Hope Marks Journey to India with Center for Global Perspectives at Holy Cross College

From December 31, 2016, to January 15, 2017, Dustin Nelson, a Postulant for the Congregation of Holy Cross, myself, Jacob Eifrid, six Holy Cross College students, and Dr. Dianne Barlas travelled to India through the Center for Global Perspectives at Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, IN.

Center for Global Perspectives, Congregation of Holy Cross India

Holy Cross College students and members of St. Joseph Discernment House spent two weeks in India where they experienced the global nature of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Our adventure took us to New Delhi, the capital of India, as well as the cities of Bangalore and Salem.  While some of the trip was spent seeing the marvelous sights of India like the Taj Mahal, the purpose of the trip was to experience Indian culture, to gain a global perspective, witness the great work of the Congregation of Holy Cross in India, and most importantly grow in our Catholic faith as men and women with hope to bring.  We travelled to India to be with and learn from the people.

Center for Global Perspectives sponsored trip to India and Holy Cross ministries

For example, most of the first week was spent at Holy Cross School in Whitefield, a suburb of Bangalore.  We were warmly welcomed by the Holy Cross Brothers and were introduced to the entire school at an assembly.  The other days at Holy Cross School in Whitefield were spent with the boys of the Abhayadhama Human Development Centre.  This ministry by the Brothers of Holy Cross on the campus of Holy Cross School in Whitefield serves orphans and street boys who have dropped out of school.  Abhayadhama means ‘home without fear’.  Abhayadhama Human Development Centre is not only a place for the boys to live in a safe environment under the care of the Holy Cross Brothers, but it also serves as a technical school where the boys can learn trades such as carpentry, welding and mechanics.

Our task at Abhayadhama Human Development Centre was to simply be with the boys. Since they come from difficult family and economic situations, they appreciate companionship and the presence of young adults who listen to them, talk to them, and most importantly, spend time with them.  This experience in India with these children was especially impactful because our group learned that, despite their circumstances and lack of material things, these boys were very joyful.  At the beginning of our time, we thought that we would have a lot to teach the boys, but by the end of our stay we could not keep track of the countless lessons they had taught us.

The work that the Priests and Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross do in the places we visited in India is truly what Blessed Basil Moreau, CSC, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, had in mind when he urged early members of his community to take up “the work of Resurrection.”  This message echoes forth to us today.  As a man in formation with the Congregation of Holy Cross, it is very important for me to not only live amongst and learn from finally professed Holy Cross religious, but also to begin to imitate their way of life, to be a person with hope to bring. I was extremely fortunate to have this opportunity in India and I am still learning from my experiences since my return home.

— Jacob Eifrid is in the Aspirancy Program at St. Joseph Discernment House, Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, IN.