University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


Early days: Teachers.. Pastor greeted them (teachers), "I promise you poverty and plenty of hard work, but with the blessing of God, peace and contentment."

Getting of Teachers: "The getting of teachers was always a great problem, in Kentucky, as elsewhere, during the early days, the support

of the school being but a small matter in comparison."

-- Principles of Origin etc., Burns, p. 235.

(Bishop Loras of Dubuque, 1837) "Bishop Loras was an ardent champion of Catholic education and from the very first he encouraged the establishment of parochial schools. He desired religious teachers preferably."

-- Principles of Origin etc., Burns,, p. 3218.1912

"It was to Europe that Hughes and Kenrick and their contemporaries turned, as Flaget and Dubourg had done, in order to get teachers for their schools,"

-- Growth and Development of, etc., Burns, p. 21. (1840- 61)

Demand for Teachers: "Bishop Kenrick of Philadelphia, in 1843, complained of the impossibility of finding teachers enough for the schools. Bishop Hughes, of New York, made several trips to Europe partly for the purpose of securing teachers for his schools."

-- Growth and Development of, etc., Burns, p. 19. 1843, on.

"The members of the Council, however, were of the opinion that this departure (Professor Howard was allowed to reside off campus) from their constant Rule of never engaging any Professor who would not board in the College building, should by no means be considered by the other Professors whereby they might think themselves authorized to follow the example of Professor Howard . . . . it was thought proper to increase his salary to $500.00, exclusive of board, washing, etc."

-- Local Council, March 21, 1864.

1864: Brother teachers: Basil, (N.D.), Joseph (Laporte), Benjamin (Alton), Bernard Joseph (Cincinnati), Vincent de Paul (Cincinnati), Philip (Cincinnati), Romuald (New Dublin).1864

"Council of Professors..1844..Teachers. Father Cointet, Pres., Brother Gatian, Secretary, Bro. Vincent, Bro. Paul, Bro. Augustine, Mr. Riley, Mr. Gouesse. 1844

"Teachers: Brother Paul, Mathematics and Penmanship; Bro. Vincent, Mensuration; Bro. Augustine, Geography; Bro.. Gatian, Ancient and Modern History, French; Father Cointet, Latin and Greek; Mr. Riley, Grammar and Oratory, Orthography ; Bro. Augustine, Botany and Zoology."

"Brother Professors: Brother Gatian, 3rd class; Bro. F. de Sales, Prep. Course; Bro. Bernard, 4th class; Bro. Thomas, Professor of Apprentices; Brother Stephen, Prep Course."

-- 1846-47.

Teachers for the poor: Their reward. (See Moreau -- 'To Our Friends', 1850).

(Teachers' Licenses; France, 1853) "I take this occasion to remind the Brothers who have not yet been able to obtain their legal license, but who are, nevertheless, temporarily in charge of schools that they should prepare for the teachers' exam as soon as possible, at the very least, before the opening of the new school year. In spite of their good will, the Rectors of Academics who grant such temporary permissions cannot make this a constant practice . . . .it is only unforeseen permissions cannot make this a constant practice . . . it is only unforeseen circumstances which can justify the employment of an unlicensed teacher . . .

It is also the best means of succeeding in our work and or meriting the protection of Divine Providence in the face of whatever the future may hold in store for us."

-- Father Moreau, Letter #58.

(Teaching in the 1700's) "Up to the time of Revolution, the idea of a special preparation of teachers for the work of the schools was practically unheard of in America. The belief was universal that the teacher needed no more than a knowledge of the subjects that were to be taught; and as the subject matter of instruction in elementary schools was confined to the three "R's", it will be seen that the standard of qualification for the office of teaching in such schools was exceedingly low . . . . It was not until 1789 that the subject of giving a more thorough training to teachers was even broached, and it was many years afterward, before anything practical was done."

-- Burns, Principles, etc., p. 199.1912,

Teachers: 1854. "Bro. Basil, Professor of Music and German; Bros. Bonaventure, Edward, and Joseph, assistant teachers. Bros. Benoit and Charles, assistant prefects. Number of students last session, 140. Extensive additions have been made to the college, capable of affording accommodations to 300."

