Moreau: Mystery of the Cross
(R) Redeem us and make us redeemers by the mystery of the Cross
1) Living the example of Jesus Christ, fidelity to our commitment as religious, will lead to the cross. Father Moreau writes: "Jesus himself told us that following him is reduced to three things: renouncing ourselves, taking up our cross, and walking in his footsteps. The cross is not merely a possibility in religious life, nor even a probability; it is an inevitability.
2) God, you who called the world into being, you who created women and men and set them free to live in love, in obedience and especially to those of us called to live in the religious community of Holy Cross, grant a deeper insight into the mystery of the cross, we pray
(Refrain: If you wish to be my disciple … N.8)
1) Our experiences of the cross, Father Moreau reminds us, are often unannounced and cause us to question their object, form, or timing in our life. We wonder, 'why me?', 'why this?' or 'why now?'. There are no pre-packaged answers to these questions. However, Moreau teaches us that 'to the degree that we embrace the cross in our own life, to that degree we can provide the perspective of faith to others, in ministry and in community.
2) God, you who because of love for the creation, entered the world, through your son Jesus, to share our humanity, to rejoice and to despair, to set before us the paths of life and death; to be rejected, to die, but finally to conquer death and to bind the world to himself, grant us the strength of purpose to accept the crosses you sent, we pray
(Refrain: Unless a grain of wheat …)
1) First of all, cross, for Moreau, is an expression of God's presence and activity in our life, in our congregation. Our sense-experience and our perception would have us believe that God is both absent and inactive during our encounters with the cross. Only in faith can we acknowledge the truth here i.e. trials are like a divine seal which stamps all the works of God.
2) God, you who invite us into the community of the church that we may, despite trials and tribulations, through faith and communion, experience God's uplifting and sustaining grace; that we may fulfill our human responsibility and reach out for our neighbour; that we may work to bring healing and wholeness to a ruptured and uncertain world... and that we may rejoice in the constancy of nature and the joy of life itself, we pray
(Refrain: Lose yourself ….)
1) Secondly, for Moreau, the cross is an expression of God's mercy and love. New trials are reserved for the work of Holy Cross to enable it to emerge from them with greater strength and vigour.
2) God, whose word teaches us that the wheat and the weed grow together; that the paths of life and death, good and evil, too often converge.... choices are not clearly defined, grant us the confidence to responsibly tread the path we choose, we pray
1) Thirdly, for Moreau, the cross is a reflection of Jesus' example. As Jesus lived, so we are called to live. Inherent within our experiences of the cross lies the power of transformation.
2) God, whose purpose we try to sense in a spark of light here and there as humankind struggles to keep a human face. We know your purpose as we watch children at play...hope born anew in each generation.... perhaps to be quickly extinguished, perhaps to continue to burn brightly. For that hope may we give thanks, we pray
Lord our God, in your providential wisdom you chose Fr. Moreau to found an apostolic religious community for your glory and the salvation of your people. As we remember his commitment to you and his love and service for the unfortunate men and women, may we, his spiritual daughters and sons remain faithful to the vision and ideals of our Founder so that, united in mind and heart, we may be a powerful witness in the service of the gospel and of your love especially for the broken-hearted and little ones of this world. Trusting, like Mary, in your providence which never abandons us may we reaffirm today our commitment and availability for your mission.
R:\ Lord, make us courageous and committed
1) You call us, like Fr. Moreau, to co‑create new worlds, but we turn away and backslide into the comfortable and the certain.
2) You call us, like Fr. Moreau, to take risks and accept conflicts for the
; but we turn away and glory in how far we have come, for‑getting how far we have to go. Kingdom of God
3) You call us, like Fr. Moreau, to judge our world, to make decisions, and offer counsel; but we turn away and apologize for our anger and compromise our positions.
4) You call us, like Fr. Moreau, to do justice and love mercy; but we turn away and practice our passivity, purity, and piety in our communities
5) You call us, like Fr. Moreau, to love one another; but we turn away and compete, taking vengeance on those most unlike ourselves.
