University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


"Brother Paul is an excellent handballist and has been successful in awakening interest in the game since his arrival in the Senior Department."

-- Scholastic. (18 --)

"Brother Paul left Tuesday evening for Chicago to purchase uniforms for the football teams and baseball supplies for the spring season."

-- Scholastic. March 24. 1888

"We are glad to see Brother Paul of the Cross once more occupying the prefectorial chair. He is an expert prefect, and will leave nothing undone to promote the happiness of those under his charge."

-- Scholastic. January 8, 1881.

"On account of time, part of only one inning was played, and resulted in a score of 8 to 0 in favor of the visitors.... The Ann Arbor boys gave a fine exhibition of skillful playing. The occasion has started 'an enthusiastic football boom' and it is hoped that coming years will witness a series of these contests."

-- Arch Ward, 1887.

"The 'enthusiastic boom' predicted by the Scholastic was not long in getting under way, for in the following week a meeting was held on the Notre Dame campus to form a Rugby Football association with Brother Paul, the father of athletics at the University, being named president. Brother Paul managed the first four Notre Dame elevens. It was he who suggested that campus elevens be organized and was instrumental in securing uniforms for them."

-- Frank Leahy and the Fighting Irish. p. 1

"Apropos of the renewal of athletic relations with Michigan, Notre Dame gratefully recalls the day in 1888 when Ann Arbor authorities sent their team, at the request of Brother Paul, to teach us the art of football. Last week in Cleveland, Mr. Ernest M. Sprague, one of those Michigan sportsmen, died. You are asked to pray for his soul."

"He refereed the game. When a Notre Dame man crushed into the Wolverine quarterback after he had signaled for a fair catch, then knocked the ball from his hands, scooped it up and thundered down the field for a touchdown, Mr. Sprague disallowed it and penalized Notre Dame. 'In only split second', he said, 'one hundred and fifty wild Irishmen were around my neck. Brother Paul saved me, raised his hand, asked for silence, and said: 'These boys are our guests. We invited them to teach us the game. Mr. Sprague knows the rules.' Lucky for me from the rule book I satisfied Brother Paul and the boys. I had treated them fairly."

-- Religious Bulletin, May 23, 1938.

"Brother Paul received a letter this week from A. A. Stagg, captain of the Chicago University eleven, stating that his team had disbanded and therefore could not come this year. He also says he would be glad to come next season."

-- Scholastic, XXVI; 225. 1892.

"In the death of Brother Paul has been a great shock, and a cause of intense sorrow to the members of Brownson Hall, with whom he was very closely connected as Prefect. The last fatal illness was of such short duration that it is almost impossible to realize that he is gone. All are firm in the conviction that the place vacated by Brother Paul will be hard to fill.

-- Scholastic, 27; 237.

"Brother Paul, Prefect of the Senior Department of the University, died in the evening of the 12th instant. For a number of years the deceased had suffered from the ailment which finally carried him off, though he had been but a few days confined to his bed before his death. Known in the world as Patrick Connors, he was born in Ireland in 1850, and in 1867 entered the Congregation of Holy Cross at Notre Dame. During the past 25 years he has been one of the prefects of the Senior department, and was ever zealous to promote the happiness and welfare of the students. As a consequence he was deservedly held in high esteem, and by all who knew him, the tidings of his demise will be received with deep and sincere regret."

-- Scholastic, 27:236.

"The athletic association has purchased a fine large crayon portrait of Brother Paul which will be placed in the Brownson Reading Room.... It is certainly a work of art."

-- Scholastic, 27:305

"Died December 12, 1893. Aged 42. Identified with Notre Dame 28 years. Most of that time, a prefect. In close intimacy with students, because of his great interest and leadership in athletics. Fine physique and handsome man. As leading spirit in founding Athletic Association and as Chairman of Board of Control, he laid foundation of modern athletic system. A vigorous athlete himself and Director of Athletics at the time of the death."1893.

"In the early days of the school's football career, Brother Paul was the only member of the campus religious who was an athletic zealot. He was manager of the first four Irish teams, back in the days of caps and handlebar mustaches.."

-- Frank Leahy and the Fighting Irish. Arch Ward

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›