One of the charisms of the Congregation of Holy Cross is close collaboration with our lay colleagues. The tremendous success of our ministries throughout our history is due in large part to our desire to use fully the gifts and talents of the men and women we work with so that every possible resource is brought forth to support our ministries of Education, Parish and Mission.
Some years ago the United States Province established the Spirit of Holy Cross award so that we could honor specifically those men and women who have exemplified our mission through working closely with us. Fr. Bob Kruse, C.S.C., who served here at Stonehill College as professor and administrator for 50 years, nominated Craig Binney, who is the Vice President for Finance and Operations for the College. In addition to his position at the College, Craig is a 1983 graduate of the College and he, his wife and five children are long-time parishioners of Holy Cross Parish in nearby South Easton, Mass.
The award was given to Craig at our annual Advent Lucernarium, a beautiful candlelit, sung night prayer, which the local Holy Cross community hosts each year for Stonehill faculty, staff and friends of Holy Cross.
In his homily, Fr. Kruse summed up what the Spirit of Holy Cross is all about: "Trusting in Divine Providence that our lives are moving toward a God-given end; placing our confidence in the cross of Christ by recognizing that every struggle brings with it the potential to become more perfectly the person God calls us to be; and praying for a share in Father Moreau's zeal for the apostolate, realizing that this is really a call to love and serve our neighbor." Fr. Kruse went on to say: "When Craig was told that he was going to be this year's recipient of the Spirit of Holy Cross award, his first reaction was to protest that he was not worthy of such recognition. It was a wise reaction for in fact any number of Stonehill faculty members and staff might have been chosen for the award. For many share the qualities the award signifies, but by his long association with Holy Cross, his dedicated service to the College and the Church, and his exemplary Christian family life Craig is truly a worthy recipient of this award."
Upon receiving the award at the end of the prayer service, Craig mentioned that he is proud to be so long associated with Stonehill College: "As a Catholic College, Stonehill is committed to both intellectual inquiry and the life of faith. As a College in the Holy Cross tradition, Stonehill seeks to help students develop their abilities and discover the deepest longing of their lives. It seeks to cultivate concern for the dignity of every person and to care for the victims of every prejudice. In fulfillment of the College's motto, Lux et Spes (Latin for "Light and Hope"), the College fosters the competence to see and the courage to act."
Craig went on to say how his deep friendships with many Holy Cross priests and brothers made him the man that he is today. In particular Craig mentioned his close relationship to Fr. Kruse: "During my time at Stonehill, I encountered many Holy Cross priests and brothers. It has been a true blessing that I have had the opportunity to become friends with Fr. Bob Kruse and that he has become part of my family. He baptized our fifth child just over 12 years ago. His stories are enlightening and his dedication to the priesthood, to the Congregation and to the college are inspiring."
In fulfillment of another great Holy Cross charism, our prayer together was followed by a wonderful reception in the festively decorated Donahue Hall, the beautiful mansion which serves as the main building for Stonehill College!
Fr. Tony Szakaly, C.S.C. is the local superior of the Holy Cross community at Stonehill College, Director of Campus Ministry, and Alumni Minister at Stonehill College. A South Bend native, he received a Holy Cross education at every level of his schooling, from the C.S.C. sisters in grade school, the C.S.C. brothers in high school and C.S.C. priests at the University of Notre Dame. He took final vows in 1991 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1992.