Saudações do Centro de Missões da Santa Cruz*
Our Mission Sends us Across Borders of Every Sort
* "Greetings fro m the Holy Cross Mission Center" in Portuguese
Happy Advent, Merry Christmas  & Happy New Year
Advent is a time defined by Hope. 
During this Advent season, all the faithful are invited to prepare their hearts in anticipation of Hope, the coming of the Messiah. This waiting and desiring for Hope is reflected in the Congregation's own desire to experience and bring hope to the world, for they are "men with hope to bring" (Constitutions 8:118). Hope is etched in our prayer and in our hearts, "Ave Crux, Spes Unica; The Cross our Only Hope."  

Through the various ministries of Holy Cross around the globe, hope is brought to those for whom the Congregation serves and cares. Hope is in classrooms and residences, near and far, when young people come to believe in themselves. Hope is brought to the young, orphaned women in the St. Marianne Cope Young Women's Project as they are afforded the opportunity to continue their studies, earn a professional degree, and join the Bangladeshi workforce to make a better life for themselves. Hope is brought to the sick and ailing who visit the Holy Cross Parish HIV/AIDS Clinic (Jinja, Bugembe Community) as this clinic provides access to much needed medicines enabling HIV/AIDS patients to live longer and fewer children are made orphans. Hope is brought to the orphaned, abandoned, and abused children of Santiago, Chile through Fundación Moreau (Fundamor) by giving these forgotten and discarded children the love, protection, and opportunity for a better life they inherently deserve as a valued one of God's creation. Each of us has the ability to bring Hope to the lives of our neighbors, our sisters and brothers in Christ!
Let each of us be people with Hope to bring.


A Sign of Hope & Celebration of Harmony
Pope Francis Visits Bangladesh and Recognizes Holy Cross Ministries
Vatican logo for Pope Francis' pastoral visit to Bangladesh - colored streamers in the shape of a dove, with a cross raised over a water lily (Bangladesh's national flower). Above, the official motto for the Apostolic Journey, "Harmony and Peace", is written in red.
At the end of November, Pope Francis arrived in Bangladesh for his pastoral visit to the people of Bangladesh and the Catholic community there. Landing in a Bangladeshi airline from Myanmar 164 years after the first religious of Holy Cross arrived after the long arduous journey from France, he found that the Church is very much alive, joyful, faithful and close to God. Although Bangladesh is a Muslim dominant country and Catholics only make up a small percentage of the population, the Church has been inculturated in many ways and is an example of interfaith and interreligious dialogue and collaboration. So much of the story of the history of the Catholic Church in Bangladesh is directly due to the presence of Holy Cross and its mission.

Today we find, Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, C.S.C., Archbishop Moses Costa, C.S.C. (President of the Bangaldeshi Bishops Conference), and four other C.S.C. Bishops as well as the Sisters, Brothers and Priests of Holy Cross serving in Bangladesh. Additionally, there are many young people in various stages of formation, called to serve in religious life and priesthood. There are outstanding schools, vibrant parishes - some with outposts of more than 30 villages all with a Chapel and faith community - and many ministries and laypeople working for Human Rights and Social Justice Issues.
The Congregation rejoices with these five new Holy Cross priests (pictured above), who were ordained by  Pope Francis during his visit to Bangladesh. We pray God will guide them as they work to make Him known, loved, and served. From  Left to Right: Fr. Robert Nokrek, C.S.C.; Fr. Kevin Kubi, C.S.C.; Fr. Gourob Pathang, C.S.C.; Fr. Digonto Chambugong, C.S.C.;  Fr. Gracy D'Rozario, C.S.C.

During his pastoral visit, Pope Francis ordained five Holy Cross priests and commissioned them on their sacramental journey to be witnesses of Hope. 
This is an exceptional honor for these five religious and the whole Congregation. While also in the country, Pope Francis was on the campus of Notre Dame College and welcomed Catholic young people from across the country! To have him on the campus of the Congregation's mission in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was a great honor.

For the gathering of the young people with Pope Francis, through generous benefaction to the Holy Cross Mission Center, we were able to provide for more than 700 of the students and young adults from the distant parishes to make the journey together to Dhaka for these days. They are some of the well-formed young Catholics of the country, who will become leaders of their communities, especially in the tribal areas, in years to come. We hope this was a transformative moment in their lives of faith!

