University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


(Bishop Henni to Sorin; 1871) "I am anxious to have your Society in Watertown." (November 4).

"Rev. W. Corby, Superior at Watertown having with him Rev. Fathers Colovin, and John Lauth, and Brothers Gabriel, Marcellinus and John. It was announced that the College, under title of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart would open on Monday, September 9, 1872.

"After Solemn High Mass on that day all went to the College -- known hitherto as the Rogan-Bertram House -- to give the college the name already announced, and after solemnly blessing it, placed it under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

"The same day all those who presented themselves as students were examined and classified. All the 27 were day scholars"-- 1872.

December 8: "Today the students were 66, including five boarders.

December 12: "Today My John F. Collins of Chicago arrived with his son, age 11, to place him in the College.

February 1, 1875: "Students 82, Half of them boarders.

1873: Brothers Alban, Narcissus, Philip, Fabian, teachers.

"The College property was purchased in 1871 for the sum of $12,000. The next year the Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., of Gettysburg fame, opened the institution for boys of all ages, and 66 students were enrolled. In 1886 the College became a postulate or school for aspirants to the Brotherhood of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Postulants (aspirants or candidates) were not numerous; and after two year's trial the postulate was closed and the college again became a school for boarding students and day scholars. In this capacity it functioned until 1912, when it was once more converted into a postulate, and as such it has successfully been conducted since. Conforming to a newer terminology, it is now called "The Juniorate," and candidates or postulants are called aspirants"--Associate of St. Joseph, July, 1935.

"Father General who presided, related his interview with the right Rev. Bishop of Milwaukee on the subject of our establishment of a house at Watertown. After some deliberation it was decided that the sum demanded for the house and 51 acres of land, $14,000 was considered too high, and that an offer of $12,000 should be made. The Church and parish, it is hoped, will be given our priests"--Provincial Council, 1871, October 31.

December 21: "The deed and contract was received from Bishop Henni and read. The first installment, $4,000 was ordered to be raised and paid."

"The Order of the Holy Cross is about to establish itself, at the request of the right Rev. Bishop Henni of Milwaukee, in the flourishing city of Watertown, and the mission to be given will serve as a prelude to the definitive installation of the Fathers in the large English speaking congregation of that city. The Order of Holy Cross has also purchased near the city limits a large tract of land and a commodious house with a view of possibly establishing a school or a college there"--Scholastic, Jan. 20, 1872.

"College is the property of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The dwelling house and the grounds were sold to us by the Most Reverend Archbishop of Milwaukee. Subsequently an additional building for the College proper was erected capable of holding 100 students. Unhappily the College is not well patronized, owing perhaps to the want of tact and energy in some members employed in it. At the date of the last visit, November 8, 1878, there were but 19 boarders and 25 day scholars with a personnel of 2 priests, 3 scholastics, and 6 Brothers. President, Father Condon. More was expected from this place when founded by the Congregation. Otherwise the place is beautiful and healthy"--Granger Minutes., 1878.

"It was decided that some action should be taken immediately in reference to the Watertown establishment; that the land there be cultivated even on shares; and, if possible, a Brother, such as Brother John of the Cross, be sent there to take charge of the premises"--Local Council, April 19, 1872.

"Brothers Fabian and Christopher to go to Watertown"--Local Council, May 3, 1872.

(See "Vocations, Recruiting, 1886")

1874: 80 students, 20 boarders, 7 teachers. Visit Minutes.

1875: "35 boarders, 35 day scholars, Brothers Gabriel, Peter, Ireneus, Ildephonse, Athanasius, teachers."--Visit Minutes.

"Brother Hilary is appointed to teach in the parish school at St. Bernard's, Watertown"--Provincial Council, Jan. 16, 1874.

"The question of changing the College at Watertown into a Commercial school to be conducted by the Brothers, the classics to be taught by a priest from the Church, was discussed. Finally, it was referred to the Provincial Chapter"--Provincial Council, July 11,1879.

1880: Six Brothers teaching.

1885: Headquarters of the Mission Band.

1886: Becomes normal school of the Brothers with Father Franciscus as Superior. Brother Ephrem, teacher.

(Rev. John O'Keefe to Sorin; Oct. 1, 1885) "Boarders 35, Day boys 9; Professors, 5; Prefects, 2; F. O'Keefe, President." (Provincial Archives)

1886-7. College of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Postulate for Brothers. Rev. P. J. Franciscus, Superior; Brother Ephrem, assistant; Brother Mark, Brother Narcis, Bro. Hormisdas. Number of postulants -- 10. --"Hoffman's Directory."

1887: Ditto (Exclusively for postulant teaching Brothers). Ditto on Superior; Brother Mathias, prefect; Brother Ephrem, assistant; Brother Mark, Brother Narcis, number of postulants -- 40. (Closed at end of year).

"The Chapter voted unanimously in allowing a new building to be erected at Watertown for college purposes, present accommodations being ineffective. The cost to be about $10,000., which it must not exceed at the outside limit of $5,000."-- Provincial Chapter, 1886.

1886-1888. "It will be remembered that this institution, during the past two years has been transformed into a normal school for the teaching Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross."-- Scholastic, 22;111.

See in file "Corby, Watertown."

"The College of the Sacred Heart at Watertown, Wisconsin, has been closed by direction of the recent General Chapter of the Congregation of Holy Cross. It will be henceforth used as a Postulate and Normal School for the Brothers of Holy Cross:-- Scholastic, 20;47. 1886.

(Brother Marcellinus to Sorin; 1872) Enrollment, 40. (Provincial Archives).

1887 -- Postulate for the Brothers. Letter from postulants: "Very Rev. Father, we are very thankful for your favor of allowing us to make our studies at this college...We are very glad to tell you that we are receiving quite a number of postulants...."

(Rev. P. J. Franciscus to Sorin; April, 1887 -- Prov. Archives) "Our postulants are happy and Brother Ephrem and myself are happy with them. Our fuel expenses, etc., would have been the same if the number had been 26 since last September and will be the same even if we had double the number.

(December 30, 1886) "The prospects for success are getting brighter day by day, and I have no doubt that, by proper care and devotion, this College will be a self-sustaining institution in a few years. At present we have 10 candidates and some 0 applications."

"...Sacred Heart College will be prepared to receive students, September 4, 1888"--(apparently closed as a postulate). John O'Keefe, Pres.

"It will be remembered that this institution, during the past two years, had been transformed into a Norman School for the teaching Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross. This year new buildings were erected at the Mother House, Notre Dame, and the College of the Sacred Heart was re-opened with the brightest prospects"--Scholastic, October 6, 1888.

1888: 1st class: 15 boys, teacher, Brother Ephrem.

2nd class: 5 boys, teacher, Brother Matthias.

3rd class: 7 boys, teacher, a postulant.

German and Catechism: Father Franciscus.

Bro. Matthias, prefect. Bro. Narcis, farmer.

Bro. Mark, tailor, Personnel: 7 Sisters, 4 Brothers.

Father Franciscus, Superior. Cost, $6,000 per year. October 2, 1888. (Corby Report)

"Sacred Heart College Property was bought in 1871 for $12,000. Rev. W. Corby was appointed Superior and opened the college, Sept. 9, 1872. With him went Fathers Colovin and John Lauth, and Brothers Gabriel, Marcellinus and John. Students, 27. By December 8, 1872, there were 66 students, five of them boarders. Feb. 1, 1874 82 students, half of them boarders."

"In August, 1886, Sacred Heart College was closed by the General Chapter. It became a normal school for the Brothers. Rev. P. Franciscus, Superior. It continued for about two years, but it was an expensive experiment and a failure.

"Personnel, 1895: Rev. John O'Keefe, President; John Boland, V. Pres.; John Thilman, Rev. Mr. T. Hennessey, M. A. Quinlan, William Montavon. Brothers Luke, Flavian, Matthew, Celsus, Bede, Gerald,"--Chronicles, 1895.

"Very Rev. Father Provincial Morrissey read a petition which is as follows: First, that Sacred Heart College, Watertown, be allotted to the Brothers as a postulate for candidates to the Brotherhood; that a Brother be appointed superior; that a competent faculty of Brothers be sent there, and that the postulants now at Dujarie Institute be transferred to Watertown at the opening of the house, September, 1912.

"Secondly, that Holy Cross College, New Orleans, be transferred to the Brothers; that Brother Engelbert be named its Superior; that Brother Marcellus be added to the faculty; that the strip of land six city blocks in length, east of Clairborne Avenue, be purchased; that the property known as "The Cedars" be added to our holdings at Waveland, Mississippi; that the present buildings in New Orleans together with the land as far as Dauphine Street be sold and the proceeds be applied toward the erection of new buildings on the Clairborne Avenue site." --Provincial Chapter, 1912.

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›