University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts

PHILIP NERI, BROTHER (Robert Kunze -- Died Feb. 14, 1926)

"Brother Philip, 1871, teacher at Holy Trinity School, Cincinnati."

"Brother Philip showed us the other day a number of specimens of handwriting. They are the production of members of the writing class in the Commercial Department and are very creditable to the students. Brother Philip is the most successful teacher of penmanship ever employed in the Commercial Department."

-- Scholastic. Dec. 26, 1874.

"Brother Philip Neri appointed a member of the Provincial Council."

Oct. 17, 1877.

"Brother Philip Neri will play the contra-bass in the orchestra."

-- Scholastic. 1874.

"Brother Philip, who visited New York lately to arrange with Mr. Fred. Pustet, the publisher for the printing of his new series of German copy books, expresses himself highly pleased with the courteous manner in which he was received by the Brothers of Mary at the Church of the Holy Redeemer, 173 3rd St....."

-- Scholastic. Sept. 15, 1877.

(Advertisement) A new System of German Penmanship -- By the Professor of Penmanship in the Commercial Course at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana -- Published by Fred. Pustet, 52 Bravely St., N.Y. and 204 Vine St., Cincinnati.

"This system is adapted to the analytic and synthetic methods of instruction, with the principles similar to those adopted in the best English systems. The copies are beautifully engraved. Explanations and diagrams are given on cover. Price,

85 cents per dozen."

-- Scholastic. 12:35 1878.

"Brother Philip gives lessons in German penmanship as well as in English.

-- Scholastic. Jan. 16, 1875.

-- (German Penmanship) "The system introduced by the Professor (at Notre Dame) is one peculiarly his own, and is certainly the finest and

"most complete of any now in existence in German."

-- Mt. Vernon Malit. Mr. Charles A. Gretze

"On account of its ease and legibility it deserves the widest use in our educational institutions."

-- Milwaukee Seebote.

"Of another important item in a good business education, namely penmanship, it is scarcely necessary for us to speak, as, lately, the Professor in charge of this branch has become widely and favorably known through his series of German Penmanship books in eight numbers, published by Pustet of New York and Cincinnati, which has received the unqualified approbation of competent Judges and promised by them to be the best published in this country."

-- Scholastic. (Editorial),November 2, 1878.

"Brother Philip received a telegram from Baltimore announcing the death of his uncle, the Rev. Robert Kleineidam, C.SS.R. The Reverend Father was well known to many at Notre Dame, having given retreats here. He was 64 years old, and had been a priest for 39 years, 36 of which were spent in the C.SS.R. He was noted for his pulpit eloquence."

-- Scholastic, April 7, 1883.

"I have seen them all -- and I wouldn't give one of Brother Philip's wonderful plants that pleases the eye so much on yon campus (beautiful) for all the elms of Yale."

-- Scholastic, 48:600 1915.

... the old question repeats itself; who is the magician who guards the beauty of Notre Dame with all the devotion of a Greek priest watching over the temple of his gods? We fear that Brother Philip doesn't want us to give way the secret; he would prefer to walk about the quadrangle incognito with his eyes on a dozen comely spots that nobody else has seen yet.

"Nevertheless the tale is told now, although we haven't the ability to describe the years of patient work and impatient idealism which have gone into making the University campus a fit garment for Father Sorin's dream of Our Lady's school, for the shrine to which so many men have brought their youth. And, looking through the eyes of Brother Philip, we also see 'shining fields and dark towers' of the Notre Dame that is to be, where other boys will walk perversely over new greens and nail posters to trees as yet unborn.

"The splendid thing about our grounds is their individuality. Other schools have trees and shrubbery, lakes and winding pathways; but here the symphony of green and gold has the large individuality of Beethoven."

-- Scholastic, 54:91.

"Brother Philip Neri died of pneumonia last Sunday afternoon at the age of 81. He had lived at the University for almost 65 years, the span of an ordinary lifetime."

"Brother Philip was born in Silesia, Germany. He came to this country when he was 16 years old and entered the Congregation of Holy Cross shortly after his arrival. For many years he was teacher of penmanship and of German in the old Commercial Course of the preparatory school. The older alumni remember him from their 'prep' days; he never taught in the University itself.

"More recent generations of students have known Brother Philip as the landscape gardener of the campus. He designed and laid out the present University grounds, and built the beautiful grotto of the Blessed Virgin on the plan of that of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.

"Those who knew him found him to be a very kindly, friendly old man who took a great and pardonable pride in the landscaping of the campus. He was always willing to explain to any student who showed interest in them the various species of shrubs and trees on the campus. His death will be felt by the members of the Community and by all the alumni and present day students who knew him."

-- Scholastic, 1926.

-- "Brother Philip as born at Schaupits, Silesia, September 14, 1844. He received the holy habit in 1861; was professed August 15, 1870. Brother Philip was a landscape gardener and was in charge of the University campus for years, laying out paths and roads that are nationally known for their beauty. He was active about the grounds until several years ago and assisted materially in advising during the making of the plans for the new buildings to be constructed under the building program of the Greater Notre Dame. He was a familiar figure to the students of the members of the community, by whom his wisdom and saintliness were well known and admired."

-- Alumnus, 4:168.

"The campus is glorious now in the verdure of trees of a hundred varieties, every one of which in its planting was blessed by Brother Philip. You men of the class of 1928 have been dwelling here in communion with dead and living members of a Congregation of religious men who do not know the meaning of the word fail. It is the stored up value of their sacrificial lives that gives us that proud heritage that we call Notre Dame."

-- Alumnus, 6:357 Francis O'Shaughnessy, LL.B., 1900-1928.

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›