University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts

GERARD, BROTHER (George Dressel)

"The death of Brother Gerard, which occured at Notre Dame on Feb. 23, 1915, brought deep sadness to the Faculty and students of the University. For over 30 years, the good religious had labored ardently and silently at his daily task of instructing the students in music, and of so meek and retiring a disposition was this great soul that we seemed scarely to know that he moved among us until 'one morn we missed him on the accustomed hill,' and we felt that a spirit of gentleness and sweetness had gone out of our daily lives . . . "

"The sermon was delivered by Rev. C.L. O'Donnell, who chose for his text, 'He asked life of Thee and thou hast given him length of days forever and forever.'" Ps. 20:5

" . . . his life was one of sacrifice. You and I knew Brother Gerard only as an old man whose eyes were dim and whose fingers not too sure upon the keys. But there was a day when as a young man he could look forward to a future as bright with temporal prospects as that which confronts any student before me. His musical talent was recognized on all sides. The conservatories of Europe were ready to hail him as a rising star. Fame, wealth, position, power, -- do you think it was no sacrifice for the young man to give these up (leaving his native land, the Fatherland) and dedicate his genius to the humble task of instructing youth in the elements of musical education? Do you think it was regarded as a small thing by God?

"His life was one of toil, of absolute and unremitting devotion to duty; early and late he was at his post, doing his work unhurried precision and with a gentle considerateness for the interest of others. Of more intimate virtues I forbear to speak. But I consider that his live of obscurity, his spirit of sacrifice, his devotion to duty, in some way render him a public and illustrious figure at Notre Dame . . . ." SCHOLASTIC, 1915

(Brother was a convert from Lutheranism)

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›