Holy Cross Mission Center, which began as the Holy Cross Foreign Mission Society, was established in 1923 in Washington, D.C., by several brothers and priests under the leadership of Rev. Michael Mathis, C.S.C. Its initial purpose was to support the missions in Bengal (now Bangladesh). In 1958, East Africa was added as a responsibility. Then the Foreign Mission Society was reconstituted under broader auspices as the “Holy Cross Mission Center” and in 1986 the Center was moved to offices within Moreau Seminary on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.
Today the Holy Cross Mission Center is sponsored by the United States Province and supports those locations for which the U.S. Province has direct jurisdiction: Districts of Chile, East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda), Perú and the Region of México.
Globally, the U.S. Province’s Holy Cross Mission Center supports the international mission work of the worldwide efforts of the Congregation of Holy Cross, spanning 16 countries on five continents. It also also supports those areas with which the U.S. Province has a special relationship, for example the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province of Bangladesh, along with coordinating special mission initiatives, like relief efforts in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and assisting the Congregation’s other districts, provinces and the general administration.
The Mission Center also provides assistance, hospitality, health care and logistical support to members of the U.S. Province and religious from throughout the Congregation visiting the United States; facilitates scholarship awards made available through the Universities of Notre Dame and Portland for Holy Cross indigenous religious; and sponsors collaborative educational and volunteer opportunities, including twinning programs, with parishes and schools.
Watch a video of how the U.S. Province’s commitment to foreign ministries sends across all borders.
The District of Chile is the longest-running mission still overseen by the United States Province.
Holy Cross’ District of East Africa is in the countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The District of Perú has its beginnings in providing pastoral care to the field hands and factory workers of a sugar hacienda.
The Region of México is the newest mission of the United States Province.
Holy Cross founder Blessed Basil Moreau’s vision compelled him to send out missionaries to Eastern Bengal, now Bangladesh, in the early days of founding the Congregation.