University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


"It is indeed a great thing that we have this G.A.R. Post in this great University. This scene will be remembered after we have passed away . . . The young men who will be educated here in time to come will read about this meeting and the seeds that we have planted here tonight will grow and ripen long after we are gone, and their influence will be left to and felt by the young men who come here. This is the proper place to teach loyalty and freedom, for when morality and freedom shall cease to exist, it will be impossible for liberty to exist in this land." Major General St. Clair Mulholland of Philadelphia, at the mustering ceremony of the Notre Dame G.A.R. Post, No. 569 of the Department of Indiana, SCHOLASTIC, 1897

"Notre Dame has still within its walls veterans who have a share in the glory of that awful struggle. Twelve men there are in all; and these twelve decided among themselves to join the ranks once more -- but the ranks of war -- and organize a post which shall be entered in the book of the Grand Army of the Republic as No. 569, Department of Indiana.

"The ceremony of mustering in the newly-formed body took place on October 5.

"Very Rev. Fr. Corby, the Chaplain of the Irish Brigade, asumed the title of commander" SCHOLASTIC, 31, 1897 (See Brother Raphael)

(St. Louis Post Dispatch) "The organization of the Post began with General Olmstead and Father Corby. One evening while talking over the days at Gettysburg, General Olmstead suggested that if there were enough old soldiers at the University, they form a Post for their own pleasure. Father Corby counted off a dozen old warriors, and the organization thence grew into a reality through the efforts of Brother Leander, senior vice-commander, and was gladly received into the ranks of the Grand Army.

"It is to be regretted that this movement was not begun years ago. Then many of the Brothers, who have since died, would have made the Post twice as large as it is, and would have added many interesting soldiers into its ranks.

"Foremost among these would have been Brother Sebastian. He was wounded 7 or 8 times, but until a few years ago sought no pension. Brother Leander one day persuaded him to go to the pension Bureau and make application. He handed in the name of hsi commanding officer, Capt. Thos. of Penna., who spoke highly of him: 'If old Tom is alive yet above all he deserves a pension. When General Cobb of the Confederates was doing destructive work on our left flank, I ordered Tom (Bro. S) to dismount and rest his piece on my shoulders and aim at General Cobb. This he did, and the General fell. In mounting again Tom received his severest wound.'" October 6, 1897

G.A.R. ROSTER: 1908

"Commander, James McLaine (Brother Leander); Senior Vice-Com. (Bro. John Chrysostom) Mark A. Wills; Junior V.C., Rev. A. Martin; Adjutant, Nicholas Bath (Bro. Cosmas); Quartermaster, John Statley (Bro. Isidore); Surgeon, Rev. F.S. Schmitt; Chaplain, Rev. R.J. Boyle; Officer of the Day; John McInerny (Bro. Eustachius); Quartermaster Sargeant, Ignatz Mayer (Bro. Ignatius) Sergeant Major, James Mantele (Bro. Benedict) Officer of the Guard, James Malloy (Bro. Raphael)" SCHOLASTIC, 42:240, 1908

See "Ignatius, Bro. 1897"


Brother Richard (Wm. Stoney) 38 N.J. Volunteers

Brother Sebastian (Thos. Martin) 1st Pa. Volunteers, Cavalry

Brother Polycarp (James White) U.S. Navy

Brother Leander (Jas. McLain) Corp. 15 U.S. Infantry

Brother Jn. Chry. (Mark Wills) 54 Pa. Volunteers

Brother Cosmas (Nicholas Bathe) 2nd U.S. Inf.

Brother Eustachius (Jn. McInerny) 38 Ohio Inf. Volunteers

Brother Benedict (James Matele) 1st Pa. Heavy Artillery, U.S.

Brother Ignatius (Ignatz Mayer) 75 Pa. Infantry Volunteers

Brother Raphael (Jas. Maloy) 133rd Pa. Volunteers

"That a life may have varied settings is a fact well illustrated at Notre Dame. Many of us little think that among the religious of Holy Cross whom we see every day, are several veterans of the Civil War. Not a few of them won promotion and one even became a general. Hearts that once thrilled to the roll of drum now burn in adoration at the altar and fingers that often clutched a rifle or held a linstock, now count a rosary in the army of peace. Our ignorance of these facts is largely due to the reticence of those men, for like humble soldiers, they seldom care to speak about themselves.

"Though I had known for years of the existance of the Notre Dame Post, it was by merest happening that I learned of its inspection toward the end of last December. The Post was officially visited by the Department Commander, General Starr, who was accompanied by Asistant Adj. General Smock and Dept. Chaplain Watts. General Starr was received by Post Commander, General (Now Fr.) Olmstead, and by Col. Hoynes, the dean of the Law Department at the University. After inspection the visiting General complimented the officers of the Post, and expressed his satisfaction at the manner in which the minutes and roster were kept." P.J. McDonough: SCHOLASTIC, 36:249, 1903

Memorial Day Symposium -- 1910. "The Soldiers of Holy Cross . . . . The Brothers of Holy Cross are equally honored: Brothers Cosmas, Benedict, Leander, Raphael, John Chrysostom and Eustachius are among the noble hand who are still with us. Bros. Ignatius, Richard, Sebastian and Polycarp have answered the final summons and live with us in memory.

