April 27, 2019

In the Voice of Moreau:  Divine Mercy Sunday reminds us that the Christ is our eternal and final end who stands at the edge of time, calling us into eternity, nourishing us all the while with life-giving blood and purifying waters.  Yet, I ask, are our lives actually oriented to that One? Can we honestly say with Isaiah that we in fact “drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom” (66:11)? Are we really disposed toward receiving the goodness that She has to offer us from Her abundant breasts?  We must learn to constantly put our bodies in Her direction. We must learn to trust Her and only Her, to be fed by Her and only Her, to cling to Her and only Her. How often we stray from this cosmic vision of life and nurse instead from the things of this world. Putting our physical lips to beer bottles, our emotional lips to pornography, our spiritual lips to the latest false gospel or self-help program, we become like infants who never receive proper nutrition – we wither, fade and die.  Let us therefore become children of God by affixing our whole mind, body, heart, lips and self to Her.  Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

Holy Cross Educator’s Response: “To drink deeply with delight” does not come naturally to a person. Mentors (parents, teachers: the Church) must initiate the young into the fundament of the Faith and guide them to trust more and more that Christ is the final end of the quest for the “cosmic vision of life”. For teachers something as simple as beginning each class with a prayer can have lasting impressions upon students. “St. Augustine said that those who know how to pray well also know how to conduct themselves” (Moreau, Christian Education).  As the teacher who designs lessons that focus upon forming hearts that temper the application of the world’s knowledge, allow students to take the time at the beginning of each class to focus on a daily act of love, and act of adoration and making a petition for the grace to trust the Lord always. Guide this prayer because many students, those who are churched as well as unchurched, need to be taught to pray and why to pray. Blessed Moreau says that “…if there are so few children living as good Christians upon leaving school, it is certainly that they have not been formed in prayer”. Before one can drink deeply, one must learn to sip and to savor. It is daily classroom prayer that can enable students to yearn for more and more of the body and blood of the Lord. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

Fr. Joseph Barry C.S.C. (1903-1985)

unnamedFather BarryFor 19 years (1963-1982) Father Joseph Barry, C.S.C.  served as a religion teacher and chaplain for the members of the football teams at Archbishop Hoban High School.  His name graces the Hoban gym. He consistently told the team to “play from your hearts”. Standing only 5’ 3”, he was a “man’s man”.  In the August 2018 issue of Notre Dame Magazine, John Wukovits tells the story of Barry’s chaplaincy for the 157th Regiment, a Colorado National Guard unit that was part of the 45th Infantry that saw action in Sicily and Anzio in World War II.  Few Hoban students knew of Fr. Joe’s service in the military, but so many remember a man who was there for them when times were light-hearted and when times were dim.  He played from his heart as a true son of Blessed Moreau. Fr. Joe Barry died on September 25, 1985.

Brother Edmund (Frederick) Hunt, CSC ( 1909-2005)

Brother Edmund HuntBorn in Elwood, Indiana, Brother Edmund lived as a Brother of Holy Cross for seventy-three years. He passed away at age 95.  A 1935 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Brother Edmund received a Doctorate in Classical Languages at the University of Chicago in 1940 and later studied at the Sorbonne, Paris. His long and masterful teaching career inspired his students at the University of Notre Dame, at St. Edward’s University, and at several high schools of the Congregation of Holy Cross. From 1946 to 1952, as the first Brother President of St. Edward’s University, Brother Edmund set the institution on a course to become the second largest Holy Cross University in the country. His term followed the lean World War II years and heralded new growth at the university – indeed, many consider him the university “refounder.”  Among his many contributions, he led efforts to build the Alumni Memorial Gym, which was first used for the 1950 commencement ceremonies, at which the university conferred honorary degrees on Texas Gov. Allan Shivers and well-known Galveston businessman and philanthropist William Moody. In 1956, as a former president of the university, he supported efforts to form a lay Board of Trustees, a group that has guided the university since 1957. Brother Edmund also served the Congregation of Holy Cross at every level of engagement, perhaps most notably assisting with a rewriting of the Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Mother Augusta (Amanda) Anderson C.S.C, (1830-1907)

