An invitation-only crowd packed the Cathedral of St. Mary on Sunday to usher in a new century for the Crosier Fathers and Brothers, a worldwide Catholic religious order with deep connections to Central Minnesota.
The Crosiers, officially known as the Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross, celebrated 100 years of involvement in Minnesota and the United States on the day before the Catholic holy day known as the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
The cross is central to the order’s existence, said the Rev. Glen Lewandowski, Master General of the Order of the Holy Cross and the order’s elected leader. “The cross is the key to unlock the riddle of the meaning of God’s love,” the Minnesota native told the assembled faithful. “The Crosier order was founded ... and devoted to keeping this alive.”
Crosiers from nationwide and worldwide assembled at St. Mary’s, joined by Catholic leaders including St. Cloud diocese Bishop John Kinney. The group was founded in 1210 in modern-day Belgium. In 1910, Crosiers settled in the Minnesota towns of Butler and Onamia.
A seminary in Onamia taught thousands of high school and college students until 1989, when it closed. A monastery there is the largest Crosier community in the world.
The order paid $1.7 million earlier this year to nine plaintiffs to settle lawsuits alleging sexual abuse at the seminary by four individuals during a period that stretched from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Sunday’s Jubilee celebration was titled “Starting Afresh from a Place of Light,” but no other mention of the settlement was made.
Crosiers pray as a community five times each day. Members are involved in various other ministries, and 13 Crosiers continue to assist parishes in the dioceses of St. Cloud and Duluth.
After the Mass, attendees traveled by bus to the St. Cloud Civic Center’s Glenn Carlson Ballroom for a reception and celebration.
“More than 150 people, in various ways, contributed to this liturgy today,” said the Rev. Thomas Carkhuff, head of the U.S. Province of Crosiers. “We Crosiers deeply, deeply appreciate your presence and continued support.”Jubilee celebrations are also planned for 2010 in Phoenix, the order’s U.S. headquarters, and in the Netherlands. St. Cloud Times
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