6) You call us, like Fr. Moreau, to be faithful bearers of your word; but we turn away and strive to make a name for ourselves
As spiritual sons/daughters of Fr. Moreau, and in the presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, we wish to recommit ourselves to the vision and ideals of our Founder and to our vows of celibacy, poverty and obedience according to the Constitutions of the Congregation of……. May the God who first called us to make this commitment strengthen us in our loyalty to him and to all of our brothers in the Congregation. Amen.
Merciful Healer, we do not claim our gifts. We do not face up to your call. We do not appreciate your partnership in creating a new community and a new world. Today with Fr. Moreau we commit ourselves to new partner‑ships for holding on to new visions for a different heaven and earth.
Through the celebration of the memory of Fr. Moreau, you have allowed his spirit into the quiet of our hearts to rouse and challenge us. Call us to openness with one another and to a spirit of unity so that we may become one with him in compassion, honesty, and integrity by a search rooted in our prayer and common life. Heal our individual woundedness, past and present. As you forgive us may we forgive others. Draw us together and transform us by your loving presence so that you may lead our province "in its efforts to listen and respond to the inspirations of the spirit, to the needs of the Church and to the signs of the times, and to pro‑mote unity of the Congregation in its fidelity to the Gospel and to the spirit of Fr. Moreau, our founder. We make this ...
I shall not try to describe here, my dear sons and daughters in Jesus Christ, the sentiments of love, gratitude, and confidence in God, of gratitude and devotion toward the Holy See, of respect and fidelity for our constitutions, to which such a favour should give rise in our souls. Who among us would ever have dared hope for such a reward for the almost insignificant services we have rendered to the church after only twenty-two years of existence as members of a religious institute? As for myself, I could not read the telegram announcing this solemn act without exclaiming with David: "Oh! How good is the God of Israel, to those who are upright of heart!" In this same church which has just been consecrated, it was only on my knees, at the foot of the tabernacle, and while shedding tears of happiness, that I could read the decree which makes the Congregation of Holy Cross an officially recognized body in the church.
-Basil Moreau, Circular Letter, Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix, July 3,1857.
-Basil Moreau, Circular Letter, Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix, July 3,1857.
The Need for Struggle
A man found a cocoon of the emperor moth and took it home to watch it emerge. One day a small opening appeared, and for several hours the moth struggled, but couldn't seem to force its body past a certain point.
Deciding something was wrong, the man took a pair of scissors and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth emerged easily, its body large and swollen, the wings small and shrivelled.
He expected that in a few hours the wings would spread out in their natural beauty, but they did not. Instead of developing into a creature free to fly, the moth spent its life dragging around a swollen body and shrivelled wings.
The constricting cocoon and the struggle necessary to pass through the tiny opening are God's way of forcing fluid from the body into the wings. The "merciful" snip was, in reality, cruel. Sometimes a struggle is exactly what we need.
- NY mayor from 1933-1945: Fuerello La Guardia sits occasionally at the city police court as judge. A poor woman an icy cold morning shivering was brought in. crime – stealing a loaf of bread. The law makes no exceptions, he said; your fine will be $ 10.00. Then feeling his pocket he pulls out a $10 bill. Take this to pay your fine and loudly he said, I impose on all of you present here a fine of 0.50 for living in a town where folks should steal in order to live. Sergeant, take your hat and collect the fines and give it to the hapless woman.
- 2 priests talking about their vocation: One said, “God is in need of
” And the other replied: The only place Jesus was in need of something was in Lk 19/34 – an ass! me.
