April 23, 2024 // Diocese

Nine Brothers of Holy Cross to Celebrate Jubilees at Mass of Thanksgiving

By Mary Anne Decenzo and Nicole Hahn

The Midwest Province of the Brothers of Holy Cross will honor nine Brothers celebrating their 75th, 70th, 60th, and 40th jubilees of religious profession on Saturday, April 27, at 10:30 a.m. with a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. Six of the brothers live in the South Bend area, one lives in Venice, Florida, another in Bangladesh, and one in Ghana, West Africa.

Brother Ken Haders, Provincial of the Midwest Province of the Brothers of Holy Cross, will accept the renewal of vows of the brothers, while Father Thomas Zurcher, CSC, will be the celebrant.

The nine Brothers celebrating jubilees are listed here with their bios.

75-Year Jubilarian

Brother Robert Mosher, CSC

Brother Robert Mosher

Robert Mosher had been considering a vocation in the Church when a tall distinguished looking man dressed in a black suit and Roman collar gave a vocation talk to his eighth-grade class in Chicago. The talk given by Brother Theophane Schmitt of the Brothers of Holy Cross on that spring day proved to be extraordinarily providential to young Mosher.

“I was no longer considering a vocation. I had one to the Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross,” Brother Mosher said recently. “I contacted Brother Theophane almost immediately afterwards and the necessary steps for applying were completed.”

As an aspirant, Brother Mosher was accepted and completed his high school requirements at Sacred Heart in Watertown, Wisconsin. After finishing a year as a novice, he made his first temporary profession of vows and was assigned to pursue a degree at the University of Notre Dame. At the conclusion of his freshman year, he was sent to what was then St. Charles Boys Home in Milwaukee where he taught and supervised the students. Following his year at St. Charles, Mosher completed his college degree at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.

He was then assigned to teach in a diocesan school in Brooklyn, New York. Eight years later, he returned to the Midwest where he spent a year teaching at Sacred Heart Military Academy in Watertown, Wisconsin. Subsequent teaching assignments included one year at Central Catholic in Monroe, Michigan, 20 years at Holy Trinity High School in Chicago, and 31 years at Good Shepherd Catholic School in Garland, Texas, after which he retired at the age of 88.

“Since my retirement I have been living at Columba Hall on the campus of the University of Notre Dame where I spend significant time in research study, in educational and leisure reading, and in composing spiritual reflections and scriptural articles,” Brother Mosher said. “My vocation to the Congregation of Holy Cross has been an unmistakable call from God, particularly by arranging Brother Theophane to give a vocation talk on that spring day in my eighth-grade class,” Brother Mosher said. “Even more humbling is the likelihood of God’s responsibility in my responding, teaching, and persevering all these 75 years.”


70-Year Jubilarians

Brother Douglas Roach, CSC

Brother Douglas Roach

At 92- years-old and 70 years as a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Brother Douglas Roach wonders why God wants him on this planet this long. In his self-deprecating humor, he thinks it may be because he is a slow learner and hasn’t yet grasped all God has been trying to tell him.

“Whatever the case might be, the journey has had its highs and lows, its ups and downs, all in the context of learning who I am and what impact society, church, and Holy Cross has had on me,” Brother Roach said. “I have lived through 16 presidents, have witnessed the involvement of the United States in 22 wars, and have watched eight Superiors General and their councils guide the Congregation of Holy Cross in its ongoing evolution. All of these events have afforded me personal growth and left me absolutely convinced that life is truly a mystery.”

Brother Roach believes his formative years with his family, school, church, and society gave him the foundation that he needed to be grounded in the values and principles of life that ended up steering him in a direction to eventually join the Congregation.

Entering Holy Cross prior to Vatican II, and in a single province of Brothers that covered the United States, Brother Roach began teaching in 1956 at the high school level. He spent his summers continuing his education. Going where the community assigned him, Brother Roach served in various positions as a teacher and administrator in the schools and in the province. He also served in parish ministry as well as caring for the elderly and homeless in Venice, Florida, and prison ministry in Tennessee.

