An abundance of blessings and gratitude. That is the best way that I can describe the Holy Cross Mission Center Centennial Celebration held on September 25, 2023 (view picture gallery below). After the better part of a year of preparation all of the pieces came together for a joyful celebration of 100 years of providing support for the international work of the Congregation of Holy Cross through the Holy Cross Mission Center. One of the great blessings of the celebration was the gathering of Holy Cross priests, brothers, sisters, seminarians and scholastics with our partners and friends, benefactors and colleagues, students and international guests.
There were formal presentations with discussions, and there were countless informal conversations as our guests reconnected with old friends and met new ones, all brought together by an affection for and in support of the continued global work of Holy Cross. Returned Holy Cross missionaries sharing stories, lay partners that have spent time abroad with us, international Holy Cross men and women in formation and studies in the U.S., and even graduates of some of our Holy Cross schools from other countries were some of the guests who attended and enriched the celebration.
Our keynote speakers invited those who were gathered to a deeper understanding of the work of the Catholic Church in the global arena and the importance and challenges of the ongoing universal mission. Dr. Carolyn Woo brought a considerable depth and breadth of understanding and experience as she showed the connection between raw statistics and the lived experience of the peoples they represent. Fr. Paul Kollman, C.S.C., contextualized Holy Cross’ contributions to the work of the Church in the work of Pope Francis as he guided us through the themes of Instincts, Institutionalization, and Ideas. Brother Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C., the Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross, ended the day of celebration by speaking to us about the international mission of Holy Cross today. These were informative and inspirational talks that affirmed the mission of Holy Cross within the Church and challenged all gathered to continue to look forward in our call to make God known, loved, and served in our world.
As only the tenth director of the Holy Cross Mission Center in the past 100 years, I continue to be extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue the partnerships with our leadership around the world and with the generous benefactors and friends who make so many ministries possible through their prayer and financial support. As we look to begin the next hundred years of service in the Holy Cross Mission Center I am filled with an abundance of blessings and gratitude as I invite you along on our journey.
Rev. Thomas Eckert, C.S.C.
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