Discern God’s Call with Us
Do you sense God may be calling you to offer your life and your life’s work in his service for the needs of the Church and the world? We provide retreats, pilgrimages, backpacking trips, and opportunities for prayer and service to help you discern if God is calling you to life as a priest or religious brother.
The Path of Formation
Discern, learn, and grow in your faith.
To serve God is to serve others, and we do that first and foremost by living, working, studying, and praying together in community. Our brotherhood fortifies us to go forth as Men with Hope to Bring. As you embark on your discernment journey, we invite you to encounter our men and our mission.
Our formation programs not only draw you closer to Christ but ensure that you are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and spiritual foundation necessary to serve the Lord and his Church as an Educator in the Faith.
For some men, the formation process begins at the undergraduate seminary known as “Old College.” Located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, collegians earn a degree in a subject of their choice while discerning God’s call in an intentional community of fellow discerners.
Once a man has obtained a four-year degree, he is eligible to spend a year living with the Holy Cross community at Moreau Seminary on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. During this year, he pursues coursework in philosophy, serves in a ministry placement, and participates in a series of formation conferences, all while continuing to explore God’s call. Postulants are invited to petition for admittance to the novitiate.
Situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Cascade, Colorado, the yearlong novitiate is an apprenticeship in celibacy, poverty, and obedience. Novices observe daily silence, participate in work periods, pursue avocations, and perform apostolic service. They also study the history and spirituality, character and mission of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Novices are challenged and helped to open their hearts to the Gospel, to live under the same roof with one another, and to create a brotherhood of disciples. At the conclusion of the novitiate year, novices profess first vows, thereby becoming temporarily professed seminarians and brother scholastics.
Priest or Brother?
We are united in one Holy Cross family, but priests and brothers have distinct ways of living the call to make God known, loved, and served.
In formation with Holy Cross, you will have the opportunity to explore in depth whether the Lord Jesus may be calling you to lay down your life as a priest or as a religious brother. With the support of their formators, men typically select a path during their novitiate year
Priests of Holy Cross
Holy Cross Priests dedicate their lives to Christ through the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. These evangelical counsels are virtues that aim to conform the professed man to Jesus Christ, his model and example. The vows are also intended to direct one’s life toward the service of God and neighbor. As ordained members of the clergy, Holy Cross Priests assist the faithful both in their apostolic ministry and, in a special way, through their administration of the sacraments. Holy Cross Priests are consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Brothers of Holy Cross
Holy Cross Brothers dedicate their lives to Christ through the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. These evangelical counsels are virtues that aim to conform the professed man to Jesus Christ, his model and example. The vows are also intended to direct one’s life toward the service of God and neighbor. Holy Cross Brothers are laymen called to be with the People of God in fraternal solidarity, love, and service. Their vocation manifests the universality of the brotherhood begun by Christ. Saint Joseph is the patron of Holy Cross Brothers.
“Our vows bind us together in community. We commit ourselves to share with one another who we are, what we have and what we do. Thereby we form a community as did those who first believed in Christ’s resurrection and were possessed by His Spirit. The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul.”
Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, 5:46
EDUCATION. PARISH. MISSION.
Where are You Called to Serve?
At Holy Cross, we never stop asking.
Our founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, believed that the work that God had entrusted to Holy Cross extended beyond the borders of France to the rest of the world. Indeed, our mission sends us across borders of every sort. Sometimes these are international borders between countries; other times they are socio-economic, cultural, and linguistic barriers that hinder people from hearing and accepting the Good News of Jesus Christ. Wherever we find ourselves, we seek to imitate Christ, who humbly took on flesh for our salvation, by embracing and serving each local community in whatever situation it may be.
Old College Undergraduate Seminary
Old College is a unique program that allows undergraduate men to experience seminary life first-hand while earning a degree of their choice from the University of Notre Dame or neighboring Holy Cross College. Collegians live on Notre Dame’s campus, and together they discern their vocations while participating in daily Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, regular adoration and confession, spiritual direction, and more.
Learn how you can discern with the Holy Cross community while earning your undergraduate degree.
Hear from the Men of Holy Cross
While you discern God’s call, reflect on stories from men who’ve been in your shoes.
Before I entered the Congregation of Holy Cross, I spent a year as a lay missionary teaching in a high school in Nairobi, Kenya. I found great joy...
Bangladesh. Invoking the name inspires a wide variety of internal responses. Some are captivated by images of the wild jungles of India and the...
Every 15th day of the month reminds me just how much God’s power and grace can be poured out in one single moment. Of course, God’s power and grace...
“Come, Follow Me.”
Jesus invited his disciples to take a leap of faith. If you’re wondering about that call, we invite you to join us for a time of prayer, reflection, and community and to learn more about our seminary programs.