"From her earliest years, Notre Dame has been a mother of patriots, and an answering adherent to the principles of true patriotism. In her glorious record of service during the sixty-five years of her history, the period of the Civil War offers an unsurpassed example of the courage and love of country which must always characterize an institution founded for the exaltation of religion and reared upon a structure of robust faith . . . ." SCHOLASTIC, 43:550 DENIS MORRISON, 1910

"It is not strange then, that after the war not a few of the disbanded soldiers and officers found their way into the ranks of the Community, the heroism of whose members they had admired on the field and in the hospital . . . ." REV. J.J. TRAHEY: SCHOLASTIC 39:403

(Granger -- Moreau) "Our crossing took 31 days. Bro. Vincent remarked because of the calm 15 (days of the) voyage, 'God did not find us equal to big hardships.'" (5 leagues an hour) 1844

(N.D. Visitation) "struggle of 36 years." "students 232; 104 seniors, 80 Juniors, 48 Minims. 7 lay teachers cost $6000. 23 religious teachers.

"Their number -- it is to be hoped, will go on decreasing as the Congregation is increased in subjects qualified to replace them. Besides the teaching body, there are 7 Prefects, all Brothers, and also 18 Brothers whose obediences are to take charge of the dormitories, refectories, washrooms, steam house, infirmaries, lamp room, meat room, garden, splitting wood, lawns, ushers etc. making a total of religious employed in the college of 14 ecclesiastics and 44 brothers, 58 in all." 1878

(Provincial Visit, Nov. 18, 1878) "To my great surprise and sorrow I learn that the wise regulations by Very Rev. Father General concerning corporal punishment are entirely left aside in several establishments. Children are whipped unmercifully and almost for nothing, contrary to the strict prohibitions of his reverence and the law of the state. To prevent the repetition of this evil and the sad consequences it must produce, I deem it my duty to remind you all that you are strictly forbidden to use any corporal punishment, unless you can produce a written dispensation from the very Rev. Father General himself.

"The superiors and directors of each establishment are charged with the execution of this Rule. Let them frequently remind their associates of these beautiful words of Our Blessed Lord: 'Learn of Me because I am meek and humble of heart . . . . Suffer the little child to come to Me and forbid him not.'" 1878

"Notre Dame has a name which alone is a fortune is properly cared for. Let it be the first resolve of all engaged in the furtherance of her heaven born design, to add, by a joyful devotedness, year after year, to the luster of her fame, and never to bring or suffer the faintest stain on her brilliant escutcheon." 1878

(Visitor, N.D.U., 1869) "I, Alexis Granger, Provincial, have opened the regular visit of the establishment in the Chapel of the Professed House, (Our Lady of the Angels) according to the Directory, and proceeded to the new graveyard, where the prescribed prayers were sung.

"The Community is actually composed of 8 Fathers, two of them whom reside in the Professed House and of -- Brothers -- of whom live in the Professed House. This house, the old St. Joseph Novitiate, is well adapted to its object, and every one living in it is well pleased. It will be in perfect order in a few weeks" Minutes of Visit . . . "(See M.L. School, Farm, Infirmary, Printing of, Bindery, Kitchen, etc.), 1869

"Our tastes were simple like our means . . . . Our students then seemed to share the feelings of the Community. They shared our simple joys, they were, as it were, members of the same family. It is true, at that time we were isolated from the world, and hidden as it were in our forests. No railroad then aroused us. We were shut against the outward world. We formed a world by ourselves.

"But those happy days had also their sorrows. The loss of (a) dear Brother which happened then was deeply felt by all, as also the defection of some candidates and even novices on whom we had relied perhaps too much. A greater grief is not felt in a family at the death or departure of a beloved son. But this was the beginning of sorrow. The repetition of these sad events made us less sensible at their occurrence, though never indifferent. We saw, we understood the work we were engaged in was the work of God and that we were mere instruments in His hands. But the future appeared sometimes very gloomy. Small resources, no great prospect of success, everything at times conspired as it were against us." Rev. Alexis Granger, ALUMNUS, 14:37

(November 11, 1884) "After 40 years spent at Notre Dame I may have many things to say which might prove useful to those who will come after us."

"The conditions of the future, however, will never resemble the past . . . the foundation of a great work is changed by special circumstances which are not found afterwards. The enthusiasm of youth, the unknown future, and above all the visible assistance of God, with the deep conviction of self, sacrifice, spread around the young community an atmosphere of peace or joy, of holy charity, which make everyone forget his wants, his poverty, his sufferings . . .

"It is true that at that time we were isolated from the world and hidden, as it were, in our forest. No railroad then around us. Scarcely a decent public road. We were shut against the outside world. We formed a world by ourselves . . . . There were days of tiral, of truly mental agony, which culminated in the death of nearly 20 of our members, carried away by a cruel epidemic within a few months. 1854

"It might be interesting to know the condition of the Community within the 1st period of 38 years up to 1879. It may not have been worse than that of other Communities in similar circumstances . . . . But owing to deficiency in the number of subjects, or want of proper training, all the good expected was not realized. A number of them after a number of years spent in the Community, proved inconstant and left. Many candidates for the priesthood deserted us as also postulants and novice Brothers. These defections may be ascribed to a certain extent, to the deficiency of the novitiate, which hitherto has been rather a schoolhouse. But candidates for the priesthood and the Brotherhood have been mixed together, regardless of age and peculiar vocation. They have been expected to study and at the same time to follow the strict rule of the novitiate. But, as a matter of fact, they have done neither. Both studies and Novitiate have been unsatisfactory." Rev. Alexis Granger, c.s.c., Nov. 11, 1884: PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES, 1884

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›