University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


(Scholastic Year.. 1850) "The Scholastic Year is divided into two sessions, the first commencing on the first Friday of September, and the second on the first of February. Terms: $45 for each"--Catalog, N.D., 1850.

(Education, 1837-50) "The period under consideration opened with the public high school, scarcely twenty years old. The first institution of this had been begun in Boston in 1821. There were few other high schools anywhere in the country before 1840."

-- A History of Catholic Education in the United States, Burns p. 110.

(Schooling in 1840) "The United States Office of Education has estimated that the average citizen in 1840 received 208 days of schooling. This amount increased at an almost uniform rate every decade, until in 1930 the total number of days of schooling obtained by the average citizen numbered 1,400."

-- History of Catholic Education Burns p. 109. 1840

(Early Indiana) "The schools of course labored under many disadvantages: the buildings were small and poorly suited to their purpose, the furnishings were of the most crude character, and conveniences of all kinds were conspicuous by their absence. Sometimes the pupils were taught in the church or the pastor's house."

-- The Diocese of Ft. Wayne, Rev. A. E. Lafontaine.

(Early School Buildings...Indiana) "A frequent arrangement of school and church in the pioneer parishes of Indiana and the West was represented by that of St. Joseph's, nine miles northwest of Evansville. The church at St. Joseph, built in 1841, was of logs, and divided into two stories; the upper story was used for divine services, while the lower floor was divided into two portions, one half being used for a school, and the other half subdivided into small rooms, served as a pastoral residence."

-- Principles, Burns: (Alerding, p. 288).

(Statistics; 1840) In 1840 there were 200 elementary schools in the U.S. In 1884 there were 3,000.

(See decree of 3rd Plenary Council of Baltimore, in "Education")

(Early Schools: Holy Cross Brothers) "Besides several schools in the vicinity of Notre Dame, they also took charge of parish schools at Fort Wayne, Cincinnati, Chicago, Milwaukee, and other places in the Middle West. For many years, too, they had flourishing schools in Philadelphia, Trenton, and Camden in the East. Most of these schools were relinquished. The chief cause of this was the scarcity of vocations to the teaching Brotherhood, together with the remarkable growth of Notre Dame, which necessitated an ever greater concentration of the Community at home."

-- Growth and Development of the Catholic

-- School System in the United States, Burns: p. 102.

(Early schools, 1840-on) "There were at least 200 Catholic parish schools in the country in the year 1840. More than half of them were west of the Alleghenies."

-- Ibid., p. 19. Burns:

(Schools, Brothers of Holy Cross, 1844) See under "Sorin on Brothers' Schools".

(1847) "They (Brothers of St. Joseph) have schools at Vincennes, Madison and Fort Wayne".Catholic Almanac, p. 119. 1847.

(See also under "Free Schools" and "Bishop Hailandiere to Sorin", January 6, 1843.

(Pay Schools, 1853) "These are the conditions for our schools in all the establishments, except the German congregation of Fort Wayne. The Catholics pay $2 a quarter, of 11 weeks each. Protestants, 3, 4, 5, and even $6, according to the studies they pursue. At Fort Wayne a school society pays $200 a year, and supplies a house; and in both cases the children provide the wood for the winter. 1853

"In order to show our good will, we are very willing to receive the children at half price, that is, at $1 per quarter, payable in advance. besides the $100 that you have the kindness to give each year. Or, if you prefer it, $400 per year, which you would have the goodness to pay the Sisters every three months by installments of $100." Mother Theodore to Rev. J. Kundak, pastor of Jasper; "

-- Journals and Letters".

(1855; Review) "Brothers' School at Toledo, Louisville, and Mishawaka, and Sisters' schools at Lowell, Laporte, and Michigan City; the building of large brick churches at St. John's, Indiana, and Lowell, Indiana, -- here are show that this year has placed the Institution on a new footing almost."

-- Sorin Chronicles. 1855

"The approbation of the priests and Brothers by the Holy See, the health of all... the foundation of Chicago, consisting of one college, three Brothers' schools, three Sisters' schools, and an industrial school; that of Buffalo, whither four Brothers and three sisters were sent about the middle of November, to take charge of an orphan asylum under the patronage of the saintly Bishop Timon; finally, that of Columbus, where it was thought more prudent to put only one Brother at the start, although everything is in readiness for an addition next year; the growth of the college, the number of those students went up 140 boarders; the development of the three novitiates, which at the end of the year were full, although there were more members than ever admitted to the taking of the habit during the year." Sorin Chronicle 1856.

