Holy Cross Priests at the University of Portland

It is essential to our mission that we strive to abide so attentively together that people will observe: “See how they love one another.” We will then be a sign in an alienated world: men who have, for love of their Lord, become closest neighbors, trustworthy friends, brothers.

— Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, 4:42

Our life of service to the Church as educators in the faith is rooted in and sustained by our common religious life. We have been called by the Lord to serve not as independent individuals, but as brothers in community. In this union, we become a support to one another and a sign of hope in our often fractured and divided world.

Procession at a Community Funeral

In all our ministries, our daily life in Holy Cross is marked by times when we gather together as brothers for prayer, meals, and recreation. We also gather together to celebrate significant occasions in the lives of one another: from welcoming new members to our community, to celebrating important community feast days, to laying our brothers to rest in our community cemetery.

When he founded the Congregation of Holy Cross, Blessed Basil Moreau’s vision and desire were to found a community on the model of the Holy Family. We were to be a family, bound together in the joys and struggles of life, drawing one another forward toward Christ through our living, working, and praying together. For Blessed Moreau, this union of our community was not simply an aid to our mission; it was an essential part of that mission in advancing God's kingdom here on earth.

Our common religious life and the union it creates among us remains a constitutive part of all our ministries. And so wherever we go as educators in the faith, we go precisely as a community. Even at our sponsored parishes, we have at least two religious serving so our men are not living and working alone.


In our parishes and schools and wherever we serve, we serve in the midst of the people of God, drawing on our community experience to draw them deeper into communion with one another and with the Lord. Whether it is living in dorms with students, welcoming parishioners into our lives, or inviting others to join us for our celebrations, we open our lives to others in order that their lives may be opened to God.

Our communal bond means that while our ministry may move us across town or even across the world, we never move to places that are completely foreign. Our community, our family is already present and ready to welcome us. A Holy Cross religious may never have been to South America or have met his Holy Cross brothers in Africa, yet upon traveling there he can expect to be welcomed home as family. A similar experience happens to those we minister to, because as they enter into our family, they enter into this international family. Along the way, the Universal Church becomes real to them in ways seldom experienced in typical daily life.

To learn more about the community life of Holy Cross: