Brother Cosmas (Alphonse) Guttly, C.S.C. (1893-1992)

image1 (8).jpgHe spent hours at the Grotto. Corby Hall, adjacent to the Grotto, was his home for nearly 45  years. Brother Cosmas was often seen tidying up the Grotto, resting, talking to people, and tending the flower beds there and around Corby Hall.  One day, a secretary on campus was walking toward the Grotto on a lunch break when she saw Brother Cosmas hunched over a flower bed near Corby Hall. She thought he was ill and went to help him. When she got closer to him, she realized that he was weeding it. He also helped in the church and sacristy. For years this quaint, frail little man, with the round wire-rimmed glasses and black cassock, was a familiar sight to many as he quietly served the priests during Mass at Sacred Heart Church. He was revered by priests and lay people alike as a very holy man. In between church services, and his other work, he was always at the Grotto. One day a week he would go to Holy Cross House, the retirement home for priests image2on the campus. There he would help his “good buddy,” Brother Edward, attend the infirm priests who said their daily Mass in the long corridor of sit-down altars for use by priests in wheelchairs. Then he would return to the Sacred Heart Church in time for the 5 o’clock service. Brother Cosmas came from Switzerland. He was a businessman before he became a Brother in mid life, after the death of his wife and child in childbirth. He was gifted in many ways. His daily devotion to the Grotto and its surroundings was captured in a unique, unidentified, full page photograph of him in the back of the 1990 Dome. He was sitting alone on a secluded park bench, dressed in his black cassock, head bowed, meditating or praying a little distance from the Grotto. With his back to the camera he could not have known the picture was being taken. Only those who knew Brother Cosmas well would have known it was him. Very soon after the picture was taken he was confined, by his infirmities, to Holy Cross House. He died there two months after his 99th birthday

Father Gilbert Français, C.S.C. (1849-1929)

unnamed (11)He was born in 1849 in France and graduated from the Congregation’s College of St. Charles in St. Brieuc in Brittany. Gilbert entered the novitiate in Le Mans in 1867 where he would have met Blessed Moreau and pronounced vows in 1870. In 1872 he was assigned to teach at the Congregation’s college in Neuilly, a suburb of Paris. He served for a year on the staff of the novitiate and then was appointed director of the Neuilly school when its founder, Rev. Louis Champeau, C.S.C., died. At the General Chapter of 1892 he was elected co-adjutor Superior General with the right of succession. When Sorin died in 1893, Français became the Superior General. As Superior General, he labored to revive the community in France, including moving the General Administration back to France. Français was especially solicitous that the religious who were teaching earn degrees to insure the quality of their ministry. Responding to tension between priests and brothers, he vigorously supported the move of the brothers into secondary education in North America where they directed the schools that they staffed.  He wrote in a circular letter dated January 2, 1912: “From this time forward, the High School is the outstanding vocation for our Brothers! It is a vocation grander and more sublime than they themselves can conceive. Accordingly they must prepare themselves for it, in the first place by a reinforcement of their whole religious life, and then by a thoroughly well acquainted and well digested knowledge of the branches which under these new conditions they will be called upon to teach. And they must be vigorously encouraged and helped along in this new line of activity.” Father Français always promoted the religious life in his circular letters and several times visited the houses in Canada and the United States to encourage adherence to the Constitutions. He collaborated with other French religious to revive devotion to Blessed Moreau. When the French government passed laws in 1901 and 1904 abolishing religious congregations, Français moved the General Administration back to Notre Dame. His attempt to resign in 1920 was denied by the Vatican and instead he was given a co-adjutor, Rev. Andrew Morrissey, C.S.C., who died the following year. In poor health, Français was finally allowed to resign in 1926. He lived at St. Joseph’s Farm, Notre Dame, Indiana, and died there in 1929.

Sister Jarlath (Marie) Stanton, C.S.C. (1903-1931)

unnamed (13).jpgMarie Stanton received the habit of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1925 and was in the second band of Sisters to go to India in 1929.  The first four Sisters (Olga, Marie Estelle, Rose Monica and Rose Bernard) traveled to India as missionaries in 1924. Toward the end of October 1931, Sister Jarlath was stricken by influenza and died on November 1 in Toomiliah, India.  She was the first and youngest Sister of the Holy Cross to die in India. In the December issue of the periodical, Bengalese, she was memorialized by an unknown Sister of the Holy Cross. “Beneath the arched boughs of overhanging palm trees a flock of white-clad Indian girls are walking slowly.  Today the careless chatter of happy childhood accompanies not the jingle of silver bangles and anklets. Before a gently-sloping mound of newly turned raised earth they stop.  On the white cross they read: Sister M. Jarlath, C.S.C. With the traditional gesture of virginal modesty they cover their faces with their shawls. It is to hide their emotions and tears. Eyes and hearts are brimful of memories.  Only two years before she had come into their midst, a white angel from America. From the beginning the young Sister’s soft hand had caressed their oily tresses, and children had read sympathy in the grey eyes. Never was she impatient.  Her smile eased their pain. They had called her Rosheek, the Cheerful Nun. The children have scattered.  Now she rests. Far from the hills of Western Maryland that saw her first steps.  [Sister Jarlath] is the first-fruit of that tree transplanted four years ago by the Master Gardener from the plains of Indiana to the Plains of India.  She is the first-fruit plucked by the hands of Christ.”

 

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