University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


(Novitiate at St. Peter's, 1841-3 (?) ) A letter from Bishop Hailandiere to Moreau, November 18, 1842, said that the Bishop was not very anxious to transfer the Novitiate from St. Peter's to Notre Dame. Father Chartier, a priest of his who joined the Holy Cross, and Brother Vincent were keeping the Novitiate at St. Peter's until Notre Dame was ready for it.

In 1843 Father Granger opened the Novitiate on the 'Island' for sems and Brothers. In 1852 he took sems to St. Aloysius' Novitiate and left Brother Vincent with the Brothers. In 1868 all came together at St. Joseph Novitiate. Burned down in 1887, and again in 1912 (?).

(Novitiate, 1842-79) See under "Granger, 1842-79)."

(Bishop Hailandiere and the Novitiate at Indianapolis) : "Ever since 1842 Msgr. de la Hailandiere had the idea that the novitiate of the Brothers should be established at Indianapolis. At the time it was evidently impossible to carry out his plan. On the occasion of his trip to Europe in 1844, he entered into an agreement with Father Moreau by which the house and the Ordinary of Vincennes bound themselves reciprocally. One of the clauses of the contract was that if the Society adopting the views of his Lordship, would transfer the novitiate from Notre Dame du Lac to Indianapolis, the Bishop would give $500 and 375 acres near Bertrand, Michigan"

-- Sorin Chronicles. (1844)

(1844; Sorin) "The first, we might say, the only aim of the Brothers of St. Joseph in coming to the United States was to establish a novitiate, and thereby to assure religion in this country, some good religious teachers. The sphere of their movements became enlarged, at least in prospect, almost as soon as they arrived. The important object of their mission was not, on that account lost sight of. It must be confessed here, however, that the needs of the college, just starting into existence, as well as poverty and the necessity to procure a living, long preventing all that was required for success from being done for the novitiate. Want of time, of a site, of a Master of Novices, of Rules in English, and likewise of fit subjects, turn by turn, or simultaneously rendered impossible the development of this precious branch, and even of keeping the postulants that entered, and who would probably have remained had they been solidly formed to the religious life....

"It is unquestionable that the greater number come with good will. Now everybody knows what a skilled master can do with a man well disposed. The fact is that for a long time, in consequence of the Brothers' poverty and their small number for carrying out the various enterprises begun, they could hardly make a real trial of the practical workings of this opinion.

"Until the building of the novitiate on St. Mary's Island, nothing could be done except to give an imperfect outline of the institution, so-called, four years later. It was not entirely for want of candidates, and that the Master was still too much occupied with other things. The following list gives a precise idea of the resources of the country in the matter of vocation. The clothings with the Holy Habit are thus given in the Registers of the House: 1841, 1 1842, 11 1843, 4 1844, 9 1845, 8 1846, 4 1847,3 1848,3 in all 43 postulants in the space of seven years. Of this number seventeen left the Society and three died. Thus only half are today members of the Community"

-- Sorin's Chronicles.

(First Novitiate, Notre Dame, 1844) "During the first years at Notre Dame du Lac, it was almost impossible to form or maintain a regular novitiate; but as soon as the house was finished (college) in 1844, Father Sorin fixed his own residence there amongst the novices and applicants for six months; then his place was taken by Father Granger as soon as the latter could make himself understood in English.

"Before the arrival of the Brothers in the United States, there was no novitiate of religious men of a similar kind in the country. In 1845 the Brothers of the Christian Schools unsuccessfully attempted such an establishment at Baltimore, and in the following year the Brothers of St. Patrick repeated the experiment in the same city and appeared to succeed pretty well. Perhaps to these attractions may be attributed the diminution of the number of our candidates." Sorin Chronicles.

(Recruiting for the Brothers' Novitiate, ) "Here, even more than in Europe, those that succeed in making money in the world do not think of giving it up. It would be better, at least for some years to come, to bring young postulants from beyond the seas, who are unacquainted with the spirit and the manners of the Americans. They will be more easily formed, and will offer better assurances of perseverance."

-- Sorin Chronicles. (1844)

(1844: Sorin feels the need of separating the Novitiate from the College, hence he builds a novitiate -- October 18, 1844.)

