Prayer for Our 175 Years of Foundation

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

God of our yesteryears,
You unfold before us the pages of history reminding us of the many great and simple, saintly women who dared to venture forth, to speak out and to labor to meet the needs wherever they arose, whatever the cost.

Courageously, they fulfilled Blessed Basil Moreau´s dreams and the Mission of Holy Cross. Our hearts swell with pride when we consider this heritage; we pause now in humble and grateful praise for 175 Years of Growth, Love and Service.

May the Spirit help us to look at the past with gratitude.

God of the present moment,
You continue to gift us with the Holy Cross Women of today who, like their predecessors, undauntedly face every adversity. Teach us to love and appreciate, in the here and now, these “faithful companions on the journey.”

May the Spirit guide us to live the present with passion.

God of all our tomorrows,
We ask for the audacity to dare to move into the future TOGETHER to BUILD, to SERVE and to LOVE as we meet the needs of our brothers and sisters. May our “union of hearts” make us worthy to welcome those who will carry Holy Cross in this new century.

May the Spirit enlighten us to embrace the future with hope. Amen.

Prayer: Sister Pauline Morneau, CSC
Symbol: Sister Trinh Ta, CSC

Are you guilty?

Monday, January 25, 2016

by Sister Margie Lavonis


Some of you probably have heard or read this question: “If being a Christian was a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

I once attended a powerful lecture on modern-day martyrs and was amazed to hear that approximately 150,000 Christians around the world are killed each year for their faith. That figure is truly shocking, and it gives me a greater awareness of a Christian persecution that still goes on.

It led me to wonder if I would have the strength and courage to live and confess my faith openly under such dangerous and life-threatening circumstances. Hopefully, neither you nor I will ever have to face the threat of death or severe punishment because we witness to our belief in the divinity and humanity of Jesus and the credence of the Gospels.

Even so, we should reflect on how we do or do not witness to Christ, even in a country that has religious freedom. A good exercise would be to review each day how well you tried to live the gospel of Jesus and how ready you were to love and forgive.

It also is helpful to think about who knows you are a Christian and a Catholic. Do you ever share about your faith or your relationship with Jesus with the people in your workplace or school and with your friends and family members?

When reviewing your day, reflect on what actions you performed with love or if you gossiped, judged or spoke ill of or damaged anyone’s reputation. Did you have opportunities to show compassion or love to someone, and did you?

A strong component of Christianity is service to others, especially to those in need. Is helping others a value for you? What do you do to reflect that value in your life?

Christians are called by baptism to witness to God’s love and presence in the world. Are you guilty?

Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau feast

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Today the family of Holy Cross celebrates the feast day of our founder, Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau. Father Moreau challenges all of us to be people of hope, convinced that God is ever present and active in our world, that God has not abandoned the people.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, source of all that is good, 
you inspired Blessed Basil Moreau 
to found the religious family of Holy Cross 
to continue your mission among the people of God.

May he be for us a model of the apostolic life, 
an example of fidelity 
and an inspiration as we strive to follow you.

May the Church be moved to proclaim his saintliness 
for the good of all people.

Lord Jesus, you said, "Ask and you shall receive."
I dare to come to you to ask 
that you hear my prayer.
It is through the intercession 
of Blessed Basil Moreau 
that I ask ....

May I learn to imitate his holiness and service
and look to him confidently in times of need.
Amen.

Congregation celebrates 175th anniversary

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

This year is a time of special celebration for the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Tomorrow, January 20, opens a yearlong celebration of the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Marianites of Holy Cross in Le Mans, France. From this beginning in 1841 grew three branches of Holy Cross women: the Marianites, Sisters of Holy Cross and Sisters of the Holy Cross. We, the Sisters of the Holy Cross around the world, invite you to pray with us and join us in the celebration of this milestone in service to God’s people.

Watch for more information about the 175th anniversary on the Sisters of the Holy Cross website, www.cscsisters.org. As you explore this special section of our website, please note the anniversary prayer written by Sister of Holy Cross Pauline Morneau, CSC, and the anniversary symbol, which was designed by Sister of Holy Cross Trinh Ta, CSC. Finally, we invite you to visit the celebration website of the three women’s congregations at www.womenofholycross.org, where you will find more rich history of the women of Holy Cross.

