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  • ISBN: 9780268027599
  • ISBN10: 0268027595

Edward Sorin

by Marvin R. OConnell

  • List Price: $49.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Notre Dame Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/2001
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This sweeping volume offers the definitive account of the life and labors of Edward Sorin, founder of the University of Notre Dame. Born in the west of France in 1814, Sorin was ordained in 1838 and joined the newly founded Congregation of Holy Cross shortly thereafter. In 1841, Father Sorin, along with six Holy Cross brothers, was sent to establish a mission in Indiana. After a year's service in the Vincennes diocese's fledgling parochial schools, Sorin was offered a tract of land in the diocese's northernmost section -- on the condition that a college be situated there. Father Sorin and his companions arrived at the lakeside property, located near the south bend of the St. Joseph River, in November 1842.

The next year, the state of Indiana granted a charter to what Sorin proudly and reverently called the University of Notre Dame du Lac. In its early days, Father Sorin's "university" was composed of a few log shacks and a handful of half-educated brothers, only a few of whom could speak English. There was no money and hardly any students.

But Father Sorin, by sheer willpower, was determined that his university would prosper. Marvin O'Connell writes, "So confident was he in his own powers, so sure of the ultimate righteousness of his goals, so deep his faith that God and the Virgin Mary had summoned him to America to accomplish this great work, that no obstacle could confound him. He was capable of duplicity, pettiness, and even ruthlessness. But for sheer courage, and for the serene determination that courage gives birth to, he was hard to match."

Little by little, Notre Dame evolved in its curriculum and pedagogical standards. At the same time, another evolution was takingplace. Sorin came to America as a missionary first and an educator second. What began in Sorin's mind as an institution that could monetarily support the work of the Holy Cross mission, instead took center stage in a way that Sorin could never have anticipated. Flexible as always though, he readily adapted to this changing reality and began the development of the Notre Dame we know today.

Edward Sorin is a lively, colorful history of the man who overcame great odds to found and grow one of the world's premier Catholic institutions of higher learning.

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