Tag Archives: Notre Dame

Basil Moreau: Essential Writings by Kevin Grove and Andrew Gawrych

  1. A good biography on a great man. Basil Moreau founded and lead the congregation of the Holy Cross for nearly 30 years
Key Takeaways
  1. Above everything else, Father Moreau believed that the imitation of Christ is the key to success and happiness in life. Central to this was love of the cross – “Learning to love the cross as a sign of real hope was the spiritual core of Moreau’s theology
  2. “Love causes love. Never underestimate the power in this.” – Fr. Moreau
  3. Moreau was known for his unrelenting confidence in the beauty of the future
  4. Amazing that an unknown local seminary professor funded a fully global religious order in the Congregation of Holy Cross
  5. “This integrated theology flows from Moreau’s belief that to imitate Jesus Christ is “to seek to know Jesus Christ. By studying him, you will come to know him. By knowing him, you will come to love him. By loving him, you will be imbued with his Spirit and thenceforth you will imitate him.” Thus, for Moreau, a faith that seeks understanding is also a faith that practices imitation. It is this combination of study and imitation that then yields a “knowledge of Jesus Christ that is life-giving, profound, luminous and practical.”
  6. The French Revolution played an important role in Moreau’s intellectual, spiritual and educational formation – focus on charity as well as rigorous study schedule with prayer, fasting and mortification
  7. Moreau had three main intellectual and spiritual influences – Sulpician and French School spiritualization, Ignatius of Loyola (ongoing development of the community’s spiritual lives); liturgical spirituality through Dom Gueranger at Solesmes and silent retreats at La Trappe
  8. Moreau spent over 29 years, more than half his priesthood, founding, shaping, teaching and leading the international congregation of educators
  9. Holy Cross predates Moreau but he was the one to formalize it by joining the Brothers of St. Joseph with the Auxiliary priests
  10. Religious life with communal living of vows of poverty, chastity and obedience was central to Moreau’s vision for the Holy Cross
  11. Two main reasons for resignation as superior general of the Holy Cross – Financial woes and disagreements concerning governance of the Sisters (Vatican wanted a separate governance structure but this unity was central to Moreau’s vision)
  12. Sorin took over as super general once Moreau resigned and moved the general administration to Notre Dame which upset Moreau as they had an informal agreement that it would stay in France
  13. Moreau’s spiritual emphases include divine providence, union and zeal but all inherently tie back to imitating Christ
  14. One must continually strive for a perfect life which includes a life of obedience, discipline, punctuality, community spirit, zeal for the interior life, edification and devotion to work.
  15. Circular Letter 14 (pg. 379) lays out Moreau’s vision for the Holy Cross. It is a short read and worthwhile
What I got out of it
  1. Interesting read on a man who came from a small town and through hard work and a great vision was able to set up an international congregation for educators

Winning Every Day by Lou Holtz

  1. Holtz’s beliefs as a coach for building a successful team / organization
Key Takeaways
  1. WIN – What’s Important Now. Take care of that and one thing and everything else will become easier
  2. Power of attitude – what you attempt to do is determined by your motivation. How well you do something is determined by your attitude
  3. Tackle Adversity
  4. Have a sense of purpose
  5. Make sacrifice your ally – take pride in making sacrifices and having self-discipline
  6. Adapt or die
  7. Chase your dreams
  8. Nurture your self-image – a positive self-image grows out of having strong character
  9. Foster trust – is this the right thing to do?
  10. Commit to excellence
  11. Handle with care
What I got out of it
  1. Good book with some great advice. Can’t go wrong following any of this

