Marianites of Holy Cross
The Marianites of Holy Cross (MSC) is a Roman Catholic congregation of nuns, founded in Le Mans, France, in 1841, by the Blessed Father Basil Anthony-Marie Moreau, CSC. Originally, founded as a third distinct society within the Congregation of Holy Cross (that is, the congregation of the priests and brothers of Holy Cross), the Marianites of Holy Cross is now an independent congregation.
As the congregation grew throughout the 1840s and early 1850s in the United States and Canada, Fr. Moreau would always send groups of priests, brothers and sisters to work together and support each other's mission within the Family of Holy Cross. The sisters initially supported the priests and brothers by providing domestic services. Very quickly, however, particularly in the United States, the sisters began their own educational institutions. In 1844, in Bertrand, Michigan, the sisters started a school for girls. By 1855, this school would move the 6 miles to Notre Dame, Indiana to become Saint Mary's College, one of the leading Catholic women's liberal arts colleges, even today.
In 1856, Rome approved the constitutions of Holy Cross for the men. Doubting the propriety of a mixed congregation of men and women, Rome separated the women into an independent community at that time. Fr. Moreau, in his role as their founder, continued to work for Rome's approval of the sisters' constitution. In 1865, Rome approved the constitutions of the Marianites of Holy Cross, granting them the status of "congregation" within the Church. Meanwhile, the sisters' works continued to grow and multiply, particularly in schools in New Orleans, Louisiana, Le Mans, France and Quebec, Canada.
The unity of the Marianites of Holy Cross would not last long. Competing authorities at Notre Dame and Le Mans, complicated by slow communications over large distances, led to the withdrawal of the sisters at Indiana in 18?? and Quebec in 18??. They formed two new, independent congregations: the Sisters of the Holy Cross at Notre Dame, Indiana and the Sisters of Holy Cross at Montreal, Quebec.
The Marianites of Holy Cross continue to work in their traditional geographical areas of Le Mans, France and New Orleans, Louisiana. They continue to operate several significant institutions including: Our Lady of Holy Cross College, founded in New Orleans in 1916 and Holy Family School, in Port Allen, Louisiana, founded in 1949.
- Marianites of Holy Cross official site
- Holy Family School Website
- "Sisters Marianites of Holy Cross". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- The Gift of the Cross Lenten Reflections in the Holy Cross Tradition
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