University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


"St. Peter's is the oldest parish in either Daviess or Martin Co., and was founded about 1818 by Catholics from Kentucky, a church-loving people.... Rev. L. P. Lalumiere visited the settlement from Vincennes for a time, and afterward became its first resident pastor. He is credited with building a hewed log church, 24' X 30' which as early as 1823 was standing, and a frame one 40' X 60', and which was completed in 1827.... The third church was of brick. Part of these bricks was intended for the college buildings, but with the removal of Father Sorin to the northern part of the state, these buildings of which were lost sight."

-- Col. C. Blanchard, Vol. 1, pl. 376 April, 1818

Bishop Brute visited Washington, Daviess Co., and found Fr. Lalumiere's brick church unfinished. Thence he went to St. Peter's, six miles away where he confirmed 32 persons, April 29, 1838.

"Sisters of Charity, Nazareth, Kentucky, opened a school at St. Peter's in Spring of 1832. It received scanty patronage. Withdrew following year. Bishop Brute made his visit after installment to St. Peter's.

"But Providence again disposed otherwise, to our great advantage and sent us a French priest from Canada, who was himself going to Vincennes, Rev. Wm. Chartier by name."

-- Mother Theodore, 1840.

"In May a school was established by Mr. Kennedy, an excellent Catholic, who lived four miles south east of St. Peter's amid a farming population one-third Catholic. Brother Gatian taught 25-30 children -- boys and girls -- one-half of whom were Protestants. Several of these were baptized. Children paid in 'nature'. School although it was going well, discontinued in August with the beginning of Notre Dame."1841.

"St. Peter's was inconvenient of access, buried in the Wabash woods, it had a cheerful look. The buildings and the gardens were situated on an elevated Black Oak Ridge. Room enough to pass winter in. Brothers were asked to come at once. Arrived October 14. Sisters of Charity had a school there some years before, but were not able to make a living and had to withdraw. Thirty five Catholic families, all poor except five or six. Arrival of Brothers pleased both Catholics and Protestants. Called on neighbors who received them cordially.

"The conduct of the little community was truly edifying; those good Brothers were often in want of everything except food and clothing; but, according to the precept of the Divine Master, everyone appeared to be content.... During the first two months all had to sleep on the floors and to practice many other acts of mortification of a like nature. Yet all were habitually gay and happy in their lot. Where fervor and devotion reign, a sacrifice is a joy rather than an affliction. Soon two young men from the neighborhood were received into the Novitiate. Some months later two others of a more advanced age came to increase the number of the children of St. Joseph; several others in the following spring arrived from Jasper, from New York, and elsewhere. Within a year nine were admitted to the Novitiate. At the close of the first general retreat, August 21, 1842, eight received the habit.

"We might look upon it as a miracle of grace for a young American to persevere in the humble and difficult employment of a Brother of St. Joseph."

-- Sorin, 1841.

"It was to St. Peter's that Father Sorin with six Brothers of Holy Cross came in 1841, and a little later the Sisters of Providence took up the School there and in Vincennes...two religious communities that have had much to do with the development of Catholic education in Indiana and throughout the Middle West."

-- Burns: Principles, etc. p. 241.

"Everybody, except Presbyterians, seemed delighted to see Brothers established here. They came to the religious exercises and acted properly and were no less obliging than Catholics. Hence Bishop and Sorin made great plans for the future, marking place for the church to be built, their house, garden, orchard, while the newspapers of Washington, a small nearby town, announced the opening of a boarding school by the Brothers of St. Joseph without stating that the whole house would have a dormitory only in the attic; that the new teachers couldn't understand their pupils. But school opened, anyway -- at St. Peter's and also at Kennedy's and likewise at Vincennes by Brother Vincent."

-- Sorin Chronicles Dec. 16, 1841.

"Father Moreau has obtained 2,500 francs from Propagation for establishment at St. Peter's. Moreau disposed to send a priest, next May, two Brothers, and two Sisters, but Moreau must say he decides to keep his foundation dependent on Sainte Croix."

-- Oct. 13, 1841.

