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Online Exhibits > Notre Dame Campus in the 19th Century


Priests' Novitiate

Excerpt from Notre Dame -- One Hundred Years / by Arthur J. Hope, C.S.C.

In 1853 Father Alexis Granger cut away the underbrush on the northern edge of St. Mary's Lake and chose a spot, with Father Sorin's approval, for a novitiate for the priests. There they laid the foundations for what was known as St. Aloysius' Novitiate. It had fourteen private rooms and a chapel. In this quiet spot there was an atmosphere of deep religious peace. It was built on the site of the present Holy Cross Seminary.

Excerpt from 1865 Guide to Notre Dame and St. Mary's

In this novitiate where young men or ecclesiastics prepare themselves, with earnest endeavors, to become worthy and efficient Members of the Congregation of 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 tastefully laid out and decorated. In summer, the chief occupation of the Novices, during their recreations, ist he cultivation of flowers and the cleaning of the many avenues that diverge in every directions through this really charming grove. The close proximity of the two lakes, the innumerable flowery plants 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.