Holy Cross in Action, 8,000 Miles Away

Over the winter break, Postulant Dustin Nelson and Aspirant Jacob Eifrid traveled to India with a group of Holy Cross College students and professors through a program sponsored by the Center for Global Perspectives. Now that they have returned to St. Joseph Discernment House, they reflect on the time spent with Holy Cross communities, 8,000 miles away from home.

Congregation of Holy Cross IndiaTraveling through India was shocking and exciting. With its penetrating smells, noise, and colors, it was a sensory overload! The people are friendly despite the open sewers and poverty they live in. It was common to see children playing in trash on the side of the road. Yet, it was all too beautiful at the same time. The clothing, the food, and especially the people! Despite areas of poverty, it’s a vibrant country with beautiful landscapes and a religious fervor I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Taj Mahal, St. Joseph Discernment HouseArriving at the Taj Mahal before sunrise meant that we were first in line, though the line quickly filled up. I’ve seen thousands of pictures of the Taj Mahal over the years but being there in person is a truly incredible experience. Pictures just don’t do it justice – you’ve got to visit and experience it yourself! One day we took a train down to Salem in Southern India and I had grace-filled experience. Maybe surreal is a better word. I was sitting on the train with a Muslim, Hindu, and a Sikh, and all of us were at peace staring out the window at the beautiful landscapes passing by as we went through gorgeous yellow and lavender fields and the sun sank behind the mountains from afar. At that moment, we were all one. Religious affiliations melted away, and here we were just four humans enjoying the Creator’s handiwork. It was a beautiful day to travel through the countryside.

Visiting our Holy Cross community in Bangalore was my favorite part of the trip. Seeing Holy Cross in action 8,000 miles away is a reminder of just how universal our Church really is. St. Joseph Discernment House, IndiaI felt right at home with the Brothers, and of course meeting all the students was just as fun for me as it was for them I think. The students are as anxious to hear about the U.S. as I am about India. I was delighted to discover they all speak English.

The people are beautiful and friendly and the food was fantastic! I hope to return someday after the Novitiate. It’s unlike any place I’ve ever been to.

— Dustin Nelson was admitted to the Holy Cross Postulancy Program last summer. A native of Kokomo, Indiana, he is a graduate of Indiana University and is clarifying his call to religious life while living in community at St. Joseph Discernment House.