Brothers' 200th Anniversary

The Congregation of Holy Cross is delighted to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Brothers of St. Joseph by Jacques-François Dujarié. He saw the urgent need for education and catechesis for the youth of post-Revolutionary France. Having already founded the Sisters of Providence, with the encouragement of his bishop, he began to invite young men for the same purpose. On July 20, 1820, he accepted his first postulant in Ruille. Others soon followed, and the community of brothers dedicated to St. Joseph quickly grew.

In 1835, due to poor health and advanced age, Fr. Dujarié entrusted the leadership of the Brothers of St. Joseph to Fr. Basile Moreau. At the time, Fr. Moreau had gathered a group of auxiliary priests. He believed that the church would be best served if the brothers and priests were united into one community. On March 1, 1837, 54 Brothers of Saint Joseph and seven clerics signed the “Fundamental Pact,” forming what we now know as the Congregation of Holy Cross.

For 17 years prior to Holy Cross’s establishment, the Brothers of St. Joseph developed a spirituality, a style of education, and a way of life that they brought with them to their new community. This legacy, combined with the earlier vision and charism of Fr. Dujarié, is foundational to who we are today as Holy Cross religious. We invite you to join us in honoring our heritage and our earlier ancestors: Explore resources on the life of Fr. Dujarié and the early of Brothers of St. Joseph and their work. Watch a new video commemorating the anniversary of the foundation. Go deeper reading articles, talks, and circular letters by Superiors General. View photo galleries of sites associated with Fr. Dujarié's life and some of the first St. Joseph Brothers. Download prayers in French and English to join in the celebration, as well as logos and images of Fr. Dujarié to mark the occasion.