Holy Cross College (HCC), in collaboration with Holy Cross Village and the Brothers of Holy Cross, hosted an academic symposium entitled, “A Desire to Correspond with the Designs of God: Being and Doing the Brotherhood for the 21st Century.” Held in Driscoll Hall Auditorium, the seminar featured guest speaker Br. Joel Giallanza, CSC, a distinguished author and scholar of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

The event was designed to highlight the history and contributions of the Brothers of the Holy Cross in conjunction with the installation of Br. John Paige, C.S.C, as HCC’s fourth president.  Br. Paige’s experience includes, most recently, service as the vicar general of the Congregation of the Holy Cross in Rome.

“It was 170 years ago from this month that the Brothers of Holy Cross landed in New York harbor and crossed the Erie Canal to make it to Indiana,” Br. Giallanza said. “We are steeped in history.”

“What we find among the Brothers is the ability to be able to do extraordinary things with ordinary means,” Br. Giallanza said, referring to the harsh conditions of life in the Indiana Territory. “The pioneers of Holy Cross responded to a plethora of unknowns.”

Blessed Basile-Antoine Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, sent 7 men to America at the request of His Excellency Célestine de la Hailandière, bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes, which is now the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. De la Hailandière offered the congregation an area of swampy land on the condition that it established a college within two years. Among the group was Notre Dame founder Fr.. Edward Sorin.

While the order is known for great works such as the founding of the University of Notre Dame, Br. Giallanza stressed that such greatness should not eclipse the contemporary works of the order. He emphasized key personal characteristics like “openness” and “hospitality” that are key to preservation of their common mission.

“Our lives have to be marked by fidelity and integrity,” he said.  “What we profess to live must be a choice.”

Br. Giallanza encouraged his community to reflect on the value the order continues to bring to the world.

“We are more than we give ourselves credit for,” he said.  “We must believe that our presence and ministry is necessary to the full expression of Holy Cross and even of the Church.”

Br. Giallanza emphasized that the brothers must also believe that they are still relevant to society “even with gray hair” and that their way of life is attractive to young men. Only by living closely with the people they serve can this belief be further developed. He highlighted the unique makeup of HCC and how the brothers of the Midwest Province are able to live and labor amongst the students. Such a challenge, he said, allows individuals to observe and to appreciate their lifestyle while helping them to embrace the idea that “public life and private life can have no inconsistencies.”

Citing clauses in the constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Br. Giallanza reminded his fellow brothers that their religious commitments are a way for them to encourage the laity to fulfill their own vocations, be it to Holy Orders or Holy Matrimony.

“We are to set a standard that presents a model,” he exhorted.  “Holiness is not preaching; it’s about the ‘whole-ness’ of one’s life.”

“We must be skilled in seeing God in all and all in God,” he continued.  “We need to proclaim the intimate closeness of God to humanity.”

HCC students were strongly encouraged to attend Br. Giallanza’stalk as it would prepare them for the subsequent inauguration ceremonies. “I found the symposium to be very informative about who the Brothers of Holy Cross really are and what they stand for,” freshman Chris Noble said. “They are truly Christ for the world.”

Br. Giallanza recognizes that the brothers should strive to seek inspiration from their history as educators in the faith. “Our legacy of the past must be what we live in the present and what must challenge us into the future,” he concluded.

Jeremy is a freshmen who resides in Old College.  His favorite movies are TOY STORY and THE SOCIAL NETWORK.  Contact him at PrinzJeremy.L.DelaCruz.5@nd.edu.