Rev. Ernest J. Bartell, C.S.C.

Rev. Ernest J. Bartell, C.S.C.
January 22, 1932-April 16, 2020

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rev. Ernest J. Bartell, C.S.C., 88, died on Thursday, April 16, 2020, at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind., after a long illness.

Fr. Bartell was born to Joseph and Anne (Arturi) Bartell on January 22, 1932 in Chicago, Ill. He attended Fenwick High School in Chicago, Ill.

In 1953, he graduated with a Ph.B. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind. He received an A.M. in Economics from the University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill., in 1954. He also obtained an M.A. in Theology from Holy Cross College, Washington, D.C., in 1961, and a Ph.D. in Economics at Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., in 1966. Fr. Bartell also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from China Academy, Taipei, Taiwan (1975), St. Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, Ind. (1983), King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (1984), and Stonehill College, North Easton, Mass. (1992).

Fr. Bartell was received into the Congregation of Holy Cross on August 15, 1955, made his Profession of First Vows on August 16, 1956, and professed his Final Vows on August 16, 1959. He was ordained a priest on June 7, 1961.

After ordination, Fr. Bartell became involved in the formation of the first international service program for undergraduate volunteers at the University of Notre Dame, called the Community for the International Lay Apostolate, known by its acronym as CILA. He continued with CILA projects for twelve years.

From 1966 to 1971, Fr. Bartell taught in the Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., where he also served as chairman from 1968 to 1971. From 1969 to 1971, he was director of the Center for the Study of Man in Contemporary Society, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., and then served as president of Stonehill College, North Easton, Mass., from 1971 to 1977. From 1977 to 1980, Fr. Bartell was the director of the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, before returning to the University of Notre Dame, where he was professor of Economics until 1981. In 1981, Fr. Bartell was asked by Fr. Ted Hesburgh, C.S.C., to establish the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies and professor of Economics, where he served as executive director until his retirement in 1997. Fr. Bartell also served as fellow and trustee of the University of Notre Dame and professor emeritus of the same, and served on many boards of regents and trustees. Fr. Bartell was also listed as a noteworthy economist, educator and priest by Marquis Who’s Who. He entered Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind., in 2015.

Preceding him in death are his parents, Joseph and Anne Bartell. He is survived by his cousins, Russell Arturi and Mary Tassi.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a private committal service at the community cemetery at the University of Notre Dame. Later, when family, friends and former colleagues can travel and gather together, there will be a Memorial Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the University of Notre Dame campus. 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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