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.
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Download a PDF of this Guide.
The following resources and links facilitate exploration of the works of Fr. Jacques-François Dujarié.
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.