Hard as it is to imagine, the season of Advent and the new liturgical year is just days away. As we are reminded each year, Advent is a season when Christians throughout the world rededicate themselves to waiting in hope. We anticipate the coming of Christ, the light of the world, who scatters the darkness of sin and shatters the bonds of death. We prepare to celebrate Christ’s coming in history at Christmas; we ponder the ways that he comes to us in mystery even now, especially in the Eucharist; and we look forward to his coming in glory at the end of time.
Hidden among tall trees and larger sites like the log chapel, the Grotto, and Old College is the Founder’s Monument, which commemorates the arrival of Fr. Edward Sorin and seven Holy Cross brothers in 1842. A statue of St. Joseph holding the child Jesus overlooks Saint Mary’s Lake. Across the pathway, a sign presents Fr. Sorin’s letter to Blessed Basil Moreau, sharing the joy of arrival and imagining what God, in his providence, might one day do with the gift of this place.
Built in 1843 by Fr. Sorin and seven Holy Cross Brothers, Old College is the oldest building on the Notre Dame campus. The simple brick structure has had many uses over the years, including a student dormitory, classrooms, a clothing room, a bakery, and even a dining hall.
Built in 1831 as the headquarters for French missionaries working in northern Indiana, the Log Chapel was the first building on what is now Notre Dame’s campus. Fr. Sorin received the Log Chapel, along with the rest of the campus property, when he arrived in 1842. This one-room cabin with an attic served all of Notre Dame’s needs during its first year.
We can look to the heavens, or the mountains, or the vast ocean and marvel at the work of our creator. The Lord reveals himself to us through his creation, and when we take a moment to stop and behold his majesty, we are in awe. But what about the pinnacle of God’s creation? What about the human person?