(Novitiate Chapel on the 'Island', (1844) Writing to Sister Theodore, foundress of St. Mary's of the Woods, Sorin said, "I'm building a pretty little octagon chapel to the Blessed Virgin Mary on the 'island' next to the chapel of the Brothers' Novitiate. There at last, I am going to withdraw from the world with ten or twelve postulants or novices and have the regular exercises of the novitiate." September 13, 1844

1845: Bishop Hailandiere attacks Sorin for neglecting the Brothers' Novitiate. Novitiate, he tells him, is more important than his college. Bishop has supported Sorin's and Moreau's request from Propagation of the Faith for funds for novitiate, but can't continue if Sorin will not build the novitiate.

-- Letter of Bishop Hailandiere to Sorin, June 27, 1846.

1845: "The Brothers' Novitiate was first established on the Island, the dearest, most pleasant, most secluded spot at Notre Dame. In 1845 Father Granger opened the Novitiate on the Island and remained until 1847 when he went to Indianapolis."

-- Silver Jubilee, p. 28

1844: See also under "Brothers' Novitiate," etc.

1845: "Until autumn of 1845 the Brothers' Novitiate incomplete, consisted of the chapel and the central house where the novices had been lodged -- 16 of them. Father Badin, seeing the need of room and the beauty which completi on would give, offered 300 francs to have it finished. Institution not finished until spring -- which Badin considered a sufficient reason for withdrawing his subscription. Original intention was to dedicate this third part to St. Joseph, and to have a chapel in his honor, which has been deferred for the moment, but not lost sight of. If the administration succeeds some day in lowering the waters of the lake and drying the swamps which separate the Novitiate from the college, this house will be one of the most attractive one could desire."

-- Sorin Chronicles, 1845

(Master of Novices, 1846) "Father Granger shall be Master of Novices for the Brothers, and if priests present themselves they shall have a separate department under Father Granger."

-- Provincial Archives, Aug. 28, 1846.

(Chapter 'Room in Novitiate, 1847) "In the basement of the Novitiate chapel was a chapter room for the use of the Priests and Brothers."

-- Local Council (Minor Chapter, January 7, 1847.

(Novitiate Chapel, 1847) "The decorations of the chapel were all done by a young Frenchman, a Mr. St. Marc. Painted vault in blue, walls in yellow and the ornaments about the tribune. In front of the altar was a golden lyre and a sun also, in the middle. There was also a pieta group in plaster."

-- Local Council, January 1, 1847.

(First Priests' Novitiate, 1849) "On July 9, 1849 the Annual Retreat of the Priests...was begun. It ended on the fifteenth of July, and the novitiate of the Scholastics of the Society was organized on the same day under the direction of Father Granger, and all the Brothers were transferred in a body to the College to be there under the direction of the Father Superior (Sorin)."

-- Sorin's Chronicles July 9, 1849

(Novitiate, 1858) "With God's blessing, we are now finishing a new novitiate, in keeping with our hopes and wants. When entirely completed, with its semi-circular cloisters and its new Portiuncula, it will form undoubtedly one of the most charming spots piety could wish for....

"The solemn opening of the year's novitiate of the Brothers will take place on the 17th of March, and that of St. Aloysius (seminarians) on the 24th, to enable the novices to make their profession on he 19th and 25th (of March) of the following year"

-- Sorin: Circular Letter, pp. 179-80. (1858)

(Brothers' Novitiate, 1861) "This year has been a year of new birth to the Brothers' Novitiate. Hardly had the building been finished on the plan of the former house, much enlarged, when it was filled with novices and postulants. Soon what had been considered large enough for years was found to be too small, and it was even deemed necessary to add the two towers, whose building was left for the future. Fifty-five novices and postulants spent the year there as models of regularity and of the observance of the rules of the novitiate. The classes were followed at the College and there was great regularity in the exercises, the number there present representing the Community better than ever. The spirit of piety became established, peace reigned without interruption, and it can be said of the house that it was truly a regular and edifying community.

-- Sorin Chronicles. (1861)

See under "Bishop Hailandiere to Sorin", January 8, 1846.

"I, with reference to your petition relative to the location of the novitiate for America, the Sacred Congregation (of Propaganda) has judged it proper to designate Notre Dame du Lac"

-- Father Moreau, Letter #177. (1864)

"The Brothers request that the Novitiates of the Josephites as they now exist, shall continue to be directed by Brothers with all the privileges granted to other superiors."

-- Decree of General Chapter. (1866)

"...the decree of the Provincial Chapter to finish the Missioners' House at the expense of the Congregation and to make it a residence...of novices who, finishing their novitiate before the time of profession, would continue their studies until they made their perpetual vows."

