The word “ministry” can be traced back to the Latin word for service. The priests and brothers of Holy Cross at Notre Dame try to find many ways in which we can be “at the service” of Jesus Christ, of Our Lady, and of the whole human race, to whom the Catholic Church has been called to minister. Our local community ministers particularly to the Notre Dame family, recognizing that the University itself is the hub of a network of service-leadership in which all sorts of people participate and from which great fruits of faith, hope, and charity flow far beyond the campus grounds.

fr_nguyen The Art of Ministry: Rev. Martin Nguyen, C.S.C. teaches painting in Riley Hall of Art & Design.

going_my_wayGoing My Way: Father Joseph Carey, C.S.C., is one of the many Holy Cross priests with whom students may share conversation everyday on the campus walkways or in the residence halls or classrooms or places of ministry and worship.

For Holy Cross priests, our preeminent ministry is to foster the potential of the Notre Dame family by offering daily the Church’s prayer to God, especially the Holy Eucharist. The presence of Holy Cross priests and other priests allows the Notre Dame community to gather for Masses all across campus during weekdays and especially on weekends.

Throughout the academic year, we are privileged to celebrate Mass numerous times each day, in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart as well as in the smaller chapels of academic buildings and residence halls, inviting students, staff, and faculty alike to the heart and center of the Catholic faith. We extend special invitations to liturgy and ritual at times when crises in the world or high points and low points in the life of the Notre Dame family spark the desire for people of goodwill to be together, to join in prayer, to take action that builds unity and hope.

Many of our Holy Cross community members minister to students and faculty members teaching at the University. They collaborate in the scholarship, research, and intellectual energy of many departments and institutes around campus. They are present in the classroom as role models and mentors. Other members participate in the administration of the University. The president of the University is, by statute, a Holy Cross priest. Among the top priorities of our administrative stewardship at Notre Dame is ensuring that our commitment to truth and excellence—in the context of a caring Catholic community— becomes a reality for every generation of students.

Our academic apostolate builds upon a strong foundation of scholarship among the members of Holy Cross, as well as the Catholic Church’s tradition of pursuing truth and developing the whole person through a range of academic disciplines. This tradition, deeming both faith and reason indispensable to an understanding of God’ creation, led to the founding of the first universities. We at Notre Dame believe this approach has much to offer to society today because it can produce leaders who think clearly, judge wisely, communicate cogently, and combine new knowledge with deeper insight and integrity.

We live with our students; we spend most of our days with them; they see our comings and our goings; they see us at work and at play; they see us in the classroom, in the residence hall, at sporting events, and at prayer. They know us, and we know them. Just as surely as we see God working in and through them, I would like to think that they encounter God in us. They know, as well as anyone could, that our lives as Holy Cross religious reflect the cross, as well as the resurrection, and that our only hope can be found there.

Campus Ministry and Center for Social Concerns

The professional staff of Campus Ministry is made up of many men and women—Holy Cross priests, religious, and lay people. In collaboration with the many students who work with the Office, a wide range of ministries and faith-development opportunities is provided to Notre Dame students, whether they are Catholic or belong to other faith traditions. The opportunities include retreats, prayer and reflection groups, Eucharistic adoration, and much more. Father Pete McCormick, C.S.C., is director of Campus Ministry. For more information on Campus Ministry at Notre Dame, please visit

Service to others in the spirit of self-giving love is also an indispensable part of the Catholic faith and the individual spiritual journey. One crucial channel through which students can respond to God’s call to help neighbors far and near is the Center for Social Concerns. This “C.S.C.” is the service and community-based learning center of the University, providing educational experiences in social concerns inspired by Gospel values and Catholic social teaching. For more information on the Center for Social Concerns, please visit