Br. Francis J. Gorch, C.S.C.

GorchBr. Francis J. Gorch, C.S.C.
Nov. 7, 1922-Nov. 14, 2015

Notre Dame, Ind. Br. Francis John Gorch, C.S.C., 93, died on Saturday, November 14, 2015, at Holy Cross House.

Watch Br. Gorch’s Funeral Mass

He was born on Nov. 7, 1922, to Victor and Stella (Wenzel) Gorch in Manistee, Mich. He graduated from Manistee High School before entering Holy Cross Seminary. He entered Sacred Heart Novitiate in Aug. 15, 1947, and made his First Profession of Vows on Aug. 16, 1948. Br. Gorch made his Final Vows on Aug. 16, 1951.

From 1948 to 1952, he was assigned to Holy Cross Seminary, where he was the Commissioner, which meant serving seven community houses with daily delivery of Notre Dame buns; twice a week trips into town for special purchases; and picking up the laundry for each house. Br. Gorch also was in charge of the community cemetery.

In 1952, Br. Gorch was assigned to the Provincial House as director of maintenance. In 1953, he moved for the first time to the Notre Dame Fire House, while assisting with maintenance at the community infirmary. From 1955 to 1960, he was Assistant Manager at the Notre Dame Bookstore. The next three years (1960-1963) he worked in the Treasurer’s Office of the University and then three years (1963-1966) at Sacred Heart Church, providing the University with Altar Hosts for the celebration of the Eucharist. While performing these tasks during the day, Br. Gorch spent his evening prefecting in Badin, Zahm and Breen-Phillips residence halls, until he moved into the firehouse in 1966. From 1966 until his retirement from the University in 1999, he worked in LaFortune Student Center as its Director and Overseer. In recognition of his hard work and service to the University and its students, the game room in the basement of LaFortune is named the Gorch Game Room. Br. Gorch also had responsibility for the management and care of Washington Hall for seven years.

Br. Gorch lived at the Notre Dame Fire House, the last of a long line of dedicated Holy Cross Brothers to do so, from 1989 to 1999. He moved to Corby Hall in 1999. He maintained the Community’s Creevy House in Lakeside, Mich., for 12 years until 2002 and saw to the upkeep of the old classroom building that went with Holy Cross Seminary. He moved to Holy Cross House in 2010. Br. Gorch celebrated 65 years of religious profession in 2013.

Preceding him in death are his parents, Victor and Stella Gorch; brothers, Raymond Gorch, Harry Gorch, and Edward Gorch; and sisters, Elizabeth Gorch and Josephine Goodrich. He is survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins.

The Visitation will be from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 17, 2015) at Moreau Seminary, where there will be a Wake Service at 7:30 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 18, 2015) at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame. Members of the Notre Dame Fire Department will be pallbearers. Burial will be in the community cemetery at Notre Dame. Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, is in charge of the arrangements.

Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online at

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