augusta.jpg“Mother Mary Augusta was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1830 and entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1854.  When she was four her mother died and her father, in his grief, decided to seek a new life on the Kansas frontier. Until he could become established, he left Amanda with her aunt near Lancaster, Ohio. Her aunt was a devout Catholic who, in the absence of a nearby church, made provision in her home for traveling priests to celebrate Mass. She also enlisted Amanda to help minister to Indians on a nearby reservation, which imparted to her a lifelong missionary spirit.  At age 24 and after her novitiate in France, she was assigned as a seamstress and a teacher. At the start of the Civil War, she and two novices were sent to a hospital to care for the soldiers. They were horrified at the conditions and looking at her whimpering companions “pityingly,” Mother Augusta told them, “Now stop! You are here and must put your heart and soul into the work. Pin up your skirts.” In 1875 Father Lawrence Scanlan asked the Holy Cross sisters to consider starting a school in Salt Lake City. Sr. Augusta and Sr. Raymond Sullivan responded. Within a week they had drawn up plans for a school that would cost $25,000, and set out raising the funds. They visited every mining camp in the territory, which is where the money was at the time, and so successful were their efforts that the school opened in September 1875 with 100 pupils. It was the beginning of what became a huge ministry that eventually included several schools, Holy Cross Hospital, and St. Ann Orphanage. Following the approval of the Constitutions from Rome and 20 years since the separation from the Marianites, Mother Augusta was elected the first Superior General of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1882. Certainly she was a force behind the establishment of numerous houses, schools, and of getting the work done, but most affectionately she was known as a superior who was always concerned with the well-being of her sisters, putting them first and standing for their freedom and rights as women religious. She took over where Mother Angela [Gillespie] left off, and built an independent congregation that was well-situated to continue to grow and thrive. Mother Mary Augusta is recognized for her deep love for the congregation and willingness to sacrifice all for the good of the congregation. To many she was and still is remembered as a builder of houses and most importantly, a builder of her sisters, a liberated risk-taker” ( Information taken from an article by Gary Topping, Archivist, Diocese of Salt Lake City and Sisters of the Holy Cross, Capturing the Wind, 2015).

April 20, 2019

In the Voice of Moreau:  Professionals often use the phrase,“think outside the box,” as a way to spur on creativity or promote innovation in their clients, students and employees.  Is this not resurrectional language? Aren’t all of us constantly seeking to transcend the bounds of our own social, cultural, familial, intellectual and spiritual tombs?  During those moments when our vision does align in a way that offers us a glimpse of life outside the box, our hearts sing with great joy and our souls are electrified by the prospect of new life.  This Hallelujah moment, however, is only temporary and we descend back into our caves and fall asleep once more. As disciples of Jesus, we must not settle for just “thinking outside the box,” but must instead seek to live outside the box.  Let us not delay in taking up this “work of resurrection.”  Let us not be satisfied until the cage of the self has been emptied out by the Cross.  Let us hope and pray that through the labor pains of the crucified Christ we may be born out of this tomb once and for all to share in the glory of eternal life.  Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

Holy Cross Educator’s Response:  For Blessed Basil Moreau life is an imitation of Christ.  An authentic imitation of the Royal Road of the Cross is achieved through the renunciation of pride, disobedience, inordinate ambition, greed and carnal desire.  To move outside our self-designed boxes of “I am all there is” is to embrace humility and love of God and neighbor—to become living imitations of Christ crucified.  Each Christian’s authentic goal is to achieve total and selfless union with Jesus Christ. In one of Blessed Moreau’s sermons, he declared, “How admirable the transformation that will take place in you through your union with Jesus Christ, and how wonderful the characteristics of this union.  Total union in being, intelligence, will, body—an intimate union, since it goes as far as living the life of Jesus Christ; an effective union, since it restores to us all we have lost in Adam and through it we become the same moral person with Jesus Christ; a glorious union, giving supernatural merit to our actions and the right to eternal glory.” Each Holy Cross educator should be preoccupied with introducing students to the  knowledge that arms them with the ability to live in “this world and the next.” Students need to be presented with daily opportunities to think outside the box. The innovation that we teachers offer to our students is to look for and embrace opportunities to become others-oriented. Living outside the box of self-centeredness is a daily struggle because it goes against the natural urge for self preservation. Our students must be acculturated to lean into the supernatural urge to rise again and again from the entombment of the self.  As educators our own outside-the-box thinking allows us to become moments of grace for our students. Ave Crux Spes Unica!

