National and Regional Conferences

The Holy Cross Associates ministry, sponsored by the Midwest Province of the Brothers of Holy Cross, periodically hosts Regional and National Conferences that address the deeper spiritual needs of our members.  These conferences afford an opportunity for all the Associates to come together at either a National or Regional venue, and to experience the enrichment of our speakers, topics and exercises, alongside and in community with other Associates.  These conferences are open to non-Associates who might be interested in exploring their own participation as Holy Cross Associates.  We encourage you to review the postings here and consider joining us at an upcoming event.  Please “COME AND SEE”.

Midwest Holy Cross Associates And the Midwest Province Present

Saturday, January 27, 2024


Reclaiming the Legacy of
Blessed Basil Moreau For Our Times

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Father Moreau’s death, we recall and reclaim how much Father Moreau has given the family of Holy Cross women, men, sisters, brothers, and priests. Some of his most far-reaching gifts for our times include his promotion of a family spirit among all who call themselves Holy Cross, his dedication to a missionary call to send his religious to all parts of the world with many cultures, making Holy Cross an international community beyond his local diocese, his vision of co-equality between lay and clerical members and through accepting the crosses in life, its members will grow stronger and bring new hope to the world.

These gifts are influencing the whole Church today in its vision of synodality in which all its members have a part to play. Bringing people together from many cultures and many life experiences can only lead to a richness in its response to present day realities. With the ability of listening to the other, the Church will become closer to its people. Yes, the cross will be a part of its awakening but with the resilience that comes with God’s grace, all things become possible.

Who better to lead the way but Holy Cross whose legacy is planted in its foundation by Blessed Basil Moreau?

Conference Schedule EST

10:00 AM   Welcome and opening prayer

10:15 AM   “Moreau’s Spiritual and Theological Legacy”
Father Karl Romkema, CSC

10:50 AM   Break

11:00 AM   Breakout Session

11:20 AM   “Personal Reflections on Moreau’s Legacy for Educators”
Mr. Richard Bautch – Executive Director, Holy Cross Institute
11:50 Presentations of contest winners

11:50 AM   Presentations of contest winners

12:10 PM   Lunch Break – with optional presentation on Holy Cross

1:00 PM   “Practical Applications of Moreau’s Legacy in Other Forms of
Ministry” Sister Maryanne O’Neill, CSC

1:30 PM   Breakout Session

1:50 PM  What are your “take aways” from the Conference? (large group)

2:00 PM   Brief Closing Prayer

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Rev. Karl Romkema, CSC

Rev. Karl Romkema, C.S.C., is from Clarkston, Michigan. After graduating from Our Lady of the Lakes High School, he entered the Old College Undergraduate Seminary in 2009. He graduated from Notre Dame in 2013 and received his Master of Divinity degree in 2018. He then professed Final Vows in 2018 and was ordained a priest in 2019. He served as a Deacon and Associate Pastor at St. Ignatius Catholic Church and School in Austin, Texas. In 2021 he began as the Director of the Old College Undergraduate Seminary, where he continues to serve.

“Moreau’s Spiritual and Theological Legacy”


Dr. Richard Bautch

A tenured full professor, my leadership skills in higher education have been honed as a department chair and then as a dean at St. Edward’s University – Austin. I am currently the executive director of the Holy Cross Institute, which serves the network of Holy Cross schools,
colleges, and universities by delivering innovative programming to educators, administrators, and board members. Under my direction, the Institute has become a catalyst for mission integration on campuses nationally and internationally; with our support and consulting services, dedicated professionals transform their pedagogy with the vision and values of Holy Cross mission.

“Personal Reflections on Moreau’s Legacy for Educators”


Sister Maryanne O’Neill, CSC

Sister Maryanne has been a vowed religious for many years. She has taught in elementary schools in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, and taught high school Spanish at St. Joseph High School in South Bend. She has served in congregational leadership at the regional and general levels as well as in formation of young religious and has done spiritual direction. Sister Maryanne has served in El Salvador and Peru in a variety of ministry settings. Her last ministry before retirement was as director of the Brother Andre Outreach Center at St. Agnes Parish in Los Angeles for 20 years. At present Sister Maryanne resides at Saint Mary’s.

