The first meeting of the Congregational Education Commission, which is chaired by Br. Prodip Placid Gomes, C.S.C., Second Assistant, was held February 17-19 at the Holy Cross Generalate in Rome, Italy.
The commission members present were Br. Anthony Dadzie, C.S.C., from the Province of West Africa, Fr. Michele Eugene, C.S.C., from the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Province, Fr. Davis Konuran, C.S.C., from the Province of North East India, Fr. Charles McCoy, C.S.C., from the United States Province, Br. Benard Omukuyia, from the Province of East Africa, Br. Leo James Pereira, C.S.C., from the St. Joseph Province, Br. Stephen Anandaraj, C.S.C., from the Saint André Province, Fr. Leonard Shankar Rozario, C.S.C., from the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province, Fr. Rodrigo Valenzuela, C.S.C., from the District of Chile-Peru, and Mr. Terry Lee who is the Director of School Sponsorship for the Moreau Province.
In the inaugural session, Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C., Superior General, welcomed the Commission to the Generalate and thanked them for their desire to serve the Congregation.
Fr. Emmanuel Kallarackal, C.S.C., First Assistant/Vicar General, who also participated in the meeting, then shared some words of welcome and encouragement as well, from his own long experience of working in education. He focused on the responsibility to prepare citizens of the earth as well as of heaven, educating both minds and hearts.
Adding his own words of welcome, Br. Prodip opened the meeting by calling education the Congregation’s “legacy,” dating back to the very beginnings of the Congregation. Referencing the work of Fr. Jacques Dujarié and Blessed Basile Moreau, he called on the participants to carry on this important responsibility today.
Br. Prodip stressed the importance of the Commission’s work to ensure that those who work in Holy Cross education institutions, both the religious and the many collaborators, feel accompanied and supported by the Congregation. Practically speaking, he spoke of the need to develop a congregational guide and other tools to help those in the ministry of education meet the challenges in our present age and continue educating minds and hearts.
Following Br. Prodip, Mr. Lee, Br. Pereira and Fr. Konuran each offered engaging presentations that addressed topics from the characteristics of education ministry in Holy Cross to imparting Holy Cross values to increasing connectivity among Holy Cross educational institutions. The presentations served to open up spirited conversations and discussions among the Commission members.
The Commission’s work then moved to a variety of more practical topics and projects from a Congregational Handbook for Education Ministry and training for teachers, office staff, and administrators, to resource personnel on educational themes and a possible newsletter and website to increase connectivity among our educational institutions.
When the meeting concluded on Sunday afternoon, the Commission members expressed their gratitude for the meeting and their commitment to work on the initiatives discussed over three days of meetings. Br. Prodip, in turn, thanked them for their sacrifices for the education ministry of the Congregation and for their spontaneous participation and deliberations in the meetings.