Brother Paul of the Cross (Patrick) Connors (1850-1893)

paul“Brother Paul, Prefect of the Senior Department of the University, died in the evening of the 12th instant. For a number of years the deceased had suffered from the ailment which finally carried him off, though he had been but a few days confined to his bed before his death. Known in the world as Patrick Connors, he was born in Ireland in 1850, and in 1867 entered the Congregation of Holy Cross at Notre Dame. During the past 25 years he has been one of the prefects of the Senior department, and was ever zealous to promote the happiness and welfare of the students. As a consequence he was deservedly held in high esteem, and by all who knew him, the tidings of his demise will be received with deep and sincere regret” (Scholastic, 27:236) “…the death of Brother Paul [of the Cross] has been a great shock, and a cause of intense sorrow to the members of Brownson Hall, with whom he was very closely connected as Prefect. The last fatal illness was of such short duration that it is almost impossible to realize that he is gone. All are firm in the conviction that the place vacated by Brother Paul will be hard to fill” (Scholastic, 27; 237). “Died December 12, 1893. Aged 42. Identified with Notre Dame 28 years. Most of that time, a prefect. In close intimacy with students, because of his great interest and leadership in athletics. Fine physique and handsome man. As leading spirit in founding Athletic Association and as Chairman of Board of Control, he laid foundation of modern athletic system. A vigorous athlete himself and Director of Athletics at the time of the death” (Scholastic, 1893). “In the early days of the school’s football career, Brother Paul was the only member of the campus religious who was an athletic zealot. He was manager of the first four Irish teams, back in the days of caps and handlebar mustaches” (Ward, Arch.  Frank Leahy and the Fighting Irish). “The ‘enthusiastic boom’ predicted by the Scholastic was not long in getting under way, for in the following week a meeting was held on the Notre Dame campus to form a Rugby Football association with Brother Paul, the father of athletics at the University, being named president. Brother Paul managed the first four Notre Dame elevens [football teams]. It was he who suggested that campus elevens be organized and was instrumental in securing uniforms for them” (Ward, Arch).  “Apropos of the renewal of athletic relations with Michigan, Notre Dame gratefully recalls the day in 1888 when Ann Arbor authorities sent their team, at the request of Brother Paul, to teach us the art of football. Last week in Cleveland, Mr. Ernest M. Sprague, one of those Michigan sportsmen, died. You are asked to pray for his soul. He refereed the game. When a Notre Dame man crushed into the Wolverine quarterback after he had signaled for a fair catch, then knocked the ball from his hands, scooped it up and thundered down the field for a touchdown, Mr. Sprague disallowed it and penalized Notre Dame. ‘In only a split second’, he said, ‘one hundred and fifty wild Irishmen were around my neck. Brother Paul saved me, raised his hand, asked for silence, and said: ‘These boys are our guests. We invited them to teach us the game. Mr. Sprague knows the rules.’ Lucky for me from the rule book I satisfied Brother Paul and the boys. I had treated them fairly.”

