NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- A merger of the two U.S. provinces of the Congregation of Holy Cross "is a union and an act of God," said Father David T. Tyson, provincial superior.
The congregation's Eastern and Indiana provinces officially came together July 1, the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The merger was approved at the congregation's general chapter meeting in Rome in the summer of 2010. In December the two provinces chose the date it would take effect.
"Holy Cross has trusted in God's divine providence from the beginning. Today with this union, he continues to bless us," Father Tyson said in a statement.
"With more than 100 seminarians, we are now more than 500 strong," he said. "We are men of different ages, cultures, and ministries, but we are united in the common mission of Holy Cross: to make God known, loved and served."
The new province's administrative offices will be located in Notre Dame.
Besides the University of Notre Dame, the province's ministries include the University of Portland, Ore.; King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa; and Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. It operates 13 parishes in the U.S. and two in Mexico, and has an outreach to the poor through Andre House in Phoenix and St. Andre Bessette Parish-Downtown Chapel in Portland.
Other ministries include Ave Maria Press in Notre Dame and Holy Cross Family Ministries in North Easton, Mass., which was founded by Father Patrick Peyton, who was known as "the rosary priest" and is a candidate for sainthood.
The province's Holy Cross Mission Center, located on the grounds of the University of Notre Dame, supports the work of its missions in other countries including Chile, Peru, Mexico, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Bangladesh.