Jason Kelly '95 | Summer 2017
Bishop Simon-Gabriel Bruté de Remur visited France in 1836 to petition and recruit. He needed money and men for his nascent missionary diocese in the United States that covered all of Indiana and part of Illinois, a 50,000-square-mile frontier of the faith.
Among the stops on Bruté’s tour was the St. Vincent Seminary in Le Mans. Most of the seminarians there, including 21-year-old Edouard-Frédéric Sorin, likely had never heard of the distant territories he represented.
Bruté’s charms in selling the place to his audiences, though ample and productive, were not of the chamber of commerce variety. He was 57 then but seemed much older, missing most of his teeth and possessing only halting command of both his native French, forgotten overseas, and the English of his home for the previous 25 years. Still, as had been the case all his life, people were taken with him.