University of Notre Dame,
St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception
Near South Bend, Indiana.
"A Guide! demanded the traveler. Yes, a Guide, talkative, filled to the brim with historical and traditional lore, spicy, witty, honest, not profound, to win me from the labyrinths of care, and cheat the sluggard hours of half their ennui."
J. B. CHANDLER, PRINTER, 306 & 308 CHESTNUT STREET, [GIRARD BUILDING.]
It is no wonder that Americans, throwing aside tradition, should deem their country barren of interest, and search in other lands for what they spurn at home. Jog, jog, goes the weary world, with recklessness and waste of all God's gifts, on the one hand, and sordid care, with selfishness, eating like a canker into the very fibres of the soul, on the other; while the many, running to and fro that knowledge may be increased, catch only a superficial view of persons and things, for want of a guide. Truly, whatever road we travel -- material or spiritual -- we ever need a guide.
"Truly, sir, this is the age of railroads, of progression! All mankind pride themselves on being now wide-awake, and from east to west the tide of what is called improvement floods on. It is a noble aim, if nobly directed, that of reaching the perfection of our being; and gladly do I contribute my mite in giving you, stranger, some information respecting a locality in which I feel a peculiar interest, since the immediate object and aim of the founder was to guide and direct that progression (which is so often an ignis fatuus) by the true light of erudition founded on sound Christian principles.
"Well, indeed, I mean that my son should have the best of all possible educations," said, some twenty years ago, a father to me of his first- born, of whom he was evidently very fond: "He shall learn every thing that can be learned -- the modern languages, ancient languages, arts, sciences, and all the athletic exercises." "And nothing more, Mr. K*** ?" I asked. "Nothing more! why what more would you have?" "The art of self government, perhaps; but, may be, you intended to include that; and the direction of the affections; does that enter into your programme?" "Oh! my dear sir, I know full well that what I mentioned were not christian graces, of course: I mean that he should imbibe these also; but what I intended to say was, that my child shall learn easily all things, as easily as he learned to eat; I shall devote my life to making knowledge pleasant to him; the old fogy systems shall not cramp his intellects, or obscure his own bright faculties. Knowledge is desirable for its own sake. He shall learn to love all beauty, and the beauty of religion and of morality will strike him by analogy, by sympathy; and goodness will infuse itself into his soul."
Poor Mr. K***! he lived to see the boy for whom he sacrificed his best days, to whom he literally devoted his best energies, in smoothing down for him the asperities of knowledge, cutting off all the sharp points, and taking on himself the pains of repeating, in various modes, the divers branches of knowledge, that they might be infused into the young brain of the tyro without labor of his own -- he lived to see this youth grow up selfish, reckless, and a spendthrift! and finally the father completed the sacrifice he had made by impoverishing himself and family to get this son first out of debt, and next out of the country, that in a foreign land the shame attached to certain transactions might never rise to cover him with confusion. This is no fancy sketch, stranger, but a hona fide recital of a conversation and a history; and it is because in my experience there are many such histories -- it is because I have seen so many intelligent people, so many good people, make shipwreck of educational ideas, that I have so much pleasure in acting to you as a guide in this locality.
On the faith of one who for thirty years has devoted time, observation, reading, almost exclusively to the influences which can be brought to bear on the foundation of human character, I assure you that the sugar-plum system is a failure; that neither intellectual sugar plums can be so administered as to form an intellectual character, nor moral sugar plums so as to create within, that dignity and firmness of learning which distinguishes a man worthy of the name.
But at the same time there are modes of administering discipline; there are methods of inculcating knowledge, which rouse the latent faculties of the pupil, and give pleasure by the vigor which they impart to the system. These do not even leave the pupil uninfluenced when the period of scholastic training has expired. The love of knowledge overcomes the disgust at the labor necessary for the acquirement of that knowledge on sound principles; and the labor itself, afterwards re-acts and adds a double zest for knowledge thus acquired. Besides this, the faculties of the mind are strengthened, and their power increased, by exercise judiciously taken, in the same manner that the sinews and muscles increase in power by bodily exertion under an experienced trainer. But, see, we have already arrived at
Now visitors to the University of Notre Dame and to St. Mary's Academy must pick up their satchels and trunks, and make their way with the crowd that usually find the terminus of their journey here, to the rival omnibuses that are drawn up on the opposite side of the depot. Any traveler who arrives in the day time and desires to go immediately to Notre Dame or St. Mary's, will do well to disregard the vociferations of the "runners" to the different hotels, and seek the line which is in readiness, at every arrival of the trains, in the day-time, to convey him directly to his destination.
Here let me pause to say a little word about the thriving city of South Bend. There is, of course, a significance in the name, but it is one surely not immediately obvious to the stranger. Doubtless the South Benders knew they were right in securing as a site for their town, a grand and important curve of the St. Joseph river, which would give them a great "water privilege;" and knowing this fact so well, perhaps they thought the simple word South Bend would bring before the mind of the restless emigrant from eastern soil, visions of thousands added to thousands in the short space of time, which Yankee thrift and enterprise are willing to allow for the accumulation of a fortune, on which to rest, and to which to trust when age has silvered the locks and furrowed the face. But, to speak plainly, the name is too insignificant for the importance of the place it designates: situated on a noble river, destined to become a central position and to rival the most flourishing towns of the West, it should have a name suitable to its growing greatness. In this opinion, I am happy to find many of the most influential gentlemen of the place agree with me; and doubtless at no great distance of time, the place will receive a name more appropriate, more poetical, recalling to the heart and mind associations of a higher character, and of a loftier inspiration. Nay, do not argue with me, stranger, by quoting Shakespeare's line: "What's in a name: a rose by any other name would smell as sweet;" for you know as well as I do, that names are redolent by association, and that to call a rose by the name of "Billingsgate" would make it smell of fish and fisherwomen. And so to call our rising town South-Bend, may cramp its expansive power, and retain it in an insignificance for which it was not intended. Hereafter it must necessarily be associated by its neighborhood with the University, not only with the material wealth acquired by the industrial enterprise of its inhabitants, but with that more magnificent wealth of the highly cultivated intellect and of the awakened soul, which accumulates a far nobler fortune in the amassing of the living, imperishable truths, which vivify all that is noble and exalted in man's two-fold being.
We need something in this sordid, aspiring age, to wake the sluggard sensibilities, and remind man that he is burying in the dross of earth the finest, most aspiring sentiments of the soul, only in the free expansion of which can the highest happiness be found.
This is the county seat of St. Joseph County, and has already five thousand inhabitants. It lies on the western bank of the St. Joseph, at its most southern extremity, just where it bends with protecting embrace, and flows swiftly on, heeding not the arbitrary lines that man lays down to mark the boundaries of States, but hastening to yield its tribute to the waters of Lake Michigan.
But here we are upon the bridge that spans the swift waters of the St. Joseph. This bridge, the best on the river, is a most substantial structure, capable of resisting any possible pressure upon it during the season of freshets, by the swollen and angry river. This consideration is important, as several bridges have been carried away by an outburst of its violence on these occasions.
After leaving the bridge, we come upon the addition to the Town, known as
No doubt a few more busy years will make apparent the appropriateness of this name. The town spreads over quite an extent of ground, beautifully undulating and picturesque in its surface. You notice that pretty little Gothic structure with the bell-gable; it is a school taught by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Here also, on Sundays and Holidays, there are High Mass and Sermon for those of the townspeople who cannot conveniently assist at the more imposing celebration of the Divine Service at the College Church. There are also a Catholic church and a large schoolhouse (both built of brick) in South Bend.
Going leisurely along, in a north-east direction, we gradually ascend a high bank, from which the eye takes in, at one glance, a fine retrospective and panoramic view ot South Bend and its flourishing manufactories on this side of the bridge. From the point we have now gained, we have to the left a charming prospect of the serpentine course of the river as it glides along among the emerald fields.
We turn directly north, and are pleasantly surprised with an unexpected view of the buildings of Notre Dame, rising in fine and graceful proportions, and forming the terminus of the broad and beautiful avenue that has, with admirable taste, been opened directly in front of the College through the extensive farm of the Institution.
We are now within the limits of the College lands, and may immediately mark the eminently religious and devotional feeling that characterizes everything appertaining to this place. These four large fields, two on each side of the avenue, laid out with much precision and regularity, bear the respective names of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John and St. James. They contain fifty acres each. On the right, these fields form the boundaries of the College grounds; on the left, field succeeds to field as far as the environing banks of the river St. Joseph.
Twenty years ago, how different the scene! This land now bearing the marks of a progressive civilization, rich in its present aspect, but richer far in the hopes it cannot fail to excite in our minds, was then a complete forest, but recently occupied by the dusky Potowatomie. Here, upon this soil, stranger, blazed the council-fires of the untutored sons of the forest; here were formed their magic circles; here were observed the rigid fastings, when they sought to call forth from the invisible world of spirits, knowledge of the events about to befall them, or implore their aid in the execution of their own barbarous projects of treacherous warfare against the neighboring tribes.
As we mark the various buildings that rise to our sight while we proceed along the avenue, the spirit that has produced these changes strikes us even more than the exterior signs which so pleasingly charm the senses. The College, the seat of learning, where natural science is taught, where language is cultivated in all its forms, where history unfolds its wondrous lessons, and all philosophy, ancient and modern, is pondered over, sifted, the wheat separated from the chaff, and the poison of heathenism annulled by the antidote of truth. The Church with its double tower front, where the learning of the University is crowned by the high supernatural teachings of the "superior law ;" where youth learns his high privilege as a "child of God," and inhales the spirit of the highest of philosophies; the two Novitiates at the west, where this sublime philosophy is reduced to practice; and the farm houses where the brothers reside, and who provide the excellent nourishment for the body served up to the students and the inmates, at large, of this flourishing community; -- in the distance appear the buildings of St. Mary's Academy beyond the tiny lake; -- and the whole scenery teems with that singular charm produced by a refined and religious civilization rising fresh and beautiful, glowing with health and vigor, amid the forest shades of the far West. Thirty years ago Chicago had scarcely even a place on the map, and the whole region between that City and Toledo was, as respects commerce, agriculture, and social life, almost a blank. There was then but the missionary's loneliness, his weary watchings, his forced fasts, his rude hut, and his conquests for God; and NOW! -- Why, now? We have the realization of the Christian life in many phases!
