Would you risk your life for your faith?

That’s exactly what Fr. Jacques-François Dujarié did following the French Revolution, when religious were forced underground to practice Catholicism. At great personal risk, this Catholic revolutionary ministered to the poor and faithful. His courage, leadership and compassion set the stage for the Holy Cross mission in our schools and throughout the world.

Our Holy Cross community will mark the 250th birthday of Fr. Dujarié, the “underground priest” who began the Brothers of St. Joseph, and inspired Blessed Fr. Basil Moreau, C.S.C. and the founding of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Project Hope 2017 celebrates the example Fr. Dujarié set and how his legacy resonates to this day.

Contest deadline is March 31, 2017. Winning entries will be announced on May 1.

A Priest for Our Time: Celebrate the Revolutionary Life of Fr. Jacques-François Dujarié

Priest. Revolutionary. Hero.

Would you risk your life for your faith? That’s exactly what Fr. Jacques-François Dujarié did following the French Revolution, when religious were forced underground to practice Catholicism. At great personal risk, this Catholic revolutionary ministered to the poor and faithful. His courage, leadership and compassion set the stage for the Holy Cross mission in our schools and throughout the world.

Join us in celebrating Fr. Dujarié’s 250th birthday by participating in Project Hope 2017. You’ll learn more about this hero’s remarkable legacy, while deepening your own commitment to your faith by exploring one of these topics:

  1. Fr. Jacques-François Dujarié bravely risked his life during the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, when priests faced arrest, deportation and sometimes death. Has there ever been a time in your life that you had to defend your faith in the face of opposition? How did that experience strengthen your resolve to stay true to your faith?
  2. As the French Revolution sought to remove religion from public life, Fr. Dujarié worked underground to preserve religious freedom. Why is religious freedom important to American society? Discuss the implications, for individuals and our nation, if religious freedom didn’t exist. As U.S. citizens, how can we continue Fr. Dujarié’s legacy by supporting religious freedom, in our nation and around the world?
  3. Fr. Jacques-François Dujarié said, “I am a priest in order to be a comfort to the widow, the father of the orphan, the protector of the poor, the friend of the sick.” How do you provide comfort to those less fortunate? Are you charitable with the sick and the poor in word and deed? How can you go beyond your school’s service requirement to make a bigger difference in the lives of others?

Through Project Hope, we invite you to be creative in presenting your thoughts, reflections and ideas. You can express yourself in writing, art, short film and music. The contest begins on January 6, 2017, and the deadline for submissions is March 31, 2017.

Click on the Download Materials tab for PDFs of all Project Hope materials.

Who is eligible?

Project Hope is open to students enrolled in grades 9–12 at designated Holy Cross high schools and to
students in grades 6–8 at designated Holy Cross middle schools.

Can I work in a group?

Yes! Students may participate as an individual or group. Group submissions are accepted for the categories of film and music, with up to four participants per group. Group or individual, each student may enter one submission to Project Hope 2017.

What Type of Work Can Be Submitted?

Students may express their ideas, reflections or experiences related to one of the three questions in media including writing, art, film and music. Click on the “2016 Winning Entries” tab to see examples.

How Are Submissions Evaluated?

A panel of Brothers of Holy Cross will evaluate submissions based on originality, creativity, thoughtfulness and impact on others.

What Can I Win?

Project Hope offers students recognition, exhibition and publication on this website, as well as prize money. A total of five prizes will be awarded.

Grand Prize: $500
First Prize: $250
Second Prize: $100
Third Prize: $50
Fourth Prize: $25

Additionally, we will award $100 to the teacher with the most Project Hope submissions.

For winning group entries in film and music, all participants will receive the full award. For example, if the First Prize selected is a film by three Holy Cross students, each of the three will receive $250.

Recognition will also be awarded to the winning submission for the Fr. Dujarié prayer card. Students who submit a prayer card for Project Hope (see details in the Guide for Educators and Campus Ministers) are eligible for Project Hope prizes and the winning submission will be mass produced and made available to all Holy Cross schools. It will also be distributed in an upcoming edition of the Brothers of Holy Cross’ Moreau News.

When is the Deadline?

The deadline for Project Hope is March 31. Winners will be announced on May 1 and published on this website.

How Do I Get More Information?

Updates, materials downloads and additional links and resources for teachers and campus ministers are also available on this website.