“Practical Applications of Moreau’s Legacy in Other Forms of Ministry”

Past Conferences

Upcoming Retreat!

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Come to Us, Holy Spirit

Announcing a morning gathering for a Holy Cross Retreat. It will take place on the campus of Holy Cross College in person or on-line with Father Tom Zurcher, CSC as our retreat director.  Sponsored by the Midwest Holy Cross Associates, all are invited to attend.

Retreat Description

During the Easter season the Acts of the Apostles is read each day as the first reading of Mass. These readings provide a window through which we can gaze at the struggles, growth, and development of the Church in the early years.

For the day of reflection, we will revisit the Acts of the Apostles in order that we might appreciate the various challenges that those early disciples experienced. Then having spent some time reflecting upon the conflicts and stressors that were a part of their life in the Church and their development of faith, we’ll turn our attention to present day life in the Church and the Congregation of Holy Cross. As men and women with hope to bring, and disciples of the 21st century, we’ll trust that the same Spirit present in the early church will be our guide in this present age.


Retreat Director

Fr. Tom Zurcher, CSC, will facilitate the day of reflection.  He has had a variety of pastoral experiences: associate pastor and pastor of parishes in South Bend, Phoenix and Monterrey, MX; formation ministry at Moreau Seminary and in the CSC formation program in Monterrey, MX; Vicar for Priests in the Diocese of Phoenix and Chaplain for the sports teams at Bourgade High School in that same Diocese.  At the present time he lives at Fatima House at Notre Dame and serves as parochial vicar at Holy Cross Parish in South Bend.

Conference Schedule EST

09:00 AM – 11:45 AM   Retreat

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM   Update on Midwest Province – Br. Ken Haders, CSC

01:00 PM – 04:00 PM   Planning session for the Midwest Associate Board and participants using the synodality process.

Saturday, January 28, 2023 – Zoom conference

Midwest Holy Cross Associates and the Midwest Province Present


Holy Cross Challenge to “Cross Borders of Every Sort” Constitution 2:17

The rabbi asked his students: “How can we determine the hour of dawn, when the night ends and the day begins?” One student says: “When from a distance you can distinguish between a dog and a sheep?” “No” says the rabbi. “Is it when one can distinguish between a g tree and a grapevine?” “No” says the rabbi. “Please tell us the answer, then,” say the students. The wise teacher says, “when you can look into the face of another human being, and you have enough light in you to recognize your brother or your sister. Until then it is night, and darkness is still with us.”

To be Catholic also is to be catholic, meaning universal. From the time when the rst Christians were challenged to accept gentiles into the fold, our Church has known that since Christ became human in a cosmos created by God, all peoples and all creation have the spark of God within them.

Our Conference’s goal is to expand our vision with new eyes to grasp this truth in such a way that transcends all divisions and leads us to ask the question anew, “Who is our neighbor? ” Then we will be able to live out the essence of what God wants of us. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”



Sister M. Veronique (Wiedower), C.S.C.

In her second term as President of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Sister M. Veronique is privileged to work with religious and other lay collaborators around the world. She participates in the meetings of the Four Councils of Holy Cross to assess and plan for ways to continue strengthening the strong ties that are part of the Holy Cross Family. Veronique also sits on the boards of Saint Mary’s College, Trinity Health, Catholic Health Ministries, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious Audit and Finance Committee, and VIVAT International, an international justice group working with the United Nations. This work allows a rich cross-fertilization of ideas and ministries which seek to incarnate God’s mission in today’s world.