-- Catholic Directory, 1854.

"1855: Board, tuition and washing, $100.00 per annum, payable half- yearly in advance. A fee of $5.00 on entrance. There is an additional charge of $15.00 for students remaining during the summer vacation."

-- Catholic Directory 1855

"1853: The terms of the University are $90.00 per annum for board and tuition."

-- Catholic Directory 1853

"Teachers, 1857: Bro. Basil, Assistant Professor of Music; Bro. Daniel, Professor of Penmanship; Bro. Amadeus, Treasurer and Secretary; Bro. Benoit, Assistant Prefect; Bro. Aloysius, Assistant Prefect; Students 128."

-- Catholic Directory; 1857.

"Faculty: Priests and Brothers. The Father Salvatorists were successively recalled from their mission (parishes), and gave up their pastoral charges to devote themselves with the Brothers to the work of education; still they might accept parishes where there was a possibility of establishing schools of the Brothers and Sisters, but only when two Fathers would find employment."

-- Sorin Chronicles. (1859)

Teachers . . . Brothers at N.D.U., Dec. 1867: "Bro. Philip (Hughes), C.S.C.,: 4th Arithmetic, 3rd Orthography, 5th Arithmetic, 3rd Catechism. Bro. Joseph, C.S.C., 3rd Arithmetic, 2nd Grammar, 3rd Reading, 1st Orthography, 1st Geography; Bro. Celestine, C.S.C.; 4th Arithmetic, Bros. Basil, Leopold, and Joseph: Music."

-- Catalogue.1867

Brother Teachers in 1868: "Music: Bro. Basil, C.S.C., Leopold, C.S.C., Bro. Jos. Calasanctius, C.S.C., ; Assistant teachers: Bros. Benjamin, Grammar and Arithmetic, Joseph and Celestine; Grammar and Arithmetic."

-- Scholastic, Sept. 1868.

Brothers at N.D.U., 1868: "Bro. Joseph Calasanctius, 2nd Algebra, 4th Arithmetic, 1st Arithmetic, 2nd Grammar. Bro. Benjamin; 1st grammar, 2nd Reading,

1st Orthography, Geography. Bro. Richard: 4th Arithmetic, 3rd Reading, 3rd Orthography, Geography. Bros. Basil, Leopold Joseph: Music."

-- Catalogue.1868

Brothers at Notre Dame; Teachers; 1869. "Bro. Philip, assistant teacher of bookkeeping and English. Francis de Sales, Professor of Geography and History. Bro. Claude, Professor of Hebrew. Bro. Simeon, Teacher of Irish Language. Prep. Department: Bro. Benjamin, Jos. Calasanctius, Celestine, C.S.C. Music: Bros. Basil. Joseph Calasanctius, Leopold, C.S.C., Assistant Prefects of Discipline: Bros. Benoit, Florentius, Charles, Alban, Albert, John Paul. Secretary: Bros. Gabriel; Assistant, Bro. Celestine."

Brother Teachers at N.D., 1869-70. "Bro. Benjamin, Grammar, Arith., Reading; Bro. Philip, Grammar, Arith; Bro. Camillus, Arith., Spelling, Geography, Bookkeeping; Bro. Emmanuel, Spelling, Reading; Bro. Simeon, Gaelic; Bro. Basil, Music."

-- Catalogue.1869

Brothers teaching at N.D., 1870. "English, Bro. Philip (Knox), Benjamin, Camillus, Alban, Celestine, Emmanuel, Raphael. Religion: Bro. Benjamin. English: Bro. Albert."

"Tuesday, 25th and Thursday 27th were alloted for the written exam in all the branches taught at the University. The peculiarity of the written exam is mainly in the interchanging of classes by the Professors, no one being allowed to examine his own classes. As for the "Modus Operandi", ten questions are given by the presiding professor, and answered by the students to the best of their abilities. The percentage system of noting is used for the written as well as the oral examinations, 100 being the highest grade (note)."

