Be a Holy Cross Associate

Friday, July 31, 2015

Sister Joanne Becker, left, places the Holy Cross associate pin 
on Sue Mancione during a commitment ceremony 
at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana.
Take a moment and look around your community, your world. What unmet or evolving needs do you see? What skills and gifts do you think are needed to respond to these needs? Do you believe you can make a difference? Do you want to participate in the mission of Jesus?

Holy Cross Associates are called by God to respond to the evolving needs of people around us. They live the Gospel message in a mutually supportive relationship with the Sisters of the Holy Cross. These dedicated women and men are undertaking efforts for education; health care; women’s development; justice stands related to the poor, the imprisoned and the environment; and other ministries as global challenges continue to emerge. Each person finds unique ways of responding to Jesus’ love and mission.

For more information about becoming a Holy Cross Associate, please take a moment to look at our brochure or fill out our inquiry form

Rejoice and give thanks!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

An air of excitement and jubilation swirled around those gathered in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto for the July 19 Jubilee celebration of the lives of 13 religious of Holy Cross. Watch the video and also read an article from our website about the event.

Thank you for your support!

Monday, July 27, 2015

2015 Jubilee reflection

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sister Joan Marie Steadman, who celebrates 50 years of religious life, gave the following reflection during the Jubilee liturgy on July 19 in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto at Saint Mary's.

Golden jubilarian Sister Joan Marie Steadman, CSC
How does one find words to express the depth of gratitude we feel as we celebrate jubilees of 25, 50 and 75 years of religious profession?

This celebration is a moment to pause and give thanks for the fidelity of our God, who called us to life in Holy Cross, has sustained us on our journey, and continues to invite us to pour out our lives in love for others — those who touch our lives and whose lives we touch, people near and far.

We want to express our profound gratitude to those of you who are gathered here, to our families, friends, and our community, those with whom and to whom we minister. Your love and presence in our lives have been gift and blessing. We remember with love those who have gone before us, those who have walked beside us, and those who have challenged us to live our vocation with zeal and integrity. Our sisters in Holy Cross, your lives are a beautiful witness to fidelity and perseverance; you have responded to the call to be converted to love each day. The ministry of prayer of our sisters who are joining us via the closed-circuit television sustains us as we continue to discern and respond to movement of God's Spirit. Thank you.

The readings for today’s liturgy are rich with images of God and the example of Jesus — sheep and shepherds, excited and weary apostles, and Jesus, who saddened by the violent death of John the Baptist, his cousin, seeks a place of quiet only to be moved with compassion for the crowd searching to understand who Jesus is and eager to hear words of hope.

Perhaps we can all discover something of our own call in these Scripture readings. Let us take a moment and reflect on each of the readings to listen to the words of comfort and of challenge. Compassion is a thread that weaves these readings together — the compassion of God, the compassion of Jesus, and the invitation to be women and men of compassion.

Jeremiah speaks to the hearts of a people who felt lost and betrayed by those who led them. He reminds them of God’s promise to be with them and to send others who will be compassionate guides and stand for justice. We have found ourselves in situations where we were moved to speak out or act on behalf of those longing for justice, mercy and peace.

In Psalm 23, the Good Shepherd Psalm, the heart of God for all people and creation is revealed. We are challenged to not only pray this psalm but also to participate in revealing God’s unfailing love for all. This psalm can be an invitation to us to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world in which we live.

Paul in the letter to the Ephesians reminds them that Christ is our peace. This challenges the community to let go of that which divides and share the gift of God’s loving compassion with all, regardless of status. Paul’s world was full of barriers as is ours today. We can all find traces of prejudice in our own hearts, families, congregations and cultures. We are challenged to recognize and eliminate such prejudice in order to live in communion with one another, to be reconciled and be an expression of the peace of Christ.

Mark reminds us that Jesus shared fully in our humanity, desired a time and place of quiet and solitude, yet let compassion for others draw him out of a quiet space to respond. His eyes were open, his heart was moved and he took action — he fed them, he taught them. The crowds were hungry for much more than food. The place of quiet became a venue for ministry, for service. There have been times when we have heard this call — when compassion impelled us to act despite fear and fatigue and the desire for a quiet space. Compassion impels us to listen to the doubts and fears of others, to stand by them in moments of suffering and difficulty, to believe in them when they have stopped believing in themselves, to share in the fullness of their joy, affirm their goodness, laugh with them and give love in friendship — this is the action of the compassionate Christ. In this way we are challenged to make the Gospel come alive in the relationships and situations that form the fabric of our lives.

The Scripture readings invite us to stand in wonder and gratitude for the presence of the Spirit of God moving in us, among us and around us. The journey we have made to this day has held both pain and promise. We are called to make choices with gentle hearts and voices that speak with clarity and integrity.