(Sorin -- Hailandiere) "Sorin adds in chronicle that it does not seem at beginning that Ste. Croix had any other idea than to found in America a Novitiate at the expense and risks of the Diocese of Vincennes and that it would seem according to oral agreements, that the whole group was purely and simply given, without any other reserve on the part of Ste. Croix than that of recalling its members and by replacing them immediately. This lack of a written contract led to great difficulties because Bishop Hailandiere was known in the region as a smart politician, never caught, always ready with a thousand answers to get out of trouble. He added a few days later that Bishop in order to sign an agreement to found the Brothers at his expense, wanted Superior to sign or to promise not to withdraw them without replacing them, once the diocese paid for the foundation."

(Sorin to Moreau, 1841) "The little colony reached Vincennes about the middle of October. Here two of the Brothers took charge of a school, and Father Sorin accompanied by the others, repaired to St. Peter's about 30 miles from Vincennes, where his institution was to open a school, a novitiate, and attend to the spiritual wants of the Catholics widely scattered throughout that part of the country."

(Sorin to Moreau, Dec. 1841) "I must form a regular novitiate with elements who do not understand each other, and frequently I do not understand them myself; for we have now three German Postulants, who do not speak a word of English -- it has almost been necessary to make the exercises in three languages at the same time; or have the Holy Ghost renew for us the miracle of Pentecost. Happily the pious dispositions with which they are animated shows that God in effect, speaks to their hearts when I can only speak to their ears. Last Sunday we had the ceremony of taking the Habit. Our little chapel was crowded to excess -- never was such a ceremony witnessed in this part of the country.

"Shall I tell you that we have the most sanguine hopes for our establishment; but we have not as yet a dollar. Yet God comes to our aid; it is impossible for us to remain longer in our present situation

"Two more Brothers would be extra useful to us, one a good shoemaker."

Sent Brothers Anselm and Celestine to Vincennes to teach. Brother Celestine only three weeks a novice before being sent.

Pension of Clement's boys payable in flour, at $1.75 per 100 pounds.

"Is going to collect balance from Mr. Cassidy, deducting for 565 pounds of beef for which price isn't fixed."

"Paid $4.00 poll tax for Brothers Lawrence (Laurent), Joachim and Joseph." Dec. 13, 1842.

On the morrow Hailandiere led Sorin to St. Francisville nine miles from Vincennes to show him land destined for the Brothers. This didn't please Sorin who left the same day for the Ridge at St. Peter's 30 miles from Vincennes, with Mr. Delaune, a priest of that place. This farm was partly cultivated. The log buildings, large enough, but a little old, with a frame chapel, rather pretty, but already in a state of ruin, had been built by Sisters of Nazareth, who had stayed there only four years. It was center of a Catholic Parish of 25 or 30 families. 1841.

"It was a place of difficult access," says the Chronicles. "but in the midst of several Catholic parishes." It was one of the oldest missions of the diocese. St. Peter's had a little frame church in good repair; two little rooms had been added to it, one for the sacristy, and one for the priest. Other small buildings were for a kitchen and for a school. It was evident that this was the place best fitted for the purposes of the priest and his Brothers, and that here they could at least pass the winter; and so the location was selected and the Brothers came on from Vincennes."

-- Golden Jubilee: Howard.

There were 160 acres of good land at St. Peter's, and the little Community met to work to improve it and to establish themselves firmly as a religious house. The teacher of the school, a Mr. Rother, who had apparently been expecting them, was the first to join the new order. Others followed and within a year eight members were added; and in all, twelve received the habit of the order at St. Peter's.

