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Retreats and Pilgrimages

Students praying at the Grotto at the University of Notre Dame

Sometimes the greatest spiritual growth happens off campus

Holy Cross offers a range of off-campus spiritual adventures that enable you to serve the sick, stand up for those who have no voice, and reflect on how God’s love works in communities across the country, around the world, and in your own life.


March for Life
Every January a group of Holy Cross students buses to the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., where we show our support for the rights of the unborn. If you can’t make the trip, we encourage you to attend the local march at the federal courthouse in downtown South Bend. Both events generally garner significant participation.


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 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 17, 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:

  • Exploring historic churches in downtown Montreal
  • Visiting a Holy Cross Parish in Welland, Ontario
  • 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
“Spes Unica” is 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!” 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. During Spes Unica, students:

  • Reflect on their own lives and personal character
  • Examine their relationship with God and with other people
  • Form lifelong friendships

The retreat is both serious and light. You will be encouraged to be open and sincere with the people in your group, and look honestly at your moral character. The end result: You will grow in your knowledge of the faith—and make meaningful new friendships.