October 31, 1893 - Fr. Sorin passes away

After seventy-nine years of life, the most important figure in Notre Dame history passed away. Father Edward Sorin was born in 1814 in France and came over to the United States in 1841. We are all familiar with Father Sorin's founding of Notre Dame du Lac in 1842 (or soon will be) and his life would be just as interesting over the next fifty-one years. Here is a quick recap (and teaser of future posts) of events from Father Sorin's life:

  • 1814 - Born in France
  • 1838 - Father Edward Sorin is ordained
  • 1842 - Notre Dame is founded
  • 1875 - Shipwrecked en route to France
  • 1878 - St. Edward's University in Austin, TX is founded by Father Sorin
  • 1879 - Notre Dame is rebuilt following the fire

Father Sorin GraveThe last couple weeks of Father Sorin's life were spent in his room where he was bedridden. While he was still able to, the minims would come to his room and wheel him out onto the balcony where the band would be playing below. According to Father Cavanaugh's accounts, Father Sorin breathed his last breath while literally being held in the arms of Father Zahm.

Father Sorin now rests in Holy Cross Cemetery along with many other Holy Cross priests and brothers from the Midwest Province. Since today is All Hallows Eve, walk along St. Mary's Road and take a stroll through the cemetary. You will immediately recognize many of the names on the larger tombstones near the street. Father Sorin's grave is much more simple and located along the southern edge in front a large cross.

The University Archives has many accounts of Father Sorin's life. If you want to learn more about the early years at Notre Dame, particularly the first 100 years of its founding, then try and find a copy of the book "Notre Dame: 100 Years" by Arthur J. Hope, C.S.C.. It is out of print and can only be found second hand but makes a great addition to any library. If all else fails, the University Archives has a digital version on their website, which is available here.

Keywords: father sorin, st edwards, great fire, shipwreck, minims, holy cross cemetery, cemetery, father john cavanuagh, father zahm

Posted On: 2011-10-31 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


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