-- Scholastic, Feb. 5, 1870.

Teaching Brothers at N.D., 1871: "Brother Ephrem, C.S.C., English, Arith.; Bro. Emmanuel, Arith, Orthography. Bro. James, Reading, Arith.; Placidus, Violin; Bro. Benjamin, Reading, English, Orthography; Bro. Albert, English; Bro. Celestine, Orthography. Bro. Alban, English. Bro. Gabriel, Grammar."

-- Catalogue.1871

Teachers, 1870: "It is a sad sight to see that, after 26 years teaching here, we are yet unprepared to fill the chairs with our own men."

-- Sorin.1870

Brother Teachers at N.D., 1872: "Prep. Department; Bro. Benjamin, C.S.C., 2nd Grammar, 2nd Arith., 2nd Reading, 1st Orthography. Bro. Emmanuel, C.S.C., 5th Grammar, 3rd Arith., Bro. Gabriel, C.S.C., 3rd Reading. Music Department: Bro. Basil, C.S.C. Director, Bro. Leopold, C.S.C."

-- Catalogue.1872

"The Very Reverend Father General (Sorin) ordered the Secretary to record the following resolution: 'Resolved, that the greater number of lay Professors be replaced by members of the Community as soon as possible, and that all the teaching members be brought before the aforesaid Committee (one appointed some time before to find the best means of having fewer lay Professors in order to reduce expenses: Lemmonier, Chairman) and that each member have the study he is best fitted for, and to attend the regular classes in the college, and have a number ready to replace lay Professors next Sept."

-- Local Council, Dec. 26, 1873.

Brother Teachers, 1897: "Brother Boniface, German; Bro. Alexander, Math.; Bro. Leopold, Instructional music; Bro. Gerard, Instructional music."

Brother Teachers, U.N.D. "Bro. Alexander, Math; Bro. Philip Neri, German, Penmanship; Bro. Remegius, Math.; Bro. Leander, Albeus, Vital, Leopold, Just, Gerard, Alphonsus, Basil, Cyprian, Hugh, Benjamin, Paul, Cajetan, Malachy." 1901-02.

N.D. Teacher Contract: 1859. "This agreement is entered into this date between the Reverend E. Sorin, President of the University of Notre Dame and Mr. James O'Brien, late of Springfield, Ohio, witnesseth that the Reverend Edward Sorin agrees to pay the said James O'Brien the sum of $500.00 in consideration of the services which the said James O'Brien shall render as professor in the University of Notre Dame from July 1, 1859 to July 1, 1861; that is, for two years, at the rate of $250.00 per year. and it is hereby understood that the said James O'Brien shall teach such classes as directed and teach at least six hours a day." 1859

Another contract: " . . . to teach to the best of his ability . . . to devote faithfully his time during the required time of classes his duties, to conform to the rules of the said University . . . to follow the method and plan of teaching which Reverend Edward Sorin may designate."

Teaching Methods. 1865: "The Committee seeing the necess ity of having one uniform system of teaching and governing in the parochial schools in charge of the Brothers, and in view of the fact that our pedagogie is not at all adopted to the United States, respectfully recommend that until such time as we have prepared and published a system of our own especially suited for teaching and governing, the system of Christian Brothers be adopted and that its observance be enforced strictly."

-- Minutes of Provincial Chapter. 1865

Teaching. (Provincial Arch.) "The need of a uniform system in our schools was discussed and it was decided that the one used by our Brothers in France be examined. Their manual is to be translated into English. Other systems should be examined."

-- Prov. Chapter, 1879.

Monitorial System. (Bro. Daniel to Sorin, 1882 "My room here is so crowded with boys of all ages, sizes, and abilities, that I am obliged to do nearly all my teaching through trained monitors, which, after all, is the best system when properly managed. I have so many reading classes that if I were to teach all myself it would take me nearly all day to teach reading alone, without counting the other branches. The public school system is opposed to the use of monitors and our Catholic teachers are following their example to a great extent, but they make a mistake, for it is well known that where the monitorial system is properly used, such as in Holland and among the Christian Brothers schools in France, etc., they are the very best schools. Children feel happy where there is a hum of business, and where several classes are reciting at once there is that kind of humming that fills the school room with the sunshine of happiness. It is the only system that I may say removes entirely sloth, disorder, and truancy.

