The Holy Cross community at Notre Dame contains men of exceptional talent, dedication, and accomplishment. This is what people see. But behind all this, as its source, is a quiet but profound commitment to a life of prayer, service to the Church, and desire to be a witness to Christ. It is the latter which is our greatest strength.–Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President of the University of Notre Dame
The mission of the University of Notre Dame has been and remains today to provide tomorrow’s leaders with an excellent education, as well as the kind of all-around formation, inspired and enriched by our Catholic tradition and faith, that will make them clear, complete thinkers who can go forth to serve humankind in the light of the truth.
We want to pass along the traditions of faith and reason that we cherish as the Congregation of Holy Cross. We hope to do this by serving the Notre Dame family as fellow teachers and learners, as spiritual brothers to the young and old, as lifetime friends joining in the earthly journey, as stewards of a treasured heritage.
The Congregation of Holy Cross founded the University of Notre Dame to share a vision of broad education and deep faith in mutual dialogue. An indispensable aspect of this mission is the provision of articulate, disciplined, and devoted leaders for future generations of the Catholic Church and society. We want the truth to be promoted in every imaginable way in the residential life of the campus, as well as in the academic course work. We care that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is embodied in ways that are appropriate for a university education.
Today’s priests and brothers who live and work at Notre Dame on a “24/7” basis collectively embrace the Lord’s presence in the current moment while remaining mindful of the future and keeping the University rooted in its founding mission. We participate in Notre Dame’s ability to tie together the aspirations and energies of multiple generations who have shared the same faith, the same values, the same commitment to education and service. Our Holy Cross community is a spiritual descendant of those who founded the Congregatio a Sancta Cruce (C.S.C.), particularly Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau, C.S.C., and those who founded this school, particularly Reverend Edward Sorin, C.S.C.
If you take time to walk through the Holy Cross cemetery along the road to Saint Mary’s College, you will see on the tombstones an unwritten history of Notre Dame, comprising men with missionary zeal and courageous charity. Some of them succumbed to yellow fever, malaria, and other diseases as they established a distinctive Catholic presence in the still young American Midwest.
These pioneers of Notre Dame are “a cloud of witnesses” who inspire the abiding desire of the Congregation of Holy Cross to educate young men and women in wisdom, goodness, and truth. Our Congregation’s foundational documents summon us to be “educators in the faith,” and we take this calling most seriously, placing it at the heart of our community and this University.
Holy Cross has been privileged to witness the growth of the larger Notre Dame family through God’s providence. Many of us were educated and nurtured at this place. Our respect for “Notre Dame, Our Mother” is genuinely united with devotion to Our Lady and joy at the incarnation of God’s love in the world through Jesus the Christ. We are privileged to have so many talented and caring colleagues among the University’s faculty and staff, and so many other friends throughout the Notre Dame family, with whom to share our devotion, our memories, our daily efforts of stewardship and service, and our hope for the future.
You can come to know the people of Holy Cross through the many tasks we undertake and roles we play at this University. We work in the classrooms, in the research facilities, in the residence halls, in Campus Ministry, and in the administrative offices. We delight in working closely with—and sharing in the life journeys of— many other people, of various backgrounds and creeds, who share our sense of mission. We hope this serves as a channel of grace for our extended family and for the world.