University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


(St. Joseph's College) "The Rev. J. Vincent O'Reilly, Vicar General of Philadelphia, who had also turned over to the Fathers and Brothers the college he had founded in this city (of Susquehanna). The foundation here lasted but two years, because it failed to be self- supporting."

-- The King's Highway, Mother M. Eleanore, p. 285.

-- St. Augustine's

"At six o'clock that same evening St. Augustine Church was fired and the rectory burned, May 8, 1844.

-- Memoirs of Bishop Loras, Dubuque:, Rev. Louis De Cailly. 1844.

"The west wall of St. Augustine's noble edifice bore the fearful legend, 'The Lord Seeth'. This alone was left to tower above the charred remains of the church, bearing testimony, like a gigantic ghost to the omniscient power of the eye of God."Life of Fr. Barblin. Eleanore C. Donnelley.

"At the same time (August, 1856) the 250 little boys of St. Augustine's School were under the direction of the Brothers of Holy Cross. Everything went forward prosperously.... Because of differences with James Frederick Woods, who succeeded to the See on the death of Bishop Neumann in 1860, Father Sorin closed all these schools in 1864."

"Father Moreau, having heard of the closing of these Houses, tried to induce the Bishop to keep the Brothers and the Sisters in the city, but their places had already been supplied."

-- The King's Highway, Mother M. Eleanore, p. 1856-57.

(Apropos of Philadelphia, our Community tradition is that Sorin closed the schools because of the need for more Brothers at Notre Dame, owing to the increased enrollment due to the Civil War.)

"... to put (Sisters of Holy Cross) in charge of a magnificent school at St. Paul's, one of the largest parishes in the city. Four hundred girls were to be placed in the hands of four Sisters and 250 little boys were to be under the charge of the Brothers of St. Joseph."

-- Sorin Chronicles. 1857.

"I am very thankful for the two Brothers you had the kindness to send to St. Paul's. They have the most ample field to cultivate.... I hope a greater number of Brothers will have to be put to work. The Congregation of St. Paul's is the most numerous in the city, and we have to anticipate a large increase in that area."

-- Bishop Neumann to Sorin. 1857.

Director... Bro. Bernadine, Bro. Ignatius. 1858.

1860: Brother Ignatius to Fr. Sorin: "Brother John Chrysostom arrived here safely. All had a great welcome for him, and I who know his merits was not the least joyous for being associated with him again.

"If the school be kept, as I hope it will, I am sure perfect satisfaction can be given, so Brother John Chrysostom is more interested in its welfare than myself. "Since the last visit of the Rev. F. J. Dillon to the pastor of St. Paul's, Rev. F.O. Haran gave me full charge of the boys who attend our day school, to catechize them on Sundays, which I accepted willingly. I was not, nor could I make myself happy, the two Sundays that I was freed from this work of mercy. I shall also leave two Brothers to preside over those boys who go to the other schools, lest any hard feelings should be created among the people." 1860.

"Brother Bernadine assigned as teacher to replace Brother John Chrysostom, who is recalled to Notre Dame as bookkeeper and treasurer."

-- Local Council 1857.

(Bishop Neumann to Brother Ignatius, 1858) "Dear Respected Brother, I very cheerfully approve of the introduction of the Little Society of St. Joseph amongst the good children of St. Paul's congregation and hope that their devotion to this Blessed Foster Father of Our Lord will obtain them many graces from God."

"It was decided that St. Augustine's new establishment in Philadelphia shall be accepted if consistent with our establishment in Chicago."

-- Local Council July 4, 1859.

"The foundation of the parochial school at the Augustinians of Philadelphia is accepted."

-- Local Council July 25, 1859.

Franklin's Academy:

"Organized in 1753-1755. Supposedly non-denominational. One of the purposes of this school was to provide teachers, the country suffering at present very much for want of good schoolmasters, and obliged frequently to employ in their schools, vicious imported Servants, or concealed Papists, who by their bad examples and Instructions often deprave the Morals or corrupt the Principles of the children under their care."

-- History of Catholic Education in the U.S. -- Burns, p. 151.

(Letter to Superior of Christian Brothers, 1851) "Bishop Kenrick described Catholic education in the diocese, and especially in Philadelphia as being in a sad condition. He had long endeavored to obtain Christian Brothers from Europe to open Boys' schools, but without success."

(Brother Ignatius to Sorin, March 21, 1859) "The Rev. F.O. Haran broke up our Society of St. Joseph (Association?) yesterday. He seems to want the paltry sum we collected. Every third or fourth Sunday he gives them a few words of instruction."

