This year’s annual convocation of the Holy Cross Institute at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, in the United States gathered March 1-3 under the theme of Being Family. Blessed Basile Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, chose the Holy Family as the model for Holy Cross, and he encouraged his religious to foster a palpable communal and familial spirit in the Congregation’s schools.
This year’s convocation drew over 260 educators, including administrators, teachers, and board members, the majority of whom are lay men and women collaborating in the Congregation’s charism as educators in the faith. In addition to the large contingent from the United States, there were also delegations from the Congregation’s schools in Brazil and France.
Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C., Superior General, gave the keynote address titled, “The Holy Cross School Community as a Means of Evangelization.” Also, present representing the Congregation’s General Administration was Br. Prodip Placid Gomes, C.S.C., Second Assistant and Chair of the Education Commission.
Other presenters included Dr. Monique Jiménez-Herrera, Vice-President for Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at St. Edward’s University; Dr. Hugh R. Page, Vice-President for Institutional Transformation at the University of Notre Dame; and Br. Ernest Miller, F.S.C., Ph.D., Director of the Office of Mission and Ministry for the Eastern North American District of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
In addition to various workshops and break-out groups throughout the event, a special session was dedicated to the programs at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Illinois, and Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland, which provide for the inclusion of students with special needs within the academic program and school community.
The other big news from the Convocation was that Dr. Montserrat Fuentes, President of St. Edward’s University, in her opening remarks announced that Dr. Richard Bautch had been appointed Executive Director of the Institute. Dr. Bautch has served as Interim Director of the Institute for the past year, having replaced Dr. Marco Clark, who is now President of Holy Cross College in South Bend, Indiana.
Dr. Bautch hails from a Holy Cross education. Prior to serving as Interim Director of the Institute, he served as a Catholic High School educator, held leadership roles including department chair and associate dean in the School of Arts and Humanities at St. Edward's University, and served on many boards. He has also been involved in the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies and the Catholic Biblical Association Executive Board. In 2019, Dr. Bautch joined the Holy Cross Institute Board of Governors and has served as chair since 2020.
The purpose of the Holy Cross Institute is to create a national network among educational institutions founded and sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Institute provides resources, programs, services, and events that educate administrators, faculty, board members, and students on the unique educational legacy of the Congregation.
As a culmination to the Convocation, Fr. John Dougherty, C.S.C., Pastor of St. Ignatius the Martyr Parish in Austin, celebrated Mass in the campus chapel which was followed by a traditional Texas barbeque.