Sister Maria Gemma (Ella) Mulcaire, C.S.C. (1896-1982)

mulclaireAfter serving in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross for 67 years, Sister Maria Gemma died on March 22, 1982.  She was one of the hundreds of Irish sisters who gave up their homeland to serve the Church in America. Ella M. Mulcaire was one of twelve children born in Limerick, Ireland.  She came to the states at an early age and entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1915. She is a member of a legendary CSC family. Ten members of her family have been members of Holy Cross:  two aunts (Sisters Gertrude and Aloysius), two of her sisters (Miriam Gertrude and Aloysia Marie), two of her brothers and two cousins (Fathers Michael and James Mulcaire and Fathers P. J. Carroll and Joseph Quinlan), and two cousins (Sisters Joseph of the Sacred Heart and Hieronyme).  There are few families who have contributed more to Holy Cross and the universal Church. After graduating from St. Mary’s Academy, Sister earned a life license in elementary education. For the next 62 years she taught in elementary schools throughout Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. Her first assignment was to teach the legendary Minims at the University of Notre Dame following in the footsteps of her aunt, Sister Aloysius, who taught there for 43 years.  This writer was taught by Sister Maria Gemma in 3rd and 4th grade at Saint Mary of the Lake School in Miller, Indiana. She was an excellent teacher dedicated to her work and the children in her care.  A strict disciplinarian, she was a devoted daughter of Blessed Moreau as she developed her students not only in secular subjects but also in character and moral fiber.  As one of the best loved Sisters of the Holy Cross, she literally had hundreds of friends among her religious sisters and the laity. She was a woman of integrity with a deep piety and an abiding love of her Community and everyone in it.  Approachable and gracious, kind and understanding and ever ready to help, Sister Maria Gemma radiated a spirit of serenity, joy and peace. Her character can best be summed up with these lines from the Prayer of Saint Francis. “Where there is hatred, let me bring your love. / Where there is despair in life, let me bring hope. /  And where there is sadness ever joy.” (Information found in a eulogy supplied by Sister Timothea Kingston, C.S.C., Archivist for the Sisters of the Holy Cross.)

Father John W. Cavanaugh, C.S.C. (1870 –1935)

cavanaughFather Cavanaugh was the 8th President of the University of Notre Dame from 1905 to 1919.  He was born into a family of coal miners in 1870 and came to Notre Dame in 1886 because his mother wanted at least one of her sons to get an education.  In 1889, he received the habit and worked during his Novitiate for Notre Dame English professor Maurice Francis Egan. He was ordained in 1894 and that same year he became the assistant editor of the Ave Maria.  From 1898-1905, he served as the superior of Holy Cross Seminary.  In 1905, he was appointed the President of the University of Notre Dame by Provincial Father John Zahm.  Among the first of many acts to preserve and to highlight the history of the University, in 1906, he had the remains of Father Badin, the man who bought the ground on which Notre Dame had been founded, re-interred in their final resting place in the log chapel on campus. That same year the statue of Father Sorin was unveiled. Cavanaugh was an intellectual figure  known for his literary gifts. He was considered one of the best orators in the United States as attested to by his many eloquent speeches. During his presidency, he dedicated himself to improve Notre Dame’s academic and scholastic reputation, and the number of students awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees significantly increased. Cavanaugh also worked to enlighten the public about American Catholics, and convince them that they were not the enemy of the United States but that they were full supporters of their country. He especially fought against the Ku Klux Klan, the American Protective Association, and the anti-Catholic newspaper The Menace through his sermons, speeches and articles. He also supported Ellen Ryan Jolly in her effort to install a memorial to the Sisters of the Holy Cross who served as nurses in the Civil War.  During his presidency, the university also rapidly became a significant force on the football field. Yet Cavanaugh resented the implications that Notre Dame should be known as a football school and almost ended the football program because it had been a money-losing operation since 1913.  Ironically, two of Notre Dame’s most famous football personalities appeared during his tenure, George Gipp and Knute Rockne. After he resigned as President of Notre Dame, Cavanaugh kept himself busy. For two years he stayed at Holy Cross College in Washington, DC to teach English. After his return to Notre Dame in 1921, he taught English until 1931.  His health began declining as early as 1915 when he was diagnosed with diabetes. In 1925 he contracted tuberculosis and in 1934 he fell and severely injured his leg. In 1935, he died in the Community infirmary at Notre Dame. (archives.nd.edu. Retrieved February 13, 2019.)

