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SMC to host French-themed dinner celebrating Moreau

| Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Saint Mary’s will host a French-themed dinner Wednesday to honor Fr. Basil Moreau, the founding father of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The sisters of the Holy Cross founded Saint Mary’s in 1844.

Regina Wilson, director of Campus Ministry, said Moreau is important because he emerged at a time in French society when there was a lot of turmoil and a breakdown of French society structures.

“[Moreau] wanted to provide a way for faithful people to address the issues of their time and be educated and be able to address those as people of faith,” Wilson said. “I think that is important because it sounds like the time that we’re in. There’s a lot of challenge to the ways that people have known our life as people in the United States, and some of those ways are being broken down and challenged.”

Moreau was born shortly after the French Revolution in 1799, and Wilson said he experienced the demise of education and the diminishment of faith in the public education system through his experiences in the seminary and living post-French Revolution.

“He wanted to gather people around him to share in the work he wanted to do,” she said. “His idea was to gather women and men together to do the work of educating and sharing the faith. Eventually the sisters and brothers had to have separate constitutions, but his original vision was for shared ministry and shared life together. That was what eventually became the family of Holy Cross.”

She said Moreau’s vision for what it means to live a Christian life is unique and life-giving.

“[His vision] has helped a lot of people go out into the world and live with meaning and to establish these great institutions we are a part of — hospitals, grade schools, nursing homes — and especially educational institutions,” Wilson said.

Wilson said she attended a Holy Cross college but never heard of Moreau or talked about him until later in her career. She said the importance of Moreau emerged with his beatification in 2007.

“It’s really exciting to be in this time because everyone is discovering it together. … All people of Holy Cross can discover something about their heritage together and in a way dialogue and share what it means to them and shape the legacy of that for the future,” Wilson said.

A Mass was held Sunday in the Holy Spirit Chapel in Le Mans Hall, Wilson said.

“His feast day is on Wednesday, and so for a feast to be transferred to a Sunday, because usually Sunday takes precedent, we have to have permission from the bishop of the Archdiocese,” she said.

Sodexo will provide the French-themed meal Wednesday. The Saint Mary’s community, including off-campus students, faculty and staff can celebrate Moreau together from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Noble Family Dining Hall.

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About Alex Winegar

A junior at Saint Mary's, Alex is a Communicative Sciences and Disorders major. She serves as the Saint Mary's co-associate news editor. Alex enjoys traveling, food and spending time in "The Mitten."

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