On Friday, August 16, the Congregation of Holy Cross, together with the University of Notre Dame, celebrated 125 years of prayer and worship at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Located at the heart of the university's campus, the Basilica serves as the oldest and principal church of the Congregation in the United States.
The Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of Peoria, Ill., presided and preached at the Mass commemorating the Basilica's consecration by the Most Reverend Joseph G. Dwenger, Bishop of Fort Wayne, Ind., on Aug. 15, 1888. The Mass featured music from alumni of the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir, and a reception followed in the Rotunda of the Main Building.
"Our celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in 1888 helps us to relive a number of very important milestones in the history of Notre Dame and of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the United States," said Rev. Peter Rocca, C.S.C., the Rector of the Basilica. "With the consecration of the Second Sacred Heart Church in 1888, Notre Dame had become a fixed part of the American landscape.
"Central to the worship life of the Notre Dame campus, here students, faculty, staff, alumni, visitors, and, of course, the Holy Cross community, would worship in a space thatreflected the splendor and glory of our Triune God and that spoke to the honor due the august Mother of God, the patroness of this Unviersity. It would be here that Holy Cross religious would profess perpetual profession of vows either as brothers and seminarians, and where priests would be ordained, as they are to this day. Here funeral rites for our Holy Cross religious would be celebrated, as they are to this day. Here celebrations of anniversaries of religious profession of vows and priestly ordinations would be celebrated, as they are to this day.
"The celebration of the Basilica’s consecration puts us in touch with the very roots of our being in this place, and of the development and growth of Holy Cross in the United States and its outreach to the world."
In celebration of the anniversary, FaithND (an online prayer ministry of the Notre Dame Alumni Association) compiled reflections on some of the meaningful sacramental moments in the church.
On September 7, 2013, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart will be the site of the Mass of Final Professions for Mr. Adam Booth, C.S.C., and Mr. Patrick Reidy, C.S.C., two seminarians of the United States Province.