You notice here, stranger, quite a large number of houses; they constitute what is called
It was named after its venerated founder, Very Rev. E. Sorin, the esteemed President of the University and Founder of the order of the Holy Cross. in America. More than twenty-five families already reside here. No sooner was this plot of the College ground laid out in lots than Catholic laborers came to settle here, knowing that they could readily obtain work the year round at the College, where a large number of hands is constantly required, or at the manufactures of New Lowell, only a mile distant. Laborers desiring to secure steady work, ground of their own, good education for their children, and the benefit of Church Services daily or weekly, must feel how advantageous it would be for them to purchase a lot in this nascent town. The price of lots is very moderate, and they may be paid for in labor, trade or long credits. Those already settled here are beginning to display an air of order, neatness, economy and prosperity. There stands the pretty little school-house in the midst, built for the especial benefit of the children of the settlement, and conducted by one of the teaching Brothers of the Holy Cross.
We are now midway on the avenue and immediately in front of the "Field of the Dead." This is, stranger, the Cemetery of the congregation attached to the College -- the resting place of the faithful who are awaiting the sound of the trumpet of the Archangel, whose distinct effigy you perceive on the apex of the Chapel with the appropriate motto: "Surgite mortui" -- "Arise ye Dead."
Among the tastefully designed monuments you observe, stranger, one more conspicuous than the rest: it is that pretty little mortuary Chapel, standing, as you see, in the middle of the consecrated ground. Let us pause here and we will enter it, if we can find the Brother Sacristan to open the door for us. This good Brother, by the way, built the pretty Chapel with his own hands. See its graceful little spire, symbolizing as it does to the thoughtful observer, the "Sursum Corda!" "Lift up your hearts," is the cry of the Church to her children struggling in the thorny
ways of life. Written above the portico in bold characters, is the inscription, "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, for their works follow them." These vaults beneath the building are intended for burial purposes. Those who can secure a place there have the consolation of knowing that above their dust will sometimes be offered the Holy Sacrifice, the "clean Oblation." As we enter the Chapel, we are struck by a vivid representation of "Our Saviour deposited in the arms of His Mother after he had expired on the Cross," while on either side, are angels bearing the instruments of the Passion -- the whole group is a fine moulding in plaster. Now, let us stroll about this resting-place of the dead and examine the monuments and the inscriptions, many of which are in an elegant and classic style, having been written by the learned Professors of the College. On every mound is the Cross, -- the sign of faith, the inspirer of hope. This pyramid marks the grave of Mrs. Talley, of Chicago. Her husband and children have here displayed, with as much refinement and delicacy as piety, their loving memory of the dear departed one. A few steps farther, you observe an elegant mausoleum, beautifully designed and surmounted with a well-proportioned Cross, gracefully springing from the roof. The inscription on the door of the vault as you can plainly discern, is, "A. Coquillard." He was the founder of South Bend, and to his enterprise and liberality the town was greatly indebted for its advancement, up to the time of his death which occurred from an accident a few years ago. Let us look at some of the epitaphs. On this marble-stone we read, "In heaven we shall meet again;" these were the last words addressed by a dying husband to his disconsolate wife, who soon after also died, with the prayer of faith on her lips: "We meet again;" and this short sentence is here engraved on her tombstone. What a beautiful sentiment! I hope they have met again in the bosom of God . . . . Here is an epitaph in Latin: "Custodit Dominus omnia ossa eorum; unum ex his non conteretur." ("The Lord keepeth all their bones: not one of them shall be broken.") On this pretty little tomb-stone, are engraved the beautiful words, "Heaven is my home, not earth." Here are two small marble stones adjoining each other, and inscribed, "Our Darlings; lost to their fond parents, but gained to God." Here is again a sentence in Latin: "Et mors jam non erit amplius, neque luctus, neque clamor, sed nec ullus dolor, quoniam priora transierunt." ("And death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away.") There are many others -- all revealing that true faith which hears and believes, and is "blessed" because it "hath believed." Now we may go hence.
Stranger, by your leave, we re-enter the avenue and follow its course until we reach
This is a most important department; in this, I feel sure, you will agree with me stranger, if, like me, you have gone up and down this weary earth, and seen how the industrial departments are carried on elsewhere, how many are seared from industry by witnessing the ignorance, the lack of high principle, the want of sympathy, which too often prevent the employers of that industry from recognizing, in their employees, the impress of the Divinity in their souls. It is cheering to a weary pilgrim, like myself who has so often wept over the mischiefs attendant on ill trained youth, to witness the beneficial industrial arrangements which sanctify toil and which will hereafter prevent the pupils, now under their influence, from lapsing into discontent at that dispensation of Providence which has rendered labor the condition of healthful existence. It is an Institution which requires only to be made more known to be appreciated, not only by the members of our own Church, but by all thinking men. It is not so very long ago that in a discussion I had with a very intelligent Protestant about the cause of crime, and the increase of rowdyism among the rising generation of young men, he did not hesitate to attribute them to the growing distaste for labor, actual earnest labor, "which, said he, must be considered, in every community as a HOLY ORDINANCE, before vice and crime can be diminished to any considerable extent." He therefore is a benefactor to his race who established the cheerful, intelligent, well-ordered arrangements of the Industrial or Manual Labor School of Notre Dame.
Boys, from the ages of twelve to sixteen, are received into this Department to remain until they are twenty-one years of age. At eighteen, the period when a youth is supposed to have become master of his trade, he begins to enjoy the fruit of his industry, and from this time forward, receives wages for his labor. No change however takes place exteriorly in the mode of life of pupils at this age, save in this respect: they now open a daily account with their respective masters, and at the termination of each month, a settlement is made between them, showing the profits of the apprentices over and above their board, &c. These monthly wages are annually credited, and when the indentures are accomplished, the young men may enter the University, as regular students, and remain until their credits are entirely expended. Thus they are enabled to add a polish and perfection, to the solid foundation of a trade well acquired, as the fruit of their own efforts, so that when they leave, they will be fitted to take their places as good and useful citizens in the Commonwealth.
Experience has furnished abundant examples, illustrating the wisdom and happy results of this measure, in exciting the emulation of youth ambitious to acquire an education. For the past twenty years, we have seen nothing equal to this incentive, in rendering apprentices earnest and industrious, faithful to their duties and exemplary in thcir habits; for in no country are manual labor and high mental acquirements more honorably united than in our own.
For some years, the school was conducted upon the following plan apprentices were engaged in the study and class rooms, for two hours and a half, each day, winter and summer. In warm weather, this time proved longer than was desirable, and in the winter season, it was less than might be wished. From this experience the principle has been modified, giving place to the American method of labor through the season when every one is engaged at work, and study through the season most favorable to mental application; hence in the winter time, all labor is suspended, and the time devoted exclusively to study. This improvement in the system, together with the material enlargement of the buildings, has rendered the Manual Labor School an important department at Notre Dame and although the entrance fee has been raised to one hundred dollars (with two good suits of clothes or a sufficiency for one year) the applications for admission are more numerous than at any former period.
The Administration of Notre Dame is fully convinced of the high importance attached to this feature of their Institution, and are equally determined to render the Manual Labor School everything that it should be. It is scarcely necessary here to advert to advantages enjoyed by Christian children in an Institution of this character. Here, their religious duties will be taught them, not alone in theory, but in practice; and while fitting themselves for the attainment of an independent and honorable subsistence, they will form habits to constitute them, hereafter, ornaments to society and an honor to religion. Far removed from the contagion of vicious example, and surrounded by continual incentives to virtue, the apprentice at Notre Dame can scarcely fail to acquire a high reverence for all that is honest and pure, all that is moral and edifying. From the mere fact of mingling with religious associates, of living under a religious government, and breathing, so to speak, the pure and invigorating air of the true faith, at an age when the true character and destinies of the man are shaped for life, he cannot fail to be incalculably benefited. In too many places, the apprentice has to guard against example. Here he is formed far more by example than by precept. But, while the all-important consideration of a healthy and religious training is kept prominently in view, the more practical and material object of the apprenticeship is by no means lost sight of. Indeed the requisite commendation of this School of Trades) is found in the liberal patronage accorded by the surrounding vicinity. Although the work of the various shops is chiefly consumed by the residents of Notre Dame and St. Mary's, numbering over nine hundred persons, yet when it has been possible to exceed the home demand, (as has been the case in the shoe and boot makers' department, where from eighteen to twenty hands are kept constantly employed,) the products are eagerly sought after, by the immediate neighborhood, as work decidedly to be preferred. It is the design of the managers to add several of the liberal arts -- those contributing to the refinement of the pupils, and to the advantage of religion -- to the trades taught here at present, as Music, Painting, Sculpture, &c. The first two have already found a place in the regular instructions.
I cannot quit this subject without saying a few earnest words to those of all denominations who have the good of their country, and the permanence of its institutions at heart.
A Republic founded on the principle of giving freedom and equal rights to each individual, necessarily depends for its stability on individual virtue, on individual intelligence, on individual strength of principle. Here, a corrupt majority must make a corrupt government; an ignorant majority will produce an ignorant government; and an irreligious majority foster infidelity in all the relations of life. If ever, to any country, it was necessary to have the rules of virtue inculcated, the principles of man's mutual relationships well defined, the motives which should regulate action well explained, and the means of attaining moral power made clear to the understanding, that country is certainly America, where many exterior compulsions being withdrawn, man is free to choose between good and evil; and, by mistake or by re-action, may use this glorious privilege to his own detriment. In America, more than in any other country, the diffusion of sound educational principles, for all classes, is especially called for; that liberty may not become license, and the glorious institutions -- framed to uphold man's dignity and his inalienable rights -- may not perish from mere want of self-government and moral power.
I think, then, I am justified in calling on all persons, who have the interest of humanity at heart, to aid in enlarging and giving prominence to these schools, founded on the principlcs of true Christian philosophy, by a truly enlightened understanding, anxious to meet the wants of the age, and to use to good purposes the liberty of which we are so justly proud.