Bishop Ponen Kubi, C.S.C., with three Garo girls greeting Pope Francis during his recent trip to Bangladesh in early December.
After the Youth Rally, Pope Francis was welcomed at Notre Dame University Bangladesh. Started in 2013, the University is in its early stages of development and received the approval of Pope Francis as he officially blessed the cornerstone of the University (see "One of Our Favorite Photos" section for picture of the cornerstone blessing). Fr. Patrick Gaffney, C.S.C., Vice-Chancellor, Fr. James Cruze, C.S.C., Provincial, and many others of the faculty, staff and Holy Cross community were there to greet him as he gave his blessing on this new educational mission of Holy Cross.
Pope Francis gathered with the religious serving in Bangladesh. Addressing these men and women in consecrated life was an opportunity for the Pope to speak about community, sacrifice and compromise. Our young religious in formation were also invited, and some of them even sang for the Pope at this event.

These were moments of great celebration for the Congregation and we invite you to rejoice with us and share in the joy of our sisters and brothers in Bangladesh celebrating the presence of the Holy Father with them during these days! What a privilege it is to have had him on Holy Cross ground at our ministries and with our community!  May it give the Church in Bangladesh the encouragement, strength and the blessing to carry on their mission!

Click here to see the Pope's detailed agenda and additional pictures from this pastoral visit.
Papal Visit to Bangladesh Theme Song
 
Papal Visit to Bangladesh Theme Song

If you would like to see a beautiful welcome video done for Pope Francis as he arrived in Bangladesh, click on the image above. This video shows the beauty of so many aspects of the people and culture, as well as the country!
Promoting Life, Ending Stigma & Raising Awareness
Holy Cross Parish HIV/AIDS Clinic in Bugembe, Jinja, Uganda
On December 1st each year, the global community gathers to raise awareness about the severe and very real threat to the vulnerable caused by HIV and AIDS. This initiative is an effective mode of involving more people in this life-altering conversation and disavowing myths and prejudice. According to UNAIDS, 36.7 million people globally were living with HIV/AIDS in 2016 with 1 million people perishing from AIDS-related illnesses in the last year alone. While the statistics are staggering, there is hope as world partners, such as the United States and United Nations, remain committed to increasing awareness, combating stigmas, and providing access to testing and antiretroviral therapy. Supporting the victims of this horrendous disease is an area to which the Mission Center and the Congregation are committed.

One place in our Holy Cross world where efforts to provide spiritual, physical, and medical aid to HIV/AIDS patients is being done is at the important parish clinic of Holy Cross Parish in the Bugembe community in Jinja, Uganda. The clinic is only open one day a week and yet 400 individuals are seen in the course of a month! This mission assists HIV/AIDS patients and their families by arranging counseling groups and therapy sessions, making antiretrovirals and food supplements available, and providing access to medical professionals. This clinic is seeing more and more patients, which is a testament to its success in prolonging life for its patients. An important aspect of World AIDS Day, and similarly the Holy Cross Parish clinic, is ending the stigma surrounding the disease, as many victims are judged harshly and degraded because of this disease. The clinic is actively making present God's mercy and love through the direct care of the poor and marginalized through access to spiritual, emotional, and medical care. By making these resources available, Holy Cross is contributing to the decline of new HIV infections; infections among adults has declined by 11% and 47% in children since 2010.

While the building is modest, the support provided by the HIV/AIDS clinic of Holy Cross Parish in Bugembe is inspiring and truly life-changing for those impacted by this horrible disease.
This ministry is serving the poor and marginalized, who without this aid would die and leave their families without a husband, a mother, a brother, a son or daughter - Holy Cross is reaching those who without help succumb to the painful realities of HIV/AIDS. The cost of this ministry has increased with its success because the patients are living longer with access to necessary medical care and continued community support. The prolonging of these lives is worth the increased cost of this ministry and so much more! Holy Cross Parish Clinic is truly an example of Hope and is evidence of the difference that Holy Cross missions make in the lives of our global neighbors.

