Retreats and Pilgrimages

March for Life (January 22)

Holy Cross College Events and Pilgrimages (1)Every January a group of Holy Cross College students takes a bus trip to the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.  Students who are not able to make the trip are encouraged to attend the local march at the federal courthouse in downtown South Bend. Both events generally garner significant participation. Here’s just a sample of our 2015 March for Life trip!

Lourdes Volunteers (early summer)

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” -Albert Pike

Between February and July of 1858, a young fourteen-year old girl named Bernadette Soubirous saw apparitions of a “white-robed” lady 18 times in the small grotto called Massabiele, near the town of Lourdes. The lady would later reveal herself, “I am the Immaculate Conception”. It was Mary, the mother of Jesus. One day Our Lady told Bernadette to dig in the mud. As she did, a spring of water began to flow. The next day it continued to grow larger and larger. Many miracles happened when people began to use this water. Since that time, four to six million pilgrims from around the world visit the shrine each year and more than 200 million pilgrims have come to Lourdes since 1860. Holy Cross College now offers a special program to HC and ND students to answer the call to serve the sick and suffering. On May 23rd, 2008, students from HCC and ND came together for 10 days to serve the less fortunate. They made the 4,300 mile journey to this small town in southern France. This unique experience gives students a chance to see a profoundly spiritual place that people from across the globe visit on a daily basis.

“Will you wish to do me the favor of coming here?”
– Our Lady’s Message to St. Bernadette.

Words cannot describe my gratitude for Casey, Pam and the North American Lourdes Volunteers for giving Holy Cross and Notre Dame students the opportunity to experience this wonderful and beautiful experience of faith. The faith that was depicted in Lourdes was beautiful.
-Katie Galloway HCC Student

The people you will meet are the best reasons to make this trip to Lourdes. I was inspired by the thousands of pilgrims at the processions and international masses.
-Greg Speidel ND Student

BCX – Servant Leadership Summer Youth Conference (late July)

Holy Cross College Events and Pilgrimages (2)BCX – Servant Leadership, a collaboration of the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend and Holy Cross College Campus Ministry, is a five-day mission trip in our own backyard. It is rooted in our relationship with Jesus – to be “b” Christ to others, and to see “c” Christ “X” in those in need in our own diocese and communities. bcX will empower young Servant-Leaders who are engaged in their Catholic faith and motivated to service from a deep love of our Lord.

High School student participants will spend their days serving alongside local ministries and charitable organizations. Additionally, the teens will be immersed in strong catechesis, participation and celebration of the Sacraments, meaningful prayer experiences, and community!

Holy Cross College students will serve as leaders and facilitators.  Click here for more information.

Pilgrimage to St. Joseph Oratory (usually Fall Break)

Br. André was a Holy Cross Brother who spent the majority of his life serving in Montreal.  He was a humble and obedient man and his life can be said to have been one of prayer, work, faith, and love.  He had a great devotion to St. Joseph, was associated with thousands of miraculous cures during his life, and was instrumental in the building of the St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal.  Brother André was canonized a Saint on October 17th, 2010.

Each year Holy Cross students have the chance to go on pilgrimage to the St. Joseph Oratory.  In addition to learning about the life of Brother André and praying at his tomb in the crypt of the Oratory, the pilgrimage also includes visiting historic Churches in downtown Montreal, a visit to a Holy Cross Parish in Welland Ontario, and various stops in Toronto which include World Youth Day Sites, the Cathedral, and a tour of Salt and Light Catholic Television.  Future trips hope to include a visit to the shrine and tomb of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.

Spes Unica Retreat Program

Holy Cross College Spes Unica Retreats (1)The Spes Unica retreat program is one of the best things we do in Campus Ministry. The words “Spes Unica” are borrowed from the motto of the Holy Cross Brothers who sponsor the school. The full motto is “Ave Crux, Spes Unica!” or “Hail the Cross, our Only Hope!” Thus, the retreat takes its direction from this motto. The retreat has a definite Catholic flavor, however non-Catholics are welcome to attend — and many do!

A Spes Unica retreat consists of spending a weekend away from the pressures of the world, usually at the beautiful Lindenwood Retreat Center located at Ancilla College in Donaldson, Indiana. A Spes Unica retreat has four main objectives.

Students examine:

  1. …their own lives and personal character
  2. …their relationship with God
  3. …their relationship with other people.
  4. …in addition, the retreat is intended to be a fun way to meet other people.

The retreat is both serious and light. We have a lot of fun and make new friends, but that is not the main reason we go. We go to encounter God. If you want to know more, simply ask any student who has gone!

What to Expect on a Spes Unica Retreat

Holy Cross College Spes Unica Retreats (2)You Will:

  • Hear from people who strongly believe in the Catholic faith.
  • Be encouraged to take small risks.
  • Be expected to be open and sincere with the people in your group.
  • Have the opportunity to grow in your knowledge of the faith.
  • Be challenged to look honestly and seriously at your moral character.

You Will Not:

  • Have to participate in anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Be expected to share anything too private or personal that you don’t want to share.
  • Be expected to have great religious knowledge or spiritual insights.