THE NOTRE DAME FIRE DEPARTMENT
STAFFED BY THE BROTHERS AND PRIESTS OF HOLY CROSS
1846 – C1990
This photo was taken in 1902 and it features the Brothers of Holy Cross who staffed the Notre Dame Fire Company from 1846 through c.1990. The last brother to hold the title of fire chief is Brother Borromeo (Thomas) Malley (1913-1994) who directed the department for nearly fifty years.
The brothers’ names are listed to the right: each of them had many more careers than putting out campus fires. Some became legendary among the members of the community.
The first brother on the left, holding the ax, is Brother Peter Claver Hosinski who in 1910 became the founding principal of Holy Trinity High School in Chicago, IL. He would also serve as a Bengal missionary for many years. Several members of his family joined Holy Cross: his sister, Sister Severina, and two of his brothers and an uncle became Holy Cross Priests. Father Ted Hesburgh’s personal secretary for over thirty years was Mrs. Helen Hosinski.
To Hosinski’s left is Brother Bernard Gervais, an incredibly gifted man who held many positions of authority in the congregation. Over a space of many years he created le Matricule, the membership register, listing the names of all of the men who joined the Congregation of Holy Cross – priests and brothers – beginning in 1820 with Abbé Dujarié as number 1. The detailed list ends with number 5,700, Frère Gabriel (Jean-August Rondel). Gervais worked on this list from 1936 through 1941.
The third member is Brother Raymond Ott peeking over Brother Bernard’s shoulder. He worked at the Ave Maria Press and was a canvasser – a salesman – of the Ave Maria for nearly thirty-five years. The Fourth is Brother Walter Remlinger, who also became a Bengal missionary. He contracted a fatal form of malaria and was sent back to Notre Dame where he was celebrated as a very holy brother because of enduring such a “torturous death”.
Brother Maximum Czyzewski is the fifth man who went on to serve as a teacher at Holy Trinity High School for fifty-four years, and he was the fourth principal from 1917-1920. Father James S. Ready, number six, would go on to be appointed in 1918, the vice president of Columbia University in Portland, OR, now the University of Portland.
Brother James, number seven, is the one of the “lost brothers” as there are no documents to be found about his years in Holy Cross. So also, with Brother number nine. Under a magnifying glass his name appears to be Brother Assisi; however, there is no such name in le Matricule. There is a possibility that this is Brother Arsenius Luther, and he would be about the right age of the man pictured.
Number eight, Brother Stanislaus Kurowski, was an elementary teacher, accomplished organist and dramatist who worked at St. Hedwig’s Parish and School in South Bend. And the last, Brother Ernest Heller, number ten, was a teacher and the third Bengal missionary.
Yes, the early brothers and priests were jacks-of-all-trades, and, truly, the masters of most of them. Ave Crux Spes Unica.