Today, Wednesday, June 5, the General Council of the Congregation of Holy Cross welcomes 14 Holy Cross brothers and priests from around the world to the Congregation’s Generalate in Rome. They are arriving to participate in the second Holy Cross Forum.
Rev. Richard V. Warner, C.S.C., the Superior General of Holy Cross, first announced the creation of the Holy Cross Forum in April 2011. His vision was to bring together from across the Congregation young religious who were finally professed 10 years or less.
“The 2010 General Chapter spoke of us being an international Congregation, not just a multi-national Congregation present in sixteen countries,” said Fr. Warner. “The Holy Cross Forum is one piece of a greater whole in our efforts to live and minister as an international Congregation. The more we can recognize and tap our internationality for the good of our mission, the better we will be able to serve the Church and the world.”
The first Holy Cross Forum brought together fourteen Holy Cross priests and brothers from eleven different jurisdictions. It met three times in Rome: January 6-7, 2012; July 28-30, 2012; and January 2-3, 2013.
Those meetings coincided with meetings of the General Council in Rome, giving the chance for the two groups to get to know each other and interact. With the Congregation in the midst of a planning process involving structures and finances, this opportunity for the General Council to speak with younger members of the Congregation about their vision of the future was invaluable.
“One of the Forum’s main objectives was the opportunity to include the voices of younger members of the Congregation’s planning process, as their representation on the planning task forces is smaller,” said Fr. Warner.
The Forum’s second objective was to increase communication with and among the younger members of the Congregation. The third objective was to give young religious a chance to get to know each other across sectors and to share their experiences in Holy Cross with each other, thereby enhancing their Congregational awareness and perspective. One participant said afterward, “It was a powerful experience of our internationality.”
The second Holy Cross Forum, growing off the experience of the first one, also will meet three times, although the meetings have been extended to three full days. Sixteen brothers and priests will participate in this second Forum, but two were unable to attend the first session. They will gather twice more in Rome in 2014.
Tentative plans are in place for a third Forum to take place in 2015 and 2016, leading into the 2016 General Chapter.