(Bro. Ignatius to Sorin, March 21, 1859) "Enrollment, 240. The school is much better conducted than it was some time ago."

"St. Paul's Parochial School, 350 boys are taught by three Brothers of Holy Cross. Brother Ignatius, Superior."

-- Catholic Directory. 1859.

(Brother Edward to Sorin, 1859) "I received your letter dated the 6th in Philadelphia in which I find that you suppose us to be at St. Augustine's, although we sent you a dispatch and a letter informing you of the reasons why it was not taken. We were satisfied to submit to any inconvenience in order to commence the school, knowing how anxious you are to have it taken, but Father Mullen did all he could to resist us, refusing even to see us. When we did see him he treated us coldly. Seeing this, the Brothers did all they could to prevent us from going to see him again.... He preferred taking the former teachers he had in the boys' school and whom he dismissed. Seeing that he was entirely opposed to us, and that there was no possibility of taking the school, we then told him he might engage his former teachers. Then he told us to telegraph you that we were at your disposal. The Sisters arrived in the middle of the week after the schools were occupied by the Sisters of St. Joseph. However, they have now got possession, and I suppose they have acquainted you with the whole thing.

"Seeing that we had no business in Philadelphia, we concluded it was best for me to go to Baltimore. Father Dolan I knew was anxious to get Brothers for his parish school. I was not disappointed. The good Father was overjoyed at the prospect of getting the Brothers to commence the boys' school. He said my arrival was quite providential as he was in the greatest embarrassment. His school has gone to nothing and his boys are in the public schools. I told him I could make no definite arrangements until I could hear from you. Notwithstanding, he announced that the school would be opened by the Brothers on Monday week and spoke of the advantages of having Religious to teach it.

"We can teach here and live at the Orphans' Home together. We have many good friends among whom is Father Obersmeyer of St. Vincent's, editor of the Baltimore 'Mirror'. He wrote a long article about us in his paper last week. Father McManus of St. John's would like to have three Brothers for his school. It is near the Orphans' Home, and if it was possible to allow the Brothers of St. Paul's to go there it would be well. Their school is very poor, and the pastors are not disposed to do anything for them. Through no fault of ours the school is going down. I left Brother Francis in Philadelphia teaching until I received your answer."

"I have found since the last regular visit on September 26, 1858, the receipts have been: $1135.34 Expenses; $309.98, House owes; 000.00 Due the House; 000.00 sent to Notre Dame, $836.36." Statement of Very Rev. Father Sorin. 1859.

(Brother Ignatius, St. Paul's, March 22, 1859) "Rev. Father F.O. Haran does not see how you could require three of us to teach about 250 children, while the Sisters have six. Tuition receipts, $570.00; most of them paid to June 1. I admitted I could not do justice to 90 children in my room."

(Philadelphia Industrial School -- Father Dalton to Sorin.. "... this would not at all be an opportune time to establish the Select School. I feel that on the whole, it may as well, be to leave matters for the remainder of the year as they are. I am now kept so close to the school room that I can do but little else.... It will be quite an inconvenience to me if the Brothers be not here this week ... but let nothing tempt you to send anyone except Brother Philip Neri. He is just what we want."

April 10, 1860.

(Father Dalton to Sorin, April 20, 1860.) "Here I am in the school room, the children coming in for the first time... owing to the good dispositions of the Fathers (Augustinians) here, I could not bring myself to oppose the opening of the school as they wish it now. We want another Brother as soon as he can make his appearance here.... But send us a good Brother -- Brother Philip Neri, e.g. -- and, my word for it, with the assistance of God and the protection of our Blessed Mother, and her Blessed Spouse St. Joseph, we will have an establishment here. I do not know how it is, but I feel very sanguine about this school.

"... permit me to draw your attention to St. Paul's School. For Charity sake let there be something done for that school, else my voice must ever be to break it up. We now have an establishment independent of it, and are therefore ourselves more independent."

"St. Augustine's is doing very well, but neither the Fathers nor the people are satisfied with my excellent little teacher, simply for the reason that he is not a Brother. Well, now Father, on this, weighing the whole affair as well as I am able, I have but to say, that I think in the name of God, you would be better to send some Brother. I am not now so particular about the real experience of the Brother... But in the former case let me say, let the Brother be at least a good- looking, English speaking person....

"I return to the select school again. I did not understand what you meant by having no means. If by 'means' you mean men, I think I have that man of whom I wrote last week, and who, by the way, is a good bookkeeper. And then for desks, we have enough. We would have to get only chairs. But I will not insist... All is well here...."