Notwithstanding the difficulty experienced by them in learning the English language and their general ignorance of the ways of the country in which they found themselves, the newcomers set to work in earnest winning the good will of their neighbors and prospering even more than they had anticipated, so that before the end of their first year they had become quite attached to St. Peter's. Then they began to make preparation for the building of a college which they looked upon as necessary for the progress of the great work they had in view. To the surprise of the Community, however, they found that the good Bishop was unwilling that they should erect a college. His idea, apparently, was that a mission station and primary schools should be the only establishment conducted by Father Sorin and his Brothers. In great trouble of mind, Father Sorin went to Vincennes to try to win the consent of the Bishop to the cherished enterprise. But the Bishop was unyielding. There was already a Catholic college in Vincennes and he considered this quite as many as could be supported in the vicinity. Undoubtedly, the Bishop was right, considering the sparsely settled country, and the particularly small number and the little wealth of the Catholic population. Apparently Father Sorin himself was convinced; for when the Bishop intimated that he held a section of land on the St. Joseph river, near Lake Michigan, which he was willing that the Community should have and on which they (he agreed) might build a college, provided they would accomplish that task within two years, it appears that Sorin at once took to the idea. He returned, therefore, to St. Peter's, and laid the proposition before his Brothers. For days the Community wrestled with the grave question thus presented. They had become attached to St. Peter's and the idea of now breaking up after they had spent over a year in preparing this habitation in the wilderness seemed at first very distasteful. But the longer they considered the matter the more desirable seemed the project. The name of St. Joseph was a powerful attraction. That they should receive a section of land to themselves on the banks of that blessed river, even though it was uncleared forest; that they should be free, in that north wilderness, to establish their beloved college and order in the valley of the St. Joseph, already blessed by the labor of sainted missionaries, seemed an indication of the will of heaven. The resolution was therefore, taken that the offer of the Bishop should be accepted, and that a part of the colony depart at once and take possession of their new home. 1841.

"In discussing he early history of St. Peter's parish, we may add: In connection with Father Sorin's stay in the parish, the following will be of interest. In August, 1888, on the occasion of the celebration of Father Sorin's Jubilee, at Notre Dame, John Breen and a Mr. Kelly were the only ones present from the locality of St. Peter's. During their stay Mr. Breen, in conversation with Father Sorin referred to the condition among the people here as to his intending to found a college at St. Peter's and he told this incident of his stay here:

"Yes, I with some of the Brothers was temporarily at St. Peter's. We were upon very close rations too. One day a neighbor named Hayes came to see me and asked how I was, etc. I told him I was not feeling well and had not anything for dinner that day. He at once requested me to send some of the Brothers with him and that he would see that I was not without my dinner another day. I did so, and soon we had meat and several sacks of meal, and other desirable provisions."

"On the same occasion he related to Mr. Breen the circumstances of his leaving the southern for the northern part of the state as follows:

"Bishop de la Hailandiere sent for me and told me of the extensive lands near the lakes in the north, and offered them to me on the condition that I would found a college there; I did not want to go but he insisted, and proffered me his horse to ride; I went and the trip took me a week. I was pleased with the place and at once made arrangements to establish ourselves."

"Of the Brothers who left St. Peter's with Father Sorin, two: Brother Vincent, 93 years of age (at the time of his death) and Brother Francis Xavier, over 66 years old, were living in the year 1889, but are now deceased. March 1, 1898.

"In his sermon at the golden jubilee of Father Sorin at Notre Dame, in August 1888, Archbishop Ireland spoke of six Brothers who came with Father Sorin from France, 1841 as the year of his coming, and 1842 as the year he first set foot on the banks of the St. Joseph River. This agrees with existing records and traditions, and the names of these six Brothers are well remembered by several (in Montgomery, Daviess Co.). The following were named by Miss Lizzie O'Dell who went to school to these Brothers, viz.: Anselm, Gatian, Joachim, Lawrence, Vincent, Francis, and Marie; one who was known as Brother Joseph was teaching at St. Peter's when the above-mentioned arrived. He had been connected with the Trappist order of Europe but could not endure the severities of their rule and left. About 10 others joined them, but when they left for the north, these latter, who were young men of the surrounding neighborhood, did not go along, not having taken their vows (obligations). When they left St. Peter's they had the land they were on nearly all in wheat having leased much of it in order to have it cleared."

-- Blanchard's A History of Catholic Church in Indiana, Vol. I, pp. 378-79 1898.

Brothers asked to take a new school at St. Peter's already opened by a young German Catholic, Charles Rother, who awaited arrival of Brothers for two years. He was in charge principally during the year it was maintained. Fifteen pupils, boys and girls. But question of teaching the latter hadn't been yet decided between Sorin and Hailandiere. The tuition, though very modest, was not paid as agreed. Parish at St. Peter's had about 30 families in radius of five miles, only one third of them could conveniently send their children to the school.

