Our mission sends us across borders of every sort. Often we must make ourselves at home among more than one people or culture, reminding us again that the farther we go in giving the more we stand to receive.
— Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, 2:17
In responding to the needs of the Church, our mission as educators in the faith continues to send us across borders in order to carry the hope of Christ to people who might not otherwise hear the Good News. This happens through assistance to the local Church around the world, in countries such as Mexico, Chile, Peru, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Haiti, and Bangladesh.
This also happens closer to home in the United States through our service to the poor and the marginalized at André House in Phoenix, Ariz., our retreat work at Holy Cross Retreat House in North Easton, Mass., and our evangelization efforts in print, film, and other media through Ave Maria Press and Holy Cross Family Ministries.
Early in the life of our Congregation, the Church called upon Blessed Basil Moreau to extend the mission of Holy Cross beyond the borders of France. Within five years of the community's founding, Blessed Moreau sent missionaries to Africa and North America. Soon after, he sent others to Asia. Wherever we in Holy Cross went, we continued our mission as educators in the faith, setting up schools and parishes.
Over the years, Holy Cross priests and brothers have continued to answer the call to go on mission to areas where the Church has need. Our missionary efforts, in keeping with our charism to be united with those we serve, have focused on building up the local Church. This has resulted in men from the local Church entering into Holy Cross to serve as priests and brothers to work side by side with their confreres from abroad.
For example, for over 80 years the University of Notre Dame has held a boxing tournament to support the work of Holy Cross in Bangladesh. The Bengal Bouts has not only raised over a million dollars to build classrooms, dormitories, and workshops in Bengladesh, but has also established many deep connections between Notre Dame students and the Bengali people. As a result of the connections made through our ministries, we begin to see our brothers and sisters around the world not as strangers but as members of the one Body of Christ.
Our international scope creates connections between our ministries in ways that reach across the borders that typically divide our world today. These connections involve not only our own priests and brothers, but also our parishioners and students. Many of our parishes in the United States are twinned with Holy Cross parishes overseas, and all of our schools have service programs that involve students in the work of our community in other parts of the world.
To learn more about the work of Holy Cross in Mission:
- View posts on our vocations blog from our priests and brothers on their work in mission.
- Read and reflect on Constitution 2 on "Mission" that describes the share we have as Holy Cross religious in the Lord's salvific mission.
- Check out some videos on the work of Holy Cross among the poor in Peru.
- Read more about the various works of Holy Cross in mission in the United States Province.
- Check out the trailer of an award-winning movie on the Bengal Bouts.
- Watch the video of Fr. Tom Streit's work "Fighting Disease" in Haiti.
- Check out the following videos highlight how the U.S. Province of Holy Cross hastens along God's Kingdom through its work both in foreign missions around the world and in other border-crossing ministries to bring the gospel to others in need:
You never know what will happen
From Fr. Don Fetters, C.S.C., a Holy Cross Priest and missionary to Chile and Peru:
I have to confess that once the novelty wore off and after a couple of weeks into my first visit to Chile, I began counting the days until I would be back on safe turf. It was an interesting adventure; I surprised myself by having done it; and that’s where it would end. But it didn’t! The Lord had drawn me irresistibly back, and I’ve pressed Him to stay. You never know what will happen when you try to follow the Lord.