I feel the importance of this Industrial Department so greatly, as I look over the world and take thought of the political duty and responsibility resting equally upon the working class as upon the wealthy -- and then contemplate the want of fixed moral principles among so many of them, rendering them liable to become the prey of selfish demagogues and to lend themselves to any political movement which happens to sway the hour, no matter how subversive of the common welfare, that I feel like going out from the peaceful scenes around me, and begging those who sincerely love their country to come to the aid of this philanthropic work.
But we have reached the main entrance to the College grounds. You observe those two small porters' Lodges in the corners, facing the public road. That one on the east side is the
This Post Office is acknowledged with gratitude as a favor obtained from the government through the influence and good offices of the late Hon. HENRY CLAY, whose memory is ever cherished here as that of a benefactor of the Institution and neighborhood. To the office we will drive, for here we shall find the polite Assistant Postmaster, who ever takes real pleasure in showing all visitors every thing of interest about the premises. Close at hand is the beautiful
Where the most assiduous care and refined taste ever preside. Its design is "a heart," reminding the beholder at once of the sacred emblem of the Congregation, dedicated as it is to the Divine Heart of Jesus. The centre of this charming garden is adorned with a tasteful summer-house, whose dark green hue shows to advantage the scarlet clustering berries of the beautiful Mountain Ash trees overshadowing it. You notice in the centre, a beautiful white marble cross, and over the arch, towards the College, a large spread eagle, elegantly carved on wood. The pretty trellises of mantling creepers attract the eye in various directions, and for many months the flower beds, with their delicate boundary lines of green, present a constant succession of choice and fragrant blossoms and flowering shrubs, where no arrogant weeds or withered stalks are suffered to impair their glowing beauty. Two splendid fountains have lately been put up at a great cost in the centre of the garden, spreading loveliness and freshness all around.
But let us now enter into the College. We ascend the flight of stone steps, in the centre of the building, first casting a glance at the handsome dial that stands in the flower-adorned grass plat near us. This is so ingeniously constructed as to show, not only the hour of the day here, but the city where it is noon at any hour indicated, and the distance of the principal cities of the world from us. We take our seats in the
Where we find plenty to amuse ourselves with while we wait to examine the different apartments.
This is a picture of Pio Nono, the present Holy Father. What thrilling emotions arise at the bare mention of his illustrious name! Successor of St. Peter, who from being an humble fisherman, was made the attracting centre around which the whole church should revolve in harmonic unity! Pio Nono, according to this picture, has the mild expression of childhood's innocency -- as if he could enfold in his capacious charity the whole world, and never think even in the most secret chamber of his soul -- "now why don't you all feel and acknowledge how devoted and kind I am!" Self adulation is not the language of that face, and diplomacy, in the common acceptation of the word, is as far removed from him as are weakness and imbecility.
This portrait, on the same side of the room, is that of the Abbe Moreau, the founder of the order of the Holy Cross, who is still living in France. This portrait at first is not striking; but, after becoming a little accustomed to it, you feel as if you were in the presence of a person who would read more of you by seeing you one moment, or hearing one sentence from your tongue, than ordinary persons would know of you after a long acquaintance. You feel a little nervous under the penetrating gaze of those eyes, and think you would prefer to hear a few words drop from those lips before subjecting yourself to so rigid a scrutiny. You feel that you are in the grasp of a strong but kind man; a man that never fails to know what he is about; one who digests to perfection all facts that come before him. However, those who have the honor of a personal acquaintance with the Abbe, lament that they are per force obliged to make content with so poor a likeness of their loved Father General.
Here on the table is a book for the curious, containing, in neat penmanship the Lord's Prayer in one hundred and forty different languages, written a few years since by as many students at the Propaganda at Rome. You observe also a Latin petition, at the bottom of which you may see, not only the authentic signature of Pio Nino, but also two lines written by his own hand.
But here comes the good Brother who so kindly does the honors of the place -- who might be termed the guest-master. We will not keep him waiting, but may return to finish the inspection of the Portraits and pictures in the parlor at our leisure.
Here your attention will be arrested by several rare objects of interest in natural science. An unusually rich collection of botanical specimens (about (4000) calls for the notice of the naturalist. This Herbier, as the French term it, is the result of the fifty years labor of the late Thomas Cauvin, once President of the European Scientific Congress. The department of ornithology is also well supplied with large and small volatiles and with aquatic birds. Here are also specimens of Chinese porcelain and some antiquities that will repay examination. Visitors are sometimes fortunate enough to encounter the professor of Natural Sciences here. When he has leisure, he with great good humor affords entertainment with the chemical apparatus, giving such lucid explanations of the experiments, that no one can fail to be pleased and instructed. All the branches of natural science are taught here, and the lectures thereupon are so pleasingly and simply illustrated, that they cannot fail to interest the learner and to be easily comprehended.
Is an elegant apartment and interesting to all visitors, not simply at the hours of meals, but at all others, because of its beautiful fresco paintings. These as well as those we shall see in the church, are the work of Prof. J. Ackermann, a German artist of considerable merit. None of them need special commendation here -- they speak to every eye their own praise; but in my opinion the world renowned and magnificent St. Peter's is represented with even better effect than the others for accuracy and freshness.
At the north end of the room we will pause awhile before the Tableau of Honor, for in this lies the epitome and secret of the success of the institution, or at least such is the claim of the President and Faculty, and I see no reason for disputing it. One name alone is inscribed on it yearly -- that one name stands peerless -- a star of the first magnitude, undimmed by the intervention of the least filmy cloudlet. Is not the Honor worth struggling for? Then beneath this point there is such a regular and systematic gradation of honorable distinction, that very many entertain to the end of the year a certain healthy hope, sufficient to animate them to very earnest exertions in order to secure for themselves this laudable record of their names.
And I presume, stranger, it will not be hard for you to conceive that the praiseworthy emulation of a dozen of the best students exercises a very beneficial infleunce over the rest of the young aspirants, so that in fact this distinction may be said to stimulate to application every class in the college. Here are twenty Names written in golden characters on the Wall itself and set conspicuously among the charming frescoes in a frame of gold, that every visitor to the place may have the opportunity of observing them. Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio have their honorable representatives.
By a little reflection you may discover that herein is embodied the spirit of the discipline of Notre Dame. To stimulate to exertion by motives of honor rather than by the compulsory methods of corporal punishment has been the aim proposed while the kindness which fosters the benevolent affections and brings out the better traits of the youthful character, is prominently brought to bear in the government: for kindness is
"A Talisman sent down from Heaven,
And thus governed, the young gentlemen are brought to feel wherein consists the true dignity of manhood and how to cultivate and maintain it on worthy principles throughout life.
The extreme punishment next to expulsion, borrows its sharpness from the same exciting motive: A seat on a stool in the centre of the room, at "The Table of Shame," is a degradation to which few would prove callous. Directly facing the entrance door, at the south end of the room, harmonizing and crowning the tout ensemble of this beautiful hall, stands a life size and beautifully painted statue of "Our Lady" -- "Notre Dame" The richly adorned niche containing it throws its soft shadow over the downcast eyes, the extended hands, the face and figure of celestial tenderness, which seem formed to heighten the joys of those children embraced in her maternal heart, to soften their sorrows, to inspire the love and hope our yearning nature needs. This statue was placed there as an acknowledgment of gratitude for her protection, when, for the first time, two hundred boarding students were gathered under the shadow of her name, within the College walls.
The College, as it now stands, is composed of the central or main building and two spacious wings. The whole rises four stories and a half from the ground, and is surmounted by a bronzed statue of the B. V. Directly over the head of the statue is suspended a large crown, whose gilded surface gleams in the quiet starlight or the flashing rays of the noon-day sun. The whole is protected by a light and graceful belvidere, whence a view of great extent displays the pretty panorama of prairie scenery, and whose lofty and protected platform serves as a landmark by day and is used as a pharos, whose guilding beams may cheer and direct the traveler on his mighty way. The building is heated by steam throughoat, furnished by boilers of sufficient capacity to warm the building contemplated to supply the increasing demand for room, which will doubtless, stranger, be finished entirely or in part before this meet your eye. In the east wing is the recreation hall, at present appropriated to the Junior Department, and furnished with a very complete bowling alley for their amusement; in the west wing is the dining room. The first floor of the centre contains the parlor, the president's room, the secretary's office, and the book and stationery store. The eastern room on this floor is the senior students' study room, in size sixty six feet by forty. Above is one of the sleeping rooms or dormitories, and still above this the Laboratory and Lecture Hall of the Professor of Chemistry, the Museum, the Library, &c., and the Printing Room, where the numerous programmes necessary on festal occasions are prepared for the inmates of the Institution. This convenience, a recent addition to the "properties" of the College, is under the direction of able hands, and will be called into more extensive requisition with each succeeding year. In the western wing the first floor is the Juniors' Study Room, forty by forty, and the remainder of the wing is occupied by the Department for the Instruction of Deaf Mutes. This was added to the University in 1861, and it is hoped that by the efficient discharge of its arduous, self-sacrificing, but efficient duties, its sphere of usefulness will be annually extended till it embraces within its kindly offices many of these afflicted members of society. The good to be effected by such an Institution can scarcely be exaggerated, as no class of children among us stands more in need of careful religious training. Deprived of the use of the sense by which knowledge is poured into the mind, without reserve, these poor silent ones are keenly alive to all influences that appeal to the active and stimulated senses; hence they cannot be too highly securely guarded against contamination. They are here instructed in the ordinary branches, and particular attention is devoted to their religious development.
These accommodations, ample as they seem, are now found quite insufficient. Such has been of late the rapid increase in the number of students, that the Board of Administration has felt obliged to throw aside all previous calculations, and to prepare at once ample room to accommodate fully and comfortably five hundred boarders~ It is to meet every want of that number, including all the modern improvements of the age, and in a word everything, that an experience of a quarter of a century has shown to be beneficial and desirable, that the new building before you has been planned and is already in progress of erection, all contracts are being made, and it must be ready for occupancy before the first of September next. But, pray, bear in mind, that this new College is entirely the result of experience, to suit at every hour of the day and of the night, five hundred young gentlemen of the best families of the West. Here are the outlines, viz: one hundred and sixty feet in length, eighty feet in width, and six stories in height.