(Conditions of Schools, 1858) "In order to give an opportunity to the present Directors to study, and to regulate the schools of the Brothers, it was decided to regulate as soon as possible the condition of all the schools, and to bring them in accordance with the rules of the Congregation, or if that be impossible in the case of some schools, such schools should be closed. The main object of the Congregation being to have good teachers in schools, founded according to the Rules and constitutions."

-- Minutes of Provincial Chapter, Rev. H. N. Gillespie:August 12, 1858.

(Exhibitions, 1858 -Decree) "In regard to premiums and exhibitions it was decided that the pastor of each school should be held responsible for furnishing the premiums once a year, and that a clause to this effect should be inserted in all contracts of foundations. In the meantime, if premiums could not be obtained from the pastor, the Council of Administration in the place should designate the sum to be applied to the purchase of premiums, and should advance the sum. (same).

"Replying to the request of some Brothers that exhibitions should be done away with, it was decided that they should not be multiplied, and that only one should be held yearly about the month of March; and that each director should use his utmost endeavors to have the exhibition worthy of a Catholic school; and that no tickets be sold nor anything demanded at the doors. If convenient, however, a plate might be sent around during the exhibition for voluntary contributions; and that this money could be applied to the purchase of premiums."

"Mr. Burns will teach at the Brothers' novitiate every morning and Dr. P______ in the afternoon."

-- Local Council.Dec. 19, 1860.

(High Schools)_ See "Schools, Sorin's plan, 1859", "Ft. Wayne, 1893", "La Salle, Illinois".

(Contracts; 1865) "The chapter decided that whenever a school was opened by the Congregation in this province a written contract shall be entered into between the Provincial and the Ordinary of the Diocese in which the school is to be opened, in which contract it will be expressly stipulated that such school or schools shall not be broken up or discontinued by either party before the expiration of the contract, except by mutual consent. And that when the contract is from year to year, six months notice, or such notice as shall be agreed upon shall be given by the party desiring the discontinuance.,"

-- Minute book of Provincial Chapter. 1865.

(Opposition of High Schools, 1878) "In the last number of Barnes' Educational Monthly, the editor asks why there should be any opposition to high schools, which are now erected in almost every city of the land, and wonders why this opposition should come from the poor man, whose sons, he claims, are equally welcome with the rich man's sons.

"In the first place is it true that the child of a poor man can attend the High School? Theoretically every one can do so, practically, on the rich, for it is a matter of fact that a young boy or girl in threadbare coat or calico gown is not often seen in attendance. There are few young people who can stand sneers and ridicule, and that is what shabbily-dressed children receive if they attempt to cross the threshold of the rich children's school. Then, again, the children of the laboring man as a rule are not free to attend school after a certain age, since the necessity of learning a trade or helping in the support of the family necessitates their leaving school young. Besides this, there is a question whether it is well for the children of working men generally to be educated in a manner that only places them above their normal position in life without giving them the means of supporting themselves in a higher one. The ill effects of such procedure are witnessed every day.... as a consequence, those high schools, erected at a great public expense, paid for as well by the taxes of the rich, are filled with the children of rich people, people who are well enough able to pay for the education of their offspring and who should have too much honor and manhood to ask the (that) money of his neighbors should be used to educate those of his flesh and blood, It is a crying injustice to the man of moderate means that while his children must at an early age leave school and enter the shops to earn the small pittance of wages now paid he must pay taxes on his small lot to help educate the children of those who are the possessors of the thousands of dollars, and we can't see why the injustice is not righted.

"We believe then, that these High Schools are a burden and an injustice to a large class of the Community. We believe them to be the result of class legislation, instituted for the rich alone. If the State must take upon itself the education of children, all that it ought to do is to establish and maintain primary schools. In doing these it would not, at least discriminate between the rich and the poor. For higher education, the State can and ought to leave that to the parents of the children, and if the rich man wants for his children an education higher than that received in the primary school, let him pay for it; he is able. Let the Government no longer tax all the people for the benefit of the few rich families."

-- Scholastic, 12:17.

(Catholic School law) "The first canonical assembly of the members of the hierarchy, known as the First Provincial Council of Baltimore, was held in 1829.... Several of the decrees adopted relative to the subject of education. In regard to the establishment of Catholic schools, the decision arrived at was clear and imperative. The canon declared: 'We judge it absolutely necessary that schools should be established, in which the young may be taught the principles of faith and morality, while being instructed in letters.'"

-- Principles, etc. Burns, p. 249. 1829.

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›