“Where’s the meeting? Rome? Indiana? Oh, Rome, Italy.” I’m fairly confident I asked something just like this when I was told about a meeting to be held in our Generalate in Rome (Italy!). I’m not the most enthusiastic traveler you’ll ever meet, so if I’m going somewhere, I want it to be for more of a reason than “the food’s really good there!” Gratefully, we had a very good reason for this meeting. It was for all of the vocations directors of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
In total, there were 17 of us there. We learned more about vocation promotion, and “best practices,” which are so important. But I must confess, the best part for me (even better than the food!) was being together with Holy Cross priests and brothers from all over the world. We had representatives from India, Bangladesh, East Africa, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, the United States, France, and a few other places, I’m sure. While we didn’t all have the same first language (though their English was fantastic), we shared something much more important – our founder, and the charism of Holy Cross. That’s a brotherhood that crosses every border, and makes us feel at home no matter where in the world we happen to be.
It took me a few minutes of conversation with these men for me to realize that they knew all about the Congregation of Holy Cross because they ARE Holy Cross – formed in the same stories, tradition, and charism as me. When the Congregation of Holy Cross was founded in 1837, Blessed Basil Moreau was working to fill a great need in the Church, and in the world. People didn’t know the faith, and they didn’t have the tools they needed to succeed as citizens of the world. It didn’t take long before he was sending out his priests and brothers to all parts of the world. We have been in some of those places ever since, while at other places we have done what we were asked to do and then moved on. We in Holy Cross are called to fill a need in the Church, and to help the citizens of the world to become citizens for heaven. That was the vision of our founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, and it continues today.
This month five of our members will be ordained priests in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Please pray for them as they begin their priestly ministry…we will send out an edition of Ave Crux soon with all of the details. Please also keep in prayer the sixty men who are in formation for the Congregation of Holy Cross. They, like you, are continuing to listen to God’s voice in their lives, actively discerning where He is calling them. Perhaps it’s to be with Holy Cross forever, following in the footsteps of “…a great band of men…” (Constitutions of Holy Cross, 1:5).
As always, please let us know if we can be of help in your discernment! We are always glad to hear from you, and to help in whatever way we can. May God bless you in these final days of the Lenten season, as we prepare for the holiest of weeks — the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord. His Light shines through the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.