Administrators, board members, and faculty from Holy Cross educational institutions gathered at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas, April 7-9 for the Holy Cross Institute's Annual Convocation.
"This year's Convocation is the largest so far, with approximately 200 Holy Cross educators from all over the world," said Br. Thomas Dziekan, C.S.C., Vicar General of the Congregation. "By far, the majority of participants are the laymen and women who are administrators and teachers in our schools, who believe and live the educational charism of Holy Cross as given to us by our Founder, Blessed Basile Moreau, and pass it on to their students. It is a moving testament and a validation of the importance of and need for Holy Cross' apostolate of education."
The theme for this year's convocation was "Holy Cross Education: Who Are We Today?" The keynote was given by Rev. Walter E. Jenkins, C.S.C., President of Holy Cross High School in Flushing, New York. In his address, Fr. Jenkins drew upon the work for his doctoral dissertation. He spoke about the characteristics of a Holy Cross school, including an emphasis on education and evangelization and a relationship with the local Church.
In addition to the keynote, there were several workshops and sessions that participants could attend, including: "Leading your Board in a 'Flipped' World by Dr. Richard Jung, Founder of Education Access Strategies, LLC; "Retreat Programs in the Holy Cross Tradition" by Dr. Mary Bulgrin, Director of Spiritual Formation at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, Ohio; and "Facilitating Distance Learning and Collaboration" by Mr. Jeff Hausman, Executive Director of the Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy.
The Holy Cross Institute is charged with creating a network among the Congregation's secondary schools, colleges, and universities for the purpose of providing resources, programs, and events that educate administrators, faculty, board members, and students on the Congregation's unique charism and educational legacy.
The Institute sponsored its first convocation in 2006. Drawing 150 people, the convocation looked at what it means to be an educator in the Holy Cross tradition. The keynote that year was given by Br. Stephen Walsh, C.S.C., the founder and first Executive Director of the Holy Cross Institute.
Although initially envisioned as a national network in the United States, this year's convocation witnessed the growing internationality of the Institute's work. Representatives were present from the Congregation's schools in Brazil, Chile, and France. They met once as their own group to speak about the special challenges and opportunities for the Congregation's educational mission in their respective countries.