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02 43 81 15 57 6 rue Notre Dame 72000 Le Mans
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The launching of a new year of activities at the parish of Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix/Shrine of Blessed Basil Moreau was held on September 15, 2019, feast of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, the patroness of the Congregation of Holy Cross and of the Holy Cross family in general. This day was also the 12th anniversary of the beatification of Fr. Basil Moreau, founder of the Holy Cross family, who dedicated this sacred building, built thanks to him, to Mary, Queen of Heaven, known as Our Lady of Holy Cross or Our Lady of Sorrows. On the sculpture of the Lamentation behind the altar, with Our Lady of Sorrows holding the lifeless body of her son Jesus, are written those words from the book of Lamentations: “O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite, et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus”, which can be translated in English by: « Come, all who pass by the way, pay attention and see: Is there any pain like my pain » (Lam 1, 12). The parish/Shrine year was very naturally placed under the intercession of Our Lady of Sorrows and of Blessed Basil Moreau.

Those events were preceded by a novena to Our Lady of Sorrows. Sisters Ann Lacour, Congregational leader of the Marianites of Holy Cross and Stéphanie Brignac, congregational first assistant, prayed the rosary with the community the first two days of the novena. For mass on the second day, we were, priests (Joseph Gansalvez and myself, Paul-Elie Cadet), sisters (Ann Lacour, Stéphanie Brignac, Thérèse Poupard, Jacqueline Bréchotte), and brother (Francis Lebeltel) gathered around the tomb of our Blessed founder Basil Moreau.

At the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we invited members of the assembly to look at and admire the 16 stained-glass windows representing 16 crosses resplendent of the Glory of the Resurrection. For the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, it was the 7 stained-glass windows located in the choir of the church presenting the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary linked to the life and mission of her son Jesus Christ which were highlighted. Those celebrations were good opportunities to remind to the faithful those two important feasts of devotion for the Family of Holy Cross: the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows. We also took advantage of the celebration of the 12th anniversary of the beatification of Blessed Basil Moreau to encourage the faithful to pray for his canonisation.
A friendly moment between parishoners, with an aperitif and a pic-nic, took place after mass on September 15.

Prayer for the Church of Our Lady of Holy Cross
Parish and Shrine

Loving Father,
your servant, Basil Moreau, priest and founder, built the church of Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix as a house of prayer,
as an expression of love and gratitude,
as an enduring symbol of fidelity and trust.

With zeal for your dwelling place,
we place the future of Notre Dame de Sainte-Croix in your hands.
Make of our parish and shrine
one community united in mission
to make you known, loved, and served.

Build us up, like living stones, into a spiritual house
so that, made the Temple of your grace,
we may one day enter the dwelling place of your glory.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint André Bessette, pray for us. Blessed Basil Moreau, pray for us.