In Holy Cross, we emphasize
community and collaboration. Many years ago, it was common that a
local community would live together and work on a common apostolate.
For instance, a group of religious would live together in community, and
as a community they would undertake a common work, such as staffing a high
In one sense religious life
has become more complicated for us. We are fewer in number.
Religious often undertake a variety of apostolates. We face the
possibility of working alone as one of the few or even the only religious
in a given apostolate. Some people have commented on the "parochialization
of religious life." This takes place when religious "fill
slots" in schools, parishes, or diocese. Unfortunately then, we
risk diminishing or even losing our vision. We might no longer
collaborate as a community. We might not be able to live the
charisms of Holy Cross and bring them to a local church or a given area.
But a situation that can
bring some dangers can also bring some opportunities. By working
together and collaborating on a number of projects we can have a greater
impact. Instead of a larger number of religious in a single
institution or apostolate, we can have fewer religious who are in
leadership positions in different institutions. They can bring
the vision and charisms of Holy Cross and "weave" their efforts
together in a larger arena.
No doubt that this is
happening in different places in Holy Cross. For instance, the Holy
Cross religious cannot staff St.
George's College in Santiago,
Chile they way they used to. St. George's remains the premier school
in all Chile, but we do not have enough to religious to staff it. At
the same time, we took on another parish and another school in Andacollo.
But it is not simply fewer religious doing more
things--that would be a good thing in itself. It is also
religious--priests, brothers, and sisters--working together in different
apostolates. St. George's College reaches many students who will be
in positions of leadership in politics and the other professions. By
learning about Holy Cross and our vision of option for the poor, the
students not only learn the Church's social teaching, but they have
experiences and do apostolic work in a variety of Holy Cross parishes, the
school at Andacollo, and the orphanages Holy Cross has (Hogar San Josť
and Hogar Santa Cruz).).
We will be fewer in
numbers. But by different religious developing their talents,
working in Holy Cross apostolates, and being willing to share and
collaborate in their works TOGETHER, we can have major impact on an area.
There are probably
many areas where this is true. The Indiana
accepted a parish near the University
of Portland. The dream is
not simply to have a parish close by, but for the men and their
institutions to collaborate. A university and a parish are very
different. But it is because of those differences that they have
talents and opportunities to offer one another and to the people whom they
This is probably the case
more often in areas that see themselves with fewer resources and thus more
of a "mission." One area I would like to brag about is Austin,