Best of the Week 2022-2023: Holy Cross Values
ST. ED'S COMMUNITY CELEBRATES HOLY CROSS WEEK AND ITS CONNECTION TO FRENCH CULTURE
In the Christian liturgical calendar, there are several Feasts of the Cross, and this week, St. Ed's celebrated Holy Cross Week and the Feast of St. Joseph, the patron of the Holy Cross Brothers. Blessed Basil Moreau took on a group of teaching brothers, the Brothers of St. Joseph, founded by Fr. Jacques Dujarie, joining them with an already gathered group of priests to found the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Brothers have continued to look to St. Joseph to emulate his devotion to Jesus and his commitment to service. All month long, St. Ed's has also celebrated French culture in honor of Mois de la Francophonie, a global celebration of the diversity of those who speak French. Connecting Francophonie culture to the roots our Holy Cross foundation, the St. Edward community celebrated the Solemnity of St. Joseph with an all-school Mass on International Francophonie Day, reflecting on the history of Holy Cross while performing readings in French.
"It has been a joy to see the students' enthusiasm and engagement with all these ways to celebrate French language and Francophonie cultures around the world," says French teacher Madame Gushue. "We were delighted and honored to have had the opportunity to incorporate French into the Mass to honor St. Joseph and our Holy Cross identity."
"I think it is important that St. Ed's celebrates and educates themselves on Francophonie culture because it can help us to better understand a large part of Holy Cross: its past, present, and future. If we look to the past we find Blessed Basil Moreau and Father Dujarie, who founded the Congregation of Holy Cross in Le Mans, France at a time of great religious persecution," says Lukas Kucera '24. "In our current day, we find Francophonie culture in some of the Holy Cross's biggest symbols, Notre Dame and St. Joseph Oratory; Notre Dame was founded by French Holy Cross missionaries and the St. Joseph Oratory is in Montreal, Canada. Even part of the future of Holy Cross is its involvement in French-speaking nations such as Haiti where the Congregation continues to increase its presence there. St. Ed's, too, has a personal connection to Haiti through the Blessed Basil Moreau School."
Throughout the month, French teacher Sabrina Gushue and members of the French Club have organized a variety of events to celebrate Francophonie Month and bridge the connection between French culture and our Holy Cross identity, from a French Cafe bake sale to welcoming guest speaker Mo Toumert, Algerian native and French speaker, who spoke on his experience coming to Cleveland for postgraduate studies in engineering and how it's led him to do volunteer work for Refugee Response, helping younger international newcomers make a home in Cleveland. St. Ed's French program has also initiated service opportunities from purchasing groceries at Kolou's African Market for a local Congolese refugee family and hosting a stuffed animal drive for the children of resettled families that are served by the Nehemiah Mission, and will be leading a French & Faith retreat this summer to Quebec where students can explore St. Joseph's Oratory and submerge themselves into French culture.
"The connection between French culture and Holy Cross is strong at St. Ed's. In my French classes, we've started every day with a prayer in French since my freshman year and that has really helped connect Holy Cross to French culture for me personally," says Drew McMaken '24. "As Edsmen, we should educate ourselves on all cultures of the world, especially those that relate to our Holy Cross history. The more you immerse yourself in Francophonie culture, the more you can learn about the foundation of Holy Cross."