As disciples of Jesus we stand side by side with all people. Like them we are burdened by the same struggles and beset by the same weaknesses; like them we are made new by the same Lord’s love; like them we hope for a world where justice and love prevail.
— Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, 2:12
Parishes are the heart of the life of the Church. They are where Catholics encounter Christ through the celebration of the sacraments and are formed to be His faithful disciples. Holy Cross recognizes that parish ministry is vital to our work as educators in the faith.
Today, we sponsor parishes in eight dioceses across the country, from Massachusetts to Oregon and Indiana to Texas. Most of our parishes have schools, and a number also reach out to the growing Hispanic population of the American Church.
This commitment to parochial ministry dates back to the very founding of our Congregation. The Brothers of St. Joseph were sent by Fr. Dujarie to teach in parishes, and Blessed Basil Moreau organized the Auxiliary Priests to travel around the Diocese of LeMans in order to meet the needs of parish communities, particularly through preaching missions and giving retreats. Our ministry in parishes, especially in the United States, quickly expanded to include founding and ministering in parishes in order to meet the needs of the local Church where our Holy Cross priests and brothers served.
Our Holy Cross parishes are known for their strong commitment to Catholic education. Not only do most of our parishes have schools, but many of our parish schools are known for both their academic excellence and their faith formation. These efforts on the local level inspire and enhance our work on a national level through organizations such as the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives and Alliance for Catholic Education to ensure the future of parochial schools in the United States.
Our Holy Cross parishes are also known for their strong sense not merely of community, but of family. One great example of this is how our priests often stand in the carpool lane, greeting the children as they arrive at school in the morning. This familial spirit flows from the reality that we serve in our sponsored parishes precisely as a religious family, with multiple priests serving and living together.
As in our colleges and universities, we seek to draw our parishioners into our Holy Cross family by uniting our lives with theirs. We live in their neighborhoods and become part of their lives beyond the life of the parish. We also draw them into the work of the parish and of Holy Cross, fostering a dynamic collaboration between the laity and ourselves in striving together to hasten along the Kingdom of God.
To learn more about the work of Holy Cross in Parish:
- View posts from vocations blog from our priests and brothers on their work in parishes.
- 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 the 15 parishes sponsored by Holy Cross in the United States Province.
- Check out the following video highlight how the U.S. Province of Holy Cross hastens along God's Kingdom through its work both in parishes across the United States:
Where the cross and hope meet...
From Fr. Dan Kayajan, C.S.C., a Holy Cross priest and pastor of St. Rita's in Dade City, Florida:
When I began my inquiries about priesthood and religious life the Congregation of Holy Cross caught my attention with the motto: Crux Spes Unica, the Cross is our only Hope. I was working as a journalist on Capitol Hill covering Senate Banking and eventually taxes and budget through the House Ways and Means Committee in the mid to late 1980’s. During my time in our nation’s Capital I found myself stepping over one homeless person after another. I then began stopping and talking these folks. Although I would not have expressed it this way at the time I found myself listening to and seeing the face of Christ in the homeless.