King’s College Students Support Holy Cross Mission Center

King’s College was founded in 1946 to educate the sons of the local coal miners. Rev. James Connerton, C.S.C., a Holy Cross priest from Notre Dame, came to Wilkes-Barre at the invitation of the local bishop. The missionary sense that brought Fr. Connerton and Holy Cross to Northeastern Pennsylvania in 1946 has been a large part of the campus culture.

In a particular way, engagement with the Holy Cross Mission Center has fostered a sense of connection with the broader Congregation of Holy Cross and given our students, faculty, and staff an insight into the overall mission of the Congregation. It has also provided a ready network of individuals, communities, and institutions to widen the perspective and scope of our students’ education.

One of the ways that Campus Ministry has partnered with the Holy Cross Mission Center is through our Lenten almsgiving campaign called “Coins for a Cause.” Students, faculty, and staff are given purple cups and invited to collect change throughout Lent towards a particular cause. This year, we collected funds for the mission and work of the community in Bangladesh. Br. Jimmy Henke, C.S.C., who had spent time at King’s during formation and is assigned here in the fall, was in Bangladesh and provided insight into the work of Notre Dame School in Srimangal. This information transformed our familiar Lenten almsgiving campaign into something more personal. As a result, the students felt more connected with the cause, which really resonated with them.

Before COVID, the “cause” was one of the Holy Cross schools in Northeast India. The following summer Rev. Tom Looney, C.S.C., now president of King’s College, and Rev. Jack Ryan, C.S.C., former president of King’s College and current steward for the Congregation, led a student trip to India to meet the community and see the amazing work being done there.

Our relationship with the Holy Cross Mission Center has been the catalyst for similar trips to Bangladesh, Uganda, Montreal and Perú through our study abroad office and Shoval Center for Community Engagement. During COVID, we’ve been able to foster relationships and continue learning together through zoom and other means. Some of our students are currently engaged in a pen pal program with students at Holy Cross Senior Secondary School in Lakeview, Uganda. These connections have helped us continue our missionary beginnings and provide our students with opportunities to experience new parts of the world.

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