The Charism of Holy Cross
... we go as educators in the faith to those whose lot we share ...
—Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, 2:12
The charism of a religious community is its particular personality within the Church — that which makes it distinctive and sets it apart from others. Who we are, what we do and how we do it are inextricably linked to our history.
We are an apostolic, Roman Catholic community of priests and brothers committed to common table, common prayer and a common mission.
Rev. Basil Moreau, C.S.C., founded the order 175 years ago, but Holy Cross' tradition, even as it is presently lived today, is rooted in the congregation’s orgins. To begin, Holy Cross is named for a place. The name of the order is Congregatio a Sancta Cruce (C.S.C.), literally the “Congregation of Holy Cross.” We are named for Sainte-Croix, the small French town on the outskirts of Le Mans in northwestern France, where Blessed Moreau founded us. This little-known fact is important to the identity of the congregation and our tradition. While we serve the Cross of Christ, our mission developed out of Sainte-Croix. It was a town with real people and real problems; one that needed both teachers and preachers. This rooting in a local community has shaped the mission of Holy Cross. To this day, we seek to foster deep commitments to Christ and the Church wherever or whomever we serve. We build communities in our parishes, our colleges, universities, schools and international missionary locations.
To fill the spiritual and educational void of Post-Revolutionary France, Blessed Moreau called on the priests and brothers of Holy Cross to be "educators in the faith," who with a preferential option for the poor, educate both mind and heart principally in the fields of education, parish and mission.
We draw from our founder Blessed Basil Moreau's trust in Divine Providence and confidence in the Cross as our only hope and zeal to make “God known, loved and served.”
Our distinctive charism and trust in Divine Providence has guided Holy Cross members to found world renowned institutes of Catholic higher education, parishes across the United States and Mexico, along with other important ministries on five continents. The Congregation of Holy Cross is a vibrant and committed community thriving today with Blessed Moreau's original zeal and passion to love and serve the people of God.
We are men with hope to bring!
Portions taken from "The Cross, Our Only Hope" edited by Andrew Gawrych, C.S.C. and Kevin Grove, C.S.C.