“I ask you to do everything you can to expand the work of Holy Cross, to spread it by every means that heaven puts within your reach.”
—Blessed Basile Moreau, C.S.C., Founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross
These words, written in a letter from Fr. Moreau to Fr. Sorin, founder of St. Edward’s University, speak to the essence of what the calling is today of the Holy Cross Institute at St. Edward’s University.
What began as a dream and a shared idea between St. Edward’s University President Dr. George Martin and Holy Cross Brother Stephen Walsh, C.S.C., the Holy Cross Institute was founded in 2004 as a unique partnership between St. Edward’s University and the Midwest and Moreau Provinces of the Brothers of Holy Cross.
Today, the Institute works directly with 18 primary and secondary schools and eight colleges and universities sponsored by Holy Cross in 14 states in the U.S. We also support the international education community of Holy Cross which spans 16 countries and five continents.
The Holy Cross Institute at St. Edward’s University exists to further the application of the Catholic and Holy Cross educational mission of participating educational institutions. Its effort involves education, formation and research: education of the public about the values and philosophy of Holy Cross education promoted from the time of Father Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, to the present; formation of board members, administrators, faculties and staffs, students and other members of school communities in these values; and research into these values and their application in education and teaching in the present time and into the future.
The commitment to unite in a common mission inspired the Institute, which serves Holy Cross educators in the U.S. and beyond. Many have fostered mission as a lifelong experience, developed grassroots ministries and collaborated on local and regional initiatives to sustain the Holy Cross heritage.
The Institute enables:
The Holy Cross Institute stimulates reflection and evaluation of the Holy Cross tradition worldwide. The Holy Cross charism — the divinely inspired gift to our community — transcends cultural differences and guides our individual and collective growth in mission.
The Institute serves schools and programs in 14 U.S. states and around the globe as it helps to ensure that the Holy Cross mission is carried forward with the same intentions and passion embodied by the university's and Congregation's founders. A governing board defines how the Institute will provide mission-based programs, research and training for the laity serving as administrators and educators.
To serve with zeal “to make God known, loved, and served, and thus save souls” – that was the charge that Blessed Basile Moreau, our founder, gave the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Moreau founded the Congregation on March 1, 1837, in Sainte-Croix, which at the time was a small village outside of Le Mans, France. Holy Cross is an apostolic religious congregation composed of two distinct societies of religious brothers and religious priests “bound together in one indivisible brotherhood.”
Throughout our history, our mission has been to share in the Church’s mission by working as educators in the faith. In all of our ministries, whether schools, parishes, or other works of missionary outreach and social justice, we serve side-by-side with our collaborators through educating hearts and minds and building communities of the coming kingdom.
Father Moreau set forth a twofold mission for Holy Cross educators: preparing students to be useful citizens for society and beyond. A Holy Cross education cannot flourish if we divide mind and heart. The measure of this mission is, in Moreau’s words, the formation of men and women “for better times than these."
“Consider the greatness of your mission and the wonderful amount of good you can accomplish.” —Blessed Basile Moreau, C.S.C.
From the chaotic time of post-Revolutionary France to the current challenges of modern times, our schools have integrated learning with responsibility to others. To sustain this tradition, Holy Cross educators must continue to grow and be formed as Holy Cross educators. The Holy Cross Institute gives educators a variety of resources to support that growth.
As Holy Cross educators, we recognize that we are called by God in order to serve the needs of the community. At the root of this, our vocation, is the responsibility “to sanctify youth… preparing the world for better times than our own,” as Bl. Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross reminds us.
In carrying out the formation of young people, we must remember that “the development of the work entrusted to us depends upon our acceptance of the inspirations of grace and our fidelity in seconding the designs of Divine Providence.” Embracing the mission of Holy Cross education to be a “Work of Resurrection,” we strive to live out, embrace and develop the four pillars of Holy Cross education adopted by many of the Holy Cross sponsored schools in the U.S: