Brother Robert Elwood Fillmore, C.S.C. (1939-2015)
He was born in Barberton, OH in 1939 and attended St. Augustine Elementary School in Barberton and St. Mary’s High School in Akron graduating in 1957. That winter he decided to join the Brothers of Holy Cross and pronounced his first vows in 1959. His first assignment was to teach at Boysville of Michigan, for seven years and then he served as Vocation Director for another seven years. He studied for a year to earn a degree in spirituality at the Berkley School of Theology, and he put what he learned into practice by serving for 20 years as the campus minister at Holy Cross High in River Grove, IL, at Our Lady of Westside Schools and Holy Trinity High School in Chicago, IL, and Archbishop Hoban High in Akron, OH. While in Chicago he was co-director of the TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) for four years. His mission in life was youth ministry, and he was a mentor for hundreds in Chicago’s inner-city youth. When Brother Bob taught at Holy Trinity High School his students had homework assignments to provide service to people in the neighborhoods. Living on the south side of Chicago, he took pride in leading youth retreats especially in Kujenga Leadership retreats. One of his favorite slogans was “We don’t fear the future, we embrace it.” He helped many teenagers stay away from drugs, so that parents loved him. Always a “people person,” he didn’t preach selfless service, but selfless service, leading from the front. Brother Bob’s leadership skills were evident while serving on the Midwest Provincial Council for seven years, being chosen to be the Assistant Provincial in 2000. He was unanimously elected Provincial Superior in 2003. Even in this new responsibility, Brother Bob maintained his friendly out-going interest in people and ministries in the Midwest Province and on trips to Ghana and Bangladesh. He had a strong belief in the help of Blessed Moreau and St. André Bessette. When a decision had to be made, he would pray over it and was firm and unafraid in making it and moving forward. When his role as Provincial Superior ended in 2009, he spent the last four years of his life in Schubert Villa and Dujarie House in South Bend, IN with people who were so dear to his heart. His brother, Rick, said in his eulogy that “Bob’s life and accomplishments touched so many people that they all could fill Notre Dame’s stadium more than ten times over.”
Rev. Louis Job L’Etourneau, C. S. C. (1828-1910)
“Notre Dame’s oldest priest is dead at the age of 82. He was also the oldest resident of the university community in point of service. Rev. Father L’Etourneau died at 9 o’clock last night, following an illness of several weeks. He will be buried in [the] Notre Dame community cemetery [Holy Cross] Saturday, following services and the celebration of solemn requiem mass in Sacred Heart Church. The students will attend the mass. Rev. Father L’Etourneau was a priest at Notre Dame for more than half a century, and he held many high offices in the Catholic church and was a former head [Provincial] of the Holy Cross order [Congregation], an office now held by the Very Rev. Andrew Morrissey, [C.S.C.] in the United States. He was also assistant superior-general. He was born in Detroit, Mich., Oct. 3, 1828. He finished his theological work in Italy and was ordained a priest in Rome in 1857. Father L’Etourneau’s parents came to this country from France in the early days of the last century. They amassed considerable wealth and as a young priest he inherited much money which he devoted entirely to charity, one of his gifts to Notre Dame being Corby [H]all. Father L’Entourneau in life linked the past generations of the college with the present. He was one of the most popular priests the members of the university alumni of the past generation recall. For 25 years he held the honored position of master of novices at Notre Dame. He was also for a time superintendent [superior] of the community house [Columba Hall]. After his ordination in Rome, Father L’Etourneau visited France and was present at one of the greatest events in Catholic history of the 19th century, the exercises in the establishment of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception” (South Bend Tribune. Thursday, October 20, 1910).
Sister Paula (Winifred) Casey, C.S.C. (1836-1927)
“Sister Paula, a young novice who had left her family in Ireland entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross at age nineteen. She had only been in the convent three years in 1861 before she was sent to Saint John’s Hospital in Cairo [Illinois]. Out of the freshness of youth, she describes the appalling conditions of the hospital upon her arrival. ‘As we stepped in-to [sic] each room on the first-floor [sic] what a frightful sight stared us in the face. Every room was strewn with human legs and arms.…At this time the fighting was going on in good earnest. We were shown through the different wards by the genial Dr. Burke, but O! terrors. We could see nothing but human flesh everywhere around some of the wards on the first floor [that] resembled a slaughter house the wals [sic] were so splattered with blood …. Sister M. Isadore and I cried with horror until we were tired. to [sic] our heart-felt disappointment we met far more than we expected or ever thought of. of [sic] course we never knew what war was until that 7 day of Dec. 1861. Then we tasted it to the fullest extent.’ [She goes on to say] ‘Mother Augusta was in charge of the hospital at Cairo. Mother looked at us both [Sister Isadore] a kind, pitying look, and said now stop, you are here and must put your heart and Soul to the work. Pin up your habits, we will get three brooms, three buckets of water and we will first begin by washing the walls and then the floors.” Sister Paula reported that they succeeded in cleaning the hospital after ‘some days and nights of constant brooming and watering’”. Father Moreau called the novice nursing sisters back to Notre Dame. The sisters responded obediently to the superior general, yet many felt guilty that they were leaving their patients. “Sister Paul evokes a compelling image [of these feelings] in her recollections. She recalled that they left at night, but as they were preparing to leave, the mules that were to take them to the railroad station ran away. Sister Paul lamented, ‘The poor mules understanding the situation of the whole affair talked the matter over between themselves and naturaly [sic] came to the conclusion. If we take those sisters to meet the train it will surely be a great injustice to the poor sick and dying, and again it will stir up the wrath of Dr. Franklin which is always near at hand. No we will not take them we will break loose and run away and hide in the woods until morning, and so they did….The night was extremely warm….neither moon nor stars were visible. They too seemed not pleased with our leaving the poor sick and dying as they refused their light and …. hid behind the thick clouds which guarded them well’” ( extracted from Wall, Barbara Mann. “Grace Under Pressure: The Nursing Sisters of the Holy Cross, 1861-1865” as published in Nursing History Review, Vol. 1, 71-78, 1993).