Blessed Basil Moreau
Our Founder, Blessed Basil Moreau CSC founded the Congregation of Holy Cross on March 1, 1837, in Sainte-Croix, which at the time was a small village outside of Le Mans, France. We are an apostolic religious congregation composed of two distinct societies of religious brothers and religious priests “bound together in one indivisible brotherhood.”
Throughout our history, our mission has been to share in the Church’s mission by working as educators in the faith. In all of our ministries, whether schools, parishes, or other works of missionary outreach and social justice, we serve side-by-side with our collaborators through educating hearts and minds and building communities of the coming kingdom.
Today, the Congregation of Holy Cross consists of over 1,200 perpetually professed religious brothers and religious priests. Through our vowed religious life, our apostolic work, and our conviction that “the cross is our only hope,” we strive to be men with hope to bring in the 16 countries in which we live and serve.
Blessed Basil Moreau CSC sent the Congregation’s first missionaries – a large group of two priests, eight brothers, and four sisters – to Canada in 1847. By 1864, the Congregation was also working in Memramcook in the region of Acadia.
The growth of Holy Cross in Canada also allowed the Congregation to send waves of priests and brothers from the county around the world, including to new missions in Brazil (1944), Haiti (1944), and South India (1959).
Today, the Congregation remains active in pastoral ministry in Canada. St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal, Quebec where CSC religious from our worldwide communities minister, is one of the largest pilgrimage sites in the world, with over two million pilgrims visiting each year. They come to pray with St. Brother André Bessette CSC and seek healing in their lives.
In July, 1943, 14 Holy Cross Religious whose first language was English and who were members of la Province Canadienne, became a distinct entity in the Congregation of Holy Cross for English speaking Canada. In 1958 this group received the status of a Province known as the English Canadian Province of Holy Cross, to better serve the needs of the Church in English Canada. Today, the Region of English Canada continues to serve the Church in Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec. The Region also supports missions of the Congregation in India, Haiti, Peru, and Dominca.