You will notice, from the basement to the top of the building, the greatest simplicity of divisions or arrangements, rendering all movements and inspection natural and easy; and in this, chiefly consists the real benefit of experience.
People talk sometimes of converting large houses, hotels, &c., into a College; I have heard of a magnificent chateau, of which, for ten years, a rich company have tried to make a College, and thus far, it is only a failure.
With these preliminary remarks, let us examine closely if they possess in reality the advantages and conveniences they claim.
Here is the division of each floor. In the basement, two refectories, eighty by forty; one for the Seniors in the eastern wing, and the other for the Juniors in the western wing; the central part, eighty by seventy, is divided lengthwise by a large corridor, seventeen feet wide, joining the two dining rooms, and having, on either side, a spacious wash-room for each department.
On the first floor, two study rooms, same size as the refectories, the same large corridor between, leaving, on the rear, a third story room for the Collegiate Course, eighty by thirty-two; and in front, besides the entrance hall, the President's room on the right, with its parlor; and on the left, the Secretary's office; both of the easiest access at all times.
The second floor is reached by a double flight of wide stairs; the corridor goes through and through, from east to west; this is the class floor; the entire length is divided into thirteen large class rooms, and five rooms for Professors on the central front. On these two floors the hourly movements of the two departments are to take place daily; and, with the order, the precision and silence resulting from the discipline of the House, with such a space and such a local, there is no doubt that a charming spectacle will be presented there ten times a day.
The same symetrical stairs land us on the third floor; but there the corridor extends only from one wing to the other, leading on the right to the first dormitory of the Seniors, and on the left to the first one of the Juniors, both eighty by forty; on the front, in the centre, five rooms for Professors; and on the rear, five rooms for music.
The fourth floor is precisely a repetition of the third.
The fifth is divided into three large dormitories and a chapel on the front; above the roof and under the dome, fifteen by fifteen, is the observatory, in which the Faculty expect within a short time to place a fine telescope and such other instruments as are usually found in a cabinet of Astronomy. From the circular walk around the foot of the dome, a beautiful view of the city and vicinity by day, and from within a clear insight into the starry regions at night, will richly repay visitors for the little fatigue of their ascension. On the top of the dome, you see the colossal statue of Notre Dame, with the brilliant crown of the twelve biblical stars, whilst beneath, under her foot, lies the figure of the serpent whose head she crushes.
The countenance of the Virgin is uplifted, directing all eyes and hearts to heaven. The statue is after the model of the famous monument lately erected by Pio IX, in the Piazza di Spazna, in commemoration of the definition of the Immaculate Conception.
Which now warms the building we have just traversed. The water is conveyed from the little lake you see gleaming beyond the trees into these two large boilers, whence it is conducted throughout the establishment, supplying also the water necessary for washing and other purposes. In the basement is the engine-room; above it a large and commodious bath-room, with a limited number of private closets, supplied with hot and cold water by pipes from the apparatus below. These are devoted to the use of the students of the University, during that season in which open air bathing is impracticable: and a perfect routine has been established, by which each student, in his turn, is enabled to enjoy the advantages of a bath as often as may be necessary. We need not say how much this advantage contributes to the happiness as well as to the hygienic welfare of the College. All who have ever tried it, we are sure, appreciate the comforts of a good bath. We shall now enter and visit the splendid building before us --
As the pupils are well cared for in health, so also in sickness are their wants supplied and their comfort promoted, as is proved by this fine building lately erected, fifty by one hundred feet, and three stories high. It is heated throughout by steam, and pipes also convey warm and cold water to every story. The apparatus for heating this building cost alone $5000. There the sick are carefully tended by the good Sisters of the Holy Cross, and the best medical assistance within reach procured for their necessities. [An eminent and experienced physician, a graduate of the "Ecole de Medecin," of Lyons, (France,) permanently resides in the College.] This house is built of the brick manufactured on the place, resembling in color the celebrated Milwaukee brick, whose soft tint produces a very pleasing effect.
Which has been opened at Notre Dame as a retreat, or rather a home for pious old men, who would gladly spend their last years in the more faithful service of God. There are many such souls longing to prepare themselves for their approaching end; many also who, yet hale and strong feel that a more quiet life, a readier access to the Sacraments, and a society untainted with the wickedness and worldliness around them would be a happy and beneficial change, and yet whom age or some other cause forbids to enter into a regular order.
To afford to such a place of quiet, religious and pleasing retreat, is the object of St. Francis' House. Already a certain number of good old men have sought a home within its friendly walls, and seem to enjoy themselves as faithful and religious Christians may well desire to do before their waning life is spent.
The House has been built chiefly with the patrimony of one of them, and afterwards heated by steam with the resources of another; it is furnished with those of a third one, and whatever is brought in by its inmates goes to support and develop the same establishment. They are under the guidance of one of the Fathers, daily attended by a Brother, and in sickness by the Sisters of the Infirmary. They enjoy all the religious advantages of the place, which are many, and if they feel able and disposed to employ their leisure usefully, they assist as they choose in the garden work. Comfort, peace, devotion, and total absence of solitude can scarcely fail to make their residence there a blessing. But those who wish to enter are required to have a recommendation from their Pastor, and to make arrangements beforehand with the Institution. Now, stranger, let us turn and walk under the shadow of this row of trees extending along the west front of the Infirmary. I have often listened to the plaintive cry of the whip-poor-will, as, embowered in their foliage, he has poured fourth his quaint strain, through the long, soft, summer twilight. Pass round this circular grass-plot before the south front, enter the little gate to your left, and lo! above your head rustic arches springing from trellis work each side of you, each inscribed with one petition of our Lady's litany, support the dark green leaves, the curling tendrils and the luscious fruit of the skilfully trained vines stretching in a beautiful vista for twelve hnndred feet before you. Is not this a charming retreat when the noon-day sun shines fiercely, and the glowing earth pants for shade?
Let us again turn towards the Post Office, but before we proceed many steps we see a portico that invitingly entices us to enter the
This building is one hundred by fifty feet. The first floor, as you perceive it, is sufficiently spacious to afford the students abundant room for their amusements when the weather is unfavorable to out-door sports. The whole length on that side is railed off for a bowling alley, similar to the one in the Juniors' Playroom. Both are erected with care and skill, and afford most agreeable pastime. To your right is another room, neatly fitted up for billiards, if eye and hand are practised and accurate, stranger, you may meet your match among some of these amateurs. The floor above is set apart as an Exhibition Hall, where the concourse of friends and strangers at the Annual Commencements may be accommodated during the interesting exercises which mark those occasions. In the galleries alone two hundred persons can be easily seated. You will notice that the whole floor is an inclined plane from the stairway of entrance to the foot of the stage, thus affording as good a view to those at a distance from the young candidates for honors as is usually the case in regard to those much nearer the scene of action. This spacious Hall is, however, frequently called into requisition throughout the year. The Thespian Society of the University on festival occasions, present the numerous inmates of Notre Dame with most gratifying theatrical entertainments, where costume and scenery unite with dramatic talent of no mean order to please and instruct their appreciative audience. These entertainments are found to act beneficially by stimulating the capacity or talent for eloquence of word and gesture, and by giving that self-reliance so necessary to success. When the incidents of College life require, as they not unfrequently do, a special commemoration, or peculiar notice, the Hall affords a convenient place of assembly, and Greek, Latin, French and German Orations, awe the ignorant, and gratify the learned who listen to their sonorous periods. It is intended to complete this building by the addition of two stories, to serve as an observatory and laboratory. As we pass out of this building we enter the
There let us examine the specimens of skill in this art, sacred to friendship, by fixing the loved features so familiar to us, and wresting them as it were from the inexorable tyranny of time and change, to preserve them to our feeble grasp. Here parents and children have the opportunity to leave each other a memento consoling in the months of absence, and here also the benefactors and friends of the Institution may be present to the eyes as they ever are to the generous hearts of its inmates. This laboratory is in the hands of the accomplished members of the Faculty.
Now that we have finished our visit to the material structure of the University, permit me, stranger, to say a few words on the intellectual advantages of this Alma Mater of many of the young men of our day. The name of its President and Founder, Very Rev. E. Sorin, has for the last twenty-two years been associated with the successful development of this seat of learning. His efforts are ably seconded by excellent and learned Professors, who fill the different chairs of Theology, Philosophy, Mathematics and Rhetoric, the Greek, the Hebrew, and the Latin. The Commercial Course is equally liberal. But in the firm yet gentle discipline of Notre Dame, lies the great secret of its success. The students, two hundred and fifty in number, are arranged in three great divisions: the Senior, the Junior, and the Minim Departments. These, having very distinct tastes, habits and requirements, have each sub regulations peculiar to themselves, all conforming to one general plan. The Minim Department, consisting of the young children from six to ten and twelve years old, have a female teacher, an American lady, selected for her fitness for that position, and are also under the charge of the kind and gentle Sisters of Holy Cross, in their refectory, as also in regard to their clothing, cleanliness, dormitory, &c, while one of the good Brothers superintends their plays and amusements, and conducts them in their numerous rambles throughout the vicinity. The Sisters have also charge of the clothing of all the pupils, mending, washing and arranging them, in accordance with an established system long successfully tried, a peculiar excellency of this College. Otherwise, the Seniors and Juniors are under the exclusive management of the Priests and Brothers of this Congregation; their hours of study, of recreation and repose, regulated by a strict, but paternal discipline, while every effort is made by frequent relaxations and varying amusements to please and interest the youthful minds, to whose welfare, improvement and happiness, their lives, their time and thoughts are devoted.
Not at all, stranger. Those sweet chimes are simply from the bells of the Collegiate Church. Most beautiful chimes they are, but no otherwise supernatural than as they recall supernatural ideas, and incline the thought upwards by the sweetness and sanctity of the chants they play. Our polite brother Conductor will take us into the belfry and explain the construction of the cylinder, and show us its action upon the bells. The machinery of these chimes is a real triumph of art. The bells were imported from France in the year 1855 at a considerable cost, and were put up by one of the brothers, who has certainly evinced great mechanical talent. Twenty-two of the bells chime together at every hour, both of the day and of the night. They play any piece of music that is put upon the cylinder. In twelve hours, a musician, aided by a boy may cover the entire cylinder, which is three feet and a half in diameter, and admits on its circumference the placing of a sufficient number of tunes to occupy fifteen or twenty minutes in their execution. On great occasions seven of the largest bells may be seen swinging in full flight for a quarter of an hour three times during the day. I need not tell you how beautiful the effect is, as when you heard them just now, not dreaming of meeting such machinery in the wild forest, you mistook them for the voices of the blest; but I may inform you that even in France these bells were considered an exquisite piece of art, and they never fail to delight a refined musical ear, as indeed you experienced yourself when they last chimed the hour. There are in all twenty-three bells. The largest weighs 3250 pounds.
Now with all reverence we will enter the church. The beautifully arranged altar will strike you favorably at once: and when you have contemplated it sufficiently, you can cast a look at the fine piece of statuary over the altar of the Blessed Virgin, representing Our Lady of Dolors pierced by the seven swords, and holding in her arms the dead Christ. This was presented to Notre Dame in 1846 by his Excellency Monsieur Dubuquois, minister of the House of Louis Philippe. St. Joseph's altar is also tastefully arranged. The Paintings in this church are all from the hand of Prof. J. Ackerman, mentioned above.
Over the High Altar, and beneath the apex of the four gracefully formed vaults, are inscribed the mottoes of the three Societies composing the congregation of the Holy-Cross, and in the fourth vault, The Sacred Emblem, the hope-inspiring Cross shines brilliantly forth.
The exquisitely beautiful stained glass windows are from France. They were recently procured for this Church of the Sacred Heart, from one of the best manufactories in this department of the fine arts, that of the Carmelites at Mans. The rose window in the Western Chapel represents Heaven. On high is delineated the Blessed Trinity, while the lower part of the window pictures forth the figures of a multitude of saints with their respective attributes. It was presented by Mrs. M. Phelan.
The great window behind the High Altar
represents the Assumption of the B. V. with the empty tomb, around which are gathered the rapt and worshipful Apostles.
These windows, altogether of a superior order of merit, are the product of the taste and skill of Mother Eleanor, (Superioress of the Monastery of Mt. Carmel,) and of her artistic Community. These ladies are justly famed in France and throughout Europe for the admirable composition of their paintings and the charming felicity of their conceptions. The soft delicious radiance which streams through these windows adds much to the fascination they cast over us. "The Divine Face," near the great window, is also from Mother Eleanor's monastery, having been presented by her to the Very Rev. Father Sorin about 12 years ago. It cannot be too much praised as a work of art, and unsusceptible must be the eye and heart which can pass it by with but a passing glance of admiration. But the best feature in the church is undoubtedly
This splendid Instrument, but recently put up, has more than fulfilled the expectations of the many friends personally interested in its success. It was built in Buffalo by Messrs. House & Co , and has thirty-six registers or stops and fifteen hundred and twenty-seven pipes, of which twenty-one are beautifully gilt.
Organs generally are not seen by the congregation, but this, as you see, is directly before the eyes of the public, since it occupies an advantageous position in a space expressly prepared for it sixty feet north of the high altar and within the chancel. The size of the instrument is ordinary, viz.: twenty-five feet in height, eighteen feet in breadth and twelve feet in depth, but the tout ensemble of its composition is certainly admirable. The style is pure Grecian with Corinthian columns. The names of the numerous donors who contributed towards the Organ Fund are all recorded in gold letters in a very handsome tablet in the parlor of the University. The Organ has long since been paid for, and still new subscriptions are daily received and inscribed in the long list which glitters before the eyes and attracts the attention of all visitors. The surplus funds, however, have been set aside for the construction of a music hall, that will alone cost some few thousands, and whose pleasing plan and proportions will contribute to carry out the programme announced from the beginning. The friends of the Institution will therefore have the pleasure when they visit Notre Dame of seeing the Memorial Hall they contributed to build and the impetus given to the study of the beautiful art of Music. For many years to come their names inscribed upon the hard brick wall will serve for them and their descendants as a welcome and an introduction to the University of Notre Dame.
Now that we have seen the central point of Notre Dame, stranger, we will turn and examine the appurtenances. Standing in the frontdoor of the Exhibition Hall, adorned, like the side entrance, by a portico, we see the extensive play grounds. Here is a well constructed ball alley solidly built of brick, there poles, hand swings, balladores, spring boards, and the various et ceteras of gymnastic exercises, very puzzling and confusing to the uninitiated, though exhilarating and familiar to the athletes who there develop agility and muscular strength. Back of the play grounds and adjoining the Infirmary stretch orchard and kitchen garden, the latter adorned by mighty fortresses intended to baffle the attacks of the monarch of winter, Jack Frost, and containing within their walls ample supplies of ammunition under the various denominations of potato, cabbage, turnips, &c. Now we will turn towards the west, walk along this smooth, level path or rather road; -- on our left hand another extensive orchard, while to the right, down the steep slope of that hill stretching towards the Marly Lake, as it is familiarly called, is a flourishing vineyard. Before us stands the
With its little belfry, and its gay flower garden. Here the good Brothers reside, whose peculiar care it is to cultivate the farm of Notre Dame; here reigns the peaceful calm, the neatness, the order, and the superior virtue which must ever mark the abode of men who have made a sacrifice of their lives to God, by their sublime vows, of labor, of obedience, and of charity. Their pretty dwelling forms a real picture when viewed from the wooded hill beyond it, the glassy lake on whose very edge it stands reflecting every line, and light and shadow, and the soft tinted clouds of evening resting over it like the protecting wings of angels. Towards the south stands the barn with its stores of fodder, its stabling, and its variety of four-footed inmates. There are usually twenty-five horses and thirty cows belonging to the establishment sheltered here, whilst the cellar or basement, eighty by forty-six, is used for the fattening cattle, varying from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty in number, destined to supply the tables of the establishment. These last need not leave their stalls, even to drink, since they are abundantly and easily supplied from the well in the centre of their immense apartment. Without the barn yard is the slaughterhouse -- and also the sugar house, where excellent molasses is made from Sorghum raised on the farm. The lake close by supplies the water so necessary in such a locality. Many ingenious agricultural implements may also be noticed, some of which are the result of the invention and the skill of the Brothers themselves. "Truly," you say, "where the material is so well ordered, the intellectual must be superior." And you are quite right.
We are now come to the Lake of St. Joseph, -- circled round with trees. Let us sit down on this fallen trunk and contemplate the scene; it were difficult to exaggerate its beauty.
Yes, we will get a quiet sail over these peaceful waters, and lulled into a reverie by the enchanting influences around us, permit those influences to sink into our souls and impart their loving lessons. Hark! the chimes from the Church of the Sacred Heart are rehearsing the "ave verum corpus natum," and the spirit of the chant mingles with the gentle breezes, and sheds a yet deeper peace upon our spirits. Angels must be hovering near, for the very air is becoming hallowed, and the rustling of the leaves seems to echo back the solemn words; we hold our breath in very awe, fearful to lose a single vibration, for nature is hushed into a thrilling stillness which works its way into the very depths of our being and etherealizes our every sense
All Heaven and Earth are still! tho' not in sleep But breathless as we grow when feeling most, Or silent as we stand in thoughts too deep! All Heaven and Earth are still! From the high Host Of Stars to the lulled lake and mountain coast. -- All are concentred in a thought intense Where not a breath, or air, or leaf is lost But hath a touch of being and a sense Of that which is of all, Creator and defense.
On the shore of this lovely solitude stands the
This, stranger, is one of the most interesting features of Notre Dame, the home for the aged Priest! a home, when he needs it, for the beloved Pastor, who long and faithfully hath dealt out the "bread of life" to the members of Christ's flock! What Catholic heart doth not thrill with emotion at the very suggestion! which of us doth not offer to God fervent thanks for the opportunity thus afforded of manifesting some little gratitude for the inestimable benefit He vouchsafes us in sending "Pastors and teachers, for the perfection of the saints, for the work of the ministry, unto the edification of the body of Christ, till we all meet in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God."
Here, far away from the noise of the world, in a home provided by reverential love, by filial gratitude, by that true piety which sees God in the Priest, can the exhausted Missioner recruit his failing strength and spend the last days of his wearied life in peaceful contemplation, and holy preparation for the end that must come to all. A more delightful site could hardly have been selected to carry out this idea, and need I say a more beneficent idea could hardly have been conceived. The place of the buildings provides a handsome comfortable apartment for each inmate -- a chapel and refectory -- and the Sisters of the Holy Cross will, with that pure spirit of kindness which characterizes their every actions, wait on and administer to the wants of the Missionaries When we consider the state of the Catholic Church of this country, as to temporalities, we must agree with the friend who lately gave it as his opinion, that of the works of the Very Rev. Father Sorin has projected, none can supply this one in importance.
Who that hath witnessed the toilsome life of a Missionary Priest in this country; who that bath known of his traversing the dreary wilds, or seen him penetrating the gloomy depths of the forest in order to convey "the peace of God," by the administration of the Sacraments to the sick or dying, but must have felt that that charity is superhuman which braves all dangers, which incurs all risks, while it cheerfully proceeds onwards in its glorious office, ministering to the salvation of souls. Yes, by the very obligations imposed by his office, the character of the true Priest becomes superhuman. "They watch," says St. Paul, "as being to render an account of your souls." But they do far more than this, not only in the actual discharge of their sacerdotal functions, but like the great Apostle, "they become all things to all men, that that they may save all." What sorrow can his children feel that the good Pastor does not share? What calamity can they undergo that HE does not commiserate? What suffering that HEseeks not to relieve? Our experience convinces us so completely of this that we need not dilate further on the theme.
