Revealing the Faithfulness of God

Rev. Pascal Garçon, C.S.C.

Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix

It is a polished marble stone, yet it lies humbly in an annex of Holy Cross Church at Le Mans. One can easily pass by it, never realizing it is there. Many, including not only the Holy Cross religious who come from around the world to pray here, but also those who serve in this parish, are unaware of its existence. It bears the following inscription: I was blessed and laid here by His Excellency J.B. Bouvier, Bishop of Le Mans, in the presence of the priests, brothers, and boarders of Our Lady of Holy Cross the 30th of March 1842.

This marble represents the first stone of what Blessed Basile Moreau built to honor the true founder of Holy Cross: God – the God who became flesh in His Son Jesus and dressed His power in the ordinary life of men. It is as if this cornerstone is telling a parable of the birth of Holy Cross. For this church experienced that glorious time when priests, brothers, and sisters in their zeal came to pray in the shadow of this stone before setting out across oceans and when students and families filled these walls with their songs and their faith. Yet, this stone also experienced the silence and darkness that came with the anticlerical laws and the humility that came when this church was turned into a stable.

Mass at Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix

Today, however, this same stone hears the reawakening of Holy Cross in France and has become witness to a new parish life, to the presence of those who come to pray in this reopened church, and to a renewed outreach to the young, the sick, and the poor.

This stone as well as the life and mission of Holy Cross in France stand as a witness to one of the deepest beliefs of our blessed founder: Beyond the times of darkness, beyond even the history of our lives, God is faithful.

Fr. Pascal Garçon, C.S.C., is a member of the Vicariate of France.


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