We thank all who have journeyed with us over the years. Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau, our founder, and Mother Mary of the Seven Dolors, the first sister, stressed the importance of reaching out to women and men to assist the “work of resurrection” that Holy Cross would undertake. Whether in Le Mans, where the delightful adventure of the Holy Cross sisters began, or wherever you are reading this message, the evidence of this collaboration is alive and well. We are grateful to each of you.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, January 18, 2016

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “Love for enemies is the key to the solution of the problems of our world. Jesus is not an impractical idealist, he is a practical realist. Our responsibility as Christians is to discover the meaning of this command and to seek passionately to live it out.”

In these violent times, many might say that loving our enemies is not practical. In fact, showing mercy in a difficult situation can be quite challenging, but with God’s strength, we can be makers of peace wherever we find ourselves in the world.

Gratitude

Monday, January 11, 2016

May we learn to appreciate all that we have while we have it and not take our lives and our gifts for granted. Let each day be one of gratitude.

Celebrate St. André Bessette

Thursday, January 7, 2016

St. André Bessette was canonized in 2010, becoming the Congregation of Holy Cross’ first saint. Officially, the feast is listed in the Church’s calendar as January 6, the anniversary of Brother André’s death. However, this often conflicts with celebrations of the Epiphany in countries where that feast is not transferred to a Sunday. This is true of many places where Holy Cross communities live and minister, and, therefore, Holy Cross congregations have received permission to permanently transfer this feast to January 7.

So, celebrate the life of St. André in January (the month named for Janus, the Roman god of doors, gates and passageways). Let us always remember to open our doors to welcome others in Jesus’ name just as Brother André, a porter and doorkeeper, let Christ’s light shine through him to all he encountered.

Prayer
Lord our God, friend of the lowly, you gave your servant, St. André Bessette, a great devotion to St. Joseph and a special commitment to the poor and afflicted. Through his intercession help us to follow his example of prayer and love and so come to share with him in your glory.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

St. André Bessette, pray for us.

We are all called

Sunday, January 3, 2016

by Candidate Megan McClowry

Megan McClowry stands with students of Moreau Primary School in Kirinda, Uganda. Megan is exploring a religious vocation as a candidate with the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
“Come and follow me, answer the call” is a vocation catchphrase I have seen many times on the T-shirts of Holy Cross men. But to listen, to respond and to answer the call is not easy. Believe me, I know.

God calls us each by name. I have been called many names here in Uganda — Megan, Maggie, Kahunde, Abwooli, nurse, teacher, mzungu* (way too many times!) — but the most recent name is one that God has been speaking to me, louder and louder through him and others for some time: Sister.

Hearing, listening and accepting God’s call is not easy. Today’s egocentric and individualistic society tells us that living a life of poverty, obedience and chastity is crazy. Why would we give up the Manchester United game or the new Kansiime episode on TV because there is a community meeting we are to attend? Why would we get up at 5 a.m. for morning prayers and work until 8 p.m. without pay? Why would we voluntarily leave the comforts of home to live in a village where cars struggle to drive through and where it requires one to go the mango tree to find network reliability?

Why? Because God’s plans are greater than any of our own. He has so much more in store for us than we ever could have imagined. Formation does not end in Jinja or Nairobi. It does not end after we leave the novitiate in Saaka or the States, and it does not end after we profess our first and final vows. God shapes us daily in the palm of his hand, molding us to be more charitable, more loving and more Christ-like as God deepens and strengthens our relationship with him.

God has called you. He has called me. Whatever names he uses — African or American, daughter or son, sister or brother — let us listen to him and answer the call anew each day.

*Mzungu is a Bantu language term used in the African Great Lakes region to refer to people of European descent (white people).

New Year's prayer

Friday, January 1, 2016


May Mary help us discover the face of Jesus, Prince of Peace. May she support and accompany us in this new year; may she obtain for us and for the whole world the desired gift of peace! So be it!
 — Pope John Paul II