-- Sorin Chronicles. (1866)

"In 1861, the Right Reverend Prelate (Bishop Luers) laid the corner stone of the missionary's Home -- the main building is now completed and temporarily occupied by the Novice Brothers of Holy Cross."

-- Lyons, "Silver Jubilee". (1869)

"The new novitiate (Missionaries Home) which is now occupied by the Novices of both branches together, is finally completed, and stands beautifully at the head of St. Joseph's Lake. There had been an average of 25 or 30 persons living in it this year. It is the best house on the premises."

-- Sorin Visit Report 1870.

"There shall be but one Novitiate for the Priests and Brothers in each Province; but the meditations, the spiritual reading, and Chapter will be separate."

-- Decree 4, General Chapter. (1872)

"No novice shall be removed before the end of his Novitiate except for grave reasons, judged such by the Provincial Council or Chapter."

-- Decree 19, General Chapter. (1880)

(1892) "3. The Chapter reminds the Provincials that they are bound in conscience to see that in our Novitiates all the requirements of Sacred Canons are observed in letter and spirit. They are to be especially vigilant in seeing that no novice there has any regular obedience, such as teaching or prefecting in the college, or working in the shops.

"4.. The members of the General Chapter of 1886, humbly supplicated the Holy See that paragraph 22, Constitution 4, which lays down 'that the novitiate shall last one year at least or two at most", shall be changed so as to read that the novitiate shall last two years. The Holy See was pleased to grant the request.

"The members of the chapter, however, acknowledge that after a thorough trial of the modification in question, it raises great difficulties; so they humbly beg the Holy see to be permitted to re- adopt the old Constitution in regard to the duration of the Novitiate.

"To this request the Holy See: replied: 'The Novitiate must last two full years, one of which must be spent in the Novitiate, and the other in any house of the Congregation'".

-- General Chapter, (1886)

"There shall be but one Novitiate for both Priests and Brothers."

-- Decree of General Chapter (1886)

See under "Novitiate" in large file. (re: Novitiate Fire) (1887)

Sorin blessed chapel of Brothers' Novitiate December 8, 1844. Dedicated it to the Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Community present. Bishop gave permission for reservation of Blessed Sacrament.

-- Scholastic, 19:1, p. 6 (1844)

"In the month of November, 1843, while Father Sorin was making his retreat upon the island he found the place admirably suited for a novitiate for the Brothers of Holy Cross, and as there remained but one year more, according to the contract of donation, to build the novitiate as well as the college.... He spent his leisure hours in drawing up the plan of the novitiate as it was afterwards carried out. The cornerstone of the chapel embraced in this plan was blessed in May, 1844. The work of the chapel embraced in this plan was blessed in May, 1844. The work of the University, however, did not permit the continuance of that on the chapel before the month of November, but such was then the activity of the workmen that in seven and one half days the walls of the chapel were up, and eight days more sufficed to build those....

"Next spring all were busy building the College; and the Chapel was not finished until November, 1844. The novitiate of the Brothers was erected at the same time. The Chapel and Novitiate stood until the year 1868, when it was torn down and replaced by the present building, which for the past month or so has been occupied by the Professed Brothers."

-- Silver Jubilee, p. 19, (1869)

"Until the building of the novitiate, the novices were used for everything and hence poorly trained. Then candidates were poor, uneducated, too old to be taught; besides, not so desirous of teaching as were Brothers in France.

"Also the new novitiate of the Brothers of St. Patrick in Baltimore draws away some recruits from Notre Dame. Reason why Sorin in 1850 asked French papers to secure candidates for Holy Cross for formation before being sent to the United States."

-- Sorin's Chronicles (1844)

There the community assembled in times of distress or of joy; there the general regulations and recommendations for the community's good were published; there was held each year the Brothers' retreat and even that of the priests; there also, since March 19, 1847, they came to venerate the body of St. Severa, virgin and martyr, given for the chapel on....

"Brother Vincent said a method of instruction should be adopted and followed at the Novitiate at present. Brother Gatian replied that both were impracticable for the present, but that after a short time when we would have experience we could then form a better by taking John Baptist de la Salle for basis."

-- Archives of Notre Dame, 48, p. 9 (1845)

"The Brothers' Novitiate was first established on the Island, the dearest, most pleasant, most secluded spot of Notre Dame. In 1845 Father Granger opened the Novitiate on the Island and remained until 1847, when Granger with his novices took possession of the house on the Island. In the course of time, about 1852-53, the number of applicants for the priesthood having greatly increased, their novitiate was placed on the Island, and the Brothers were removed to another building.

