Each religious order of the Catholic community presents unique perspectives
- 9 months ago
Each religious order of the Catholic community presents unique perspectives on Catholicism to the University, panelists said at a Wednesday night panel discussion in DeBartolo Hall hosted by the Catholic Graduate Community.
The panelists included representatives from the Holy Cross, Dominican, Franciscan and Jesuit orders, as well as diocesan priets.
Fr. Andrew Downing, a Jesuit, said the diversity of Wednesday night’s audience surprised him.
“I thought this would be like speed-dating. Just a bunch of people interested in entering religious life and choosing between us,” he said. “But I see that it’s people of all different sorts.”
Fr. Jim Gallagher of the Congregation of the Holy Cross began the discussion with an explanation of how his order’s origins have come to define its mission.
“Holy Cross came from the wake of the French Revolution. The revolution decimated the church and education system,” he said. “It recognized a great need for education in faith.”
As time passed, the group developed a missionary purpose and expanded to Algeria, Canada, Bangladesh and other parts of the world, Gallagher said. Their purpose as a missionary order was to reach and educate those who needed guidance in faith.
He said this goal generated three specific components of practice that are key to Holy Cross: formation, community and the cross.
“Formation means that we aim to form the whole person to be a great citizen in the world. Community is based on an image of a holy family,” Gallagher said. “I live in Zahm Hall at the University because we go out to create that family.”
The cross, he said, serves as a symbol of the order’s hope.
“It was through a terrible instrument of torture that we were saved. Our struggles, then, are not our true end,” Gallagher said. “Our true end is hope.”