Children naturally love noise and when it is of a useful, orderly kind, it makes them like to be near the school. I have always used the Monitorial system but never so extensively as I do here, and I find it works like a charm. Where it is systematically used all are as busy as bees in a hive so that there is no time for that mischief that daily furnished victims for the rod . . . . Our teachers are opposed to it for the simple reason that they do not know how to work it properly . . . . I can with the monitorial system advance them better than I could with the aid of another Brother. One Brother more without the aid of any monitors could never improve the children half as much as I can with the assistance of monitors. One reason is that I have several boys that are better scholars and far better readers than many of our Brothers."

-- Provincial Archives 1882

St. Vincent's School, Logansport, Ind.

(South Bend, 1885) "The teaching profession, like all others, has had its geniuses; to them we must bow, and from them we must learn if we ever wish to do much good in teaching. One good book may be of more service to a man than years of experience. To know what we are we must compare ourselves with those that are greater, and this we cannot do without reading their lives and studying their works. 'This is the only way to knock the pride out of poor teachers who think they can learn nothing from others.

"The monitorial system taught by De la Salle is used in the best schools of Europe. It is the only one that supplies and trains candidates for the teaching profession, for a monitorial school is the very best kind of normal and training school . . . . It is the monitorial system, practiced by the Christian Brothers that brings them so many recruits for their novitiates. If our schools were conducted, even in part, on the monitorial plan, pupils who have any love or aptitude for teaching would soon show it, and thus developed would furnish the very best stock for our novitiates . . . . Twenty or thirty years ago when our teachers used monitors more than they do now we received more subjects for the novitiate than we do at present."

-- Brother Daniel, St. Patrick's School. 1885

Brothers Teaching Indians. (See "Pokagon, May, 1847")

Teacher Qualifications, 1884: (Cincinnati Plan adopted). "Within a year from the promulgation of the Council, the bishops shall name one or more priests who are most conversant with scholastic affairs to constitute a Diocesan Board of Examination. It shall be the office of this board to examine all teachers, whether they are religious belonging to a diocesan congregation or seculars who wish to employ themselves in teaching in parochial schools in the future, and if they find them worthy, to grant them a testimonial or diploma of merit. Without this, no priest may lawfully engage any teacher for his school, unless they have taught before the celebration of the Council. The diploma shall be valid for five years. After this period another and final examination will be required of the teachers."

-- Decree of Third Plenary Council of Baltimore.

(See also "Fort Wayne Plan, 1879").

Male teachers. "The gradual disappearance of male teachers from the elementary schools seems to be due chiefly to economic causes, just, as in the case of the public schools."

-- The Training of the Teacher, Burns: p. 17, 1904.

Teaching conditions. (See "Early Notre Dame, 1858", St. Peter 's, Montgomery, 1844) "Vincennes, Bro. Hilary to Sorin, 1883").

"The privations and labors endured by many of the pioneer missionaries of the United States were a counterpart of the lives of the apostles themselves."

-- Cardinal Gibbons.

See also: "Philadelphia, St. Paul's -- Bro. Ignatius" "Vincennes -- 1841"

Teachers' difficulties. (Classrooms: See: "Bro. F. de Sales to Sorin, Vincennes; Alton, Springfield")

Lancastrian System: "Some features of the Ursuline system of teaching were surprisingly modern, and throw a new light upon the educational ideas and methods of the period. One of these features was the employment of pupil-teachers. They were selected from among the brightest and best-behaved girls, and their office was to assist the teachers in class work and in the maintenance of discipline. They were to be changed every 3 or 4 months. Each monitress had her ten or so to look after. She admonished them of their faults, of which, however, she was not to inform the teacher, except it became necessary for their correction among other duties, she distributed the textbooks to her charges at the beginning of the class. . . . She taught the prayers to beginners, and often helped during the recitations, standing near the teacher, and interrogating the members of her band. The system was in many respects like the system of pupil-teaching which Lancaster almost a century later introduced into the United States."

