The Editors | Summer 2017
On July 31, 1835, Father Stephen Badin, the first priest ordained in the United States, transfers his claim to 524 acres of land at Sainte-Marie-des-Lacs, which he had intended for the creation of an orphan asylum, to the bishop of Vincennes, Indiana. Seven years later the bishop turns over the property to a 28-year-old missionary priest from France, Father Edward Frederick Sorin of the Congregation of Holy Cross, to build a school.
On November 26, 1842, or maybe November 27, Father Sorin and his Holy Cross brothers — grateful for a meal of hot soup and bread at the home of fur trapper Alexis Coquillard after an 11-days’ journey through “Siberian” cold — brush aside offers of a bed and ask to be led to their new mission field.
After spending a frigid winter exposed to the elements and trying to rebuild Badin’s dilapidated cabin-chapel, Sorin and his brothers finish patching the roof on March 19, 1843.