"The Novice Brothers for many years had Father LÉtourneau to direct them in the way they should go; he was assisted at times by Brother Augustus, and at other by Brother Vincent, who in the beginning, was master of Novices himself, and who now in his venerable old age, continues to be Director of the Novitiate in the new edifice now occupied by the Novice Brothers."

-- Silver Jubilee, Lyons, p. 28 (1845)

"Considering good disposition of Bishop Purcell, Cincinnati, and the advantages in having Novitiate in his diocese for all the united States, it was decided to write him who with the other Bishops is to meet at Council in Baltimore next year; he will probably prevail on Bishop Hailandiere to consent that Brothers be sent to Cincinnati to make their novitiate there instead of Indianapolis. But as institutions have so few men to spare, and the hope of success in Indianapolis is not bright, council decided to remain inactive until they see how matters will turn out, and also to 'keep a profound silence on the matter.'"

-- General Council of Brothers. (1845)

"Bricks shall be hauled for the Novitiate as soon as possible."

-- Council of Administration. (1845)

"In 1845 the Novitiate was opened by Father Granger of saintly memory, on what was then called the 'Island', the present site of the Community House. Father Granger had only arrived at Notre Dame from France in October of 1844; but in that short time he had gathered a sufficient number of candidates for the priesthood and brotherhood to found a modest 'nursery of the Congregation' and place it on a firm basis. Later on, in 1852, owing to a steady increase of subjects a novitiate building was erected on the height above St. Mary's Lake. Thither the seminarian novices were transferred with Father Granger still at their head, while the novice Brothers remained on the 'Island' under the care of Brother Vincent. In August, 1857, the Rev. Louis J. L'Etourneau was appointed to replace Brother Vincent, and for ten years filled that office. He was followed by Father Garrier in August 1867, who was succeeded next year by Rev. Neal Gillespie. Father Garrier was transferred to Father Granger's post at St. Aloysius' Novitiate. Meanwhile a large novitiate building unwittingly, was begun at the north side of St. Joseph's lake. Intended as a home for Missionary priests, retired or enfeebled, it remained completed only to the first story for several years. Recognizing that the project of such a home would never receive the approval of the clergy, the original plan was abandoned and instead, in 1868, it was used as a novitiate. Thither went the postulants and novices under Father Gillespie's leadership. The new edifice was put under the protection of the patron of the Brothers and was henceforth known as St. Joseph's Novitiate.

"In 1870 Father LÉtourneau again became Master of Novices and remained in the post two years. Rev. Augustine Louage took charge from January 7, 1873 till February 1881. Next was Rev. P. Franciscus whose term expired in July, 1882. Then the Rev. L. J. L'Etourneau fill the office till 1883."

-- Chronicles.

"In November, 1846, the novitiate was transferred from Notre Dame to Indianapolis where it remained till the following spring. Move at the request, or rather the demand of Bishop Hailandiere...his successor, Bishop Bazin was of the opposite opinion, and so the Novitiate was soon back at Notre Dame, at an expense of 4,000 francs without any tangible result. The property cost 22,500 francs. (1846)

"March 19th, the relics of St. Severa, martyr, which Bishop Hailandiere gave to Brothers (he had received relics from Pope Gregory XVI) were solemnly translated from Sacred Heart chapel to Novitiate chapel with Bishop's permission and placed under the altar by Sorin.

"A gate shall be placed at the bridge which leads to the novitiate to prevent the hogs and cattle from going and destroying our wheat."

-- Local Council, April 24, 1849

"It was decided that a novitiate for the priests should be built immediately in the peninsula facing the old church."

-- Local Council, July 6, 1852

"Novitiate organized scholastics under Granger. All the Brothers moved together to college to be directed by Sorin."

-- Local Council, 1849.

"The grand novitiate of the priest as well as that of the Brothers was evidently filled with promise for the future."

-- Sorin Chronicles. 1853.

"Father Superior (Sorin) read a letter from Father Delaune, who requested him to repair to Cincinnati to confer with the Bishops who are to have a synod there on the advantages of having a central Novitiate of Brothers for the Union. But the Council, having considered the disadvantageous suspicions which were rumored about against the house, resolved that he should not go but write the Bishops giving them to understand that we would do our best to found the said Novitiate."

-- Council of Administration. 1855

"The novitiate of the Brothers shall be built next spring with the cement lately used, and if proved solid, the houses at the academy shall be erected in the same fashion."