Bishop Hailandiere feared that St. Peter's would hurt St. Gabriel's College of the Eudist Fathers at Vincennes. Bishop announced departure November 18, of Sorin for north. Thus all the money advanced, and all the work at St. Peter's, clearing of 80 acres, where the Brothers learned at their expense American methods of farming, so different from the French although they thought they were pretty smart, and now they were to produce nothing save the consolation of seeing 20 or more Protestants converted and some infidels also. The Protestants received with joy the prospect of a boarding school. They offered to haul the materials and help to build. One hundred thousand bricks had been made and some stone cut, but all this had to be abandoned.

"Decided that Sorin and Seven Brothers would go North to prepare a place for the Community; the rest would spend the winter at St. Peter's under Fr. Chartier, Superior of the Grande Semanaire of Vincennes." 1842.

(Sorin to Moreau, ) "We had this morning (August 21) eight postulants for the reception of the Habit.... I believe that the Brothers never would have had in France the chances of success they find here.... There is no doubt that the Brothers are destined to do incalculable good in this country...."1842.

Sorin having gone to Louisville, asked Brother Vincent to write about procession of Blessed Sacrament. June 6, 1842.

Mr. Odell binds himself to repair a log house, 30' X 16' well hewed, 11 logs high, with portico, 13' X 8', four columns, half square and half-eight sides. He will frame and cover it all and will repair the joists for the two floors -- all for 1.3 of the produce. (Produce, probably refers to the corn Odell was to grow on the 20 acres.)

Mr. Odell binds himself to raise good corn on 20 acres at St. Peter's. He will cultivate whole of it as if it was his own by himself plus as many hands as he will need to cut down the bushes and plant the crop. In due season he will plow it four times. He is to board himself and his horse at this own expense in his own house, to work with his own plow the whole of it for three months for $20.

Later, April 26, the price paid for it was $40 for growing corn. Ten dollars for the clearing of the land. Contract with Mr. Peter Odell.

Contract with Sorin and Messrs Odell: They will finish cutting of all trees on 20 acres, burn all the logs and the brush around 30 timbers, which Stephen Brown will cut down to make rails. All to be done by April. Payment to be made by June. Paid already $7, due April 1, $40 June 6, 1842.

Father Chartier (the secular priest who entered Holy Cross) went to see Bishop Hailandiere. Bishop wouldn't build his seminary at St. Peter's. He thought Sorin should keep the two farms to found two foundations: the College at South Bend and the Novitiate at St. Peter's. Hailandiere is a part Yankee in business deals. "How good a nose he had to have you write the verbal agreements you made with him." Chartier hasn't a copy of it but remembers it calls for Hailandiere taking over the land at St. Peter's.

Vicar General Martin suggests when Chartier said that the priest expected from France would not be able to take over the Novitate at once that Chartier could run the Novitiate. But Chartier wasn't professed yet and so couldn't do it. Besides, since he was not considered fit to conduct Bishop's Seminary he could hardly be fit to run Brothers' Novitiate.

Bishop said Father Del's collection was for the diocese and not for Brothers except sum of $75 for bricks, rent for churches etc. Chartier told him it was or the Brothers alone, since Del asked only for Brothers -- Hailandiere a devil on money and not frank or sincere -- not liked by clergy. 1842.

"She placed us for a brief period of 16 months under the temporary care of St. Peter in the southern part of the State; but without knowing why, we did not feel completely at home or at rest; we felt, I presume, as little children felt in the momentary absence of their mother, even if she is gone in search of some good thing for them. soon she called us, as it were, from the north. Instantly we started and we came in search of the land of promise. We were a week coming, but we did not know till we reached the spot what name it bore and under what denomination it went, if it had any. You may imagine what an agreeable and cheering surprise it was for us, to learn in town here when inquiring after the Bishop's land in which was a small lake -- what was our surprise and delight too, that it was not a commonplace of timber without a name, but one well known under the beautiful title of St. Mary's of the Lakes. More than 12 years before the Blessed Virgin had taken possession of it. The proto-priest of the United States, Father Badin had consecrated the spot as best he could find in the far West to the Mother of God."

