For Educators: Tips for Sharing Holy Cross Missionary History Next Year

Thank you to the Holy Cross Institute at St. Edward’s University for a great Convocation this year, gathering more than 200 Holy Cross religious and lay educators from across the world. I (Assistant Director Michael Jezewak) was fortunate to attend for my second consecutive year, reconnect with college and university partners, and meet new Holy Cross collaborators from Brazil, France, Bangladesh, India, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Louisiana, Texas, and California—seed[s], scattered and sown, as the hymn goes! What a gift!

I presented during a breakout session on “Integrating Holy Cross Missionary History into Curriculum & Institutional Identity.” This presentation served as a brief introduction to the three great Holy Cross missionaries who are currently on the path to canonization and whose witnesses often get overlooked:
· Servant of God Theotonius Ganguly
· Servant of God Flavian Laplante
· Servant of God Vincent McCauley

When you spend some time with their stories, you too will be inspired by the ways that these men lived out Blessed Basil Moreau’s vision for a missionary Congregation. Between the three of them, they fought off pirates, aided war recovery efforts, corresponded with national leaders, contributed to Vatican II, led efforts at interreligious dialogue and peacebuilding, and founded ministries of every kind. In other words, their 3-dimensional witnesses of faith are worth sharing with students.

My talk offered a few easy ways to begin sharing their stories with their school communities. Below are some highlights

Naming Awards & Events

As one way of integrating their stories into the identities of Holy Cross schools, I invited administrators, teachers, and campus ministers to consider the ways that these men’s legacies and witnesses could serve as the basis for school-wide recognition. Here are just some of the examples of the forms this could take at Holy Cross schools and universities:

  • the “Ganguly International Scholar Award” (Archbishop Ganguly was a Bengali who studied in the U.S. during the 1940s and 50s before returning to what is today Bangladesh.)
  • the “Ganguly Scholarship” for an exemplary student headed to a Holy Cross college or university (Ganguly himself was a two-time graduate of the University of Notre Dame before becoming a professor and school administrator.)
  • the “Ganguly Award for Leadership in Times of Turmoil” for faculty, staff, and administrators (Ganguly was the Archbishop of Dhaka who oversaw relief efforts after the 1970 tsunami and 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.)
  • the “Br. Flavian Award” for Catholic Social Teaching or poverty relief (Br. Flavian spent decades in Bangladesh advocating for the economic and spiritual well-being of poor fishermen.)
  • The “Miriam Retreat” for a distinctly Holy Cross spiritual experience (Br. Flavian founded “Miriam Ashram,” meaning “Marian Shrine,” in Diang, the solitude and piety of which make it a perfect spot for Marian devotion and annual pilgrimages.)
  • The “McCauley’s Bricklayer Award” for building the Kingdom of God through simple acts of humble service (McCauley’s favorite line was, “Wanted to build a better world: Fewer architects, more bricklayers.”)
  • Recognition as a “McCauley Collaborator” in carrying out the Holy Cross mission of your school (McCauley founded the Congregation’s Mission to Uganda, and he was attentive to the ways he empowered the local East African people to form the local Church.)

Calendar Dates for Holy Cross Missionary History

As Holy Cross educators look to the next academic year, here are four possible dates paired with events that could be integrated into your academic calendar.

September 2
Significance: Anniversary of the death of Servant of God Theotonius Ganguly (1920-1977)
Recommended Connection: Constitution 1:5: The Great Band of Men
School Integration Methods:

  • School Mass – Bangladeshi C.S.C. priests are currently living in Portland, South Bend, and D.C., and could be available for nearby schools.
  • Adaptable lesson plan: “Identity in Christ” highlighting Servant of God Theotonius Amal Ganguly. Download the lesson plan at
  • Request Ganguly impact cards for students and/or a virtual presentation from the HCMC

October 20, 2024
Significance: World Mission Sunday
Pope Francis’s Theme: “Go and invite everyone to the banquet”
Pope Francis’s 2024 World Mission Day Message: View here.
Recommended Connection: “Twinning: A Holy Cross Encounter”
School Integration Methods:

November 4
Significance: Anniversary of Servant of God Vincent McCauley’s arrival in Uganda with 3 other C.S.C. missionaries
Recommended Connection: Constitution 2:13: “We come not just as servants but as their neighbors, to be with them and of them.”
School Integration Methods:

February 13
Significance: Anniversary of Br. Flavian LaPlante, C.S.C., (1907-1981) being declared a Servant of God
Recommended Connection: Constitution 2:14-15 & Catholic Social Teaching
School Integration Methods:

  • Br. Flavian Day of Service & Reflection
  • Adaptable lesson plan highlighting Servant of God Flavian Laplante (Coming soon)
  • Request Br. Flavian impact cards for students and/or offer a virtual presentation from the HCMC

Let’s Collaborate!
The above suggestions are just some easy starting places for Holy Cross educators looking to share the Congregation’s missionary history with their students, but here are many more ideas to explore. I invite Holy Cross educators to share their own ideas with me at

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Published: March 6, 2024

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