Moreau Seminary is situated across St. Joseph’s Lake and just a quarter mile walk from the center of the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Named after Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, it serves as the major seminary for the Congregation in the United States. Seminarians live at Moreau and take their courses at the University of Notre Dame.
A bust of Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross and namesake of the seminary, as well as the original architectural drawings of the building welcome all who enter. It can be helpful to take in these renderings since Moreau Seminary is a fairly large building (an eighth of a mile long). Just beyond is the bulletin board with its usual postings of announcements and instructions that help the seminary run smoothly. It also serves as a convenient gathering point before heading off to class, ministry or social engagements.
At the heart of the seminary and its daily schedule is the Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Here the community gathers several times a day for Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. One of the prominent features of the Chapel are the stained glass windows designed and executed by Holy Cross priest and artist, Fr. Anthony Lauk, C.S.C. These windows depict the three archangels and two angels described in St. John’s vision in the Book of Revelation.
Perhaps the most unique opportunity for prayer at Moreau Seminary is the weekly candlelit liturgy called Lucernarium. This form of Compline, or Night Prayer, is prayed every Thursday evening and allows members of the campus communities a chance to pray with the seminarians of Moreau, as well as for seminarians to practice preaching in a liturgical setting.
Walk to Refectory
The regular routine of the seminary’s schedule frequently brings residents and guests down the central corridor of the seminary from the Chapel to the Refectory, or community dining room. This short walk provides a view of the courtyard below, and allows time for members of the house to connect on the happenings of the day.
Refectory (Dining Room)
All of the day’s meals are served and shared in the seminary refectory. Breakfast and lunch are served cafeteria style (from a buffet line over a set period of time), while dinner is served family style (gathering at a set time with the food brought to the table).
Seminarian rooms and lounges line the residential corridor of Moreau, where only Holy Cross religious and seminarians reside. While often marked by the quiet needed for prayer and study, the atmosphere is still socially oriented with doors often left open for seminarians to mix and build community.
Each seminarian is assigned his own room with a sink, dresser, desk, bed and other furniture. Though the size and furnishings of the rooms are standard, there is freedom for the seminarian to arrange and decorate the room to his taste.
Each seminarian’s suite comprises what were originally two seminarians’ rooms. Seminarians regularly arrange one of the suite’s rooms as a bedroom and the other as a study, giving them private space for both sleep and study.
Moreau Seminary maintains a substantial theological and philosophical library on site. With its continuously updated collection, the Moreau Library provides for all the research needs of the seminary community, and offers an additional quiet place for reading and study.
Moreau seminary also contains several social spaces for the seminarians and other Holy Cross religious of the house. On the residential floor there is a lounge where seminarians regularly gather to relax, share conversation, watch movies, or socialize over a board game.
Lower Rec Room
On the lower level of Moreau, alongside the seminary ‘s courtyard, is found the largest recreation room which is used for public gatherings, including the weekly soirees, or socials following Lucernarium.
Moreau Seminary is equipped with a full size gymnasium, which includes a basketball court, weight room, and racquetball courts. Athletically minded seminarians regularly gather to play pick-up games of basketball, especially in the months leading up to the annual seminary basketball tournament held every January in Chicago.
Just inside the front entrance of the seminary is Moreau’s auditorium. It is used for large presentation, lectures, house meetings, and screenings of movies or sporting events.
Place to Reflect
Inside and outside of Moreau there are many peaceful areas for quite reflection and study. These benches in the seminary courtyard look out over the St. Joseph’s Lake towards the Golden Dome of Notre Dame.
From the residential corridor on the second floor, seminarians can access the chapel balcony. It is the perfect space for making quick visits to the Blessed Sacrament throughout the day, and especially for one last visit before turning in at the end of the day.
Because some brave souls in the seminary community have enough faith to allow one of their fellow seminarians to cut their hair, there is a full barbershop on the residential floor of the seminary. In truth, some of the seminarians get to be quite skilled at barbering during their years in formation.
A popular feature of the first floor of Moreau is a wall displaying the pictures of all the Holy Cross religious who were ordained after living and studying in Moreau Seminary.
Come and See
If you are considering a vocation to the religious life or priesthood, please be in touch with the Office of Vocations about opportunities to come and visit Moreau Seminary. By visiting Moreau, you will not only have a better feel for the building, but you will be able to meet the men who make up the seminary community. It is often from such encounters that our visitors gain new insights into whether the Congregation of Holy Cross and Moreau Seminary is the right next step in answering God’s call.
Photographs 1 - 3 and 5-19 by: Matt Cashore
Photograph 4 by: Heather Gollatz-Dukeman