Lisa Kochanowski
Assistant Editor/Reporter
April 30, 2024 // Diocese

Holy Cross Jubilarians Celebrate Bringing Hope to Many

Lisa Kochanowski
Assistant Editor/Reporter

The sun’s rays pierced through the stained-glass windows of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame on Saturday, April 27, illuminating the Midwest Province of the Brothers of Holy Cross jubilarians. It was a moment of joy, thanksgiving, prayer, and love as the men joined others within the Congregation to celebrate a lifetime of dedication to making God known, loved, and served to all they encounter.

Officiated by Holy Cross Father Thomas Zurcher, Brother Robert Mosher, celebrated 75 years, Brothers Douglas Roach and Thomas Rock commemorated 70 years, Brothers Francis Boylan, David Martin, Donald Morrison, Peter Nault, and Carlos Parrilla observed 60 years, and Brother Michael Amakyi was honored for his 40 years with the Congregation.

Photos by Lisa Kochanowski
Jubilarians of the Midwest Province of the Brothers of Holy Cross are celebrated during a special Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame on Saturday, April 27. Officiated by Holy Cross Father Thomas Zurcher, the brothers performed a renewal of vows with Brother Kenneth Haders, the Provincial of the Midwest Province. Pictured from left to right are Brothers Robert Mosher, Thomas Rock, Douglas Roach, Donald Morrison, David Martin, Carlos Parrilla, and Michael Amakyi.

“Brother Kent, Provincial Superior, jubilarians, families, friends, we’re here to celebrate … the ruby jubilee of 40 years for Brother Michael, the diamond jubilee of 60 years for Brother Douglas and Brother Thomas, and a bigger diamond, the 75th jubilee of Brother Robert,” Father Zurcher said at the beginning of his homily. “These precious jewels, that precious medal, describe for us the beautiful lives, the sacred lives of these men. As youngsters, years ago, they came before the altar to profess the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the Congregation of Holy Cross. Now, as elders of the community, they are dear to us, tested and found to be true holy brothers. Like you, they inspire me. We applaud them, we thank them, and we steer them ever forward and onward.”

Father Zurcher talked about how wonderful the moment and celebration of a jubilee is to the people, noting that Pope Francis has recently declared the year 2025 as a jubilee year for pilgrims of hope for a discouraged world that weeps for hope, something the Holy Cross Congregation brings to the community.

“As we heard in the first reading from Mass today, Isaiah nailed it,” Father Zurcher noted. “He aptly said what can be applied to these jubilarians, all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. Father Jacques-François Dujarié initiated this for us, creating the Brothers of St. Joseph. He encouraged them as he encourages us now with tender and thoughtful words. He said, with a little goodwill you will succeed in doing things well and becoming good and holy. But you must renew your courage. Never look back. Always walk ahead until you are in possession of the glory of God. Do you ever wonder how old Father Dujarié was when he said, ‘never look back’? … For us third-agers, meaning no longer youngsters but elders, looking back comes easily, almost automatically. Not looking back seems practically impossible.”

Father Zurcher noted how the men at the altar had various journeys. Some organized banquets, some were teachers in high school (teaching the grandchildren of their peers), some oversaw business offices in parishes and schools, directed Hispanic ministry, or worked at the diocesan level as the director of stewardship.

“There’s only one problem with looking back,” Father Zurcher continued. “It’s one little word: ‘was.’ We come to understand ourselves as ‘was-ies.’ Was-ies have a hard time celebrating the present moment, and an even more difficult time moving into the future. Father Dujarié was right: Never look back, just be yourself. Be a brother. In his letter Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis wrote to the people of the world, and especially to us, about fraternity, being brothers, and being sisters. He spoke about benevolentia, an attitude that wills the good for others, an inclination toward all that is fine and excellent, and a desire to fill the lives of others with what is beautiful, sublime, and edified. And then he wrote, ‘A miracle of a kind person appears.’ They are with us here today. Those kind people put aside their anxieties in order to pay attention, to give a smile, to say a word that stimulates, to enable a space for listening in the midst of so much indifference,” said Father Zurcher.

Pope Francis wrote that life exists where there is bonding, communion, and fraternity, Father Zurcher said, adding that Father Dujarié said to never look back, but he also said to stir up your courage and always walk forward.

“Today, we pray that these brothers may continue to do that,” Father Zurcher said. “In their presence, not to be rude, we can confirm that St. Paul was correct when he said that God calls the foolish, the weak, the lowly people in order that all may know that the source of our sanctification, our brotherhood, and our sisterhood is Jesus Christ. In this jubilee, we are invited into the future – a future that we all long for at the deepest level of our being, and will only get there by leaving behind our fears. In doing so, in our vulnerability as brothers and sisters, the words of Jesus will become our reality. Father, the glory that you have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, the glory that you have loved them even as you have loved me. You are our brothers.”

During the ceremony, the jubilarians were invited by the Provincial of the Midwest Province, Brother Kenneth Haders, to renew their vows. Jubilarians also had the opportunity to actively participate in the ceremony as readers. The chalice and paten used for the liturgy were presented to Holy Cross Father Edward F. Sorin, the first President of the University of Notre Dame du Lac, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a priest on August 15, 1888.

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