-- Sorin's Chronicles. 1842.

Now 15 in colony. All happy, couldn't be otherwise under a man so eminently fitted for the duties of his position...large number of conversions. Brothers have made great progress in English since arrival. Brother John, English origin, and hence knows a little French, Brother Gatian speaks good English, and has a fine school about 12 miles from St. Peter's. Imagine an immense pile of pieces of wood laid one on top of the other with the openings designed to let in the wind and light, for there are no windows. "Very comfortable in summer, but very cold in winter. Sept. 23, 1842.

(Sorin to Moreau, at St. Peter's) "This day eight postulants took the habit with great pomp and ceremony. Many Protestants and infidels came for it. Has brought back to confession and communion some old sinners. Has as many Protestants and infidels as Catholics on Sundays. Converted a young Protestant woman and a female infidel. The wife of a Methodist Minster brought here her three children to be baptized. Wife herself to be baptized soon. Another Protestant has sent his five children for catechism and baptism. Baptized a dying infidel and his six children." Aug. 21, 1842

"The more I reflect the more am I convinced that Heaven has particular designs of mercy on our work. What can I say to those who may be called upon to join us? That probably they will have much to suffer; but let them not be frightened at crosses; they have their charms that render them very precious; they will be not as unhappy as they might fear. I am happier than ever.... Our good Brothers are equally joyful. From this moment, then, I consent to live here alone, all my life, if such be the will of heaven."

-- Sorin, St. Peter's. 1842.

(Letter to Moreau) "A letter from Bishop Hailandiere to Moreau says that Bishop is not anxious to see Novitiate transferred to Notre Dame. He adds that a priest -- one of his own, a Father Chartier, whom he had given permission to join Holy Cross and Brother Vincent were keeping the novices there until Notre Dame was ready to receive them.

"He says that the school at Vincennes has 85 pupils. Many of them Protestants. Its influence is felt everywhere. Bishop wished he had more such schools. Nov. 18, 1842.

At the end of last year (1841) St. Peter's was abandoned for Notre Dame du Lac, 110 leagues -- about 265 -- miles north. Two Brothers stayed at Vincennes to keep school. Several others awaited the return of spring, and the rest under Father Sorin started north in terrible weather in icy cold and in the midst of snow. After a terrible journey in which no one opened his mouth to complain, in which all the exercises of piety were made as if they had been in the Community, they finally arrived at their destination.... 1842.

Brother Vincent and ten other Brothers came to Notre Dame. Had a big wagon which carried the beds, the provisions, four trunks containing the kitchen utensils. Cart drawn by four strong horses, accompanied by eight oxen for work.

"Nine miles from St. Peter's, the horses, reaching the top of a hill, after exhausting efforts slipped and were dragged to the bottom by the wagon. Bitterly cold so that they had to cut the bread with a hatchet in a snow storm. However, no one complained, nor were the religious exercises interrupted. Arrived at Notre Dame, Feb. 27. There their devotion increased."

-- St. Peter's to Notre Dame.

(Chartier to Sorin) "Brothers, having sold all their furniture and encouraged by those who said best time to go was when ground was frozen left February 14 for Notre Dame. Left Washington, Feb. 15. Chartier stayed behind to pay for land ($500 due on land bought at St. Peter's) and to get deed, but chiefly to see that affairs were more solidly arranged. Chartier saw Bishop Hailandiere. Told him condition of joining Community was that their existence was assured." Feb. 22, 1843

December 5, 1843 is date of Sorin's first letter from Notre Dame to Moreau.

"The next day I set out on a visit to our Sisters at St. Peter's, an establishment formed during my absence in France. They occupy what was the first mother house of the Brothers of Father Moreau in America. It is in the midst of a forest, a log house open to all the winds. The furniture consists of a table with an old bench on each side, two sorts of cupboards, or presses, if such they should be called; to school desks, some wooden bedsteads equally sumptuous, one chair made of the bark of trees, and another of wood; this, exactly, is all the furniture. There were besides a few cooking utensils.