“Through these various ministries, I have learned much about myself,” Brother Roach said. “Working with God’s people of all ages and in various circumstances has brought me great growth and inspiration. I would not trade in a million years what I have learned and appreciated from others. After 70 years in the Congregation, I want to express my gratitude to the many Holy Cross Brothers, Priests, and Sisters for their friendship, support, kindness, and tolerance. We are truly a very unique Congregation.”

Brother Thomas Rock, CSC

Brother Thomas Rock

Thomas Rock was born the second of seven children of very hard-working parents. He entered the fourth grade in the Catholic school system and stayed through high school. He believes this early training in the faith fostered his vocation and longing to serve God as a Brother.

Brother Rock took his first vows in 1954 and was sent to the Brothers of Holy Cross novitiate in Watertown, Wisconsin, as an assistant cook. Within three months, he was left on his own cooking for 35 brothers and postulants. The number grew to 135 as this also became the military academy.

His next assignments took Brother Rock and his culinary skills to Notre Dame, Indiana, Lakewood, Ohio, and Terre Haute, Indiana. During these 60 years as a Brother, he cooked and supervised kitchens in restaurants, schools, and religious houses. “My great joy is knowing that I was serving God and doing work for Him in His name,” Brother Rock said. “My great happiness comes from having so many friends from every walk of life.”

These days find Brother Rock doing a variety of volunteer work and helping out wherever he can. “None of this could ever have been possible without the help of God, Mary, and St. Joseph. I am sincerely grateful to each of them.”

60-Year Jubilarians

Brother Francis Boylan, CSC

Brother Francis Boylan

As Brother Francis Boylan reflects on his 60 years of religious life, he is grateful to his family, the Brothers of Holy Cross, co-workers, and students who have accompanied him on his life’s journey. “Today I pause to thank you for your friendship over the last 60 years,” Brother Boylan said. “It has been a special gift, and it’s one you all have generously shared with me. The joy of this world I believe is found in the making of friends.”

Brother Boylan earned a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Edward’s University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Legatus International, and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher.

Brother Boylan has been a champion for the marginalized child. In July of 2017, he celebrated 50 years of advocating for some of Michigan’s most forgotten children and their families as Executive Director of Holy Cross Children Services. “In January of 2020, I accepted the invitation of the bishop to join with the Bangladeshi Brothers to construct the first Catholic school, Hostel, and Juniorate in the Rajshahi diocese for the duo-marginalized children who are both Catholic and extremely poor. Bangladesh is only 0.3% Christian. Yet today, Holy Cross School and College has more than 400 students!”

Brother Boylan has received many awards throughout the years that acknowledge the efforts of the Brothers of Holy Cross on behalf of children and families in need. In 2010, he was selected by the Detroit News as the Michiganian of the Year for helping to nurture Michigan’s most forgotten children and their families. Citing the ministry of the Brothers of Holy Cross and their co-workers for their “tireless efforts to give youth and their families across the state of Michigan a second chance.”

“I am most grateful to the Brothers of Holy Cross and my friends for providing this unique opportunity for me to bring hope to today’s ‘widows and orphans,’ and for their ongoing support of me personally.”

Brother David Martin, CSC

Brother David Martin

David Martin was born in 1944 in Canton, Ohio, the fourth of five children. The family moved to Akron, Ohio, where the children grew up. At the age of 12, he thought about looking into the diocesan priesthood. His mom advised him to go to high school first, and if God was still calling him, the vocation would still be there. At Archbishop Hoban High School, Martin came to know the Brothers well and was attracted to their lifestyle.

In 1962, he entered the formation program in Watertown, Wisconsin, making his novitiate year in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, the following year. He made his first profession in January of 1964. He continued formation at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry.

He was assigned to Holy Cross High School in River Grove, Illinois, to teach chemistry, biology, and physical science in 1967.

“While living with the community, I knew my life in Holy Cross was the path I wished to follow, making my final profession in 1970,” Brother Martin said.

