In the troubled period following the French Revolution, Fr.Basil Moreau, a priest of the diocese of Le Mans, France, founded the congregation of Holy Cross, in response to the needs for education and evangelization of the devastated Church throughout the country side.
In 1835, he gathered a group of “Auxiliary Priests”. After this group was assembled, Fr.Moreau accepted the responsibility for the Brothers of St.Joseph who had been founded fifteen years earlier by another priest of the same diocese, Fr.James Francis Dujarie, Fr.Moreau eventually decided to unite these two groups, which he did with the “Fundamental Pact” of March 1st 1837. Priests and educational were united within a single association, to minister to the pastoral and education needs of the French Church.
Holy Cross began to flourish and expand into other countries from their headquarters in France. In 1840, Brothers and priests were sent to Algeria and the following year, Fr. Edwards Sorin and six Brothers went to the United States and founded the famous University of Notre Dame in northern Indiana. In 1841, Fr.Moreau founded the female branch of Holy cross, the sisters of Holy cross. In May 1853 the first contingent of Holy Cross arrived in Calcutta and from there proceeded to East Bengal. This first group consisted of 3 Sisters, 3 Brothers and 2 Priests. Seven years later, Fr. Pierre Dufal, CSC was ordained as the first Holy Cross bishop and took residence in Dacca.
In 1870, a young man named Alfred Bessette joined Holy Cross in Montreal and became known as Bro. Andre. Though he lived an ordinary, simple and humble life, he became famous through his holiness and his gift of healing. He was beatified by the Church in May 1982.
Fr.Moreau reached the heavenly Father on January 20, 1873. In 1946 he was recognized as a “Servant of God” and Pope John Paul II declared him Venerable in 2003. Pope Benedict XVI declared him as Blessed on September 15, 2007.
Fr.Moreau had said that “Holy Cross is a mighty tree which will have many branches”. As a result the Congregation of Holy Cross has taken roots in almost all parts of the world. Brothers, Priests and sisters of Holy Cross now live and work in 15 countries, on four continents.
You, being a member of this institution, become a part of the Holy Cross Family. Inspired by Fr.Antony Basil Moreau, Our founder, we become part of the growth process in which we all travel together.