Fr. Basil Moreau, C.S.C. | University of Portland

Fr. Basil Moreau, C.S.C.

Fr. Basil Moreau, C.S.C.Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., was born in Laigné-en-Belin, France, on February 11, 1799.  He was ordained a priest for the diocese of LeMans in 1821.  He later became a seminary professor teaching philosophy and theology.  He organized a group of priests who were known as "auxiliary priests" whose mission was to travel around and assist throughout the diocese.  In 1835 the bishop asked him to oversee the Brothers of St. Joseph, a group of teaching brothers founded by Fr. Jacques Dujarie.

In 1837, Blessed Moreau merged the auxiliary priests and the Brothers into a new association.  The group took its name from the town where Moreau based them - Sainte Croix, or Holy Cross.  Moreau's vision was to bring into this association a group of laywomen, thus modeling the Holy Family.  The Marianites of Holy Cross (in France), the Sisters of the Holy Cross (in the United States), and the Sisters of Holy Cross (in Canada) are the spiritual descendants of this initial group of women Moreau brought together.  Moreau gave each group a patron.  The priests were consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; the brothers were consecrated to Saint Joseph, and the sisters were consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The entire congregation was placed under the patronage of Our Lady of Sorrows.

The Holy See recognized the priests and brothers as a religious congregation, the Congregation of Holy Cross, in 1857.  From very early one in the life of the community, Moreau sent out religious to assist in various areas, including Algeria, the United States, Canada, Rome, and East Bengal.  Following a number of struggles and crises within the community, Moreau resigned as Superior General in 1866.

Blessed Moreau died on January 20, 1873.  He was beatified in LeMans, France, on September 15, 2007.