April 13, 2019

In the Voice of Moreau:  We live in a world that is functionally amoral.  What is the Good? For most people it is what serves them.  If it is good for me, it is good! This childish way of life is a dead end that leaves many “mourning and weeping in a valley of tears” as they cave into themselves again and again and again.  The Church, however, offers a different vision for life. She pronounces that the Good is an objective reality, a standard beyond us that we must abandon all utilitarian thinking to reach. Indeed, she teaches us that only God is good (Mk 10:18), that the Samaritan was good because he stepped outside of himself to serve his neighbor (Lk 10:25-37), and that the thief may be called “good” because of his dependence on the Lord (Lk 23:40-42).  She goes so far as to celebrate a Good Friday, on which she invites us to affix our lips to the Cross, that glorious point of reference that delivers us from the idiotic pattern of self-centeredness into a life of true morality. Let us therefore worship the Cross with both our lips and our lives and in so doing become good. Ave Crux Spes Unica!

Holy Cross Educator’s Response: Because we live in a world of functional amorality, as educators we must consistently direct our students to move farer and farer away from the ego needs of “I” toward the altruism of “You”. Each lesson plan should include information and functional opportunities for students to become Good Samaritans and Good Thieves. Blessed Moreau clearly believes that the role of all teachers in Holy Cross Schools is “to make them [youth] Christians conformed to Jesus Christ; such is the principal goal of our mission among the young.  To what end would it serve the students to know how to read, write, calculate, and draw, or to possess some notions of history, geography, geometry, physics, and chemistry, if they were ignorant of their duties to God, to themselves, and to society, or if, while knowing them, they did not conform their conduct to that knowledge.” Blessed Moreau concludes that: “It is by this that you contribute to preparing the world for better times than ours” (Christian Education, Part Three).  In the early 1980s public schools began requiring students to look for opportunities to contribute service to the community.  William Bennett, Secretary of Education during the Reagan years, believed that a purely secular education was not and could not address the moral decline of the Nation. He said, “ For children to take morality seriously they must be in the presence of adults who take morality seriously. And with their own eyes they must see adults take morality seriously.” A Holy Cross education is designed around ten beliefs (the Core Values).  That God is present and active in our world.  That teachers will empower students to become lifelong learners.  That positive values must influence knowledge and its application.  That we value each person and welcome one another. That teachers challenge each student in mind, spirit and body. That our students hold responsibility for the future. That we hope for a world where justice and love prevail. That teachers are guides and companions on the journey of learning and becoming. That true education fosters the formation of hearts. That the convictions of our hearts are translated into the actions of our hands.  If each educator believes these convictions and acts upon them each day, then Good Samaritans and Good Thieves will populate the world. Ave Crux Spes Unica!

 

Rev. Theodore Martin Hesburgh, C.S.C. (1917–2015)

hesburgh 1Hesburgh TimeA native of Syracuse, New York, he served as the president of the University of Notre Dame for thirty-five years (1952–1987).  In addition to his career as an educator and author, Hesburgh was a public servant and social activist involved in numerous American civic and governmental initiatives, commissions and international humanitarian projects. Father Hesburgh received numerous honors and awards for his service, most notably the United States’ Presidential Medal of Freedom (1964) and Congressional Gold Medal (2000). He is credited with bringing Notre Dame, long known for its football program, to the forefront of American Catholic universities and its transition to a nationally respected institution of higher education. During his tenure as president, the university also became a coeducational institution. In addition to his service to Notre Dame, Hesburgh held leadership positions in numerous groups involved in civil rights, peaceful uses of atomic energy, immigration reform, and Third World development. He wanted to become a priest since the age of six. Graduating from Holy Rosary High School in Syracuse in 1934, he entered Holy Cross Seminary in the fall. In 1937 the Congregation sent him to Rome where he graduated in 1940. When the American consul in Rome ordered all U.S. citizens to leave Italy in 1940 due to the outbreak of World War II, Hesburgh returned to the United States to continue his studies. He spent three years (1940–43) studying theology at Holy Cross College and two years (1943–45) at the Catholic University of America, earning a doctorate in sacred theology in 1945. Ordained in 1943, he served as a chaplain at the National Training School for Boys and at a military installation.  Although Hesburgh expressed an interest in serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he returned to Notre Dame in 1945. After retirement, Hesburgh was especially active in the development of five institutions he organized: the Ecumenical Institute for Theology Studies at Jerusalem; Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights; the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies; the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; and the Hank Family Environmental Research Center. He died in 2015, at the age of 97. A Time magazine cover story from 1962, named him as “the most influential figure in the reshaping of Catholic higher education in the U.S.” (Information taken from various online sources.)