"I cannot conceive how the good Brothers of St. Joseph could have lived there for the space of a year. Without doubt their love of suffering sustained them, and I think they must have left behind them their sprit of poverty, for when I proposed to the Sister that they quit their old log hut and return with me to St. Mary's of the Woods, those dear daughters pressed me so urgently and extolled so highly their happy situation and the good they could do, and had already done, that I decided to leave them there until the retreat."

-- M. Theodore's Letters pp. 175-6

Report of commission of General Chapter, 1845, to make a report on establishment in America and Africa.

The little colony was at first fixed at St. Peter's, 30 miles from Vincennes, where they passed a year so bare in resources in buildings so dilapidated that Sr. M. Theodore, superior of the Sisters of Providence visiting the Sisters whom she had established at St. Peter's and who had formerly lived in the place occupied by the Brothers of St. Joseph, could not restrain astonishment at the fact that they could have remained a whole year in such terrible position. 1845.

First detailed public notice: "The Brothers of St. Joseph's School near Washington, Indiana.... Members of the Community -- 12 directed without preference or distinction.

Young men of any religious profession will be received without preference or distinction.

To open the first Monday of September."

-- Catholic Almanac for 1843.

(Note- Washington, Indiana is in Daviess Co., Indiana, where Father Sorin first intended to start school near Vincennes.)

(Bishop Hailandiere to Moreau) "Sorin wrote that Ste. Croix could not undertake the establishment of St. Peter's prudently for less than 300 francs a year, per men, both for the Brothers from France as well as those postulants of America, because St. Peter's school that opened two leagues away at Mr. Kennedy's, and the income of the land for the first years would be almost nothing; that they must impose clear and concise conditions." (300 francs: $57.90)

Without delay all the natives volunteered to help the projects (building, etc.) according to their means. Estimates were quickly made. By spring 100,000 bricks, 10,000 feet of lumber, and some 1000 feet of cut stones were available. But soon as the Bishop got wind of the plan he opposed it He alleged we were too near -- only 27 miles from the College of the Eudists (St. Gabriel's) at Vincennes. Besides, he had promised their Superior that he would not permit any other college to be built except at such a distance that it would not interfere with theirs."

-- Sorin 1842

(See under "Vincennes and St. Peter's.).

(See Brother John to Moreau -- Letter in Archive File) (1843)

(School at St. Peter's, 1841) "For a year or so before our Brothers arrived, Charles Rother had been teaching twenty children, boys and girls. Within a radius of five miles there were thirty Catholic families, but only half of them could conveniently send their children to school. The school closed with the leaving of the Brothers in the spring of 1842. St. Peter's was 27 miles from Vincennes and seven from Washington."

-- Chronicles. 1841

"God granted them at length to see with their own eyes that city of which they had so often spoken during the last few months.

"The bishop offered them a farm of 160 acres between Washington and Mt. Pleasant. On it was a little frame church in good repair and in the midst of several Catholic parishes and one of the oldest missions in the diocese. Two little rooms had been added to it, one for a sacristy, the other for the priest. Nearby also stood two old log shanties, such as are quite common in the country, one used as a kitchen, the other as a school. The school was taught by a Charles Rother, a young German who wished to become a Brother, and whom the Bishop had sent there while waiting for the Brothers' arrival.... St. Peter's, no doubt, was the best choice that could have been made at the time."

-- Chronicles. 1841.

(St. Peter's, 1842-42, students)

Name Arrival DepartureRemarks

Clemens Winter, '42-42 Spring, 1842Unpaid

Clemens, Jr. " " " " " They

Casside " " " " " did not

Kaufman " " " " " board

(1841-42) "List of Brothers who entered at, in the Large File under St. Peter's.

(Winter of 1841) See Walsh's "Beginning of Notre Dame" "Historical Record and Studies", Vol. II

(Brother pioneers: ) "The conduct of this little community was truly edifying; those good Brothers were often in want of everything except food and clothing; but, according to the precept of the divine Master, everyone appeared to be content. At no period of their Society, perhaps, will there be more privations, more wants, less dissatisfaction, fewer complaints and murmurs.... During the first two months all had to sleep on the floor and to practice many other acts of mortification of a like nature, yet all were habitually happy and gay at their lot."

