Bob Collins, Don Garvin, Indiana Falconers Association
Hawk Chalk Vol. XXXII No. 3 December 1993
Brother Edwin Mattingly, C.S.C.
Brother Edwin Mattingly, an unusual combination of Catholic Brother in Holy
Cross, entrepreneur, ornithologist, teacher and falconer, died October 16 at the
age of 75 after a long struggle with leukemia. He came to a number of NAFA
Meets some years ago, and was a well-known falconer in Indiana. He became
principal of Catholic Central High School in South Bend at the early age of
32. He spent most of his career teaching in Catholic high schools and schools
for boys. However, he had a substantial interlude in his teaching career, tak-
ing graduate work in Ornithology at the University of New Mexico starting in
1969, and in 1974 founded his own company to clear birds from Air Force run-
ways using falcons. After the bird control program was phased out, he returned
to teaching. Starting in 1984, he taught biology at St. Patrick High School in
Monrovia, Liberia, and while there he trained a hawk that he had caught be-
cause it had been raiding chickens from a Catholic mission in the interior of
Liberia. On a return for leave to the U.S. he was diagnosed with the disease
of which he died, but gamely taught a course in the environment at Holy Cross
College in Notre Dame, Indiana, from 1989 until he became too ill to continue.
Brother Mattingly will be missed.
A Eulogy:
Brother Edwin Mattingly, C.S.C.
— by Brother James Newberry, CSC
On behalf of Edwin’s Brothers in Holy Cross I wish
to express to Albert’s brothers, his other relations,
and the friends assembled here, our condolences.
To my Brothers in Holy Cross I also wish to extend
condolences, for we, too, have lost a Brother.
Brother Edwin Mattingly was a gentleman, a
teacher, a biologist, friend and condant to youths
and his Brothers, and a falconer. I have chosen to
mention this life-long interest and hobby because
I intend to make use of this imagry to describe
Between a falconer and his hawk a strong bond
must be formed that they may work together in
their mission. To train a hawk, as I watched Edwin
do in Liberia, great patience is required to develop
the mutual trust of man of bird as well as bird of
man. At rst a hood is attached to restrain its ight.
But one day the man must risk letting his hawk
y free, bribing the bird’s return with bait held in a
gloved hand. A whistled command hopefully con-
ditions the bird to return to the hand. If the bond-
ing has taken and the bird is not distracted by the
world, it returns and the falconer and hawk begin
their life together.
Albert Matingly went to Watertown in 1933 at the
age of fteen. His brother Tom had preceded him
there a few years earlier. I was told that Albert’s
and Tom’s mother was fairly condent of her el-
der son’s chances of perseverance, but ques-
tioned Albert’s call to be a Brother. Albert, to as-
sure his mother of his maturity, informed her that
should he have to come home he would sell his
new portable typewriter to pay for the ticket back
to Indianapolis.
Brother Liguori remembers Albert as a boy with
a strong arm for baseball. He could easily pick
up Liguori’s hard hit y balls and wing them back
from deep in the outeld. Liguori also describes
Albert as a manly youngster who demanded clean
play. He respected authority and told Liguori some
years later that he liked Liguori because he was
a no-nonsense teacher who knew his stuff. Tom
Mattingly found that he had another calling, Albert
stayed on.
On August 16,1937 Albert Mattingly became
Brother Edwin Mattingly and the Lord began, after
his novitiate training, to let him y on the tether of
his annual vows. In 1940 he professed his per-
petual vows and pledged to return to the Lord’s
outstretched hand whenever he whistled. He went
to work for Christ.
Recognizing his gifts and strong personal charac-
ter and a willingness to engage himself with oth-
ers, he was sent rst to Father Gibautt School for
Boys. Altogether he spent eleven years at Gibault
and four years at St. Charles Boy’s Home. To hear
him speak of those years would have led you to
falsely believe that he was one hard nosed prefect
and teacher. The truth is that he did give tough
love and the youth in those homes responded with
their respect and love for him.