Brother Francis Xavier (René) Patois, C.S.C. (1820-1896)

xavier“The usual suffrages and prayers of the members of the Congregation are requested for the repose of the soul of Brother Francis Xavier who died at Notre Dame, November 21, 1896, fortified by the Holy Sacraments.  The deceased was born in Clermont, France, July 27, 1820, entered the Congregation Sept., 15, 1840, received the habit, March 22, 1841, and was professed August 22, 1841. Brother Francis Xavier was first called Brother Marie, which was afterwards changed to Brother Francis Xavier. Brother Francis was a model religious, regular at all the exercises, industrious to the very last, devoted to the Community, and led a life of great self-denial. He was a cabinet maker by trade.  From the very earliest history of his life in America, in 1841, he was employed as an undertaker, and he was frequently called up at mid-night, and had to go eight or even twelve miles to attend the dead. Hundreds of times he was exposed in rains, snow-storms; perched on an uncovered hearse, slowly making his way to the Church and cemetery. The most remarkable fact in his history is that he came with Very Rev. R.[sic] Sorin in company with five other Brothers in 1841. He survived every one of that devoted band who founded Notre Dame. It would be hard to find in history a more devoted band of missionaries than the band of which Brother Francis Xavier was the survivor” (Fr. Corby: CIRCULAR LETTER, November 13, 1896). “Brother Francis Xavier, 29, an excellent Brother like[d] by everyone. A master-carpenter; Sacristan. In charge of cellar for Mass wine” (Sorin’s Memo). “Brother Francis Xavier tells of the manner of journey from St. Peter’s [New York] and arrival at South Bend: ‘We came through from Vincennes on an old stage coach, which the Bishop who sent us here picked up somewhere. It was too small a conveyance to hold us all and our baggage, so we took turns at walking. When we arrived in South Bend we stopped for several days at the home of the first Alexis Coquillard as there were no accommodations for our party at the mission. We did not ford the river, ferry it, or go over it in row boats, but crossed it on the old bridge north of the brickyard. Alexis Coquillard might have gone with us, but he was a small boy then. It was resolved that Brother Francis Xavier should be assistant and Master of Novices’” (LOCAL COUNCIL, February 25, 1850). “It was resolved that Brother Francis Xavier should make a steeple for the church of St. Joseph, South Bend” (Local Council, 1851). “Altar made by Brother Francis Xavier on which Sorin used to say Mass in the log church now in east Chapel of new extension of church” (SCHOLASTIC, 19, p.293, 1894). “. . . who has made the coffins for all who have died at Notre Dame and most likely will do the same kind office for many more before he drives the last nail into his” (Prof. Lyons, (J.A.) Silver Jubilee of Notre Dame, p. 11, 1869).  “Since Father Sorin died, Brother Francis has been the Patriarch of Notre Dame; but no stranger who saw the silent, unobtrusive Brother as he moved actively about his work, would have guessed it. He wore his honors gracefully, and to the end he remained the prayerful, laborious, amiable, humble religious that he was in youth. Such men never die. They live again in every life their example has helped to sanctify” ( SCHOLASTIC, Vol. 30, p. 155, 1896).

