Brother Cajetan (Austin) Gallagher, C.S.C. (1855-1928)

Caj, as he was called, was a simple soul. He was born in Avon, New York, and it was in 1881 when he began to care for Father Sorin’s princes in St. Edward Hall. He had charge of the Minims and was the male counterpart of Sister Aloysius Mulcaire. Brother Caj worked with the minims for 46 years until the school was terminated in 1927.

He marched around the campus of the University of Notre Dame with a sawed-off broom-handle, which he called his wand, and he would gently tap the ankles of his charges to keep them in line when they were out on a walk. Caj was so gentle that he seemed like a shepherd guarding his lambs.  Sister Aloysius was the disciplinarian!

Brother Cajetan was a man of piety and wrestled with God in prayer. Once, when Father Cavanaugh received a letter from a parent of one of the minims complaining that Caj was a man of uncommon profanity, he thought the matter worth investigation. So, he interrogated the minim, who volunteered the information that “Brother Cajetan swears after we go to bed at night.” Father Cavanaugh stationed someone to listen. After the children had retired, sure enough, sighs and groans emanated from the Brother’s chamber in awesome waves through the walls of his tiny cell: “Lord, God! Lord, God! be merciful to me, a sinner! Oh, God Almighty! have pity on me!” Father Cavanaugh expressed himself satisfied with Brother Cajetan’s profanity. He made the remark: “If Brother Cajetan’s prayers are not heard in heaven, they certainly have been heard on earth!” (Adapted from Scholastic 1885; Religious Bulletin 1928; and the South Bend News-Time 1928)

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