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02 43 81 15 57 6 rue Notre Dame 72000 Le Mans
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The cornerstone of the church of Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix (Our lady of Holy Cross) was blessed by Monseigneur Jean-Baptiste Bouvier, bishop of Le Mans, on March 30, 1842, in the presence of priests, brothers, and boarders of Sainte-Croix. The church was finally consecrated on June 17, 1857 by Cardinal Donnet, archbishop of Bordeaux, in the presence of nine other bishops and of Dom Guéranger, Abbot of Solesmes.
Seeing the building of the church through to completion was a tremendous undertaking, and one that was accomplished only as a result of Father Moreau’s determination and reliance on divine grace.

The church has nevertheless known a complicated and sometimes painful history. Sold at auction in 1869 along with the adjoining Institution Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix, the Society of Jesus came into possession of the church in 1870. They made certain modifications to the church, including the installation of new windows and the conversion of the chapter room into a chapel (Chapel of Christ the King).

When, in 1911, the adjoining school was appropriated by the State and converted into an army barracks, the church was used as a military storage depot. It would remain so for the next twenty years.

Owing to the intervention of Cardinal Georges Grente, bishop of Le Mans from 1918-1959, the Congregation of Holy Cross retook possession of the church of their Founder in 1931. It was re-consecrated on November 9, 1937 and the parish was erected the following year (1938), as we can still see it on one of the stained-glass window of the church (1947), recalling that story.