Sister Euphrosine (Rosalie) Pepin, C.S.C. (1830-1906)

sistersBorn in France in 1830, Rosalie Pepin was known as “Fr. Sorin’s postulant” even though she was out of the Sisters of the Holy Cross for nearly ten years (1871- 79). When she was 19, she heard of the missionary work of two Sisters of the Holy Cross in Indiana. “[They] labored among the Indians, [and because of] the good they effected by their zealous missionary spirit” she desired to join them. In 1852, she sailed from France with Father Sorin and three other women for New York. Professed in 1854, she had early on endured many privations from the time she landed in New York. Her first assignment, caring for a dozen orphans, was in such destitution in all things that “[her] missionary life… looked to the worse instead of [the] better.” During the next 13 years she changed assignments ten times. In 1870, she returned to France to attend to family business and upon her return to the States, she met the Bishop of Galveston, Texas who asked her to return with him to begin a school. She did this and gathered women to assist her. Thinking that Father Sorin had given his permission for her Texas sojourn, she served for nearly ten years as a teacher/director in schools in several Texas outposts. Being away from St. Mary’s for nearly five years without the approval of Father Sorin, she was asked by Mother Angela Gillespie to “abandon the habit of Holy Cross. Always obedient, she changed the headdress, calling her group of [women] Sisters of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus.” She petitioned to return to Holy Cross and was granted permission in 1879. Over the next 20 years, she served in several towns in Utah, Michigan and Indiana. After the main building at Notre Dame burned down, she was asked by Father Sorin to return to France to beg donations for its rebuilding which she did. Finally, in 1899 she returned to St. Mary’s and was a now-and-then patient in the infirmary until her death in 1906. As an early “archivist” she collected memorabilia from many of the missions where she served and from individual sisters. This collection is a memorandum on the Sisters of the Holy Cross from 1852-1862. Prior to her death she listed in a small notebook five graces she asked from God: pardon for her sins, the spirit of faith, his holy love, the grace to do all the good which lay in her power, and finally the grace of a good and holy death. (Information taken from “Sister M. Euphrosine: Pioneer and Enigma” by Sister Campion Kuhn, C.S.C., 1984.) There are no images nor photos of Sister Euphrosine.

April 6, 2019

In the Voice of Moreau:  “My one companion is darkness” (Ps 88:18).  With these words, the psalmist perfectly describes the bittersweet phenomenon of the Cross:  Only when all of the people, things and ideas in our lives are stilled and put to rest does a trustworthy guide for our spiritual journey emerge.  The world wants us to think that it has all of the answers; our so-called best friends want us to follow their advice; our passions seem to change daily and lead us in circles; but a shadow is utterly consistent and dependable.  The darkness of the Cross has an unmistakable object, the living God. We need this darkness! We need its clarity! We need the Cross! Without a systematic taming of our mental circus, the night is never born and our lives remain confusing, fragmented and directionless.  Let us therefore literally “break bread with” the best companion we could ever have. Let us realize that the whole universe is bound together in this one single friend who has existed from the beginning of time (Gen 1:1) and who is our destiny (Rev 21:23). Let us indeed marry ourselves to that dark night and live.  Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

Holy Cross Educator’s Response: In Matthew’s Gospel, the Lord consoles: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (11:28-30).  All Holy Cross schools operate out of a set of core values with a preferential option for the poor. Blessed Moreau counsels his educators: “If at times you show preference for any young people, they should be the poor, those who have no one else to show them preference, those who have the least knowledge, those who lack skills and talent, and those who are not Catholic or Christian.  If you show them greater care and concern, it must be because their needs are greater and because it is only just to give more to those who have less…[seeing]…in all only the image of God imprinted within them like a sacred seal you prefer at all cost” (Christian Education).  Notice that Moreau says nothing about the material poor.  His concern is for the poverty of lack of love, of lack of emotional and spiritual balance, of lack of moral awareness, of lack of knowledge.  These are the pupils to whom “preference” must be given. These are all of the students we find in our classrooms. This compassion is predicated upon the fact that teachers have the competence to identify these forms of poverty and the courage to embrace them.  Moreau further cautions “Never forget that all teaching lies in the best approach to an individual student.” As educators and formators we become the redeeming Lord when we labor for students who are weary and overburdened. For students whose minds roil with attempting to measure up to so many hedonistic templates that are truly “confusing, fragmented and directionless”.  To “marry ourselves to that dark night and live” is the only guaranteed method through which we become Christ the Light, Christ the Consoler, Christ the Redeemer for our students. Ave Crux Spes Unica.