But are the duties confined to one side only? Shall He who has baptized our infants, who has instructed our growing youth, who has solaced our mature age, who has fostered and encouraged in our souls every indication of spiritual good, while he has repressed the evil incident to our fallen nature; shall he who has stood by the sick bed as an angel of Peace, pouring balm on the distempered spirit; shall he whose ready hand has responded to his own noble heart, who has broken bread to the hungry, and given drink to the thirsty, corporally and spiritually -- shall He be left unaided, when sickness, infirmity, old age, or any of the miseries incidental to this vale of tears, shall befall him? or shall chance offerings be the only maintainance for him, who in the hands of God has proved to be a "Providence" for others, in many, many ways. Forbid it gratitude. Forbid it justice, reverence, respect. Nay, forbid it veneration to God himself.
He who hath stood among us as the "Dispenser of the Mysteries of God," can never, in Catholic hearts, descend to the ordinary rank of human nature: and if charity to all men be but a just tribute exacted by God as a fitting homage to himself how much more are we bound to exercise that charity in behalf of those who have been to us the representatives of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in the highest, holiest sense in which those words can be applied to created beings.
The Missionary's Home appeals then of itself to the highest and sublimest sentiments we can entertain. It presents itself feelingly to our hearts, as if it were a direct appeal from God himself to animate our zeal. If a cup of cold water given to a disciple in the name of a disciple, shall in no wise lose its reward; and if to clothe the naked and to give drink to the thirsty among the least of His little ones; shall be esteemed by our Divine Lord as if done to Himself, shall we not invoke a powerful blessing by the exercise of extensive charity towards those who came in His name to announce the glad tidings of salvation to mankind?
The Missionary's Home is then an institution to provide for the necessities of our overtasked Pastors, when infimity, or age, or accident shall have rendered a retreat from the world desirable: when, having exercised for long years the sacred duties of their high calling, they feel incapacitated for further exertion and desire an honorable repose, a retirement in which no anxiety respecting the providing for necessities shall intermingle with the attention to the care of their own salvation, which will then form the sole object of their solicitude.
The proposal for the foundation of such a "home" has received not only the formal sanction and the solemn benediction of His Holiness, Pope Pius IX, but with the zeal that so pre-eminently distinguishes him, He (the Pope) amid the difficulties that surround him, amid the necessities created by the disorders of the times, found a superior necessity in his own heart to contribute to a work which has so entirely the glory of God for its object, and He generously disbursed a pecuniary offering in addition to the invaluable blessings of his sanction and approbation.
Need more be urged to induce the laity largely to contribute their aid to the undertaking? And will you, stranger, turn a deaf ear to this appeal? Will you not through your Guide contribute your quota for the home of the aged and helpless Priest.
Were superior motives wanting, yet might self-interest alone prompt the Faithful to give the greatest assistance they could command to the measure; for contemplate for a moment what would be the consequence if instead of the disinterestedness that now characterizes the Catholic Priest, it were to become a necessity, real or supposed, that He should himself set apart from his income a sum sufficient to maintain him in his declining years. The sums now freely given for the promotion of the greater glory of God would then be hoarded up in a commercial spirit, and the consequences would affect not only the external acts, but the interior relations of the soul in a manner too painful to dilate upon at present.
Turn we therefore from the contemplation of a result, far too distant as yet to provoke reasonable fear, to the hope, nay, to the confident anticipation that the offerings of the Faithful will be poured in so generously, so freely that no probability can render the success of the Home doubtful.
At the head of the subscription list stands the august name of the Sovereign Pontiff Pio Nono. Can we doubt that a generous desire to follow in his track will soon swell the list by thousands, who will thus at one and the same time confer a benefit on every branch of the Catholic community? The aged Pastors will be provided for, while the younger clergymen will be freed from anxiety respecting their own future destiny, and being thus freed, will pour forth in more ample streams the rich spiritual treasures confided to their sacerdotal charge.
May Almighty God then in his mercy and compassion prosper THE MISSIONARY'S HOME!!!
Its object, then, is purely ecclesiastical, viz: to offer a home to venerable Clergymen too far advanced in years to discharge longer the arduous duties of the Sacred Ministry -- or incapacitated by sickness -- or simply desirous to retire for awhile into solitude to renew in their hearts the fervor of their vocation.
The location is healthy and fine, ten minutes from the University on the shore of the lake St. Joseph, of which it commands a beautiful view, and further on, on one side the buildings of Notre Dame; on the other, the Novitiates of St. Joseph and St. Aloysius, and in the distance St. Mary's of the Immaculate Conception.
The plan is extensive, one hundred and thirty-six feet in length by seventy-five feet in width, and three full stories high, containing forty eight private rooms -- some of which are twenty-five by twenty feet -- with every convenience to promote the comfort of the Rev. Gentlemen for whom the house is intended.
To secure the happiness of its inmates, counsels have been given which, considering their source, must be received as commands. So far as bodily and spiritual comforts are concerned, there shall be nothing spared to render happy those who may choose it for their residence and their home.
We must now proceed to visit
This lake, however much it might originally have vied in beauty with that of St. Joseph, has now a character of its own more akin to the spirit of the age. The floor of the lake is formed of white marl, and during seven months of the year laborers are actively engaged in converting this into lime, and it seems proved by experience that this lime thus formed is superior in quality to any that has yet been manufactured; and the inhabitants of the surrounding country, convinced of its superiority even to stone lime, have adopted it extensively, valuing it more especially for plastering purposes. Every year adds to its celebrity, so that it is now shipped by car loads to the neighboring cities, and promises in future to become a very important article of commerce.
These two lakes, each with its peculiar interest, form the finest feature in the landscape of Notre Dame. They are supplied entirely from springs, and their transparent waters wash shores of clean white sand and pebbles, and hide in the recesses multitudes of the finny tribe of every variety, from sturgeon to minnow. They afford rare sport to the pleasure-loving students both in winter and summer: bathing, skating, fishing. These lakes cover an area of about forty-five acres, and the groves on their banks are the resort of every species of game known in the country. As to the depth we will give you the opinion of one of the Minims, who having a plummet line twenty-five feet in length) gravely sunk it in both lakes, and finding that in one it reached the bottom, and that in the other it did not, pronounced this dictum: that one lake was twenty-five feet deep, and that the other was bottomless! How many opinions which have obtained currency in this world, have been founded on observations about as accurate!
Having rested ourselves from our tour to the lakes, we will now take a walk through the grounds which are filled with interesting objects. Leaving the University to the east, we descend a somewhat steep bank and proceed along a straight path. Here our attention is attracted by a pleasing little Chapel:
This small but neat Chapel is built after the model of the world-renowned original at Assisi, in Italy; it has the same dimensions and the same form as the "Alma Mater" of the Franciscan Order, and is, of course, dedicated to our Lady of the Angels, and is enriched with the privileges of the Original Portiuncula: it and the House of Loretto, at St. Mary's, of which I shall speak anon, are, I believe, the only indulgenced pilgrimages in these north-western States.
On the second day of August, may be gained first a plenary indulgence for yourself and afterwards, as many plenary indulgences for the souls in Purgatory as you make visits to this pretty little Chapel, between the time of the first Vespers to sunset the next day, praying, for some moments, for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff. As we enter, the tastefully decked altar, and the atmosphere of sanctity delight us, and we congratulate the Brothers on their sweet devotional retreat.
This Novitiate stands on St. Mary's Island. This Island is necessarily dear to the Order of the Holy Cross; it was the first spot dedicated to Mary, and the association of years have added greatly to this endearment. Nearly all the American Brothers look to this spot as their Alma Mater, and here repose the bodies of nearly all who have been called by their Heavenly Father from their work below, to their reward above. Long rows of black crosses continually remind the living associates how their brethren gone before are awaiting them.
This tender affection for this lovely spot has led to its adornment beyond any other portion of the premises.
Here are serpentine walks, rustic seats, and loveliest of all, white statues of the glorious Queen of Heaven, ever and anon showing themselves amid the green foliage, and when on some grand occasion, perhaps on some great festival, processions are formed to cheer and gladden the hearts of the inmates of Notre Dame and of St Mary's, it would seem as if the poetry of Italy were transferred to this sunny isle, so beautifully do its groves and flowers chime in with the solemn pomp of religious solemnities.
Amid the various employments of the Brothers, there is one pertaining exclusively to this isle. It is the cultivation of the vine, and of the white wheat, to form the material for the adorable sacrifice of the altar. There is a pleasing propriety in this which cannot fail to strike the eye of faith. In the Novitiate of St. Joseph -- situated on this island -- the candidates for the Congregation of Brothers are carefully trained and formed for their office of instructors of youth.
I met lately a gentleman of high refinement, and who had paid a particular attention to education and the educational establishments in this country. Speaking of the Brothers of the Holy Cross, he expressed himself as follows:
"I just came from Ohio, and there I had an opportunity of witnessing the good which those humble Brothers are quietly but surely effecting. I cannot express the happiness I felt while seeing them in their large and crowded class-rooms laboring so zealously and perseveringly to mould the rising generation of Catholics in the Catholic faith and life. What a relief and gratification to the pious clergymen who have secured their modest services! Is not the cooperation of these toiling educators of the Catholic young the hope of religion and Society? But why are these laborers so few? Why are there so few pastors who have furnished their congregation with a blessing to last through all time?
"Here I come to the point to which I intended to call your attention. During my journey, I saw everywhere large and sumptuous buildings devoted to educational purposes. Some were already complete, and had long been in use; some were in course of erection, forming, or destined to form notable architectural ornaments of towns and cities. Multitudes of children are gathered under these stately roofs, and they and the system and purpose to which they are dedicated, constitute one of the loudest and proudest boasts of our country. But are these halls a blessing to the land? I fear that this is not by any means regarded by Catholics as a settled question -- a causa finita. I fear the time is going by when such places were regarded as the vestibules of the temple of unbelief and vice for Catholic children. I fear that the increase of the attendance of Catholic children upon these means of perversion and corruption, is far more rapid than the Catholic public everywhere imagine; the fact is one of a gloomy and unhappy portent -- laden with incalculable disaster to souls.