On a day like today we experience the dream of Blessed Basil Moreau, our founder, made visible as we are gathered here for this Jubilee celebration. Father Moreau’s desire for Holy Cross to be rooted in many cultures and to live with a global perspective is the reality of the Congregation today. The world cries out for the witness of persons who can live in communion with one another. May we as jubilarians and as Sisters of the Holy Cross give this prophetic witness, no matter the circumstances of our lives.

Our lives have been blessed with the gift of those who have listened to us and called us to a deeper understanding and living of what it means when we say “we have as our model of faithfulness our Mother of Sorrows who, full of compassion for the world, stood courageously at the foot of the Cross united with her son in the work of salvation.”1 From a contemplative and discerning heart, like Mary’s, comes the courage to act with integrity and pour out extravagant love, a love that changes everything, a love that enables us to “remember the past with gratitude, live the present with passion, and embrace the future with hope.”2

We are not making this journey alone. Together we stand on the edge of the future, so we look ahead to life with the promise each day brings, knowing that the faithful and compassionate love of God will continue to release the love and gratitude in our hearts. It is in this love that we will find the courage to form new hopes and dreams for a world of justice, love and mercy. God can and will do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.
1 Constitution and Statutes, paragraph 4.
2 Pope Francis, Apostolic Letter to all Consecrated People on the Occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life.

Sisters gather at Saint Mary's

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Sisters of the Holy Cross in North America convened June 20 at Saint Mary's, Notre Dame, Indiana, for a creative gathering titled “Embracing OUR Future With Hope, Living OUR Present With Passion.” The response was overwhelming, and Lillie O’Grady Center was filled to capacity. View a video slideshow of this event at

Where is home for you?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The invitation of Jesus — to make our home in him — can give each of us much consolation. It is especially comforting to those who may not have grown up in a loving environment, to those from troubled families, and to those whose immediate family members have gone to God. We can be sure that no matter what happens in our lives, no matter how many losses of relationships we experience, we can always be confident of the familial love of Jesus.

We carry his faithful love in our hearts. We can always depend on him in good times and in bad. We don’t have to go anywhere to receive that love and security. It is always with us in the person of Jesus.

Congratulations, Jubilarians!

Sunday celebration

Friday, July 17, 2015

Thirteen Sisters of the Holy Cross will celebrate their jubilee years in Holy Cross on Sunday, July 19, in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto at Saint Mary’s. Two are celebrating 75 years since their first profession, six are marking 50 years, and five are celebrating 25 years — a collective 575 years of vowed life in the congregation.

During this Year of Consecrated Life, O God, we give you thanks for these courageous witnesses of faith and models of inspiration. Their pursuit of holy lives teaches us to make a more perfect offering of ourselves to you.

An evening prayer

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sister Joysline professes perpetual vows

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

“I cannot thank God enough for all his blessings and his love,” said Sister Joysline Mary Lyngkhoi on the day of her perpetual profession of vows as a Sister the Holy Cross. “God has been walking with me from the beginning of my life until this moment, and I believe that everything that has happened is God’s providential plan for me. I feel blessed and happy.”

Sister Joysline made her profession on July 3 in Grotto Church in the Laitumkhrah district of Shillong, India. Sister Veronique (Wiedower), president of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, was present to receive Sister Joysline’s solemn and lifetime commitment. Archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong was the principal celebrant.

“The ceremony was so touching and beautiful and meaningful for me,” continued Sister Joysline. “Making my perpetual profession on the feast day of St. Thomas, the Apostle of India, was significant. The archbishop spoke of how Thomas was zealous to share his joy in Christ, and he also spoke of Pope Francis’ joy, which our Holy Father shares with so many people all over the world.”

Many members of the Holy Cross family participated in and celebrated this special day.

“I am grateful to all the Sisters of the Holy Cross throughout the world who supported and prayed for me, and I give special thanks to the sisters and directors who have journeyed with me during my formation years,” said Sister Joysline.

“I thank God for the gift of life and vocation in Holy Cross,” she added. “I am overwhelmed with this beautiful day of perpetual profession.”

Students experience family of Holy Cross

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

After touring the campus of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Indiana, participants of the 2015 Holy Cross Conference of Student Leaders share conversation and refreshments.
Eighty-four students representing 12 Holy Cross high schools from the East and Midwestern sections of the United States converged at Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, Indiana, June 24–28, for the 2015 Holy Cross Conference of Student Leaders. Included were representatives from the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

Recognized as having leadership potential, the students were encouraged to build a community that went beyond their schools and learn what it means to be Holy Cross leaders. On June 27, they toured the campus at Saint Mary’s.

Although this conference has existed for several years, it did not include the Sisters of the Holy Cross until 2013 when Bother Robert Livernois, CSC, who runs the program, added Saint Mary’s to the agenda. He said it finally dawned on him that the students’ experience of the heritage of Holy Cross would be lacking without the sisters, who are an integral part of the Holy Cross family.