-- Local Council. Jan. 21, 1856

"A chapel 12' X 20' must be built for the St. Joseph's Novitiate as soon as possible, and behind the present house of the Brothers."

-- Local Council. March 1, 1858

"It was decided that in future none shall be admitted as a novice who does not promise to cease using tobacco, and that no cigars shall be offered as previously on entry occasions."

-- Local Council. March 29, 1858

"With God's Blessing, we are now finishing a new Novitiate in keeping with our hopes and our wants. When entirely completed, with its semi-circular cloisters and its new Portiuncula (a chapel on the same model as that of St. Francis) it will form, no doubt, one of the most charming spots piety could wish for. But in vain should we have erected ever a better house if God would not bless the undertaking and give us proper candidates to fill it up and meet the needs of the country."

"...want of room and want of sufficient numbers has prevented the Congregation from the rapid growth which, otherwise, it should have obtained. Now, thanks to God, one of our difficulties is removed -- we have the room we need; the number is the thing we must pray for."

-- (1858)

"It is true we have already here some excellent subjects to send to the new novitiate, but it is no longer by individuals but by dozens, at least, we should count them; then, and only then, we may expect to create and preserve emulation through their studies and exercises, a vigorous discipline and a thorough training in all virtues and those things proper to a novice."

"The solemn opening of the year's novitiate of the Brothers will take place on the 17th of enable the novices to make their profession on the 19th of the following year."

-- Circular Letter. 1858

"Decided to give Mr. Bush the habit and send him to teach at Fr. Wayne."

-- Local Council, August 25, 1873

"So dilapidated was the Brothers' novitiate that it could not safely contain the number of persons now living there. It was decided to remove the Josephite postulants and novices to the house occupied by the Professed Brothers and to put them (not occupied at the college) in the present novitiate of the Brothers."

-- Provincial Chapter, August Minutes, (1858)

"The first one (Brothers' Novitiate) directly west of the University was commenced in the year 1844 while the college was still building. There, in a small octagon chapel, the whole institution and congregation were for several years wont to assemble for divine service; but they have outgrown these things; everything has become too small altogether, and urgently demands enlargement -- you can't find a nook or corner in the whole establishment but where the cry meets you, 'We need so much more room, that this, that, or the other work of usefulness may be undertaken in the proper way.' This spring they contemplate taking down the first novitiate in order to erect upon its site a much larger building capable of accommodating from seventy-five to one hundred persons.

"The island on which it stands which from the first has borne the endearing and holy name of Mary, cannot but be dear to each member of a community that consecrates its united life to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and the associations of years have greatly added to this endearment. Nearly all the American members look to this spot as their spiritual alma mater; here all who have been called to their Heavenly Father from their work below to their reward above have left their bodies reposing together in the beautiful cemetery that crowns the brow of the eminence on which the Novitiate is situated, and long rows of black crosses continually remind the living associates how their brethren gone before are awaiting them ready to welcome them when the time of trial and labor shall be over."

"New Brothers' novitiate built in summer, 1859. Has 57 novices, nine postulants."

-- L'Etourneau to Moreau, August 16, 1859

"The novitiate of the Brothers had never yet been filled with such a large number of postulants. At the annual retreat there were twenty one. The house was crowded. The old novitiate had been torn down and a new one was going up on a somewhat larger scale...5,000 francs ($1,000) had been allowed for this new building, which was erected by the workmen of the Congregation -- the Brothers."

-- Sorin Chronicles. 1859.

"In front of St. Aloysius' Novitiate (for seminarians) and close to it is that of the Brothers recently built on the site of its predecessor, and larger than it by one half. It has at present some 50 novices and postulants. It is the only house at Notre Dame where the Brothers are represented by themselves, and in a worthy manner. St. Joseph's Novitiate is built on a charming little island, which forms a considerable elevation between the two lakes. It is the most beautiful spot on the whole property, and in a short time, when the plan shall have been fully carried out, it will be still more beautiful.

"There also the Josephites, as well as the Salvatorists, will have in time a foundation to be envied, an existence less precarious, perhaps, than anywhere else. East of their novitiate, and on the opposite side of St. Mary's Lake is the home of the coadjutor Brothers. Around this house are grouped the barn, stables, cattle shed, etc., all on a scale in proportion to the extent of our domain and of their number."

-- Sorin Chronicles. 1860.