“Holy Cross: A Gift to the Church – Past, Present, and Future”

How has the vision of Blessed Basil Moreau and other early religious of Holy Cross inuenced our charism for the Church of today? What gifts are being called forth from the Family of Holy Cross in the care of our common home today? During this Session, we will tap into how the congregations of Holy Cross and their Associates continue the foundational inspiration of Blessed Basil Moreau to revitalize the Church. Today, “our common home” is deeply divided. Violence and natural disasters exacerbate conditions that alienate people from each other and from their natural environments. Johannes Metz’ concept of “being a dangerous memory in the Church” will give focus to the prophetic ministry which our baptism impels us to exercise in Church and society.



Brother Raymond Papenfuss, C.S.C.

Brother Raymond has been a Holy Cross Brother for 67 years. He taught rst at Holy Trinity High in Chicago then spent 28 years in Ghana until cerebral malaria brought him back to the States. He taught at Holy Cross and St. Mary’s colleges, spent a number of years as vocation director, and then was assistant Provincial for 12 years. Over the years he has given a number of retreats and conferences and is also a spiritual director. Brother Raymond is thankful for his mentors -Thomas Merton, Keating, Rolheiser, and Rohr, for providing excellent advice through their books and lives.

““Prayer Beyond Borders””

To live a life of love as Jesus did

This presentation will focus on very practical ways to grow into universal brotherhood and sisterhood, to be at one with all of creation. This is the life that Jesus lived and one to which we are called. It is through our prayer that we come to know this Christ. As we recognize God’s presence in our own hearts, we can also recognize that presence in the hearts of others, because the God who has chosen us as a dwelling place, gives us the eyes to see the God who dwells in others.

Conference Schedule EST

10:00 AM   Opening Prayer

10:15 AM  Presentation: “Prayer Beyond Borders”
11:00 AM  Stand up Break

11:10 AM  Practice in Contemplative Prayer

11:30 AM  Contest Winners

12:00 PM  Lunch

01:00 PM  Presentation: “Holy Cross: A Gift to the Church – Past, Present, and Future”

01:45 PM  Panel: “Four Cultures’ Gifts to Holy Cross”

02:20 PM  Closing

Saturday, January 29, 2022 – Teleconference 

Reaching Out

Touching Minds and Hearts through Information, Formation and Transformation



Judith R. Fean, MA

Following her recent retirement as Vice President for Mission at Saint Mary’s College, Judy will continue to share her pastoral ministry, mission integration, and leadership experiences, especially in higher education, as a consultant. Her experiences as Director of Religious Education and Pastoral Associate within parishes in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and her work in Campus Ministry at Saint Mary’s College for 27 years, directly supported the education philosophy of engaging the whole person. As the first lay person to serve as Vice President for Mission at Saint Mary’s, Judy is an advocate of women’s leadership in the church and is committed to the spiritual and ministerial formation of women. She is deeply rooted in Holy Cross Spirituality demonstrated by her collaborative work with the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

“Pope Francis’ Gift to Holy Cross”

During the Opening Session, we will explore excerpts from Care of Our Home, Laudato si and Joy of the Gospel, Evangelii Guadium. Pope Francis calls us to care for each other and our Earth, recognizing our interconnectedness with nature and our neighbors. How will we respond to the very challenging times we face today and be mindful it is in God we trust? Moreau reminds us in the document, Christian Education, “How we educate the mind will change with the times, how we cultivate the heart is and will remain timeless.” Pope Francis challenges us to think differently and to respond. How will we encounter with open hearts, dialogue to listen deeply, and accompany to bring new life? Are we willing to seek new ways of educating the mind and engage in practices that continue to cultivate the heart?



Michael Reiling, MA

Mike Reiling is a retired high school theology teacher and retreat leader, who, at retiring in 2014 had spent 23 years at St. Edward H.S. in Lakewood, Ohio. Since retiring, he has led adult programs on the spiritual vision of Teilhard de Chardin, as well as workshops on journaling for personal insight and growth. Mike also regularly leads Tai Chi classes at several locations.

“Transforming Your Life in Christ”

This presentation will make the theme of the Conference come alive and will challenge us to reexamine our relationship with Christ using the archetypes of “Hero”, “Friend”, and “Mystic”. Having delved into the spirituality of de Chardin, Mr. Reiling will present a transforming vision of Christ and Holy Cross for our time.