You can make a difference too by educating yourself and others, encouraging people to get tested, taking action to support people with living with HIV, wearing a red ribbon (the symbol of HIV awareness and support), offering prayers for those impacted by HIV/AIDS, like  this prayer by National African American Catholic HIV/AIDS Task Force, or  supporting the Holy Cross Parish HIV/AIDS Clinic in Bugembe, Jinja, Uganda.
Student Fundraiser Updates
Photo Credit: Lighthouse Imaging

Photo Credit: Matt Cashore // University of Notre Dame
Photo Credit: Christie Hall 

ND Women's Boxing:
Baraka Bouts Knock Out
Original  Goal
 
This season, the Baraka Bouts threw a great combo, landing a "one-two" punch with support from the Wolohan Family Foundation.  With dedication, red gloves, and new platforms for fundraising, the Baraka Bouts surpassed their original goal of raising $75,000. With the generous donations of family, friends, and benefactors, the Baraka Bouts were able to raise over $110,000! 
The matching gift by the Wolohan Family Foundation motivated and challenged the ND boxers to raise more money than ever before, resulting in a grand total of $220,000. This support will be used to build the new girls' dorm at Lake View School in Jinja, Uganda. The amount raised has spurred the Congregation to begin construction for this new dorm sooner than originally planned. The vast majority of children at these schools are from impoverished families, so every dollar raised by the Baraka Bouts translates into an opportunity for transformation in the great tradition of Holy Cross and the Catholic faith. Many thanks and congratulations to the women of the Baraka Bouts & Wolohan Family Foundation! They threw a winning combo! 
Folk Choir: 
Concert for the Missions raises support & awareness
 
While rain poured, thunder boomed, and lightning illuminated the stained glass windows from outside on the evening of November 17th, the Folk Choir warmly welcomed a large audience into the Basilica of the Sacred Heart for the 24th annual Concert for the Missions. During this concert, the choir shared about the Holy Cross mission of Yancana Huasy, which serves children with severe challenges and their families in Canto Grande, Peru. The choir sung beautifully and the music and speaker selection promoted Peruvian traditions and offered the audience to "encounter the underrepresented members of our body" (Dr. J.J. Wright, D.M.A., Folk Choir Director). Through this concert, Folk Choir member Maria said, the Folk Choir "makes this humble offering to you, to provide a space for you to feel the beauty and richness of this South American culture, to offer a lens into their experience and encourage you to look at it more deeply - to enter into prayer with the cultural sights and sounds of this mission." Through their ministry, new awareness and support were brought to children and families who would otherwise be isolated, forgotten, and undervalued.
University of Portland
Dorms Continue Strong Traditions with Missions
 
Serving the missions through raising awareness and support has been a long standing tradition at UP and many time-honored events were founded as fundraising events to benefit Holy Cross missions. During the Fall semester a number of dorms have hosted events, such as the infamous Villa Maria Man Auction, the always popular Christie Pub featuring UP talent, and the 2nd Annual Kenna Hall Lip Sync Battle. Each dorm at UP picked from a variety of mission projects to support this year, like Lund Family Hall is promoting the Bathroom and Clean Water Project in Plaisance, Haiti, and Fields Hall is partnering with La Fuente Project at San Roque Parish in Santiago, Chile. These dorm events are hosted throughout the year, like Haggerty & Tyson Halls hosted "spirited" socials to benefit St. Joseph Hill School in Uganda and Fields Halls provided the perfect gift idea for the person who has everything, a beautiful, personalized certificate honoring a donation made on their behalf to the HCMC. Props to the UP community for having a good time while sharing the international mission of Holy Cross with others. Go Pilots!
World Mission Sunday Campaign at Holy Cross Universities & Colleges
This year the HCMC undertook a new campaign of promoting the international mission of Holy Cross across the United States at seven Holy Cross colleges and universities. In October, every student who attended mass in the communities of Holy Cross College, King's College, Saint Mary's College, St. Edward's University, Stonehill College, University of Notre Dame, and University of Portland heard of the international mission of Holy Cross, free-will collections were offered to support the poor and marginalized of our world and students heard about the peoples to whom the Congregations minister. This was great collaborative effort between the many partners at each of these schools and the HCMC staff. We hope that across the campuses students who attended Mass and heard the same message of the missions have a new view of Holy Cross and appreciation for our international missions. It is our prayer that they see this impact their education and lives. We thank our colleagues at all the colleges and the many Holy Cross priests who presided at each campus and dorm mass that Sunday! 
The Universal Language of Peace
Eleven Languages Proclaiming Peace on HCMC Posters Revealed
In the first HCMC E-Newsletter, we promoted the HCMC goal of encouraging ongoing education and prayer for Peace in our world. Specifically we are looking to address this need throughout the Congregation by establishing Peace Studies for our secondary and parish schools around the globe.
To bring awareness to this initiative to spread peace, the HCMC announced the commissioning and installation of our new PEACE Panels, which are displayed in the HCMC Hallway. These panels promote the need for Peace. On these panels, Peace is expressed in 11 languages representing almost every corner of the world where Holy Cross serves.
A competition was launched to see if anyone was able to name all 11 languages expressing this universal need. Many of you tried your hand at guessing the languages, but no one was able to get all 11. So it with much excitement that we reveal the 11 languages.


