175th: Family of Holy Cross Mission Moments

Volume One: September 1, 2023

A Special Event in the Heritage and Legacy of Holy Cross…
On May 1, 1849, five Holy Cross Brothers and three Marianite Sisters arrived in Washington, Louisiana. They traveled by stagecoach for four days before arriving in New Orleans to assume the administration of an existing orphanage in the city. The missionaries were sent by the Superior General Father Basile Moreau in response to a request by the Archbishop of New Orleans to take over St. Mary’s Orphan Asylum which served boys only. Thus began the existence of Holy Cross ministry in the State of Louisiana where many thousands of lives have been touched through Holy Cross mission and values. An official celebration of our Holy Cross ministry will be in a special Liturgy at St. Louis Cathedral on April 28, 2024.
After three decades of leadership, teaching and care of the orphans, the Brothers and Sisters expanded their work in New Orleans and South Louisiana by opening and staffing schools as well as Catholic Parishes when Holy Cross Priests joined the Holy Cross ministry in Louisiana. Throughout the 2023-24 school year our premier sponsored educational institutions, Holy Cross School and the University of Holy Cross will celebrate the legacy of Holy Cross mission and values on their campuses. It’s important that we remember and value the efforts of the many religious and colleagues who have made a difference in the lives of generations of men and women in Louisiana. Besides our existing schools there are many that were started as Marianite and Holy Cross schools that still thrive today as diocesan institutions.

About the 175th Anniversary Celebration Logo…
Significant thought went into designing our logo for celebrating this milestone event. There are several elements communicated in the graphic. Of priority is the fact that we are celebrating the 175th anniversary of a presence and ministry, not any one institution. We celebrate one hundred and seventy-five years of the Family of Holy Cross in the state of Louisiana, with the arrival in 1849 and culminating with the actual anniversary in 2024.

The colors used in the logo are representative of our two flagship educational institutions that continue in the education of hearts and minds of students in the New Orleans area emphasizing the mission and values of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the Marianite Sisters of Holy Cross. Our logo also points out that the religious orders were established in Le Mans, France, but Sisters and Brothers were sent to the United States and then Louisiana as missionaries by Father Moreau.

The concept of family has always been central to Holy Cross mission and ministry throughout its existence. There is a strong sense of family found in all of our institutions relative to the relationship of students, faculty, staff, parents and the broader community. The family spirit did not develop by accident; it was intentional. The organization of the Priests, Brothers and Sisters created by Blessed Basile Moreau had their relationship modeled on The Holy Family which is why we include the three hearts: the Sacred Heart of Jesus (a symbol of the Holy Cross Priests), flanked by the heart of Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows (a symbol of the Marianite Sisters), and the heart of St. Joseph (patron of the Holy Cross Brothers).
Father Moreau actually proposed the use of the three hearts in the official crest of the congregation with all three groups incorporated into one religious family when he sought papal approval of the new congregation. The symbol and the concept was not approved by the Pope as he wanted men and women separated in religious orders.
old logoOur “175 Mission Moments”…Our Mission Moments will highlight the journey of the Family of Holy Cross from Le Mans, France into Louisiana from 1849 to 2024 when we celebrate the anniversary. We will recall the who, the where, and the work with reflection on the thousands of men and women affected along the journey. Editions will be published on the First of the month through May of 2024.

We look forward to sharing the message as well as continuing to share our mission and values of Holy Cross together with you along this journey. Hopefully, you will join us as a messenger.