University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


"New Iberia Academy. Father McBernier, CSC, Superior, four Brothers, 25 boarders, 76 day scholars."

-- Catholic Directory (1873)

(Sorin -- Archbishop Perche) "I have received a letter from one of our Brothers in New Iberia that obliges me to beg you no longer to count on us for the maintenance of the College. You who know that state of affairs there will not blame me for getting rid of a responsibility which lies heavily on me only in a moral way. I never voluntarily accepted the mission, for I never saw a chance of success there.

Good Brother John of the Cross absolutely wants to leave it. I can't return him by force.

Despite the financial crisis, we are obliged to pay debts on St. Isidore's. Only yesterday I was obliged to send $250 to Fr. Robinson, and I shall be obliged also to make other payments, for which I have no funds. The times make undertakings difficult. Better days might make them easier. But in my opinion, New Iberia has no hope of success. -- (1873)

(Brother John of the Cross -- Sorin) "I have to prefect in the study, in the yard, and in the dormitory. I have to raise and feed the chickens, and also whitewash the houses and fences and keep the yard clean; I have to work, spade in hand in the hot sun, and to raise all the vegetables we need, two crops and sometimes three per summer and sell the overplus, subdue my passions and keep the devil away. If I am scolded or called lazy, I can laugh at them. I have no more hopes of this place. William Capick, ex-Brother Agatha, has been sent here by the Archbishop. He takes his place as a secular teacher. We also have another teacher, a Mr. Murray, formerly of the Congregation. Rev. F. Bernier is our Superior, Brother Martin and myself. There are ten boarders and about 30 day scholars...only I believe we will get nothing in the end for our labors and improvements.

From what I hear the Most Rev. Archbishop intends to keep the College open and will send some of his seminarians here for that purpose. Louisiana, I think must pass through the crucible of humiliation before religious can do much for them." -- (1873)

(Mr. Robinson, CSC -- Sorin: Industrial School of Holy Cross, New Orleans.) "You know that nearly all the chapel effects at New Iberia belong to us. In withdrawing Brother John would it not be well if he brought those effects with him?" -- Provincial Archives January 30, 1874

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›