University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


"Purpose: for old priests disabled by illness, temporary retreat.

"136 feet by 75 feet, 3 stories high, 48 private rooms with all conveniences.

"Work owes its execution to expressed wishes of Pius IX, who himself, unasked, contributed 2,000 francs to commence it. Clergy who want right for life can pay in advance: if under 30, $10 a year; 35, $15; 40, $20; 45, $25; 50, $30.

"Whole cost $20,000. Can be ready in 12 months."

-- Sorin's Circular Letter November 22, 1861

"Mr. Cottin will be discharged of his pew rent for three years in consideration of the stones he is willing to furnish for the Mission House."

-- Local Council September 9, 1861

"Work on it was 'stopped arbitrarily' in 1863 by the Visitor although approved by the Pope. "Ave Maria" founded to get funds to complete it. First of its kind in the United States. "Ave Maria" to be self-supporting and has proved itself so. Profits for Mission House. Project of the House undertaken on condition it be neither expense nor source of revenue to the Community." Sorin's Visitor's Report on Notre Dame (1867)

"Blessed by Bishop Luers, September 1, 1861. Privileged altar for January, 1861."

-- Archives of Notre Dame , No. 20:16,18

"In 1861 Bishop Luers laid the corner stone of the Mission House at Notre Dame."

-- Church in the U. S. by J. G. Shea, p. 603

"150,000 bricks shall be hauled for the Mission House."

-- Local Council December 2, 1861

"Father Patrick Dillon will start to California after Easter to collect funds for the erection of the Mission House."

-- Local Council April 7, 1862

"Decided to finish it and change its destination by making it the Provincial House."

-- Provincial Council January 30, 1867

"Built in 1862 -- The first story (central) of which has been completed with the authorization of the Regular Visitor, leaving unemployed a sum of $1200, received for this building. Local Council January 24, 1863

"Provincial Council unanimously decides to make it the Provincial House and not what it was supposed to be." June 30, 1867

"To be roofed before winter." October 21, 1867

"To complete first and second stories as soon as possible." June 1, 1868

"Brother Charles to take charge of the building of the Mission House."

July 6, 1868

"Decided to finish the first story and 1 'dorm' of the Mission House by November 1, and to remove the Novitiate to it." October 15, 1868

"Decided to postpone change of novitiate until spring as building (Mission House) could not be ready before then."

-- Provincial Council, II October 16, 1868

"Completed April, 1869. Cost, $20,000. Built of brick. Four stories. Lower floor: sitting room, parlor, refectory, study room. 2nd floor: 8 small rooms. 3rd floor: 2 large rooms, Chapel on last floor."

"New Novitiate opened May 1, 1869, Fr. Granger said Mass, Fr. Gillespie, Master of Novices." Provincial Visitor, 1868-1881.

"Brother Raymond supervised the improvement of house and grounds."

-- Scholastic, XI: 29, 458

"St. Joseph Novitiate: Father Franciscus, Master of Novices; Mr. Moran, assistant. 15 Novices, 4 Ecclesiastics, 10 Brothers, 6 Seminarians. Perfect order spiritually and materially, but number is rather small."

-- Provincial Visits, Granger (1868 - 1881)

Missionaries Home -- (Sorin - Brownson) "Near University on St. Joseph's Lake. Contains 48 private rooms, four stories. Prices as to ages of Priests. Pio Nono contributed, 2000 francs. 19,3 X 2000: $386 . Cost will be $20,000." (1861)

"A procession was then formed which moved to the proposed site of the building, a lovely spot, on the flowery shores of St. Joseph Lake, approached by a romantic path through groves made melodious by the singing of 1000 birds. Though retired from the noise and excitement of the busy world, it commands an extensive view of the surrounding country, of the picturesque lakes, and the beautiful buildings of Notre Dame.

-- Report, Laying of Corner stone of Missionaries' Home by Bishop Luers

September 1, 1861

"Plan submitted to Mother House: 'The University of Notre Dame to donate to proposed corporation (for Mission House) five (5) acres of land immediately around where the building is to be erected for the benefit of, and in trust for, the Home. The Corporation to consist of 3 of the Right Reverend Bishops of America or in case of future division, of the Provincials, the Provincial in whose Province the home shall be located, and the Master of the Salvatorist Novices at Notre Dame du Lac. All the expenses of building and maintaining the said mission House to be the responsibility of its own corporation -- The University of Notre Dame or the Congregation of Holy Cross assuming and incurring absolutely no responsibility...."

-- Minutes of the Provincial Chapter, (1865)

"Work suspended on it for lack of funds. Work to be resumed early next spring. 'Ave Maria' is expected to secure funds." (1865)

"Brothers Athanasius, Julian and Luke will pick up stones, under the direction of Brother Philip, for the new building of the Mission Home, and the whole novitiate of the Brothers will do the same for one day or two."

-- Local Council September 7, 1861

"It was decided that the Missionaries Home should be finished and its destination changed. As but a small amount has been given for the object the building was first intended for, that amount shall be refunded to the donors, and the house used as a residence for the members of the Community, who having made their novitiate have to pursue their studies some time before making their profession"

-- Provincial Chapter, (1867)

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›