While at Holy Cross, Brother Martin earned a Master of Science degree in chemistry along with 40 hours of graduate work in physics from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

In the Fall of 1974, Brother Martin was assigned to St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio. He taught physics, chemistry, and other sciences. “Little did I realize in 2018, at the age of 75, after 50 plus years in the classroom, with the last 43 years at St. Edward it was time to enter the next phase of my life.”

Brother Martin retired from the classroom at the end of that school year and began living with the Brothers in community at Columba Hall on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. “I enjoy living in a joyous, peaceful, and prayerful community, doing what we each are able to do in helping each other. Having responded to His call many years ago, ‘Come follow me,’ it was the Lord calling me and my response was, ‘‘Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.’ This calling has led to a life of blessings and joyous fulfillment.”

Brother Donald Morrison, CSC

Brother Donald Morrison

Donald Morrison entered the Brothers of Holy Cross postulancy program in Watertown, Wisconsin, in June of 1963 after prayerful discernment. He was one of 40 novices in the Midwest Province. He made his first profession of vows in August of 1964 in Rolling Prairie, Indiana.

Brother Morrison’s first assignment was in the business office at the University of Notre Dame before moving to Father Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1968. He also served as secretary at several Holy Cross high schools for a number of years before returning to Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College to handle payroll duties.

“In retrospect, I found the most satisfying and meaningful ministry at Boysville in Michigan,” Brother Morrison said. “For 14 years, my responsibilities were at the Detroit campus and involved the supervision of 10 buildings.”

Brother Morrison returned to Notre Dame 23 years ago to serve the province in its administrative business office. He then transferred to Columba Hall to assist the Superior with administrative duties which included supervising students from Notre Dame earning living expenses. He also maintained the cars driven by the Brothers and provided expert advice to update the fleet of cars as needed. Brother Morrison retired at the age of 81.

“Looking back with gratitude over 61 years, I rejoice that I listened to the voice of the Spirit. God was calling me to life as a Holy Cross Brother. Today, would I do it over? Without denying the human trials that God allows, I would not hesitate. To give a biblical answer: ‘Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.’”

“Community life, ministries, and the changes in the Church and world test us and call for endurance. A friend and I often discuss the challenges of how we can regulate what Notre Dame teachers might call the erosion, drift, and assimilation of the Church into the secular world. I interpret that to mean: ‘How do I pass on the gift of the Holy Cross tradition?’ My answer would be that I keep eternal life ever before me. Every day I grow in understanding why I could never have reached this diamond jubilee without daily prayer.”

Brother Peter Nault, CSC

Brother Peter Nault

Living in Ishpeming, Michigan, and attending St. Paul High School is where Peter Nault “heard my first call to the Brothers of Holy Cross.”

Since there weren’t any religious brothers in Upper Peninsula Michigan, his first introduction to the Brothers of Holy Cross was in a small vocations advertisement in Our Sunday Visitor.

“What initially attracted me the most was the work of the Brothers in education,” Brother Nault said.

Fulfilling his desire to walk in the footsteps of these teaching Brothers, Brother Nault’s first 20 years were spent in education at Holy Cross High School in River Grove, Illinois, and St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio. Both assignments were in the classroom and in administrative duties. “I have always treasured those years, but they were but a preparation for part two of my Holy Cross ministry and journey,” Brother Nault said.

For the next 35 years, he worked for the Diocese of Venice, Florida, as a Director of Stewardship, and also as the parish manager at the Cathedral in Venice. This allowed him to work with seniors in what is now a retirement area.

“I am grateful to Holy Cross for providing me with the opportunity, over the past 60 years, to work with the young and later with the young at heart,” Brother Nault said. “I am grateful, in particular, to Brother James Bagans for the support and encouragement he has given to me through the past several years.”

“There have been many peaks and valleys, but no one said along the way it would be easy. So, there has been joy and laughter and tears and regret. We have a great but different future ahead of us.”

