Brother Benoit (Michael) Gillard, CSC (1815-1873)
“One of the antiquities of Notre Dame”, he was a locksmith by trade and came from France in 1846 with Father Sorin. For many years he was chief Prefect in the Senior’s study hall and yard. Naturally rough and severe, he kept a perfect order and was generally loved by the students, notwithstanding. The last years of his life he was prefecting in the Infirmary where he died in the sentiments of a lively faith at aged 66” (no citation). “Another of the old pioneer band that came to Notre Dame in the first years of its existence has parted from the scene of his labors, well laden with good deeds and merits. Perhaps no one at Notre Dame will be longer remembered by old students than Brother Benoit, who for twenty years ruled as Chief Prefect of the Senior Department. And we state what we know, as an old student ourself, that the announcement of his death will cause all the numerous men now engaged in the busy pursuits of life, who were once under his control, to pause in the whirl of business, and say: ‘God rest his soul!’ Brother Benoit had for some years been ailing, and had retired from the position of Chief Prefect of the Senior Department. A few weeks before his death it was evident to those who knew him well that he was in failing health; but on the morning of his death – Saturday – December 19th – he felt better and greeted cheerfully those around him, especially his fellow countryman and old comrade, Brother Augustus, who, despite the fact that Brother Benoit said he was feeling better, noticed a fearful change in him, and told him he was near death. And so it proved. Brother Benoit had received Holy Communion that morning, and just before noon it was evident that he was dying. There was time to administer to him the Sacrament of Extreme Unction (Editorial, SCHOLASTIC, 7:140, 1873). “Once more before the close of the eventful year, it is my sad duty to call upon you to pray for the repose of the soul of one of the old pioneers of our Congregation in the New World. Brother Benoit, for twenty years Prefect of the Seniors, departed this life at 11:30 this forenoon, fortified by the Sacraments of the Church, after a short illness of ten or twelve days. He was in his 66th year. He came to Notre Dame with me on my first return from France in 1846. As a Prefect, he was for many years considered an accomplished disciplinarian; of late, however, owing to infirmities and advanced age, he had been transferred from the Study-hall to the infirmary, where he continued, to the last, to act as Prefect Discipline among the convalescent. For his long and faithful services Brother Benoit well deserves to be gratefully remembered in the Congregation” (Sorin’s letter, 36, Dec. 20, 1873).
Sister Anna Mae (Joseph Anita) Golden, CSC (1930-2019)
The Sisters of the Holy Cross learned early in the novitiate to think of themselves as “daughters of Father Moreau.” In January 2006 Sister Anna Mae Golden shared a reflection on Blessed Basil Moreau: “Moreau’s vision was to have members of the Congregation seek holiness for the mission and to call others to holiness through the mission.” She was a good and holy woman who was mission-driven in every ministry she was assigned. She made the connection between holiness in her own life and mission for others, especially through education and health care. She entered the Congregation in June 1951 after graduating from Dunbarton College, Washington, D.C., with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics. After initial profession of vows in February 1954, as Sister M. Joseph Anita, she was missioned to either secondary education or higher education in high schools and colleges sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in the Eastern Province. Mathematics remained her strong suit, and she earned a Master of Science in in the subject in 1964 from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in education in 1981 from the University of Maryland. Her initial goal was to be the best math teacher possible. “Young people need the inspiring example of those who strive for excellence in what they are doing,” she wrote. Beyond her talent for mathematics, positions related to mission, administration and strategic planning came naturally to her. In 1972 she went to Saint Mary’s College, where she gave her full measure of service over several years. The 2004 Resolution of Gratitude from the Saint Mary’s College board of trustees testified to Sister Anna Mae’s quiet unassuming presence and deep faith and loyalty to the college. She served Saint Mary’s College as a member of the board of trustees from 1994 to 2004 and the Board of Regents from 1976-82; and 1988-94. During those years, she chaired committees to develop the pastoral vision of the college, from which the Center for Spirituality was founded in 1987. Sister Anna Mae was also the director of admission, the admission counselor for the Rome program, coordinator of institutional planning and a lecturer in mathematics. She devoted countless hours to ensure that the young women received a quality education during their four years at Saint Mary’s College by chairing the Education Committee. Elected in 1999 to the General Council of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Sister Anna Mae ministered until 2004 at the international headquarters at Saint Mary’s. It is said that, while on the General Council, she made time to tutor some of the young sisters who had difficulty in their college math classes. Her last active ministry was as a patient visitor from 2005-07 at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, South Bend, before transitioning into retirement due to failing health (Sister Catherine Osimo, CSC).
Servant of God Bishop Vincent McCauley, C.S.C. (1906-1982)
“The oldest of six children, Bishop Vincent McCauley, C.S.C. was born on March 8, 1906, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. His parish school, St. Francis Xavier, first awakened in him a desire for missionary work and evangelization. Inspired by Holy Cross priests who preached a mission at his parish in the fall of 1924, McCauley left Creighton University and entered the seminary at the University of Notre Dame. McCauley professed final vows in Holy Cross on July 2, 1929. As he was interested in the missions, he was sent to the Foreign Missionary Seminary in Washington, D.C., and was ordained a priest on June 24, 1934. His departure to the missions in East Bengal in India (a territory that today encompasses Bangladesh and part of India) was delayed two years until October 1936 because of a lack of funds due to the Great Depression. McCauley’s work among the neglected Kuki Christians (a distinct minority in the overwhelmingly Muslim country) in Agartala confirmed his calling as a missionary. Unfortunately, illness forced him back to the United States in May 1944. He spent nearly a year in recovery before joining the formation staff at the Foreign Mission Seminary in Washington. The next 13 years of his life would be devoted to seminarian formation and mission procuration, a role in which McCauley made famous the mission appeal slogan – “Wanted to build a better world: Few architects, more bricklayers.” In 1958, McCauley was sent to lead the Congregation’s new mission to Uganda. As had been the case in East Bengal, the Congregation’s work in western Uganda focused on building up the local Church through the establishment, renovation, and strengthening of parish churches and schools. When Rome split western Uganda into two dioceses, McCauley was appointed bishop of newly created Diocese of Fort Portal. As Bishop, McCauley built the diocese from the ground up, founding numerous parishes and diocesan structures, along with St. Mary’s Minor Seminary for local priestly formation. Remembered for his compassion and leadership, Bishop McCauley guided the Church in aiding countless refugees, widows, orphans, and migrants in the region during the political turmoil of 1960s and 70s. He also took leading roles in the creation and administration of East Africa’s episcopal associations. His leadership in the establishment of both an East African seminary and the Catholic University of Eastern Africa remains one of his distinctly Holy Cross legacies to a region in which global Catholicism finds one of its modern centers-of-gravity. Bishop McCauley’s commitment to the enculturation of the Gospel can be heard in his advice to fellow Holy Cross priests in mission. ‘We no longer use the term ‘adaptation.’ The suspicion is that ‘adaptation’ implies putting African clothes on European and foreign interpretations of Christ’s message. To the African Church the message of Christ is universal and, therefore, should be presented to the Africans as God’s message to Africans. It must be something that can be understood and put into practice in Africa … The Gospel, the Church, must be incarnated in the African culture in which we live.’ In August 2006, the cause for canonization of McCauley was introduced in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints” (http://holycrosscongregation.org/holy-ones/servant-of-god-vincent-mccauley).