"To be sure, children may in these schools as well as elsewhere learn reading, writing and arithmetic. But under a teacher who sneers at every doctrine and practice of our holy religion, will the pupil learn to become for life a fervent Catholic? The schools are free, they say. That is to say, a little insignificant learning is given, not indeed for a pecuniary equivalent, but in exchange for the "pearl of great price;" and faith, morals, heaven, all that is of proper value here and the treasures which cannot be consumed or stolen, are put in barter, or at any rate in terrible jeopardy for the elements of an English education.
"Nine-tenths of the numberless Catholic boys now daily attending these schools will be Catholics in future life only in name -- many perhaps not in that. This is the conviction of every priest I have seen during my tour. But is this woful calamity destined to be universal and perpetual? Is the evil without any remedy? God forbid. To a great extent the remedy is in the hands of the Rev. Clergy. Nor would the stemming of the disastrous tide be attended with any formidable expenditure of money. Let every priest lay the work well to heart; let him come to look upon it as a thing of vital importance; let him determine that in so far as in him lies, IT SHALL BY GOD'S HELP BE DONE, and before ten years shall have rolled away, not only will this fearful evil be checked, but the majority of our poor little boys will be effectually protected from the machinations of the seducers of spirits, and within the sheltering shadow of each church in village or hamlet, or wherever the uplifted Cross invites men to adoration and sacrifice, will stand the Catholic school-house, as the complement of the Catholic Church. In each parish and mission, this monument of the Good Shepherd's undying zeal -- a school-house for the whole children of his flock -- where the little lambs will be duly nurtured, and where all day and every day of the year, will be found a suitable teacher to break unto them the bread of life, will cheer the hearts who pray for the peace and prosperity of Zion, and for the salvation of the generation to come. Let there be only a determined resolution and concert of effort, and this end will follow with the certainty and apparent facility with which effect follows cause in outward nature. There are but few priests, if any, whose zeal and industry could not procure yearly, at least one postulant for a novitiate like this."
Let us now, kind stranger, direct our steps a little further on -- towards the
OR PRIESTS OF THE HOLY CROSS
In this novitiate where young men or ecclesiastics prepare themselves, with earnest endeavors, to become worthy and efficient Members of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, in acquiring the virtues and the learning which must fit them for active life, visitors are rarely admitted, for obvious reasons. The grounds are extensive and very tasteftilly laid out and decorated. In summer, the chief occupation of the Novices, during their recreations, is the cultivation of flowers and the cleaning of the many avenues that diverge in every direction through this really charming grove. The close proximity of the two lakes, the innumerable flowery plats you meet every where, the commanding position it occupies, the beautiful monuments erected by the tenderest piety, on its premises, its retirement and silence, its woody and grassy lake-shores, every thing renders St. Aloysius' Novitiate a delicious abode, another Eden. The house is spacious and can accommodate a large number of Novices; but the chief beauty is the chapel, painted by Prof. J. Ackermann -- an artist of no ordinary merit.
Here is the place, par excellence, where divine, religious and human learning is pursued with the greatest earnestness and application, and attended doubtlessly with the happiest and best results.
We have spoken of the discipline of the College, but we should do injustice to the Institution were we to fail to mention the influences of Sodalities which exercise a much more powerful effect on the soul, than any mere discipline could do. The Society of the Nocturnal Adoration, brings home to the soul in the silence and solemnity of the night the sanctity of the Presence of God, veiled under simple forms, for our sake, yet ever dwelling incarnate on our altars. In silence, in the depth of night, all passion hushed, the prostrate worshipper, alone with God, alone feels God within his soul, and realizes the love that took flesh for him, that lived for him and that died for him. Cold is the heart that is not kindled into burning love for God and man, while meditating before the Sacred Host at the Nocturnal Adoration.
Then again they have the Arch-confraternity of B. V. M. so celebrated in its origin, so continuously beneficial in its results.
And for the lesser pupils they have a Sodality of the Holy Angels; the dear children who compose this society are even yet as we hope in their first innocence it is their privilege to bear torches in the religious processions, and on high festivals to serve as a body in the sanctuary. At the midnight mass of Christmas, their joyous faces shine brightly and seem to shed new lustre on the already lustrous scene, when dressed in their little red cassocks and white surplices, with badges glittering with a shining star, they bear their tapers at the Elevation, their glee repressed by a holy reverence; -- thus is symbolized the bright angelic choir who sung of glad tidings to men of good-will. Thus, practically, symbolically, theoretically are Christian principles inculcated at Notre Dame.
Perhaps it may not be here out of place to observe that though these influences are brought to bear on the members of our Holy Church, yet children who do not belong to that church, are not interfered with. they can participate in the high Educational advantages of the Institution without any attempt direct or indirect being made to induce them to change their religion, indeed there is always a great number of members of other religions located here, as might be expected, in a place famed alike for kindness and for science.
Following the serpentine walk very appropriately called by the Novices "the Pilgrims' Road," we will soon come to a little oratory --
It stands gracefully before us. Let us enter into this sweet little hermitage and meditate for a little while on the peerless chastity, the unparallelled humility which distinguished the B. Virginal Mother while upon earth; and we will not fail to consider also, how singular was her immaculate Conception and how glorious her Assumption into heaven: the tomb empty -- strewn with fragrant flowers, and a beautiful painting representing Mary taken up into heaven -- the Apostles assembled to honor her remains wondering at what had happened, etc. will render our visitations still more striking and vivid, and having gathered the lovely lilies of devotion which the fragrance of her sweet presence has caused to spring up, we proceed onwards, much refreshed by the thoughts our visit to this little sanctuary has created.
Proceeding onwards through the beautiful walks arched over our heads by the green foliage of the trees, we come in sight of a small mound on which is planted the cross, -- a cross sixty feet high, made of cedar by one of the Novices. Need I tell you that this is a Calvary? Here we must pause, remembering the event it commemorates, and then after walking a few paces further we descend a flight of rude steps and enter into a cave which commemorates
It is exactly modelled after that of Jerusalem, at least as to its size, internal arrangements, and position with regard to the points of the compass. An open area, a few feet wide, surrounds it, and a little, elegant steeple surmounts it. We open the low door (like the original only four feet high) and enter stooping. The dim light, the solemn stillness of the place, the lamps that hang all around it, deeply impress you at once, and you must yield to a feeling of religious awe. The little altar occupying one end of the sepulchre, (whereon the same victim that was immolated on the cross and afterwards deposited in the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, is daily offered up anew in an unbloody manner,) and the divers instruments of the Sacred Passion lying on the broad stone at the other end, must move and soften the heart even of the careless or frivolous man at the thought of those awful sufferings, recalled by the scourges, the nails and thorns which meet the sight. The Sepulchre is eight feet high, fifteen feet long, and six feet wide. One of the numerous paths leading to it is called the "Via Dolorosa," and along its course the different stations of the Way of the Cross have been erected canonically. Not unfrequently can a Priest, a Brother, or a Catholic student from the College be seen performing with reverential devotion and profound recollection the holy exercise of the "Via Crucis."
Verily the dwellers in this neighborhood are blessed, for commemorations meet them on every side, and cannot fail to convince them that this is a holy land. This beautiful portion of the grounds -- containing the sepulchres and via crucis -- forms a part of the domain appropriated to the Novitiate of St. Aloysius. Now, stranger, give one more glance to the beauty of this solitude, consecrated to the use of the young Levites of the Order, and we will pass through a fine park leading directly to the Academy of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception.
This is the principal Establishment and Novitiate of the Sisters of Holy Cross in the United States. It is indebted for its origin to the same hand and heart that has made Notre Dame unsurpassed in its manifold benefits to education and religion.
From this, their chief House, the Sisters have established many branch Institutions for educational purposes, as well in the East as in the West; and at the commencement of the war, the services of the Sisters were offered, by their Superior, to the Surgeon General, for the care of the sufferers in our Military Hospitals. Forty Sisters still continue this work of charity at different points in the Mississippi Valley, principally at Mound City, Cairo and Memphis.
But if I digress to exterior missions, I fear, stranger, that the day will be far spent before we reach St. Mary's, for I would fain tell you of the schools taught with success by the Brothers of Holy Cross in various parts of the Union; I would dwell on the Missionary labors and devotedness of the Fathers in their capacity as Chaplains in the Army, but I forbear, remembering that my office is merely to act as your "Guide to Notre Dame and St. Mary's." We will therefore enter this gate, held open for us by the happy-looking old porter, and walk up the broad avenue until we reach the Academy. But before we enter the building, let us diverge from the main avenue and enter this circular enclosure surrounded by a luxuriant cedar hedge, here let us ascend a gentle eminence and take our seats in this charming summer retreat almost hidden by twining roses; it easily contains thirty persons. A dome springing gracefully from the top encloses a statue of St. Joseph. Neat graveled walks diverge from it, as a centre, and extend to the boundary formed by the hedge; the spaces enclosed between these walks are filled with every variety of roses, which thrive in the open air of our climate; for this reason, and on account of the peculiar arrangements of the parterre, (coinciding as it does with mysteries and decades dear to every Catholic heart) this portion of the grounds is called the Rosary. Here also you observe, stranger, that the green sward changes from blue grass to strawberry beds. And this feature renders it the most popular spot around St. Mary's during the months of May and June, as the fruit is cultivated by the pupils and considered their own property -- not to be placed upon the table as a dessert, but to be gathered by themselves, and enjoyed with their usual afternoon lunch of bread and butter.
