The Holy Cross Mission Center of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers marked its 100th anniversary with a celebration on September 25, 2023, at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. The theme was "Encountering Christ on the Global Peripheries.”
Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C., Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross, was the keynote speaker, addressing "The International Mission of Holy Cross Today." Higher education leaders, benefactors, Holy Cross priests, brothers, men in formation, and students all turned out to learn more about the Congregation's exploration of a new Mission in Papua New Guinea and how to prepare for the decades to come.
Other speakers included Fr. Paul Kollman, C.S.C., former Center for Social Concerns Director, and Dr. Carolyn Woo, former President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services and former Dean of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.
Former Mission Center Director Fr. Jim Ferguson, C.S.C., former superior East Africa Fr. James Burasa, C.S.C., Dr. Rich Bautch, Director of the Holy Cross Institute at St. Edward's University, and Dr. Marco Clark, former Director of the HCI and current President of Holy Cross College were also present.
One hundred years ago, with the visionary leadership of Fr. Michael A. Mathis, C.S.C., the Congregation established the Holy Cross Mission Center to support the missions in East Bengal. The Center’s work has now expanded to include Holy Cross missions in Latin America and Africa.
Fr. Shohag Gabil, C.S.C., one of the Congregation's recently ordained Bangladeshi priests, was invited to celebrate the multicultural Mass as part of the day’s celebrations. Nichole Zabuna, a graduate of Holy Cross Lake View SSS in Uganda and now a student at Holy Cross College, read the first reading.
"Our goal is always to educate minds and hearts in all we do," explained Fr. Thomas J. Eckert, C.S.C., Director of HCMC. "We make God's love known to people through all manners of pastoral care, usually beginning in a parish setting. From there, we have the added blessing of responding to other needs in those areas, which have led us to establish schools, medical clinics, and social outreach programs."