Karen Habersky’s history with the Congregation of Holy Cross began some 52 years ago. Her late husband, Joe, was a 1969 graduate of King’s College, a Holy Cross College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. While dating, they attended different events at the college, including basketball games, and became involved in annual phonathon events after they wed in 1973.
Karen fondly remembers her encounters with members of Holy Cross, including Fr. Fagan and his infectious smile, and the homilies offered by Fr. Carten. These recurring encounters, along with Joe’s formation in Holy Cross, helped to instill in her an appreciation for the religious she knew, which she describes as “genuine, kind, caring and faith-filled.”
When first presented with an opportunity to support the ministries of Holy Cross in 2010, Joe and Karen graciously responded, mindful of earlier years with the phonathons at King’s. Their annual support continued through Joe’s passing in November 2013. Shortly after the loss of her beloved husband, Karen made a decision to continue supporting Holy Cross but transformed her support to a monthly donation specifically for the education and formation of Holy Cross seminarians and scholastics, a decision now in its eighth consecutive year.
What prompted Karen’s decision, what inspired her to give and increase her giving over the years? “I believe in sharing what God has given me, first through prayer and also financial means where it will help the best. I want to see my support being put to good use and that is why I donate to Holy Cross and the Jesuits (since Joe graduated high school from Scranton Prep and got his Master’s degree from the University of Scranton) and our daughter, Elena, graduated from the University of Scranton in 2013.”
And why support education and formation each month? “It’s so wonderful to see the community growing and to help the way I do. It’s easy for me [to give monthly]. I also get to watch special online Masses from the Notre Dame campus, take part in online retreats and get a thank you note each month.” With 50 men in formation this year with comparable numbers in the past, Karen’s monthly support is impactful.
Karen’s story reflects the reciprocal relationship typically known by donors to Holy Cross, in particular members of the Cross and Anchors Guild. “It’s what I want to do and I appreciate the prayers being said for my daughter and myself.” Prayers of support and thanksgiving for Karen’s stewardship, her love and care, for the men and ministries of Holy Cross.
Author: Karen Habersky
Published: January 11, 2024