University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


(Brother Benedict to Sorin; April 22, 1847; Provincial Archives): "I wrote you a letter three weeks before Easter. I expected an answer but got none. I asked permission to allow other girls older than twelve, but the parents, I think, wrote to the Bishop. He granted permission to teach them. I have 44 pupils in 5 classes: 22 writing and ciphering; 7 English Grammar and Geography; 4 others preparing to begin...The country people are sending in their children and some boarders -- nay, even Protestants...The children obey me to the letter; that is, they attend every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. They are doing well. Many others come on Sundays from town to be instructed."

(Brother Benedict to Sorin; March 29, 1847; Prov. Archives): "I am also pleased with the people. They are highly thankful to God's providence and your good will expressly manifested by allowing female children into my school. So much so that words cannot tell how happy they feel. But many are displeased for your not allowing all their female children to come together and they even say that if all their girls are not allowed they will keep them all at home or send them to some other school...I have at present about 24 or 25, and they say I will get 50. And the bigger they are the more ignorant they are.

1848: "The school is now reduced in number by reason of the Protestant children being taken away. Many wanted to become Catholics. Some profess if openly though not yet baptized. They say that no preacher dare oppose me."

"The directors of the Orphan Asylum are very desirous to obtain Brothers, not only for teaching of their schools, but also to establish workshops" Sorin. 1855.

(Brother Benedict to Sorin; Dec. 8, 1847; Provincial Archives) "Mr. Campbell told me he paid $7.00 for taxes. He also told me of a neighbor who is willing to buy the land for $400 or $500 and will pay $200 in hand by getting time for the balance.

"...I was welcomed by the old and young, nay even the Protestants respect me. I have 12 of their children. Father Dupontavice told me he did not like to have school about him or the church, and being angry he wished both me and my school were in Halifax...I'm happy and happily fixed here. I board now with the priest or at his house.

"Now if you be displeased for my admitting girls over 12 say so."

Washington, D.C.

(St. Patrick's, 1860; Rev. Thomas O'Toole to Father Sorin, Feb. 9) "I should like to receive into my parish in time to commence the schools on the first Monday in September at least seven Brothers. I hope to have by that time three boys' schools in different parts of the parish"-- Provincial Archives.

(Rev. Charles White to Sorin; 1860; Provincial Archives) "Eight months ago you told me you would bear in mind my request for two Brothers of Holy Cross to take charge of our school for boys now conducted by a lay teacher. I am convinced that the interests of the school would be much better promoted by Brothers who devote themselves to the work from motive of charity and religion, and the parish over which I preside would also be truly rejoiced to have such teachers."

Administrator wants Brothers to teach in their schools and to establish ateliers (trade schools).

"It is decided that the new establishment of Brothers at Washington shall be accepted if approved by the Very Rev. Father Rector Moreau"-- June 16, 1862.

"Brother Adolphus shall go to Washington, D.C., as soon as the new establishment shall be opened"-- Local Council, Sept. 29, 1862.

(Rev. J. A. Walter to Sorin; St. Patrick's, Washington, D.C.; Provincial Archives). "I am still on a begging expedition for Brothers. Now you shall have no peace till you send them on. I am going to start all the orphan children praying and if you still resist I'll know you have a bad heart...I beg you for God's sake to send us Brothers. I will do anything for you if you will only grant this request. Now mind, my dear Father, no Brothers, no peace between us." 1864.

"(Father Walter to Sorin; Provincial Archives; 1874) I have been patiently awaiting a reply to my request for Brothers."

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›