Formation for Tomorrow

Year_of_Consecrated_Life“Wake up the world!” This was the message from Pope Francis to religious brothers, priests, and sisters as he initiated the “Year of Consecrated Life” in the Church. This special period of reflection on the call to consecrated life began on November 30, 2014, and will continue until the World Day for Consecrated Life, February 2, 2016.

The Holy Father not only challenged religious men and women, but also our youth. He told them, “Do not be afraid of what God asks of you. It is worth saying YES to God!”

Heeding this challenge, the Moreau Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross is preparing young men to say YES to their future roles in the Church as laymen or religious.

At St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, Indiana, young men have the opportunity to live with Holy Cross brothers and priests as they complete their education. This year, the Congregation of Holy Cross was blessed to welcome 10 men in Texas and five men in Indiana into their homes.

At both locations, these students commit themselves to live by the three pillars of religious life in Holy Cross – prayer, community, and service. At the beginning of each semester, students spend time on retreat, reflecting on God’s call in their lives. Each day thereafter, members gather for common prayer, Eucharist, and the evening meal prepared by the students themselves. For many, this is their first experience of cooking, but the brothers teach them how to plan and prepare the meal – and how to clean up afterward! Attention to community life includes regular house meetings where the details of living together are decided. But community life is not all business! Friends from school and family members are invited to share in our Holy Cross hospitality. Likewise, intramural sports, video games, and local cultural events round out the time between studies. Lastly, these same young men commit themselves to a social justice project. In Austin, this takes the form of “Egg Ministry” where the young men provide a hot meal every Wednesday morning to the homeless in the downtown area.

Together with our Holy Cross brothers and priests, these dedicated students are preparing themselves to take on service and leadership roles both in the Congregation of Holy Cross and in the Church, wherever their discernment might take them. However, because of their experience with us, they will go out into the world carrying forward the mission of Holy Cross as “Educators in the Faith,” making God known, loved, and served. Pray for them that they might follow the example of Pope Francis and all holy men and women who have not been afraid to respond YES to God’s call in their lives.