“It is not the province I joined 60 years ago, and that is good. We have an interesting future ahead with candidates from different cultures, backgrounds, and traditions. I am excited to continue this journey with them, and I hope my journey will continue for a good number of years into the future.

Brother Carlos Parrilla, CSC

Brother Carlos Parrilla

Carlos Parrilla was born in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He is the oldest of four children. His father, Timoteo, was a hardworking, adventurous person who traveled to many places for a better life. His mother, Mercedes, was dedicated to running the home. In 1950, the family moved to Lorain, Ohio, where he attended Catholic schools.

“My calling to religious life as a Brother of Holy Cross is best explained by my family’s dedication to service in our parish, where we were charter members and especially involved in the music and catechetical ministries,” Brother Parrilla said. “After my high school graduation and with the encouragement from my pastor, a religious sister, and Brother Eymard Salzman, I applied to the Brothers of Holy Cross Midwest Province. By God’s grace, I am now happily celebrating 60 years.”

Brother Parrilla served in many different capacities in Ohio, Indiana, and South Carolina. In Ohio, he served at St. Edward High School, Archbishop Hoban High School, the Cleveland Diocesan Resource Center, Erieview Catholic High School for Girls, and at St. Mary Catholic Church in Lorain.

“The latter two places of ministry were especially fulfilling for me, with Erieview for its dedication to serving the poor, and St. Mary Church for the very direct contact with parishioners of all ages.”

Brother Parrilla taught at St. Joseph High School and at Holy Cross College in Indiana. He also served as vocations director for the Congregation of Holy Cross Midwest Province. In recent years he has been the religious superior for Schubert Villa and Dujarié House. “Serving the elderly Brothers at Dujarié House was special because of their vulnerability and their need for comfort,” Brother Parrilla said.

South Carolina was home for many years for Brother Parrilla while he served as director of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina. “I am grateful for the sense of fulfillment in the many facets of that ministry,” he said. “Advocating for the vulnerable and often undocumented and serving at the South Carolina State Prison was a spiritually fulfilling ministry for me.”

“My many ministries in Holy Cross have been the source of ongoing rejuvenation and commitment to the ideals that first attracted me to religious life as a Brother in the Congregation of Holy Cross. I pray that this ‘ongoing rejuvenation’ will continue to nurture me.”

40-Year Jubilarian

Brother Michael Amakyi, CSC

Brother Michael Amakyi

Michael Amakyi remembers participating in most church-related programs as a young boy growing up in Takoradi, Ghana, and thoughts of being of service to the Church brought satisfaction. “What I wanted to do with my life started to take shape when in high school I encountered the Holy Cross Brothers,” Brother Amakyi said.

“My desire to inquire more about the Brothers heightened after the Brothers organized a Youth Leadership Workshop in my parish at Takoradi. I was impressed not only with their delivery of the content, but also with how they worked together as a team, supporting one another and taking turns to be the lead facilitator for different sessions.

“I was convinced a lot of effort must have gone into the preparation for the workshop and I asked myself, ‘Who are these men who are filled with passion and show commitment and dedication to form young minds?’ I approached one of the Brothers and expressed my admiration for the work they do.”

Brother Amakyi pursued his admiration for the Brothers and joined the initial formation program, being admitted into the novitiate on July 26, 1983, and making first vows on July 28, 1984, with the late Brother Daniel Dardoe.

“Over the years I shared brotherhood with different Brothers who mentored me and supported me to appreciate what it means to be a Holy Cross Brother, and that is serving God’s people as an educator in the faith and a man with hope to bring.”

Brother Amakyi has served through different ministries. He has served in the leadership of the District of West Africa (now Province of West Africa), as the vocation director, as a workshop facilitator, and as an academic counselor. He continues to serve as a teacher. “In all of these ministries, I discovered that my mission as a Holy Cross Brother is to give people a reason to be hopeful in life and have faith in God. I am indeed grateful to God for these years of service and look forward to more years of grace to continue the legacy of our Holy Cross missionaries.”

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