Basil Anthony Moreau (1799-1873)
Basil Moreau was born on February 11, 1799, in Laigné-en-Belin, a small French village south of
. He was the ninth in a family of fourteen children, three of whom died at an early age. Basil’s father, Louis Moreau, and his mother, Louise Pioger, were farmers. Louis Moreau was also a wholesale wine merchant. Le Mans
The pastor of Laigné-en Belin recognized quickly the signs of a priestly vocation in the young boy and encouraged him to pursue studies that would lead him to the priesthood. Basil began his studies in 1814 at the seminary college of Château-Gontier and in 1817 at the diocesan seminary of
. He was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 22 on August 12, 1821. Following ordination his bishop sent the young priest to Le Mans where under the direction of the Sulpicians he received further training in theology and spirituality. Basil Moreau returned to the seminary in Paris in 1823 where for thirteen years he taught successively philosophy, dogma and Sacred Scripture. Le Mans
Foundation of Holy Cross
Endowed with an active and enterprising nature, while still a seminary professor, the young priest sought to respond to the pastoral needs of the time. In 1835, Basil Moreau formed a group of auxiliary priests who would preach parish missions and retreats throughout the countryside. That same year, his bishop asked him to assume the direction of a fledgling community of teaching brothers, Brothers of Saint Joseph, founded fifteen years earlier by Father Jacques Dujarié, pastor of Ruillé-sur-Loir. In
, in 1837, Basil joined these two groups into a single entity, whose aim was to provide quality education for the youth and to evangelize the people of the surrounding country parishes. The educational institutions undertaken by the priests and brothers quickly acquired a reputation for excellence that extended beyond the confines of the city of Le Mans . Le Mans
On August 15, 1840, Basil Moreau professed the vows of religious life along with several of his followers. With the arrival in 1841 of Léocadie Gascoin, who took the name of Mother Mary of the Seven Dolors, he laid the solid foundation for the women’s branch of his congregation, the Marianites of Holy Cross, thus realizing the fulfillment of his plan to establish a community consisting of three distinct societies of priests, brothers and sisters. It was at this time that Basil Moreau added a missionary dimension to his community. In 1840, a small group of religious was sent to
Algeria; the following year another group left for the . In 1847, another group of priests, brothers and sisters went to United States Canada and in 1853, the congregation was established in East Bengal which is today . In 1869 the Marianites of Holy Cross in Bangladesh Indiana received their autonomy and became the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross; in Canada, in 1883 the Marianites in became the branch known as the Congregation of the Sisters of Holy Cross (Soeurs de Sainte-Croix). Canada
Basil Moreau’s Vision
Spirit of union
What Basil Moreau sought most often to instill in his religious was a spirit of union. He often repeated the statement: “In union there is strength; dissension leads to ruin.” He desired union not just because of the challenge of three religious societies existing together; he believed that the members of any religious community if it is to survive must imitate the first Christians who had but one heart and one soul. Following this line of thought, he gave as examples illustrating this spirit of union the Holy Family of Nazareth and the union of the Three Persons in the Trinity. He wrote in one of his first circular letters: “Since we form with Him (Jesus Christ) but one body and draw life from the same Spirit, he urges us to remain united among ourselves in Him in order to be one like the branches and the vine, borne by the same root and nourished by the same sap, and forming together but one plant.” It was for this reason that he consecrated the priests to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the brothers to
and the sisters to the Heart of Mary, and the entire congregation to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows. Saint Joseph
In addition to the spirit of union and mutual collaboration, Basil Moreau strove to promote among the priests, brothers and sisters of Holy Cross a firm reliance on divine
. Seeing himself as merely a tool in the hands of a provident God, he wrote: “Holy Cross is not a human work, but God’s very own. … I beg you to renew yourselves in the spirit of your vocation, which is the spirit of poverty, chastity and obedience … If such is our conduct, we can rely on the help of Providence … Providence never fails to provide for all the necessities of those who abandon themselves to its guidance in accomplishing their duties … The Congregation of Holy Cross is God’s work, and by the very fact that He has not permitted its ruin despite the many terrible attacks of the enemy of all good, he wants it to continue in existence and to develop in even greater proportions.” Providence
Linked to this reliance on
, the founder of Holy Cross saw flowing from it the growth among his religious of an apostolic spirit that is best described as a zeal for the mission. In his book Christian Pedagogy, published in 1856, Father Moreau writes, “By zeal is understood that flame of burning desire which one feels to make God known and served and thus save souls. Apostolic activity is therefore the essential character of this virtue, and (ministers) who are animated by this virtue will fulfill their duties with eagerness, affection, courage and perseverance … Our zeal is always guided by charity, everything is done with strength and gentleness; strength because we are courageous and unshakable in the midst of pain, difficulty and trials … and with gentleness because we have the tenderness of our Divine Model.” Providence
It was in 1857 that Basil Moreau attained the height of his career. That year Pope Pius IX granted official approbation to the men’s congregation. This special moment was marked by a thanksgiving celebration that took place in the
of Holy Cross. Ten years later papal approbation was granted to the Marianites of Holy Cross. This was also the beginning of his greatest period of trial which ended with his resignation as superior general in 1866. church of Our Lady
Death of the Founder
Forced by his congregation to live apart from the community, Basil Moreau spent his remaining years preaching retreats with great success in the country parishes surrounding
. He was taken ill on January 1, 1873 and died twenty days later in the small house where he had been living with his two sisters. Mother Mary of the Seven Dolors was with him at the time of his death. The Marianites of Holy Cross never abandoned him and always remained faithful to him. Le Mans
It was not until 1893 that subsequent superiors general strove to revive veneration of Basil Moreau and devotion to his memory. During this time, the congregations founded by Basil Moreau grew and spread throughout the world.
