Education is the art of helping young people to completeness; for the Christian, this means education is helping a young person to be more like Christ, the model of all Christians.
— Blessed Basil Moreau, On Christian Education
One of the primary ways that we serve the Church as educators in faith is through our four universities and colleges – the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana; the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon.; King’s College in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania; and Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts. Our work at these institutions, whether in classrooms or in dorms, in campus ministry or in administration, all serves to fulfill the educational philosophy of our founder who taught us to never educate the mind at the expense of the heart. The same is true for our Holy Cross priests and brothers who work in secondary education or serve in one of our many parochial schools.
Our educational ministry began in the wake of the French Revolution, which had left a whole generation in France uneducated and uncatechized. The Holy Spirit inspired Blessed Basil Moreau, himself a professor and educator, to found Holy Cross in response to these pressing needs. It quickly became clear that the need for educators in the faith extended beyond the borders of France. Blessed Moreau made it clear that a Holy Cross education was to be marked by a zeal in pursuit of both academic excellence and Christian virtue. "While we prepare useful citizens for society, we shall likewise do our utmost to prepare citizens for heaven."
Our ministry in education today continues to bear that mark of a holistic education. Our universities and colleges are known for the quality of not only their academics, but also their faith formation and their service to the wider Church and world. This is true in large part because our priests and brothers labor in all aspects of the life and mission of our institutions.
As men of faith and learning, we bring the Gospel to the classroom as professors and instructors of every field of study including theology, math, architecture, and political science. As leaders, we train and equip our lay colleagues to share with us in the governance and mission of our institutions. As pastors of souls, we engage our students directly, guiding them as dorm rectors and serving them in campus ministry. As priests we celebrate the sacraments and preach in our campus chapels daily, assisting those who yearn for holiness.
As in our parishes and in our missions, we seek to unite with our students by living in their midst in the residence halls on our campuses. This proximity to our students allows us to better shepherd them in their learning and growth. It also invites them to be a part of our Holy Cross family.
The experience of our students in our colleges and universities is that they are not a nameless number to us. Nor are our Holy Cross priests and brothers a stranger or unfamiliar face to them. They know us, and we know them. And together, we form one family, seeking through faith and reason, in the words of Saint John Paul II, to learn and work together in "satisfying that thirst for truth which is profoundly inscribed on the heart of the human person" (Ex corde Ecclesiae, 16).
To learn more about the work of Holy Cross in Education:
- View posts on our vocations blog from our priests and brothers on their work in education and specifically in our universities and colleges.
- Read and reflect on Constitution 2 on "Mission" that describes the share we have as Holy Cross religious in the Lord's salvific mission.
- Learn more about the four universities and colleges sponsored by Holy Cross in the United States Province.
- Watch Fr. Charlie Gordon, C.S.C., as he shares what it means to be an "Educator in the Faith" in Holy Cross.
- Check out the following video highlighting how the U.S. Province of Holy Cross hastens along God's Kingdom through its work in education:
Revealing God's Truth and His love
From Fr. Greg Haake, C.S.C., a Holy Cross priest and scholar of French literature:
At whatever level of education, be it secondary or university, a priest in the classroom offers his ability to question, his comfort with answers, and his leadership in navigating the two. In short, he offers himself, as he would at any other moment of his priestly ministry, in order to lead his students to discover how this wonderful created world, in which we have such a large and creative part, reveals God’s Truth and His love for us.