Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer
October 31, 2017 // Parish

Holy Cross Parish educates the mind and the heart

Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer

Founded in 1929, Holy Cross Parish and Holy Cross School in South Bend are ministries of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame. Here, the students sing for Archbishop José Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, during a recent visit to the school in support of its new dual-language program.

The Congregation of Holy Cross has very much impacted the South Bend community. Decades ago, the congregation, founded by Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau, came to America from France and began to establish roots in South Bend. Well-known for its emphasis on comprehensive education, that is, the formation of not only the intellectual, but also the conscience, the congregation founded various parish and school communities in the area, Holy Cross Parish and Holy Cross School among them.

Holy Cross is a tight-knit faith community located on the west side of South Bend. Founded in 1929, the parish continues to be overseen by priests of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Currently, Father Vincent Coppola, CSC, serves as the parish’s pastor, supported by Father Michael Couhig, CSC, and Father Edmund Sylvia, CSC.

Though the school, once staffed by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, is now led by laity, the congregation’s long-standing history of fusing faith and intellectual learning remains baked into the overarching community culture. As a result, the parish often collaborates with the school, and vice versa.

“There is a close relationship between the parish and our school, and our principal sits on several of our committees to keep everyone up to date,” Father Sylvia said.

“Holy Cross Parish and School have a great collaborative spirit,” concurred Principal Angela Budzinski. “Working together, parish and school, shows everyone that Holy Cross Parish is committed to the school.”

Budzinski added that the parish priests play a proactive role in maintaining a strong relationship between the two facets.

“All (of our) priests — Father Vince, Father Ed, and Father Mike — are involved in all aspects of the school, supporting teachers, students and parents to the fullest. As a matter of fact, every day, one of them is greeting the students by the front door as they arrive each morning at school.”

Nancy Takach has a long-standing personal and professional history with the Holy Cross parish and school community. Currently serving as the parish administrative assistant, she said that Holy Cross has always been welcoming to her, even before she became Catholic.

“Though I was not raised Catholic and did not attend Holy Cross School, I have had a feeling of belonging because I grew up in the Holy Cross neighborhood,” she said. “It’s a great place to be. I even remember the school song!” 

Ministering to both the Catholic and non-Catholic school families is an example of how the parish and school work together.

“The parish sees the school as a vital mission to evangelize parishioner children, as well as nonparishioners and non-Catholic families whose children attend our school,” Budzinski said.

Holy Cross Parish initiates learning opportunities within the parish community.

“To foster education in the parish we have just become part of, put out by the Augustine Institute out of Denver, Colorado,” Father Sylvia said. Parishes and individuals subscribe to the Formed website in order to gain access to tools to grow in faith by learning.

The parish also offers various opportunities for ministry as a way to practice virtue. These ministries include giving back through music — such as participating as a member of the choir, as an instrumentalist, or as a cantor — altar serving, serving as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, lectoring, volunteering at the Lenten Soup Supper, ministering to the surrounding local community as a member of the Holy Cross Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and serving on the catechetical team.

“Throughout our history, our mission has been to share in the Church’s mission by working as educators in the faith,” says the Congregation of Holy Cross’ website, “In all of our ministries, whether schools, parishes, or other works of missionary outreach and social justice, we serve side-by-side with our collaborators through educating hearts and minds and building communities of the coming kingdom.” It’s evident that Holy Cross Parish and School live this mission of fostering comprehensive education in a collaborative manner.

Holy Cross
1050 Wilber
South Bend, IN 46628-2643



Sunday — 8:30, 10:30 a.m. 
Saturday — 4 p.m.
Weekday — M-S 8:15 a.m.
Smith Center Chapel

Reconciliation: Saturday — 3-3:45 p.m.; or by appointment

Adoration: Wednesday — 6:30-7:30 p.m.

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