Languages by panel:

1.  Rotooro, Hindi, Portuguese, French

2.  Twi, Bangla, English

3.  Tamil, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Swahili


 

It is our continued desire to share these panels with you, which remind all of us of our internationality and need to pursue Peace, and so we have made poster sets (3 posters, 11x17) of the panels available for you who wish to display them. Help us spread Peace and work toward Heaven on Earth.


If you would like to receive a set of these beautiful posters to display in your hallway, office, school, community house, or parish, click here to fill out the Peace Poster Request Form. They may inspire new conversations, insights and learning for anyone in your communities and ministries.

Merry Christmas to All & to All a Good Night
HCMC Celebrates the Season and Brings Greetings from Around the World
 
Holy Cross Mission Center Christmas Party
 This year Santa Claus made a special trip down from the North Pole to visit the missionaries, staff, partners, and friends of HCMC at the annual Christmas Party. Mr. Shohag Gabil, C.S.C., pictured here with Santa 
(Fr. Richard Potthast, C.S.C.), is answering the time-honored question of whether he has been naughty or nice this year - Shohag of course answered "Nice" and received a special gift from Russel Stover, a box of chocolates!
Much laughter and joy was had and we are thankful for all 
who  attended  and made this event so much fun!


Christmas Pageant at  Yancana  Huasy
Family, Friends, and Staff of Yancana Huasy, located in Canto Grande, Peru, enjoy the beautiful rendition of the Nativity Story and other fun seasonal stories at the Christmas Pageant starring the children of Yancana Huasy. 


Nativity Scenes from Around the World
 
  Traditional Stained Glass Window Scene                                    Nativity Scene from China
 
 

             African Depiction of the Epiphany                              Haitian Artwork of the Madonna and Child
 
One of Our Favorite Photos
During his pastoral visit to Bangladesh at the beginning of December, Pope Francis blessed the cornerstone of Notre Dame University Bangladesh in Dhaka. The Pope's personal blessing on this new new ministry of Holy Cross in Bangladesh - the University was just started 4 years ago - will be long remembered as it becomes a premier place of higher learning in Bangladesh.

Pictured here with Pope Francis, is Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, C.S.C., of Dhaka (left); Fr .Patrick Gaffney, C.S.C., newly named Vice-Chancellor of the University & professor of anthropology at Notre Dame University-Indiana, USA (back right); Bishop Lawrence Subrato Howlader, C.S.C., Bishop of Barisal Diocese (front right); and Fr. Hemanto Rozario, C.S.C., head of Notre Dame College in Dhaka, (between Bishop Howlader and Fr. Gaffney, but cannot be seen).
 
  Dear Friends,
 
Christmas Greetings and may you receive many Blessings in the New Year! My great wish for each of you is Peace! And for Peace to come to the most troubled spots of the world and to each of our hearts.                                                                                                             
In the course of any given week, I have the opportunity to be in contact with our confreres in Holy Cross throughout the entire world. It is so impressive to know of the good work they are doing, their hopes for their ministries, and to see their lay colleagues, students and families being served with such energy and joy! Of course that is what we all hope - as we strive to receive and live by the words of the Gospel that we, too, become people of Joy and Hope!  Up against many challenges, it is beautiful to see the dedication and the response of the faithful in the far corners where Holy Cross serves! Something we all can share and help us to celebrate with Joy and Hope is a deep sense of Gratitude for all we have been given, and the for unique ways in which we have been asked by the Lord to give of our time, talent and treasure!

This Gratitude is contagious and is what will continue to inspire us to look at one another as sisters and brothers, and to see that God has created each of us in the very image that God has chosen for us! With this belief, I hope and pray for a transformed people and world!
 
We hope that you have seen in this E-Newsletter the tremendous work that Holy Cross does throughout the world, and in the ways our common mission is lived and celebrated! Thank you for reading it and feel free to share with others, especially those who might not use email so often.

Merry Christmas to each of you and Much Peace in the New Year! You are in my prayers.
 
Fraternally in Holy Cross,
 
Fr. Mike DeLaney, C.S.C.
Director, Holy Cross Mission Center 
Stay Connected
Email: hcmc@holycrossusa.org
Office: 574.631.5477