Richard J. Bautch, Ph D
Interim Executive Director of the Holy Cross Institute
Professor in The School of Arts and Humanities
Dr. Richard Bautch hails from the Chicago area and is a product of Holy Cross education (University of Notre Dame, MA and Ph D). As an educator, his deepest roots are in Catholic high school teaching; Rich taught English to sophomores and juniors for several years before going to graduate studies and focusing on Christianity and Judaism in antiquity.
At St. Edward’s University, in addition to teaching Rich has held leadership roles including department chair and associate dean in the School of Arts and Humanities. He has also been involved in the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies (chief executive, 2014-2018) and the Catholic Biblical Association (executive board, 2014-2016, 2018-present).
Rich joined the HCI Board of Governors in 2019 and has served as its chair since 2020. As interim executive director, he now looks forward to collaborating closely with fellow leaders across the Holy Cross family in our institutions of secondary and higher education. “Our common aim,” Rich said, “is to accomplish what Blessed Basil Moreau spoke of as ‘the successful cultivation of the Lord’s vineyard to which we have been called.’” Rich has a special interest in Basil Moreau the Scripture scholar and enjoys researching this aspect of the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Assistant Director, The Holy Cross Institute
Meigs Turgeon was born and raised in Dallas, TX, where he attended Highland Park High School. As a student at Highland Park, he developed a keen interest in philosophy, theology, and apologetics, feeling a strong call to pursue these academic interests in a Catholic setting. He enrolled at St. Edward’s University in August of 2012, where he majored in Religious and Theological Studies and minored in Psychology. Meigs focused his studies on Second Temple Judaism, apocalyptic literature, disability hermeneutics, and the pastoral treatment of the mentally ill. As an undergrad, he developed a love of research and writing, which led him to present academic papers at professional conferences around Texas on four occasions. He was also actively involved with Campus Ministry, where he served as president of Pax Christi, moderated interfaith dialogue events, and participated in numerous Service Break Experiences. He graduated in May of 2016.
As a result of his studies and involvement in Campus Ministry, Meigs felt a strong vocation to serve the church. To better prepare himself for this task, he matriculated to Duke Divinity School in August of 2017 to pursue a Master of Divinity. At Duke, he grew in his love for theology, Scripture, and social justice, specializing in Catholic eschatology, the interpretation of the Greek New Testament, and the intersectionality of race, gender, religion, and politics in contemporary American society. In addition to his studies, Meigs underwent ministerial formation and training; over the course of his degree program, he served in a rural United Methodist church, taught in Ugandan parochial schools, and worked for an urban interfaith non-profit based in Durham, NC. He graduated from Duke Divinity School in May of 2020. Following the completion of his Master of Divinity, Meigs returned to his hometown of Dallas to teach high school theology.
Meigs was first exposed to Holy Cross during his undergraduate years at St. Edward’s. Holy Cross helped him to fall in love with learning and inspired him to get involved in the work of education and the service of the church. With Basil Moreau, he considers education to be an essential work of resurrection, and he wishes to help educators and students understand what it means to bear the title of Holy Cross. He hopes to bring zeal, vision, and a unique theological perspective to the Holy Cross Institute.
Meigs enjoys running, reading, and listening to live music. He is an avid traveler and loves immersing himself in the study of cultures, languages, and world religions. In addition to theology, he enjoys learning about history, psychology, and ethics. He is a Manchester United supporter and a fan of the Dallas Mavericks and Stars. In his free time, he can be found exploring the great state of Texas or spending time with family and friends.
Communications Manager, The Holy Cross Institute
AJ Valverde graduated from St. Edward’s University in December 2020 with his B.A. in Communication with a focus in advertising and public relations. During his undergrad, he was involved in Campus Ministry - serving in many ways. One of his more impactful moments was the service break experience during spring break 2019, he volunteered at St. Malachy Catholic School in Chicago, IL. He spent a year abroad in Angers, France, a 30-minute train ride west of Le Mans, France (the birthplace of Holy Cross). During his last semester, he did an independent study on the effects of Holy Cross on campus back home in Austin, TX. His research included reading various Holy Cross texts, interviews with students that came from Holy Cross high schools, and a trip to Sanctuaire du Bienheureux Basile Moreau Eglise Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix where he interviewed Fr. Paul Elie, C.S.C.
He was introduced to Holy Cross by Br. Larry Atkinson C.S.C. who served as a mentor ever since he first stepped foot on campus freshman year. During his studies, he took a course with Br. Richard Daly C.S.C. titled Catholic Social Teaching, the course was pivotal, leading him to join various social justice-driven organizations. During his last semester of college, he served as Executive Director of Hilltoppers for Hilltoppers. H4H is a student philanthropy council that raises awareness for students gifting their time, talent, and treasure.
His love for The Congregation of Holy Cross runs deep. In his first couple months with our office, he has launched a new social media channel, developed email campaigns, helped organize Convocation 2021, and more. AJ hopes to bring the Holy Cross Institute brand to an elevated level. His experience with social media, creative writing, and project management will set up the HCI for further success.
In his free time, AJ enjoys traveling, playing tennis, camping, and time around friends and family.
Lisa Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.
Vice President For Student Affairs
Title IX Coordinator
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX
Dennis Golden, Ed.D.
President Emeritus, Fontbonne University
Board Member, Holy Cross High School, Flushing, NY
Heather A. Gossart (Vice-Chair)
Former President / CEO,
Bishop McNamara High School,
Brother Robert E. Lavelle, C.S.C. (Secretary)
C.S.C. Midwest Province;
Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH
Mr. Terry Lee
Director of School Sponsorship
Congregation of Holy Cross, Moreau Province
Brother Bob Livernois, C.S.C
Spiritual Care and Mission Integration
Holy Cross Village, Notre Dame, IN
Mr. Deepak A. Patel
Trustee Chair Emeritus,
Holy Trinity High School, Chicago, IL
Marianne Ward-Peradoza, Ph.D.
St. Edward's University