(Brother Philip to Sorin, February 29, 1860.) "Having heard your circular letter relative to the opening of the Novitiate on the 17th of March next, I once more beg to be permitted to return home and commence that year of grace of which I so greatly stand in need. I do not or cannot feel happy in my present state as I am neither a religious or a worldly person. I hope you will grant my request if it can be done without prejudice to the institutions of the Community."1860

"No one can be dispense from a complete year of Novitiate, continuous or otherwise, prior to profession."

-- Decree of General Chapter 1860

"Mr. Evans will receive the holy habit and be sent to Baltimore."

-- Local Council. Sept. 23, 1860.

"Mr. Duggan, a postulant, will help Brother Ambrose in teaching the Junior Department."

-- Local Council. Nov. 10, 1860.

"Mr. Duggan will receive the holy habit and be sent to Philadelphia to replace Brother Philip Neri, who is recalled to Notre Dame on account of ill health."

-- Local Council. Dec. 31, 1860.

"The union of the novitiates into one, which has been decreed, was pronounced to be an impossibility, as also the administration of so vast a Province (Indiana) by one man."

(The union was decreed by a Provincial Chapter presided over by Bishop Luers of Fr. Wayne as Apostolic Delegate. According to Father Sorin, it was not welcomed by Father Moreau.)

"Decree 6: A project for founding a novitiate in Ireland was approved."

-- General Chapter, Moreau's Letters II, p. 146.(1860)

"Brother Oswald will stay with the apprentices and interrupt his novitiate accordingly."

-- Local Council. June 3, 1861.

"Brother Edmund will interrupt his studies during Lent to work in the dormitory." Local Council. March 20, 1862.

"Brother Raymond will replace Brother Augustus, who is recalled to France, as assistant Master of Novices of the Josephite Brothers."

-- Local Council. Nov. 24, 1862.

"The Novitiate shall furnish hands for the harvest."

-- Local Council. June 3 1867.

"No new foundations to be made in order to give and opportunity to as many Brothers as possible to make their novitiate."

-- Provincial Chapter Decree. (1861)

House of Retreat -- later St. Joseph's Novitiate:

On September 25, 1861, the corner stone was blessed by Msgr. Luers, first Bishop of Fort Wayne. Costs $20,000.... 136' long, 36' wide, three stories high. Object: to gather aged missionaries together and provide a retreat to those that desire it...when they will need it, and have the requisite qualifications.

"Mr. Cotter shall teach writing at the Brothers' Novitiate

-- Local Council. Sept. 9, 1860.

"It was also decided that the novices should help plowing on the farm."

-- Local Council. Sept. 12, 1868.

"The Council objected to the present arrangement for receiving the novices and think that novices have not been sufficiently tried in the past."

-- Local Council. Dec. 18, 1869.

"Brother Angelus shall be sent to St. Joseph Farm and make his Novitiate later."

-- Local Council. Feb. 21, 1873.

"This year like a renaissance year for Brothers' Novitiate. hardly finished on the same plan as first one, with larger dimensions, that it was filled with novices and postulants. Soon, what was considered sufficient for a number of years was found to be too small. They had to consider building the two towers whose construction had been delayed. Fifty-five novices and postulants passed the year in great regularity. Classes were followed at the College and exercises were regular, so that the group represented more than ever the Community. ...spirit of piety established, peace reigned without interruption, all year house was truly an edifying regular community house."

-- Sorin Letter. (1861)

"That in order to meet the expenses of the novitiate each establishment to which a member may be sent shall pay for his outfit and traveling expenses. Also that the sum of $75 in gold for the Novitiate expenses; provided, however, that the expense of novitiate once paid shall not be paid again for the same subject."

-- Decree of Provincial Chapter. (1865)

"That Novices who have already commenced their novitiate at St. Laurent (Montreal) or at Notre Dame will be permitted to finish their novitiate where they are."

-- Decree of Provincial Chapter. (1865)

"It was decided to give Mr. Bush (Brother Simeon) the habit and send him to Ft. Wayne."

-- Local Council. Aug. 25, 1873.

"That the Master of Novices be requested to furnish additional help for the College work if possible."

-- Local Council. Dec. 31, 1891.

"There shall be but one Novitiate for the Priests and the Brothers in each Province."

-- Decree of General Chapter. (1872)

"Rev. F. Carrier was appointed to St. Joseph's Novitiate. He undertook all the teaching of the novices, who thus ceased connection with the College. (Rev. J. Dillon was Master of Novices for the six Salvatorists, all chosen from among the students of the University.)

"The two novitiates were thus for the first time on a regular footing according to the letter of the Constitutions. Hence they inspire new hopes.

"Another step in the same direction was taken this year by the Provincial Chapter to finish the missioner's House at the expense of the Congregation of Holy Cross and to make it the residence; (1) of some priests that might wish to come and make retreats there, and (2) of novices, who, finishing their novitiates before the age required for profession, would there continue their studies until they made their perpetual vows."

-- Sorin Chronicles.(1866)

Page 494.

"Decided to postpone the change of the Novitiate until spring as building could not be prepared for reception before then."

-- Provincial Council Oct. 5, 1868.

"On the 11th of May, I, Alexis Granger, Provincial, visited the new novitiate of St. Joseph (Missionaries' Home) and heard everyone in direction. There are in the house 30 novices and one postulant under the direction of Father Gillespie, master of Novices. Rev. F. Ruthmann is Assistant. They seem well disposed and contented. The house is in good order for the present, though not yet completed. A kitchen is much desired.

"The novices should not be kept too long at manual labor, and should not form the habit of taking lunch."

-- Alexis Granger, C.S.C. (1869)

"The chapter discussed the question of the Novitiate and decided that the novices should not be allowed to teach in the College, play in the orchestra, or have control of any society, religious or otherwise, or be engaged in any occupation that would interfere with their novitiate."

-- Minutes of Provincial Chapter, 1870 (1870)

"It is the unanimous opinion of the Provincial Council that separate novitiates should again be established for the Salvatorists and Josephites." (1871)

"Very Rev. Provincial reported the Very Rev. Father General disapproved of separating the Salvatorists and Josephites during the Novitiate as being opposed to our Rules." May 21, 1871.

"It was decided to charge $2.50 a week for board, washing and mending for each person in the Novitiate. Too difficult to obtain accounts." (1872)

"The practice of sending out such subjects to teach cannot be blessed. They are a curse to the Community. They should be kept in the Novitiate or else sent away. How sending them out this way, not even 'half-baked' but before they were put into the oven, can be justified, I fail to see. Now this is the case in Cincinnati and Lafayette too. They are a scandal to the Brothers who justly say 'Why are they sent here?' Discontented, discouraged, complaining against superiors are the fatal consequences of such a policy. Where there are so many unavoidable causes of dampening their ardor in the work of God, they justly complain of the avoidable cause."

Report of Father Cooney's Visitation to the schools. (1873)

"Two years' novitiate would enhance the value of our teachers both spiritually and intellectually. It would doubtless entail a pecuniary sacrifice, but we should be willing to incur such for future good."

-- Brother Ephrem (Murphy) Ft. Wayne,(1883)

(Brother Edward to Sorin) "I would make Rev. J. M. Toohey Master of Novices. He speaks English and German and is well qualified for the position and would develop the teaching body of Brothers who are now languishing. He was engaged in a system for them when sent on mission. His appointment would give general satisfaction."

-- (1873)

Page 495.

"If a two year novitiate would enable some of the young Brothers to acquire a greater stock of knowledge (apart from any religious consideration) I think it would be an excellent thing to adopt. It is true that many of those who were very backward left the Community within the last few years, still they are not all gone."

-- Brother Ireneus to Sorin -- from Trenton, N.J. Feb. 6, 1883

"I believe that it would be a decided improvement to oblige novices to make a novitiate of two years. With a good Master of Novices they would then have more time to qualify themselves for teaching and for leading more exemplary lives.... There must be something done or in a few more years we will have no teachers."

-- Brother Daniel to Sorin (1883)

(Novitiate Fire...) "Sunday afternoon, November 27, 1887, the Novitiate burned down. The fire originated in a dormitory on the third floor, west wing, which all efforts to extinguish were in vain. The work of rebuilding was begun in the spring of 1888. Meantime, the members of the house went to live in the Community House on the 'Island'. -- (1887)

(Father Scherer to Sorin) "I think it would be good to extend the Novitiate to two years.... I fear many a young novice has up to this time turned out contrary to expectations on account of the association and contacts into which they come with the personnel of the College. I think many a confrere will bear me out in this.

"As to our Congregation retaining and obtaining subjects, first, it depends upon the choice. Then, I fear, a number of worthy subjects of true vocations has been refused, turned aside, lost for our Congregation to the advantage of other Communities simply because -- must I say it?-- they had no money to pay the expenses of the Novitiate.... I know very well that it is hard for the Congregation to maintain and educate from its own resources, candidates who will perhaps be uncertain for it. This is precisely why a prudent, impartial, and, at the same time, a disinterested choice of subjects should be made."