Brother’s talents for administration were tried ear-
ly when he was appointed principal of Catholic
Central High School in South Bend. It is interest-
ing to note that he was just 32 years old at the
May I dare to speculate that in about 1969 this
hawk became a bit restless and wished for some
free ight. It was in that year that Edwin asked for
and received permission to pursue a doctorate in
ornithology at the University of New Mexico. He
was not successful in adding PhD after his name
(through no particular fault of his, I’m told), but
he did earn a contract with the United States Air
Force who were investigating the use of hawks
to scare ocks of birds off the jet runways. He re-
mained with this program for a year and then it
was phased out by the Air Force.
Hearing again, perhaps the Lord’s whistle, Edwin
came to Rolling Prairie where he set up an ofce
for Bird Control, Inc. He had hopes of continuing
his services in a private enterprise. Only one con-
tract, he told me, came his way. Thus nding no
market for his services and losing rst one hawk
to sickness and then the other to a free spirit, and
then having to give his dog Brandy away because
it could not adjust to rural living, Brother settled into
becoming a part of the LeMans Academy staff. He
taught in the middle school and served the com-
muniity as its Superior, ft was here he turned 65
and prepared to retire.
Meanwhile in Liberia, West Africa, an old canoeing
friend heard of his plans. Brother Donard Steffes,
who was teaching at St. Patrick’s High School,
Monrovia, urged me to contact Edwin and invite
him to join us. I did and he came to teach biology.
This, despite his doctor’s caution concerning re-
cent evidence of high blood pressure. I recall how
his introduction in his second week of residence
was rather rude. His pocket was picked and he
lost among other things his Liberian drivers license
which it had taken him two weeks and much has-
sling to acquire. That evening it was returned and
for a small fee of $15.00 US he had his papers
back. The “special agents” who returned the wal-
let said he was so very fortunate that they had
observed the theft and followed the thief.
Photo by Kenn Filkins
Photo by Kenn Filkins
Edwin’s contribution to our Liberian community and
the school are one of those immeasurable items.
His popularity with students, staff and the mem-
bers of the Catholic Mission was immediate and
spontaneous. As a further contribution to Liberian
education he persuaded his brother, Father Basil,
then of St. Meinrad’s, to come and teach at the
Seminary. When a Salesian priest friend in the in-
terior complained to Edwin about a hawk that was
getting his chickens, Edwin built a trap and caught
the critter. He spent hours and days training this
bird of prey until he had it to the point it would y
free and return. Unfortunately, he was not able to
nd anyone to take it over when he went for his
annual leave and so had to let it go.
On his second vacation trip he learned that he had
leukemia and could not return. Not ready to give
up yet, he did battle with the disease and won the
rst round. He hired on at the college to teach a
course in environment. Because there was no text
he liked, he wrote one and taught up until the end
of the rst semester of 1992. He was not ready
to quit yet and in January entered the hospital to
again take up the battle. No one knows, I’m sure,
just how much pain there was in his ailments.
Nor when it had begun. He had been covering for
some time and kept up his pipe and spiked 7-up to
bear the day. Radiation had its predictable poison-
ing effect and he went down fast - BUT - he did not
quit. His brothers came from Arizona, Indianapolis
and California to say good-by. But Edwin each time
rose up and gave the impression that he would be
well tomorow.
One night I came at Brother Tom’s suggestion for
it appeared it might be his last lucid night. When I
arrived, I found him asleep and so I sat with my ro-
sary until he woke. We nished it together and then
he asked me why I had come. I said I had come to
say good-by in case he was no longer there when
I came again. As I left him that evenng, he said
rmly, “I’m not ready to go yet.” And he didn’t.
Once, with him at the hospital, I asked him if he
could still pray. “When it hurts too bad and I think
I will not be able to go on, I pray and give it to the
Lord. And if it really gets bad, I reach for my ro-
sary. That always helps.”
Brother Edwin Wlattingly was a hawk - a Red Tail
maybe. Courageous, stubborn, a sharp eye on the
souls to be taught, saved for the Lord. He knew
who the Falconer was and surrendered totally to
His control. And now in that paradox of man’s re-
lations with his God Edwin ies free with his
Creator and Master.
“And He will raise him up on eagle wings,
bear him on the breath of dawn,
make him to shine like the sun,
and hold him in the palm of His hand.”
SUNDAY, The Indianapolis Star Magazine
December 5, 1965
Photo by Kenn Filkins