Conference Schedule EST

10:00 AM   Opening Prayer

10:15 AM  Presentation: “Pope Francis’ Gift to Holy Cross”
11:00 AM  Panel

11:30 PM Contest Winners 

12:00 PM  Lunch Break

01:00 PM Presentation: “Transforming Your Life in Christ” Interaction

02:00 PM Closing

Saturday, April 24 2021 – Teleconference 

Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Brothers of St. Joseph

who later became the Brothers of Holy Cross.


The Legacy of the Early Brothers of St. Joseph

What can the early Brothers teach those who want to carry on their dedication to Holy Cross today? What can we learn from their lifestyle? How were the two Holy Cross Brothers’ missions to Algeria (1840 and 1844) different in their purpose and fulfillment? How did they differ from the 1841 mission to Indiana? How are those who carry on the Holy Cross tradition similar missionaries today?

Brother George Klawitter, CSC, retired in 2012 from St. Edward’s University where he taught for eighteen years and chaired the Department of English Literature. Brother George published a life of Brother Gatian (After Holy Cross, Only Notre Dame) and the lives of a dozen early Brothers (Early Men of Holy Cross). He has also translated and published two books of Holy Cross missionary letters (Adapted to the Lake and Holy Cross in Algeria). He lives at Columba Hall, Notre Dame


Looking Forward: The Universal Christ

Like the early Brothers of St. Joseph, what will it be like to be church in uncertain times? How do we prepare ourselves to become other Christs to meet and live in an unknown world?

Brother Raymond Papenfuss, CSC, has been a Holy Cross Brother for over 50 years. He taught at Holy Trinity High School before spending 28 years in Ghana. He taught at Holy Cross and St. Mary’s Colleges and spent years as vocation director and then as assistant provincial. Over the years he has given a number of retreats and conferences and has done spiritual direction. He is thankful for his mentors: Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, Ronald Rolheiser, and Richard Rohr through their books and lives.

Conference Schedule EST

10:00 AM   Opening Prayer

10:15 AM  The Legacy of the Early Brothers of St. Joseph – Brother George Klawitter, CSC
11:15 AM  Presentation and Awards Announcement for Student Essay and Video Contest Finalists

12:00 PM Noon – Lunch

01:00 PM  Looking Forward: The Universal Christ – Brother Raymond Papenfuss, CSC
02:00 PM Panel Discussion

02:30 PM Closing Prayer

Saturday April 14, 2018

Competency to See, Courage to Act

A Conference in Discipleship for Our Times

“’In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples’ (Mt. 28:19)…. All of us are called to offer others an explicit witness to the saving love of the Lord, who despite our imperfections offers us this closeness, his word and his strength, and gives meaning to our lives. What you have come to realize, what has helped you to live and given you hope, is what you also need to communicate to others.” Pope Francis, “The Joy of the Gospel”

Join us for an experience of the renewal of the light of God within, so you can share that light with those you know and with the broader community.

Regional Meeting Schedule on April 14, 2018, for the Notre Dame Community

Meeting at Holy Cross College
  9:00     Prayer
9:15     Speaker: Sister Brenda Cousins, CSC
              How a Disciple brings light in a Dark World
  9:50     Reaction to talk: Tom Labuzienski, Charlene Witka, Sister Associate
10:20     Break
10:40     Speaker: Father Kevin Grove, CSC
              St. Brother Andre: Letting God’s Grace Work Through You
11:30     Panel on Christian Discipleship for Young People by Student Associates
Denis Alexander, Kayla Rask, Colin Crawford, Eddie Donnelly
12:00     Lunch
1:00     Speaker: Bishop Bill Wack, CSC
              Lay Women’s and Men’s Role in Today’s Church
  2:00     Closing Comments and Prayer 



Reclaiming the Legacy of Blessed Basil Moreau - Saturday, January 27, 2024

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