Leaving the Rosary, let us follow this curving avenue along the bowlike bend of the river, pausing on the very verge of the woody ravine which borders the St. Joseph at this place. Here we look down through the dense foliage of the grand old forest trees, which, like a waving curtain of green, momently reveals the broad, placid river, gleaming like a huge silver ribbon as it steals noiselessly away, its deep waters making no sound, leaving no echo, like the silent footsteps of departing time. As we follow the path a short distance farther, the river makes a sharp bend, forming a most striking landscape. The St. Joseph here widens perceptibly. In front of the picture rises up the steep woody bank. The opposite bank in striking contrast stretches away to the horizon's verge an undulating plain, bounded by a noble forest, with its surface dotted here and there by a clump of trees, adding a little variety to its aspect. The margin of the river on the pastoral side is charmingly bordered by a profusion of willow trees, whose long waving limbs bend caressingly over the water's edge, as if gazing on their own reflected loveliness beneath. We will now penetrate for a moment the leafy ravine at the left -- our ears are at once saluted by the musical murmurs of a clear sparkling stream, the outlet of the Lakes we have just visited, into St. Joseph's River. At this point an ingenious dam suddenly arrests the rapid water in its onward flight; it pauses however but for a moment, when, gathering increased momentum from its short detention, it breaks over the barrier, forming a lovely waterfall glittering in the sunshine like liquid diamonds. Below the fall, a skating pond has been constructed for the winter amusements of the pupils. Not far distant are the Sulphur Springs, gushing from the hill side, as much prized for their medicinal qualities as their beauty. At this point we find rude steps fixed in the bank, which greatly aid us in our ascent to the path above. Here we can enjoy the shade of a fine tree known as St. Joseph's. Affection for this Saint, the protection of the purity of the Blessed Mary, has impelled some one to insert within the tree a miniature grotto with an image of St. Joseph standing in the midst. This is seen through a glass case set in the bark.
The pleasure grounds of St. Mary's comprise forty acres, and forty in the rear, which, when finished according to the design, will be of fairy-like loveliness. Already much has been done in this direction. A fine grove is now well grown, with a great variety of rare plants and shrubbery. A little farther to the south we find a beautiful little arbor dedicated to the "Holy Angels," an association of that name, in the Academy, composed of its youngest pupils. Here they learn to feel the constant presence of a Guardian to whom they were committed by the Almighty at their birth. No one, stranger, can doubt the powerful influence for good that this belief must exert over the plastic mind of childhood. The view from this charming grotto, hanging like an eyry on the river brink, is peculiarly sweet and lovely. The St. Joseph here rolls majestically by; its burnished surface reflecting a thousand varying hues of light and shade, unobstructed by the dense foliage intervening at other points. The monotony and coloring of the velvet field beyond is relieved by groups of domestic animals, whose presence completes the pastoral beauty of the scene. No landscape, however attractive in its general features, can fully satisfy the heart of the beholder unless he perceives some link connecting it with the nobler life of man. Here indeed we feel this sentiment in all its force. For where-ever we cast our eyes we know that nature in all her wild magnificence and beauty is associated with the noblest service of humanity -- the education of the rising generation -- implanting in their youthful minds the love of knowledge, not for mere self-culture, or as an increase of personal enjoyment, but to secure a wider influence -- the power of doing more to enlarge the kingdom of God upon earth. In retracing our steps to the new Academy we pass the large Exhibition Hall, at present used as a Chapel, and the
A large frame structure, a portion of which is fitted up for the entertainment of ladies, who wish to spend a few weeks in the quiet and retirement of a religious retreat. It seems peculiarly fitted for such a service: its dark color harmonizes admirably with the deep green foliage of the tall trees which envelop its front. Here directly opposite is a snowy temple surmounted by a Cross, dedicated to the
It contains a large figure with outspread wings, with a lovely child at its feet, constantly reminding the beholder of that Divine Providence which lovingly encircles the life of every human soul.
During the last year a part of the new Academy has been completed, and is now occupied by one hundred and sixty young ladies. It is of itself an imposing structure, one hundred by seventy feet, four stories in height, besides the basement; built of the beautiful Milwaukee brick, so generally admired for its delicate coloring. It comprises only one fifth of the original design. The whole plan when completed will form one of the most imposing structures in the West. It will comprise rather a group of buildings than a single edifice. It is proposed to have a quadrangular structure, embracing Church, Academy, Convent and Novitiate, with intervening open corridors, describing a semicircular sweep connecting the various principal buildings. The facade of the whole building will be four hundred and forty feet in length by sixty in height, the centre crowned by the Church, with its noble dome bearing aloft a gilded Cross glittering in the noon-day sun -- an object of reverence and love to every Christian heart. The Academy is heated by a large
Placed in another building in the rear for safety. The same power brings the water from the river and carries it in pipes through the whole building, thus furnishing at any moment warm and cold water for the ample bath rooms, dormitories and refectories, not only adding to the health and comfort of the pupils, but preserving the most perfect cleanliness. It is proposed to use the same power to ornament the grounds with fountains.
Now, stranger, let us examine the interior of this imposing structure. We shall find that its lofty ceilings and ample apartments, broad halls, and stair-cases, thoroughly lighted and ventilated, do not belie its outward promise. On the first floor of the left wing we find on one side of the spacious hall two large, lofty rooms, with bay windows at the side and front, admirably adapting them to their destined use as studying hall, and hall for plain sewing and ornamental needle-work. The rest of the floor is divided into a library and large parlors for the the reception of visitors. The second floor is devoted exclusively to the musical department. Twenty rooms containing superior instruments for the use of the pupils, who are under the charge of skillful teachers. In this branch of the fine arts St. Mary's stands unsurpassed. The third floor is divided into recitation halls, all pleasant, airy rooms. The fifth story is used entirely as a dormitory, and possesses superior means of ventilation, after the most approved modern method. The basement is now used for recreation hall and refectories, but when the whole is completed, will be devoted to the wardrobe and linen departments. The portion to be erected will contain the Senior and Junior recreation halls and refectories, dormitories, and the infirmary. Then comes
The centre and crowning gem of the noble architectural pile. On the right of the church and adjoining it are the Convent and Novitiate. This building also embraces the kitchen, laundry and rooms for other domestic purposes. In front of the church a lofty column is to be erected supporting a statue of
Constructed of cannon taken by the Western Flotilla at Fort Donelson and Island Number Ten, and presented by Admiral Davis as a mark of gratitude for the self-sacrificing services rendered in the naval hospitals by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
But to return to the Academy. The course of instruction pursued here is of the same general character as that approved at Notre Dame -- the same watchful discipline tempered with unwearying kindness -- the same zeal for the improvement of all -- the same school for deaf mutes -- the same religious instructions and sodalities for Catholic pupils; and while no pains are spared by the Sisters in fostering the intellect, it is not done at the expense of the moral or physical powers. Each side of this three-fold order of our being is harmoniously cultivated. All education worthy of the name must be based upon true religious principle -- past experience proves it. Therefore, the utmost care is taken in the religious instruction of the children of Catholic parents; while no interference is ever permitted with the children of those of a different faith. The increased attendance and patronage of the latter class evinces the satisfaction given in this respect. At present Protestants considerably predominate in the Academy, where the utmost harmony of feeling prevails, owing to the atmosphere of kindness diffused by the Sisters. It is hardly necessary to mention that Music in its various branches, Painting and Drawing are assiduously cultivated. The modern languages are taught by native teachers, and the natural sciences taught with the aid of fine apparatus and laboratory, and lectured upon by able Professors from Notre Dame. The success of the school justly proves its superiority -- for it has now been in operation long enough to point to what it has accomplished in the past as some augury of what may be expected in the future. In one respect however St. Mary's can truly defy competition. The remarkable beauty of her location, the salubrity of the climate, and the extensive grounds interspersed with groves and lovely walks, arbors, grottos, statuary, waterfalls and fountains for the use and recreation of the pupils. Ample exercise in the open air is always insisted upon, and no means left untried to improve the health of the children. Every incentive in the shape of swings, calisthenics and games are offered to induce sufficient exercise in the open air to preserve and promote a vigorous physique. While so much care is taken of the pupil's health, their general deportment is not overlooked. The example of the most refined manners is constantly before them for their imitation. The charm of what is popularly termed good breeding is the aggregate of habits acquired in youth, and more the result of association than of education. No matter what may be the mental acquirements of a young woman, unless her manners exhale the exquisite bloom of true politeness, founded upon Christian principle, she can have no claim to the title of lady. Let us now pass to the rear of the Academy and enter this charming grove -- a broad gravel walk bordered with flowers leads us to the beautiful little
An exact copy of the "Holy House of Nazareth," which was miraculously brought by angels from Palestine to Loretto. It was built by the children of Mary, a liberal benefactress of the Institution, Mrs. Phelan, contributing fourteen hundred dollars to complete it. The Chapel has been enriched by Pius IX., with all the original indulgenees belonging to the renowned pilgrimage of Loretto. The building is of the dimensions of twenty nine by thirteen feet, and rises nineteen feet in height, and its romantic position on the river bank, surrounded by trees and flowers, seems peculiarly appropriate, as symbolizing the subtle union of the natural and supernatural -- the universal blending of the spiritual and material. Here we are carried back in imagination to the humble home of Joseph and Mary -- to the place where the Word became incarnate, and the great central fact of our redemption was accomplished. This truly typifies the dwelling-place of Jesus and his Blessed Mother -- here he passed his holy childhood outwardly adorned with all the graces of an indwelling divinity. Loretto, from its sacred associations, seems especially adapted to the worship of youth. Their tender minds cannot fail of being quickened and moulded by the touching recollections of the childhood of their Redeemer. In assuming humanity he did not disdain the weakness and limitations of infancy, but forever hallowed it by a sacred charm. Who can comprehend his obedience to Joseph and Mary! Such influence cannot but be healthful and salutary. At the right of the Chapel an avenue shaded by the pendant vines of an immense grapery leads us by the
to the Statue of Notre Dame de la Paix. Here we observe several large buildings used for domestic purposes, also the kitchen-garden, and a large orchard containing a choice variety of fruit. On returning, we find another path to the left of Loretto, leading us down the ravine to the river bank beneath, which we follow for a short distance and then cross a dense grove of native forest trees, which will lead us to
This lovely island, set like an emerald gem in the bosom of the placid St. Joseph's, is a favorite place of recreation for the pupils, and is popular among the young ladies, as a resort for fishing and summer picnics.
There are many other features of these two Institutions equally worthy of notice; but if enough has been shown you, stranger, to excite sufficient interest in the noble work of educating our youth, and induce you to reflect upon, and admire, and even aid the works here commenced for man's good and God's glory, not in vain have I acted the part of your Guide to Notre Dame and St. Mary's.
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