ADRIAN HUGH McGUIRE, C.S.C.
Adrian H. McGuire arrived at Holy Cross Seminary in the
Fall of 1938 to begin studies for
the Priesthood in Holy Cross. Adrian came from a farming family in Wisner, Nebraska. He
had 11 brothers and three sisters. He comments in one of his letters that he will not send
each family member a letter - just one letter to everyone would have to be enough. His
family transcribed his letters to them and bound them in a volume - two of these are in the
Province Archives collection.
Adrian had to get in some makeup work before University
work at Notre Dame. He seems
to have fit in well enough, except, understandably, in Philosophy which was at that time
taught in Latin.
His family preserved his letters to them in these years
when he was in Holy Cross. The
letters reveal a young man with a continuing interest in the farming life he had left - the
horses, the crops, the rain or lack of it, the livestock, the family pets, and the like. They
also show a young man of some athletic interest and ability - his delight, for example, as a
pitcher in striking out Frs. Grimm and Fiedler twice in a Seminary baseball game.
But the letters show also a young man of deepening intensity
in his desire to serve the Lord
in the priesthood. He kept careful notes on each meeting with his spiritual director who
must have tried to soften a bit his grim determination to correct his faults and make of
himself a better person in answer to his vocational calling.
He entered the Novitiate at Rolling Prairie in the summer
of 1940. To his delight, he was
assigned to work mostly on the farm there and with the livestock. He admits his pride in
bulldozing a heifer trying to get away from the vaccination needle, thus amazing his fellow
novices at his skill. But continuously the desire to serve the Lord free of hypocrisy and
responsive to the grace and goodness shown him shines through his letters and notes. He
approached his first profession of vows with conviction that it was up to him to live as he
Adrian returned to Moreau Seminary in the summer of 1941.
Classes at Notre Dame now
did not seem so strange or difficult, and his hard work at them with careful guidance from
his director resulted in a growing happiness in his vocation. He began to dream of work in
the priesthood in a farming community much like his home had been.
In late August of 1942, after summer school at Notre Dame,
the Moreau seminarians were
allowed to go to camp at Bankson Lake, about 30 miles north of Notre Dame. Bro. Ludger
Schaub recalled waving a greeting to Adrian and a companion as they went out sailing on
September 3. Brother Ludger continued hiking around the lake when he suddenly noticed
that the sailboat had capsized. One person could be seen swimming to shore. Concerned,
Brother began to run back to the Moreau camp for help, since there had been two on board
the sailboat. Had Adrian been hit by the boat, suffered from cramps? No one would ever
know. His body was rescued from the lake later that afternoon.
His last letter to his family, dated August 16, 1942,
reflects on the anniversary of his
“A year ago today I made my first profession...I have not regretted the
date. The future depends to a certain degree to your prayers for me. God’s
will be done!”
Adrian Hugh McGuire rests in our Community Cemetery in
the section reserved for young