Brief History of the Congregation of Holy Cross
To supply certain needs of the devastated church throughout the countryside, he planned to organize some clerics as Auxiliary Priests. By August 1835 he had recruited priests for this purpose. They were but few in number and they assisted the diocesan clergy by preaching parish missions. He intended also that they would be educators and that some should be prepared for that work.
Only days after this group was first assembled, at the request of his bishop, Father Moreau accepted responsibility for the Brothers of Saint Joseph, who had been founded fifteen years earlier by another priest of the same diocese, James Francis Dujarie, pastor of Ruille-sur-Loir. They were zealous laymen who had been meeting the need for elementary education in villages in the region. What led to an unusual venture in the history of the church was Father Moreau’s decision to unite these two groups, which he and Father Dujarie did by the Fundamental Act on March 1, 1837. Priests and brothers were united within a single association to minister to the pastoral and educational needs of the French church.
The priests, brothers and sisters became known respectively as the Salvatorists, Josephites, and Marianites of Holy Cross. Their founder wished them to be united in their lives and in their work as a “visible imitation of the Holy Family.”
The sisters became a separate community at the Vatican’s stipulation for approval. Later they split into three communities which include: the Marianites of Holy Cross with headquarters in New Orleans, the Sisters of the Holy Cross with headquarters at Notre Dame and the Sisters of Holy Cross with headquarters in Canada.
Holy Cross Associates became its own non-profit organization under the Title: Midwest Holy Cross Associates in 2012. This new organization is presently under the sponsorship of the Midwest Province of Brothers.
Holy Cross has endured. And in an age when God calls forth service in many new ways, the congregation may well hope that its own distinctive way of serving – priests, brothers, sisters and lay associates in the family of Holy Cross – is “…like a mighty tree…shooting forth new limbs and branches… nourished by the same life-giving energy”. This “patently imprudent” scheme is, as Father Moreau believed all along, “the work of God.”
Excerpted from “Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross”, Historical Note, pages 7 – 13.
Come to Us, Holy Spirit
Saturday, June 24, 2023 - In person and Zoom retreat