In memoriam: Brother Louis Hurcik, C.S.C., professor emeritus of physical education and wellness

Author: Michael O. Garvey

In memoriam: Brother Louis Hurcik, C.S.C.

Brother Louis Hurcik, C.S.C., professor emeritus of physical education and wellness at the University of Notre Dame, died Friday (Sept. 23) at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. He was 83.

A native of Chicago, Brother Louis attended St. Vitus Grade School and St. Ignatius High School there before entering the Brothers of Holy Cross in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and professing his final vows in 1955.

From his very first days as a Holy Cross religious, when he was appointed assistant sacristan in Sacred Heart Church (now the Basilica of the Sacred Heart), Brother Louis’ ministry was conducted entirely in and around the Notre Dame community. In 1960, he began working on the staffs of the Catholic Boy and Catholic Miss magazines then published by the Ave Maria Press, and in 1969 he was assigned to Little Flower Parish in South Bend. In 1970, he came to Notre Dame and began a nearly four-decade career as a teacher in the University’s Department of Physical Education.

A Notre Dame omnipresence in the days when the University required all undergraduate students to pass a swimming test, Brother Louis served for many years as director of the Rockne Memorial, taught generations of Notre Dame students how to swim and trained many others in Red Cross life-saving and CPR techniques. His career was all the more remarkable, in that he himself did not learn to swim until adulthood.

In 1989, the St. Joseph County Red Cross recognized Brother Louis for 33 years and 20,500 hours of continuous volunteer services as a life guard, and water and safety instructor, and CPR instructor. In 2010, he was honored by the Notre Dame Alumni Association with its Dr. William B. Sexton Award for “outstanding service (which) exemplifies the spirit of the University.”

Since retiring in 2008, Brother Louis worked at Notre Dame’s University Health Services as its webmaster. He moved to Holy Cross House in 2013.

Visitation will be from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 27) at Moreau Seminary, with a wake service at 7:30 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 28) in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Memorial contributions may be made to the United States Province of Priests and Brothers (Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556) or online at