True Success by Tom Morris


  1. One of the most common maladies of our time is a misunderstanding of success. In this book Morris lays out the simple truth about success, what it is and how to have it
Key Takeaways
  1. Socrates determined that most people spend the most attention on the least important things and the least attention on the most important things
  2. There are 7 C’s of Success, 7 components of a successful mindset, 7 means to a successful life
    1. Conception – you need a clear and precise conception of what you want, a vivid vision, a goal or set of goals powerfully imagined
    2. Confidence – you need a strong confidence that you can attain your goals
    3. Concentration – you need a focused concentration on what it takes to reach your goal
    4. Consistency – you need a stubborn consistency in pursuing our vision, a determined persistence in thought and action
    5. Commitment – you need an emotional commitment to the importance of what you’re doing and to the people with whom you are doing it
    6. Character – you need a good character to guide you and keep you on a proper course
    7. Capacity – you need a capacity to enjoy the process along the way
  3. If you’re after power, understand power for what purpose
  4. The happiest people in the world are people who love what they are doing, regardless of whether wealth, fame, power and elevated social status ever come their way. The happiest people in the world realize that true success is up to them – using their talents and following their heart to bring about important change in their lives and lives of others
  5. Self-knowledge is the greatest source of personal power on this earth
  6. We need to put aside time to simply sit and think – to understand ourselves, what we want, what we love and value
  7. Goals must be clear and specific
  8. Satisfaction Audit – asking yourself what you like and dislike in your life and how to go about changing what you dislike
  9. Self-knowledge, self-discovery and self-definition
  10. Our values give rise to our goals
  11. Goals and desires are subtly but very different – you can’t have a goal that you don’t intend to act on
  12. Imagination is more important than knowledge
  13. Losers visualize the penalties of failure where winners visualize the rewards of success
  14. Good to ask yourself what the worst case scenario is – it is often not nearly as bad as we initially make it out to be
  15. Do everything to the best of your ability – that way you can look back on your life with no/few regrets
  16. Celebrate, no matter how small, whenever you reach a goal
  17. Whenever you achieve your goals, you must set yourself new goals immediately
  18. We all need support when we confront something difficult – need cheerleaders (Stutman)
  19. It’s easy to underestimate the power of negative thinking
  20. Precursive faith – faith that runs ahead of evidence
  21. You can’t please everybody. Don’t even try and don’t let it bother you
  22. Nothing worth doing is easy
  23. By learning how not to do something, you put yourself in a position so that you’ll be able to do it. Failure = learning
  24. Aim to be a realistic optimist
  25. Important to communicate confidence to yourself with self-talk and to others through how you carry yourself, what you do, how you speak/dress, etc.
  26. One of the most elusive traits today is self-esteem, aim to be moderately high in this arena
  27. Third party compliments do amazing things (Stutman)
  28. Nothing builds your own confidence like the hard work of good preparation
  29. The most consistently lucky people happen to be those who are best prepared
  30. “Everything we do can be, in one way or another, preparation for what we can contribute in this life. The good we do, and even the mistakes we make, can prepare us for greater good. But I cannot stress too much the importance of deliberate, thoughtful and specific creative preparation for any success we hope to attain.”
  31. Most people underestimate their limits and underestimate their strengths
  32. Intelligent preparation can make hard work much easier – knowledge itself is leverage
  33. Little things mean a lot and can make all the difference
  34. Expect the unexpected – even the best plans are made with incomplete knowledge
  35. What seems very bad at the time can turn out to be very good in the end
  36. Fail soon, fail often, fail forward
  37. No matter what, always learn from your failures
  38. Do not think that a successful plan, thought process, goal, etc. will translate into a different context
  39. Always look for the sages – the guys who have been around forever and have seen a lot
  40. Most successful people love to magnify their success through younger people
  41. Must know when to be stubborn and consistent in your goal but also when to be flexible in your approach
  42. Small inconsistencies should never be ignored
  43. The 5-I Framework for Positive Change – Ignorance, Indifference, Inertia, Information, Imagination
  44. Enthusiasm – theos (God) en (infused)
  45. Energy, enthusiasm, emotional commitment is the ultimate aphrodisiac. People are attracted to people who care
  46. “By the work one knows the workman” – Jean de la Fontaine
  47. Successful living and successful working is a process of self-discovery, self-invention, self-discipline and self-indulgence
  48. Make everything sacred. Aim to only have beautiful things around you
  49. Have to work in renewal and relaxation – learn when to take a break, stretch out, gain perspective and slow down. Better to sprint and rest than slowly trot along (The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working)
  50. Selfishness is self-destructive
  51. Elevate characteristics and not people
  52. Arete = excellence, virtue (human excellence and ethics are one in the same)
  53. “I believe I have an ethical obligation to be the best I can be in everything I do, across a broad range of activities, compatible with the realities of my situation.”
  54. Avoid compartmentalization – integrate all parts of your life
  55. “True success is best thought of not as a far off destination, or an end state of any kind, but as a process, a dynamic process of successful living…Enjoyment should not be the end goal but interwoven through the way.”
  56. Enjoyment must come from within
  57. Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems
  58. Be people’s biggest fan – celebrate with them, appreciate them, acknowledge them (Stutman)
  59. We tend to enjoy whatever we are doing the most when we are most immersed in it
  60. We are happy when we are growing
  61. Everyone needs a sense of uniqueness, a sense of union with something larger than the self, a sense of usefulness and a sense of understanding
What I got out of it
  1. One of my favorite books of the year – success needs to be interwoven into your daily routine/journey, 7 C’s of Success

God, Country, Notre Dame by Theodore Hesburgh


  1. Really good autobiography by Father Hesburgh – discusses his childhood, upbringing, studies at the Gregorian school in Rome, involvement in Civil Rights, Nuclear Disarmament, politics in Washington, obviously the running of Notre Dame, etc.
Key Takeaways
  1. The next rule in coping with an excess of personal commitments is to do what you are doing flat out, giving it your full, undivided attention. Don’t worry about what you just did. When you leave it, leave it. Don’t worry about what you have to do tomorrow; time enough for that tomorrow. Give the present task full attention, with no concern for what is coming up next in line or what has just been passed.
  2. The real secret to handling the demands upon you is possessing inner peace. No matter what the problems, the tensions, the pressures, one can only help oneself by thinking clearly and acting calmly and resolutely.
  3. One of the greatest modern heresies that I hear from time to time is that in our modern world on person cannot make a difference. I do not believe that for one moment. I know it is factually inaccurate. And I never hesitate to say so, especially to our students at Notre Dame. One person or group of persons can make an enormous difference in our lives and our way of living.
What I got out of it
  1. Amazing man and it is so incredible what he was able to accomplish in one lifetime. He lived through some of the most stressful but life-changing periods in history with Civil Rights, the Cold War, nuclear proliferation, etc. happening on a day to day basis.