-- Sorin Chronicles. 1841.

(1841) "They settled at St. Peter's, a mission station in Daviess County, about 27 miles east of Vincennes, where the Bishop gave them a farm consisting of 160 acres. Here they set to work.... Here the Brothers opened a free school. The two young men mentioned by the Bishop took care of the English speaking children and also began their novitiate. Within fifteen months eight postulants joined the Brothers. At first the missionaries lived in what they had brought from France. When those funds had been exhausted, the parish priest of St. Peter's (Father Delaune) went to Canada and to the eastern states to beg for help. He brought back 10,000 francs, which were put to immediate use for the clearing of the land, the daily expenses, and the beginning of a brick house to take the place of the inadequate frame building the Bishop had given them. They wished also to erect a church and to provide a house for the Sisters, for whom they immediately saw the need. They wrote to ask the Father Founder for the Sisters, another priest, and two more Brothers, and also appealed to the Central Council of the Propagation of the Faith at Paris, and obtained a subsidy of 2,500 francs for the Vincennes mission. (This was all obtained through the Father founder moved straightway in his swift generosity.) Then he (Father Founder) set about choosing the new missionaries, and thus formed (in) the friends of Holy Cross of this coming sacrifice: "We can no longer remain deaf to such pressing appeal from our dear American colony. Providence itself seems to solicit that which our heart, despite the anguish which await it, would wish to have done already. We have, therefore, fixed July as the date of departure for those priests, those Brothers, and those sisters to whom, with the consent of our zealous Pontiff, God will give the privilege of election. Now it is a duty for us to congratulate ourselves highly for having been so well understood by those who cooperate in the work of Holy Cross, and it is with the greatest confidence that we rely on the past for what still remains to be done in the future.'"

-- On the King's Highway, pp. 110-11. 1841

(1841-42) List of Brothers who entered at St. Peter's in the large file under that title. (Kennedy or Canaday; ) At a Catholic house, four miles south-west of St. Peter's, Brother Gatian about thirty children, boys and girls, about half were Protestants."

-- Sorin. 1842.

(See also under "Vincennes")

(1841-43 assembled council of administration, laid plan before them. Debated for several days. Finally, offer accepted, day, hour, mode of departure agree upon.

On November 16, seven of the Brothers set out with Sorin for South Bend. "The eight days of their journey were days of hardship; the air was piercing cold."

Rest of community remained under the direction of Father Chartier. Brother Vincent, now in charge, decided to move in February instead of awaiting spring when the long journey would have been more difficult. They reached Notre Dame, Feb. 28, 1843, the day before Ash Wednesday.

(1843) see under "Bishop Hailandiere".

See "Sorin -- Hailandiere", February, 1843.

(Bishop Hailandiere) "The Bishop wanted the Community to retain St. Peter's as well as Notre Dame. Sorin hardly saw in his resources and Community the means to do so. Another establishment, 300 miles from Notre Dame, was too much to look after. On Sorin's orders the eleven Brothers under Brother Vincent left for Notre Dame in early February, 1843, and arrived on Shrove Tuesday (the eve of Ash Wednesday). The reunion was all happiness for everyone. It was especially due to the new group that the chapel was ready for the feast of their great patroness, March 19. Cost: $200. Local Catholics contributed in labor. The old dormitory, which served as a chapel was now given for the Brothers' use."

-- Chronicles. 1843

(St. Peter's to Notre Dame, ) "All being ready for our departure from St. Peter's to Notre Dame, we put ourselves en route in terrible weather. In spite of the rigor of the season our little troop composed of eleven persons set out without any inquietude on that long journey as if we had but five or six miles to make. For our equipage we had a large wagon constructed under the direction of Brother Lawrence. It contained our beds, our provisions, and four large boxes of kitchen equipment. The wagon was drawn by four strong horses, and we drove ahead eight good oxen. The people of St. Peter's assisted at our departure. We sang the 'Ave Sanctissima' in honor of our Lady, and while we recited her litanies in leaving the little chapel the people prayed in tears and asked heaven to bless us...." 1843.