Holy Cross Today
Today the men and women of Holy Cross have established and still maintain educational institutions as well as important social and pastoral ministries in
France, North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. It is through their commitment to the vowed life, their zeal for the mission and the diversity of ministry that the priests, sisters and brothers of Holy Cross continue to live out the vision of Basil Moreau.
Although his cause for beatification was introduced in the diocese of
in 1946, it was not until 1994 that the study of the virtues of the founder of Holy Cross was presented to the Vatican Congregation for the Cause of the Saints. The study was approved and on April 12, 2003, Pope John Paul II declared Basil Moreau’s practice of virtue to be heroic thus bestowing upon the servant of God the title of Venerable. Two years later, on April 28, 2006, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, authorized the promulgation of the decree regarding the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God, Basil Moreau. Le Mans
Finally, even if the name of the Congregation of Holy Cross does not spring from the founder’s special devotion to the cross of Christ – Holy Cross (Sainte-Croix) was the name of the Le Mans suburb where the congregation was founded – Father Moreau did not fail to make use of this title when insisting on the role of the cross in the spiritual life of his sons and daughters. He gave as a motto to his community the verse from the liturgical hymn: O Crux ave, spes unica! Hail, O Cross, our only hope.
SEVEN PRAYERS IN HONOR OF
THE SEVEN SORROWS OF
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
R. O Lord, make haste to help me
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
(The Hail Mary is prayed a total of seven times: once after each of the seven prayers.)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen
[For the First Sorrow - The Prophecy of Simeon:]
I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of thy tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by thy heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God
Hail Mary, etc.
[For the Second Sorrow – The Flight Into Egypt:]
I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of thy most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and thy sojourn there. Dear Mother, by thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety.
Hail Mary, etc.
[For the Third Sorrow – The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple:]
I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried thy troubled heart at the loss of thy dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by thy heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge.
Hail Mary, etc.
[For the Fourth Sorrow- Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary:]
I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful in the consternation of thy heart at meeting Jesus as he carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude.
Hail Mary, etc.
[For the Fifth Sorrow- Jesus Dies on the Cross:]
I grieve for thee O Mary, most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which thy generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by thy afflicted heart, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.
Hail Mary, etc.
[For the Sixth Sorrow- Mary Receives Jesus:]
I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of thy compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance and His Heart was pierced before His body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by thy heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding.
Hail Mary, etc.
[For the Seventh Sorrow- Jesus is Placed in the Tomb:]
I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched thy most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by thy heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom.
Hail Mary, etc.
After the seven prayers, we conclude with the following: V. Pray for us, O Virgin most sorrowful
R. That we made be worthy of the promises of Christ
Let us Pray
Let intercession be made for us, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Thy mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Thy bitter Passion. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.
Beatification video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGdn1iP0P14
Cardinal McCarrick on Moreau: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgZVy9wfpyk
Basil Moreau Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlGTY-oyEug&list=PLF212F58E6DE3DA49&index=3
Basil Moreau Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1XLHD2llog&list=PLF212F58E6DE3DA49&index=2
Charisms of CSC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1Y2JJtahGg
Bishop Dan Jenky: https://youtu.be/k5vv_KfIfL0
Fr. Jim King: https://youtu.be/FqNZFVJopVk
Moreau and Notre Dame: