Boniface, PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES, 1871

1873: "Bro. John, Sup., Bros. Charles, Maurice, Joseph."

"St. Mary's College under the direction of the Society of Holy Cross. Rev. W. Ruthmans, Chaplain, Bro. Boniface, Superior." CATHOLIC DIRECTORY, 1873

"St. Mary's College, Galveston, is in a very prosperous condition, under the direction of Brother Boniface, S.S.C., assisted by Bro. Charles and others. Its halls are well filled with students, and it is safe to think that 300 students will attend classes there next year." SCHOLASTIC, June 1872

"(Bro. John Chrysostom -- Sorin) "Brother Maurice was not competent to teach German. The little boys bring their duties to me so show the corrections he makes and then they will say that he should learn to spell and that they can teach him themselves . . . .

"Sept. 24. I think a college in this place will never succeed, or at least not before there will be a great change in the people and in the pastors. Parents will not send their children a distance of more than a few squares, and the pastors want their respective parochial schools. About 1000 persons left the city in one or two days because of the danger of yellow fever, which is a drawback to our school. We have 80 pupils including boarders." 1873

(September) "Brother John Chrysostom is almost discouraged and is sick. This house is difficult to administer and hard to govern, as the people here are different to those in the North. They are difficult to please and their children hard to manage. It has been a heavy blow for the house that Brother Boniface has not come back; we have lost many boys on account of that change, as he was well known and well liked. Our last Commencement was a success and the whole city was enthusiastic for us. We all desire Father Toohey as he is a Southern man himself and we very much need a French teacher. The Southern people do not like to be governed by northern superiors." Brother Charles

(November 1:) "We had a very poor school last year about 70 students. We had 3 boarders at the beginning of the year, 5 at Christmas, and 7 in the spring and 8 last month. This has given us a hard time last year as the boarders are the best help to pay our bills. The day scholars don't pay much, and many poor boys are sent here by the priests who pay nothing. The clergy don't do much for us . . . . We had expected applications from 25 or 30 boarders before Brother Boniface left. At present we have 115 students. Bro. John Chry. is not well since he came here . . . . Bro. Charles, 1873

(April 30, 1874) "I do not know if we are to improve and beautify the place or not, which will cost at least $800. The receipts will not be sufficient to pay all our debts . . . Are we to keep the college up next year on the same plan as this year or only as a common school? The prospects for next year are not at all flattering, especially if parochial schools are opened at the three churches and taught by secular teachers." Bro. J. Chrys. -- Sorin, 1874

"On account of the yellow fever panic and the financial crisis we find ourselves in difficulties which are very trying to me . . . The butcher, grocer, and baker must have their money. Money borrowed last year was due last September, and I do not know how to make ends meet. I hope you will send us $500 or $600 which will help us out of the present difficulty . . . You remember the $500 you gave me in Fort Wayne? I not only paid it back but gve Father Corby a check for $2200 besides $700 or $800 paid Brother Edward at different times during the three years I was in Fort Wayne . . . The school furniture in Fort Wayne belongs to the Congregation of Holy Cross. It is worth $300. I paid it out of the $500 you gave me.

"Despite the yellow fever in the interior about 115 scholars have entered, and our monthly receipts are $240; our expenses $250, including professor's salary. Provisions are very high on account of the quarantine, etc.," Bro. J. Chrys. to Sorin, 1874

(See "Brother John Chrysostom")

"St. Mary's University, Galveston. Under the direction of the Brothers of Holy Cross. Rev. Joseph Carrier, President" CATHOLIC DIRECTORY, p.194, 1876

"St. Mary's College was abandoned for want of patronage . . . . " 1878

"Have the kindness to inform us at your earliest convenience whether your intention is to take charge of St. Mary's College next September. We had several application for it, but do not wish to engage the college without a positive decision from you." Bishop Dubuis, March 1, 1879

"Chancellor Guyot to Fr. Spillard: "I have heard that Fr. Sorin when you were at Notre Dame, gave his resignation for St. Mary's College, Galveston. Msgr. Dufal, C.S.C., wants to take charge of it this year or appoint Fr. Trichard (?) President of said college. Now I suppose, Father Sorin would in no way interfere with said plan." PROVINCIAL ARCHIVE, 1879

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›