(Brother Ignatius to Sorin; June 24, 1860) "I understand from your letter of the 19th of June that you intend giving up the male department of St. Paul's. I know of no reason why it should not be continued as well as the other (St. Augustine's ?), since we have about the same number of pupils who pay, and if there be any dissatisfaction more on one side than the other I know not."

(Bro. Ignatius to Sorin, June 10, 1860) "Please let me know when I am to close the school and if I may give my little rewards."

(Bro. Ignatius to Fr. L'Etourneau, May 12, 1859) "We are grouped about the altar of our Blessed Lady, about 500 in number, offering through her to her Divine son, our young hearts.

"I teach about 100 boys and the same number of girls every morning from 9 to 10 o'clock, who are preparing for their first communion, and for confirmation. For one half hour more we are singing Vespers. They all seem highly delighted and the pastors are much pleased. Father Haran asked me to take the girls."

(Rev. Dalton to Sorin, Mary 9, 1860) "Here now is the substance of the good Bishop's advice: 'Write to Father superior (Sorin) and tell him to write to Father Sheridan (pastor of St. Paul's) saying that he will not wihdraw the Community, but as a matter of justice insists on the fulfillment of the contract, and that if he (Father Sheridan) does not do that, then the Father superior will refer the matter to the Bishop.' And then he added that should the matter come before him, he would make it tell on his whole diocese. He wants, he says, the schools kept up. And he is determined that they shall be kept up. He will have no man's particular views counteract the great idea of the whole Catholic world. 'Now', said he, 'Let that be done, and great good may come of it.'

"He gave me many excellent counsels about new establishments: clearly defined contracts, but above all never take any proposal immediately. Let those applying feel that they are seeking a favor, as they are. If they ask once, they will ask again.... Since we have asked the Rt. Rev. Bishop's advice, let it be followed strictly. Bishop Wood".

"Let me state here that I am more or less apprehensive as to how our Brothers' Community life is to fare after I leave here. You yourself doubtless have felt how awkward the position of Brother Ignatius (a novice) must be as superior of professed Brothers. And I have my reasons for thinking he will be made to feel it too.," 1860.

"Two parish schools founded: one at St. Paul's four years ago, and one at St. Augustine's, which paid $1,000 last year. Each had three Brothers for 250 -- 300 pupils. The other school paid by students, a source of embarrassment rather than income."

-- Sorin Chronicles, 1860.

(Sorin's Visit... 1861) 1. St. Augustine's School, 250 boys, three Brothers. 2. St. Paul's School. 3. Brother Ignatius, Director of the House, seven Brothers. Pastors and clergy well disposed. at (1) class of people rather better. Things well arranged. At (2) all seem to go contrary to interests of school. Prescriptions for future: (1) Rising by dispensation at five, provided everybody in bed by 9:15. (2) Breakfast: Coffee, meat, butter; Dinner two meats, vegetables, dessert, supper: tea, meat, vegetables. (3) Obediences: Humility, Union, and Poverty to be enforced in the house. (Present house to be left for another more convenient. (5) Study to be encouraged...."

"I hasten to inform you that Brother Aloysius, a novice, who was employed in our house in Philadelphia as a teacher went home to God on March 28, fortified by the Holy Sacraments at the age of 17. His funeral was held the following day."

-- Moreau, Letter 155. 1862.

"Brothers Francis De Sales and Agatho shall be called home immediately for the recovery of their health, since the school at St. Paul does not support itself."

-- Local Council, March 30, 1863.

"The school of the Assumption at Philadelphia shall be closed, and Bro. Edward shall send home some novices to terminate their novitiate."

-- Local Council, Oct. 26, 1863.

"In August Brothers' school at St. Paul's, Philadelphia, closed during trip of Sorin to.... Pastor refused to ensure Brothers of fixed salary as in other establishments, not earning their expenses."

-- Sorin Chronicles. 1864.

"The Chapter decided to discontinue the school at Philadelphia and to accept the school at Lafayette."

Minutes of Chapter. 1865.

(St. Augustine's School) Number of boys 200, under the charge of three Brothers of Holy Cross."

-- Catholic Directory 1865.

-- 1867: Boys 225, taught by two lay teachers.

(Meanwhile Father Sorin had withdrawn Brothers to use them at Notre Dame much to Bishop Wood's vexation -- Community tradition.)

"Father Sorin closed all these school in 1864."

-- On the King's Highway, p. 286.

See also under "Conscription, 1863".


See under "S" Saint.

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›