See the (Associate of St. Joseph), Vol. 13, No. 3, for remainder of the sketch.

(The colony took from February 14 to the 28th, a distance of about 260 miles, to reach Notre Dame. They dared not wait for spring as the roads would have been impossible then.)

(1841) First Novitiate; See large file under "St. Peter's".

(1841-42; List of Pupils) See under "Pupils" in the large file.

(1841) "In October, 1841, Sorin and the rest, except two teaching Brothers, left in Vincennes, went to St. Peter's, 30 miles from there to open a school, a novitiate, and to attend to the spiritual needs of the scattered Catholic population."

"...I must form a regular novitiate," wrote Sorin, 'with elements who do not understand one another, and frequently I do not understand them myself; for we have now three German Postulants, two of whom do not speak a word of English."

(Departure from St. Peter's, 1842) See "Notes from Chronicles" in Note book.

"The Brothers now set to work, one of the little farm, another at the garden, a third in the kitchen, and the others to study the language. Of this they felt the need more than ever." 1841.

"It (attachment to the Mother House) was one of their usual thoughts, and in nearly all their recreations Ste. Croix and the Rev. Father Rector (Moreau) formed the staple of their conversations. For about six weeks after their arrival they received no news from France, and Father Sorin made a trip to Vincennes in the hope of finding a letter there from the Rev. Father Moreau. At length, toward the end of November, he received one which transported them all with joy. It was opened and read in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and filled them with consolation. It is probably to this filial affection that they owe the fact of their remaining under the jurisdiction of the Mother House instead of passing altogether under that of the Ordinary."

About the end of October at Vincennes the Bishop, still opposed to the building of a college at St. Peter's, offered the Community the Lake property near South Bend in the extreme northern part of his diocese. Father Sorin begged time to consider a matter so important.

(St. Peter's to Notre Dame, Feb., 1842) Several awaited at St. Peter's the return of spring, and the others (?) under Father Sorin, started off in terrible weather in icy cold...they arrived at their destination. That magnificent place, bought and given to the Community by the Bishop of Vincennes, is situated in the County of St. Joseph, on the shores of the St. Joseph River, 15 leagues (35 miles) from the town of St. Joseph, and carries the name of Notre Dame du Lac. Does it not seem that the reunion of all these names should have something of interest in all particulars for the Priests of Our Lady of Holy Cross, and the Brothers of St. Joseph?"

-- Etrennes, p. 98 1845.

See "Pioneer Brother (John) of Holy Cross", in Associate, 13:31842.

(St. Peter's to Notre Dame) November 2, 1842, Father Sorin and seven Brothers set out for their new home, he on horseback and the others with an ox team. Because of bad weather and bad roads, it was 24 days before the vanguard with the superior looked for the first time on the little lakes.

-- Leeper's Footprints, p. 4. 1842.

(Farming) "By the advice of Bishop Hailandiere, a portion of the 15,000 francs collected for the Brothers of Father Delaune, pastor of Mount Pleasant, in the East and Canada, was used in clearing 80 acres of land, and sown afterwards. Soon they had a magnificent field of 80 acres planted with corn. Unfortunately, the Brothers, who had very little knowledge of agriculture in this country, simply wore themselves out without any benefit. They were possessed of the idea that they knew much better than did Americans what practical farming was, and so in all things they preferred their French ways to those they saw and heard around them. Experience, however, soon taught them that a plan however excellent for a country like France, might still be ill adapted to the requirements of a strange soil, and that precautions called for in France were merely a waste of time in the United States.... during this first year although our good Brothers did not spare themselves, yet they reaped but little.... 1842.

"Be that as it may, the more they labored on this new soil of St. Peter's the more they became attached to it."

-- Sorin Chronicles.

(St. Peter's; Daviess County) "It is to be regretted that up to 1877 no effort was made to keep a record of the schools that would serve as a guide to the historians of Washington and of Daviess County. Absolutely nothing can be found that will shed any light on the history of the early schools of Daviess County concept the treacherous memories of some of the pioneer citizens."

-- History of Daviess County. p. 711.

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›