-- Principles etc., Burns: p.77.1912

Teachers; 1864: -- (A partial list)
Brother Pius -- Cincinnati Brother Paul -- Ft. Wayne
Brother Agatho -- Notre DameBrother John Baptist -- Cincinnati
Brother Ignatius -- SpringfieldBrother Cyprian -- Cincinnati
Brother Nicholas -- Alton Brother F. de Sales -- Notre Dame
Brother Aloysius -- Notre DameBrother Philip Neri -- Cincinnati
Brother Sophronius -- CincinnatiBrother J. Chrysostom -- Notre Dame
Brother Camillus -- Notre DameBrother Athanasius -- Springfield
Brother Henry -- Cincinnati Brother Justinian -- Cincinnati
Brother Ambrose -- Fr. WayneBrother Sebastian -- Cincinnati
Brother Leopold -- Notre Dame

-- Local Council Minutes. 1864

Teacher Training, 1921 -- See Catholic Builders of the Nation, V. pp. 225 et seq. -- Fr. Francais Circular Letter. 1921

Teacher Tests. Indiana. 1837: "In 1837 a very important revision of the school law was made. The new law required that three examiners should be chosen to relieve the Township Trustees of the onerous and important duty of examining teachers. This was an important and new era in our educational system. . . . I shall not forget my first experience under the new system. The only question asked me at my first examination was, "What is the product of 25 cents by 25 cents?" . . . How could I tell the product of 25 cents by 25 cents, when such a problem could not be found in the book? The examiner thought it was 6 1/4 cents, not being sure it was. I thought just as he did, but this looked too small to both of us. We discussed its merits for an hour or more, when he decided that he was sure I was qualified to teach school, and a first-class certificate was given me."

-- Schools of Indiana, Barnabas C. Hobbs: pp. 12-13, 1876.

(The Teacher . . . Henry Van Dyke) "I care not whether a man is called a tutor, an instructor, or a full professor, nor whether any academic degrees adorn his name; nor how many facts or symbols he has stored away in his brain. If he has these four powers: clear sight, quick imagination, sound reason, and right strong will, I call him an educated man and fit to be a teacher."

(Slates in class . . . 1844) "7. The pupils should not be allowed to write on their slates instead of writing on their waste-books."

-- Council of Professors, Sept. 4, 1844.

(Stationery . . . 1861) "When premiums are not awarded the Brothers are allowed one half of the proceeds accruing from the sale of stationery or books and one half the revenue accruing from the Association of St. Joseph."

-- Decree of Provincial Chapter. 1861

(Pens, penmanship, exams) "Handwriting in the earliest schools was regarded as a fine art, which frequently called for a special teacher. The making of quill pens was itself one of the important preliminaries to learning how to 'write a good hand.'"

-- A History of Catholic Education, etc." p. 215, Burns- Kohlbrenner.

The Teaching Brother by George Shuster: "Something else is needed, however. It is a readiness on the part of the public served, to perceive that even the quiet, hard working Brother who gives his life so that others may grow in understanding is entitled to assistance.

"That assistance, as I see it now and as others have been known to view it, may be said to lie in two directions of activity. The first is to allow the Brothers time to develop one institution before expecting them to take over others. This is so difficult in the present circumstances that one is inclined to believe it depends upon an increase of vocations out of all proportion to the present, or recognition of the usefulness of the lay teacher.

"The second is an appreciation of what the Brothers accomplish -- of their right, as experienced educators, to control their foundations and expect that improvements required will be furnished; of their title to the love and respect of all, and of their need of encouragement, but financial and social. Were these two principles recognized the teaching Brothers would occupy the position of honor and influence to which their gifts, their sacrifices, and their aspirations so amply entitle them."

-- The Commonweal, Geo. N. Shuster, 1927.

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›