-- Provincial Archives.

"One of the indispensable conditions is the spending of at le ast one year, by the candidate for admission, in an establishment wherein active preparation is made for the work of teaching by study and religious training. This establishment is commonly called a novitiate and is usually nothing more than a normal school, in which profitable training in the secular branches is combined with religious exercises calculated to nourish and develop the spiritual life.

The Growth and Development of the Catholic School System in the United States. p. 201

(St. De la Salle, founder of the first normal school in 1684)." Burns: .

Novitiates -- 1842 to 1945

St. Mary's

The Island


Island again

Across lake (St. Joseph)

Rolling Prairie

Novitiate -- First Class: August 21, 1842 -- St. Peter's

(Thomas) Joseph W. Donoghue, 18, New Orleans

(Francis) Michel Disser, 17, Alsace, France

(Anthony) Frances Rees, 23, Grand Duchy of Bude

(Peter) Joseph Trelty, 34, County Meath, Ireland

(John) Frederick Steber, 22, Dover, England

(Paul) John De la Hoyde, 26,County Meath, Ireland

(Ignatius) Thomas Evenard, 35, County Meath, Ireland

(Patrick) M. Connolly, 44, County Meath, Ireland

November 17, 1842:

Lawrence Kirwan, 21

John O'Sullivan, 27

Timothy O'Neaill, 32

"Should be fed chiefly by our colleges and schools as is customary among Christian Brothers and Jesuits.

"Why should we neglect ourselves? It succeeds admirably among our models and masters. We fear thee had been sad neglect among our religious on this point."

-- Sorin, Visitor (1878.)

      April 12 . . . . . 5      Sept. 27 . . . . . 2      May   24 . . . . . 4      Oct.  25 . . . . . 1       Aug.   9 . . . . . 8      Nov. . . . . . . . 2       Feb. . . . . . . . 8 

"Decided that Brothers' Novitiate shall be built by our own masons and carpenters.

"New Brothers' house will be finished by November 16, 1879. Scholasticate covered and flooring down to be complete by Christmas."

-- Local Council.(1879)

"After much discussion on removing the Novitiate to St. Joseph's Farm, it was decided to table the question."

-- Provincial Chapter. (1890)

Number of Brother postulants who received habit for 1890 to 1891....

      Aug.  9 . . . . . 4     Sept. 11 . . . . . 10      Nov. 14 . . . . . 7     Nov.   6 . . . . . 10       Feb. 13 . . . . . 5     Nov.  13 . . . . .  2       April 3 . . . . . 1     Feb.  12 . . . . .  8       June 19 . . . . . 2      July 20 . . . . . 7  

-- Local Council Minutes. 1980-1981

( Burning of Novitiate..1887) "Last Sunday afternoon, November 6, 1887, as the church bells were summoning the students and members of the community to Vespers, smoke was seen issuing from the South-west dormitory of St. Joseph's Novitiate and the novices who were then on their

page 497

way to church were hastily recalled. A few moments later, a breathless and excited Junior gave the alarm at the College, just as the students were entering the church. A number of the Senior students, together with members of the Community, at once hastened to the burning building. On their arrival the fire was still confined to the dormitory, but owing to the dense smoke which filled the apartment, it was impossible for anyone to enter. There was no fire apparatus of any kind available and as it soon became evident that nothing could be done with the limited means at hand toward checking the progress of the flames, all turned their attention to saving the movable effects.... Attention was then turned to saving the outbuildings, which was accomplished only after the most strenuous exertion. A line was formed extending from the lake to the rear of the burning building, and such a steady supply of water was passed along in the buckets which had been secured from the college, that even the new recreation hall, a wooden building situated only a few yards behind the novitiate, was saved from the flames that at times almost enveloped it. Brother Emmanual ably organized the water line.

"The novitiate was a large, three-story brick building, situated at the North East corner of St. Joseph's Lake. It was erected in 1869 and valued at $25,000. At the time of the fire there were 45 postulants (occupants) who were under the care of the Rev. M. Robinson, C.S.C. The building itself is a total loss. There being no seeming probability of fire in that quarter, it was not deemed necessary to have the structure insured. The question of rebuilding will be discussed when Father General returns from the Holy Land.

-- Scholastic. 21:157. (1887)

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›