Guide for Teachers and Campus Ministers

A Priest for Our Time
Celebrate the revolutionary life of Fr. Jacques-François Dujarié

Each year, the Brothers of Holy Cross sponsor Project Hope to encourage students to use their unique talents to deepen their faith and relationship with Jesus. Reflecting on the life of Fr. Jacques-François Dujarié is an opportunity for students to witness the actions of a true hero of the church, within the context of their own faith convictions and the challenges of living out one’s faith in today’s world.

We have provided three prompts to guide your classroom discussion and activities, as well as help students who choose to enter the competition to shape their projects. Choose one — or all three — to enrich experiences in your classroom and in your school. We’ve also suggested activities and resources to build lessons around each question.

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1. Fr. Jacques-François Dujarié bravely risked his life during the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, when priests faced arrest, deportation and sometimes death. Has there ever been a time in your life that you had to defend your faith in the face of opposition? How did that experience strengthen your resolve to stay true to your faith?

These questions can help start a conversation among students about what it means to persist in your convictions. Students can start by reflecting on the meaning of staying true to themselves by considering the following Biblical quotes:

Matthew 5:11-12 You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

1 Peter 4:14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed, but should glorify God in having that name.

Fr. Dujarié, founder of the Brothers of St. Joseph, persisted in his conviction of ministering to God’s people. As a seminarian, he often disguised himself as a shepherd to assist the priests who were ministering underground. After he was ordained in secret, Fr. Dujarié continued to serve the Lord, often in hiding. He even posed as a peddler to go out through the countryside tending the people, risking severe punishment. He became known as “the underground priest.”

Mr. Joseph Santo writes in The Life and Times of Jacques-François Dujarié (Catteron Printing) that despite the dangers and obstacles, this servant of God was determined to remain faithful to his vocation: “On numerous occasions, he assisted priests at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, celebrated in the dead of night in a barn or a garret.” His bravery and conviction eventually led to Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C. founding The Brothers of Holy Cross, setting the stage for today’s Holy Cross mission in our schools and throughout the world.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: The life of Fr. Dujarié is both fascinating and inspiring. Download a copy of The Life and Times of Jacques-François Dujarié.

ACTIVITY: Ask students to create an original essay, work of art, film, or song that expresses the significance of standing up to persecution or ridicule.

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2. As the French Revolution sought to remove religion from public life, Fr. Dujarié worked underground to preserve religious freedom. Why is religious freedom important to American society? Discuss the implications, for individuals and our nation, if religious freedom didn’t exist. As U.S. citizens, how can we continue Fr. Dujarié’s legacy by supporting religious freedom, in our nation and around the world?

Discuss eras throughout history when others fought for religious freedom. Begin with the establishment of the 13 colonies in the United States, established by people who came to North America seeking religious freedom. Also, read the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects freedom of religion. Why did our Founding Fathers think it was necessary to codify this right when they adopted the First Amendment in 1789?

ACTIVITY: Assign students to research examples of the denial of human or religious rights in recent history and identify heroes who, like Fr. Dujarié, risked their lives for the freedom of others. Ask students to compare and contrast Fr. Dujarié to one of these heroes in an essay, poem, or PowerPoint presentation. Connecting Fr. Dujarié’s experiences with contemporary struggles provides a meaningful link between the revolutionary priest and more recent advocates for human rights and religious freedom.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Enclosed in your Project Hope packet are guided handouts to further explore Fr. Dujarié’s example of caring for and bringing hope to others: Providing Comfort to the Wounded and Serving the Poor.

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3. Fr. Jacques-François Dujarié said, “I am a priest in order to be a comfort to the widow, the father of the orphan, the protector of the poor, the friend of the sick.” How do you provide comfort to those less fortunate? Are you charitable with the sick and the poor in word and deed? How can you go beyond your school’s service requirement to make a bigger difference in the lives of others?

Fr. Dujarié responded to the needs of his time by creating two religious communities: The Sisters of Providence and the Brothers of St. Joseph. These men and women worked together with Fr. Dujarié to serve the needs of the poor and suffering. Discuss with students why it’s important to serve others. How does society, and we as individuals, gain when there is a strong culture of mutual respect and service? Throughout Scripture, the Lord calls us to help the underprivileged among us:

Deuteronomy 15:11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, “You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.”

Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Luke 3:11 And He answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

ACTIVITY: Ask students to make a commitment to engage in one or more charitable works beyond their school service requirement. There are many chances to serve others. Provide them with a list of possibilities that range from volunteering at a soup kitchen to collecting canned goods for a food bank to spending time with the elderly at a nursing home.

Guide students as they create their own individual, group or perhaps even a school-wide project that mirrors Fr. Dujarié’s commitment to the poor and disenfranchised. Also encourage them to look for the hidden disenfranchised in their own communities: the widow next door who needs assistance with shopping or shoveling snow, the shut-in down the block who is lonely or the classmate with a learning disability who needs help with math. Later, ask them to write about their experiences and share their stories with other students.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Opportunities to volunteer are everywhere! Students can check out service organizations in their town, or at their local Catholic Charities USA branch.

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Download a PDF of this Guide.

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Project Hope 2016 Winning Entries

We were overwhelmed — literally and figuratively — by the response to Project Hope 2016. There were 748 submissions representing 12 Holy Cross schools in the United States and students continue to raise the bar with the depth and breadth of work submitted. The theme of this year’s contest was the “Holy Year of Mercy.” Students were asked to reflect on how they have witnessed mercy or been the recipients of mercy in their lives. We applaud all students who shared their gifts and talents in writing, film, music, and art, and recognize those below for their outstanding contributions.

Grand Prize ($500)

  • Madison Wagner
    Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH
    Essay

First Prize ($250)

  • Melanie Bielecki
    Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron, OH
    Film
  • Ian Byrd
    Bishop McNamara High School, Forestville, MD
    Essay
  • Elijah Christley
    St. Edward High School, Lakewood, OH
    Music
  • Andrew Mekhail
    Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks, CA
    Essay
  • Katie O’Neill
    Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, IN
    Music
  • Conner Toups
    Holy Cross School, New Orleans, LA
    Essay

Second Prizes ($100)

  • Quinn Baker, Gerry Lavelle and Ethan Fittro
    St. Edward High School, Lakewood, OH
    Film
  • Alexander Birdsall
    Holy Cross School, New Orleans, LA
    Essay
  • Teddy Byrne and Thomas Kostic
    Holy Cross High School, Flushing, NY
    Film
  • Catherine Curran
    Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH
    Essay
  • Shannon McCreary
    Bishop McNamara High School, Forestville, MD
    Essay
  • Isabella Tassiello and Kiana McMillen
    Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron, OH
    Film/Dance
  • Danny Zahn
    St. Edward High School, Lakewood, OH
    Essay

Third Prizes ($50)

  • Gavin Broussard
    Holy Cross School, New Orleans, LA
    Film
  • Justin Boughter
    Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron, OH
    Essay
  • Seth Burke, Kordell Hoover and Matthew Minotti
    St. Edward High School, Lakewood, OH
    Music
  • Meredith Grenci
    Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron, OH
    Art
  • Madison Lambert
    Bishop McNamara High School, Forestville, MD
    Art
  • Kalysta Lee
    Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, IN
    Poetry
  • Frank Paine
    Notre Dame High School, West Haven, CT
    Essay
  • Suzanna Sim
    St. Francis High School, Mountain View, CA
    Essay
  • Emily Wainwright
    Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH
    Essay
  • Lilly Waltman and Kelly Berry
    Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, IN
    Film

Fourth Prize ($25)

  • Julia Agostino and Francesca Woodman
    Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, IN
    Music
  • Nick Berchak, Nicholas Greenawalt, Christian Howard and Jared Muller
    St. Edward High School, Lakewood, OH
    Music
  • Simon Corbett
    Holy Cross High School, Waterbury, CT
    Art
  • Brian Dolan, Pantelis Mouchlis and Oghenetanure Adegor
    Holy Cross High School, Flushing, NY
    Film
  • Lauren Kiachian, Erica Flint, Nick Juran and Meghan LaCroix
    St. Francis High School, Mountain View, CA
    Music
  • Robert Ranallo, Yiwen Sun and Samantha Winslett
    Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH
    Art
  • Maria Sahlani
    Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron, OH
    Art
  • Jacob Todd
    Holy Cross School, New Orleans, LA
    Poetry

Middle School Prizes ($50)

  • Peter Breen and Pantelis Goudas
    Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH
    Essay
  • Elijah Wiertel and Andrew Barba
    Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH
    Art

Teacher with the most Project Hope Submissions — Congratulations!

  • Mr. Justin McClain
    Theology
    Bishop McNamara High School, Forestville, MD