Sister Pamela Welch welcomed the students to Saint Mary’s this year and explained the tour schedule. Initially gathering in Lillie O’Grady Center, the students were divided into five groups, each led by a sister. The five sisters — Sisters Brenda Cousins, M. Carlita (Hammes), Linda Kors, Joan Ronning and Mary Alice Bowler — then led them to various sites on campus. They visited the Church of Our Lady of Loretto, Moreau Garden and Queen of Peace Cemetery. There also was a quick trip to the fifth floor of Bertrand Hall to explore the heritage rooms and examine various items that sparked questions about the branches of Holy Cross.

After the tour, the students returned to Lillie O’Grady Center for cookies, punch and conversation with the sisters and one another.

The sisters who participated can agree that the caliber of these young people gave one great hope for the future.

Help support underserved women, children around the world

Friday, July 10, 2015

As a sign of our commitment to the poor and the powerless, the Sisters of the Holy Cross created the Ministry With the Poor fund. We work with service agencies, parishes and our own ministries to help women and children around the world who are marginalized and underserved. We focus on building communities of justice and love, eradicating material poverty and ending gender discrimination against women in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, India, Mexico, Peru, Uganda and United States. We invite you to help us support our brothers and sisters. Your donation will be placed in a restricted fund and invested for annual distribution. Ministry With the Poor fund grants are awarded after an application and review process and granted on an as-needed basis based on the amount of funds available. Each sister receiving a grant submits mid-year and final reports to assure full accountability. In 2014 enough funds were donated to support 46 Ministry With the Poor projects. To support us in our mission, please visit our website,, and choose Ministry With the Poor from the drop-down menu.

Discovering God's joyful surprises

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

by Sister Verónica A. Fajardo
Sister Verónica

Can’t you serve the church without becoming a nun? I was asked this question many times by friends and family members while discerning my vocation. But I wanted to find out more about religious life and sought out my pastor. He said not to worry, “if you have a true vocation God will let you know. But don’t expect to be in deep prayer one day and have an angel of God come and say to you, ‘Verónica, join the sisters of … ,’ because that is not going to happen. Just take it easy, take it slowly and you will know.”  I felt his were some of the most comforting words I’d heard thus far.

During the discernment process I found a spiritual director. We met monthly to discuss where I was in my life and how I could pray for help in this time of searching. I attended different workshops on religious life. I began to read about different communities and visited their websites.

The Sisters of the Holy Cross were the first to respond to my email. I got in contact with the Holy Cross sisters in Los Angeles, California. I liked the fact that they lived in the inner city. When I visited Saint Agnes Convent in Los Angeles, I appreciated the way the sisters interacted with me and with each other. They were welcoming, lively, free-spirited, good listeners, and shared stories about their lives and their ministries. I felt I was able to be myself around them. I continued to visit and asked a lot of questions about religious life.

That year I became a pre-candidate and continued to hold my full-time teaching job and finish paying my school debt. I enjoyed living with the sisters, and my experience helped me to become more certain that I wanted to become a Sister of the Holy Cross. I felt the presence of God in my life and was assured of the great love God has for me. A year later I was a candidate; next I entered the novitiate. I made my first vows as a Sister of the Holy Cross in 2006.

During my time with the sisters I have visited various U.S. states and even spent 18 months in Africa. I have ministered with prison inmates, women, immigrants, children with exceptional needs, and the sick. People around the world have shown me the great love of God, and I continue to discover a God full of joyful surprises. It is a great blessing to be a member of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

If you think you might have a call to the religious life or want to know more about the Sisters of the Holy Cross, please contact us.

Protecting God's creation

Monday, July 6, 2015

“The Holy Father reminds us of our biblical call to live in right relationship and to cooperate with God’s design for our world,” said Sister Joan Marie Steadman in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for Earth and care for the poor. “When we choose lives of simplicity, hope, and love we honor God’s presence in our world; we grow closer to God and we build the community for generations to come.”

How does your garden grow?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sisters Shardin Suting, Ribilin Thongnibah, Doreen James Simpungwe and Chandrima Taju plant seedlings.
Each year the novices in our International Novitiate plant a flower and vegetable garden, which they lovingly tend throughout the growing season. Many green thumbs lighten the load and add to the fun.

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Peace, love, happiness … Sister M. Julien wishes you all of these on America’s Independence Day. Be safe and have a day sparkling with joy!

Listen to our motherhouse podcast!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sister Mary Elizabeth Bednarek, left, answers a question from podcast co-host Sister Maxine Kollasch, IHM.
Remember when A Nun’s Life Ministry visited the Sisters of the Holy Cross last month and live-streamed an hour-long podcast from Saint Mary’s? Well, just in case you missed it, you now can listen to that June 9 podcast with our own Holy Cross Sisters Verónica A. Fajardo and Mary Elizabeth Bednarek on our website at Enjoy!