The Meeting of the Directors of the missions of Holy Cross Family Ministries from around the world (a.k.a. Family Rosary International), which was held on November 19-24, was a microcosm of the Congregation of Holy Cross with its diversity, unity … and challenges! Every three years we bring this group together and this time we “came home” to our HCFM headquarters on the campus of Stonehill College near Boston.
Our ministry is established in 17 countries. Fr. Arulraj came from India, Sr .Catalina came from Chile, Br. Patrick came from Ghana – to name a few. Holy Cross Family Ministries is unique in the Congregation in its extension: Almost everywhere Holy Cross serves, HFCM is present.
It is beautiful to see the interweaving of the work begun by Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton throughout Holy Cross. This reveals the continuing importance of his simple, yet profound vision. Father Peyton was driven by a profound insight. He knew that the transmission of faith in the family is crucial for the Church and for the world and that Family Prayer, particularly of the Rosary, is a simple key.
In the gathering of all the directors, it was impressive to see how we are trying to “incarnate” this charism in many cultures. It was beautiful to see the successes and perplexing to face the challenges.
A meeting like this is for work! We needed to look at our mission in the world of today, particularly during this Year of Faith. What is our role in the New Evangelization?
Fr. Hugh Cleary, C.S.C., former Superior General of Holy Cross and HCFM Board Member, opened our reflections highlighting how the vision of our founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, is particularly relevant for an engagement with a world challenged by materialism and relativism, yet lost and searching for something more. Blessed Moreau called people to Christ who is Himself Love and Truth … “beyond mere humanistic faith ... [which is] limited to scientific logic and reason.” Our Patroness, Our Lady of Sorrows, “teaches the power of sacrificial love – the love that, ultimately, is life-giving to all.”
Fr. John Phalen, C.S.C., President of HCFM, continued, reflecting on the central importance of Marian Devotion in the life and work of Holy Cross, particularly in the personal lives of Blessed Moreau and Fr. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., Founder of the University of Notre Dame and long-time Superior General. It is important that we who serve in HCFM comprehend the deep roots of Fr. Peyton’s charism in Holy Cross itself – as well as our place in the continuing work of the Congregation.
At the same time, we need to realize that fidelity to their vision calls us to constant dedication to our own personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus and our Mother Mary through deep prayer. This is where we start from and where we always return!
The Year of Faith calls us all to begin re-enkindling the fire of faith in our own hearts! With this foundation, we face the challenges of sharing faith today through our Family Rosary ministry – in the home, in local Christian communities and, following in the footsteps of Fr. Peyton, through media. A good part of our meeting was dedicated to our HCFM digital media project.
Our challenge and our opportunity, as a diverse and global mission, is to be focused on a simple, profound vision, letting it manifest itself in many ways while we bring it together to weave a rich tapestry – like Mary´s mantle that covers the world with the love of God.
Fr. Jim Phalan, C.S.C., is the Director of Family Rosary International, which is a part Holy Cross Family Ministries. HCFM was founded by Servant of God Patrick Peyton, a Holy Cross priest who had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and preached that the “family that prays together, stays together.” Fr. Phalan will be writing for the Spes Unica Blog each month to share with us the great work of Family Rosary International, yet Family Ministries is one of the creative ways that Holy Cross continues to reach across borders of every sort to spread hope. Learn more about the missionary work of Holy Cross.