Frequently Asked Questions
Crosier comes from the French word croisé which means "signed with the Cross." If you'd like to know more about the roots of the Crosier Fathers and Brothers, check the "Our History" section of this website!
The U.S. Conventual Priory of this international order of priests and brothers is headquartered in Phoenix and has a filial priory in Onamia, Minnesota. The international headquarters is in Rome, and Crosiers also live and serve in The Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia.
The vows are from our Crosier Constitutions. By poverty we strive to base "our existence on the life of others and no longer to root our concern in ourselves"(Const. 12.1), and thus "we make total renunciation of all our goods" (Const. 13.2), and we share all things in common. By chastity "we respond in a particular way to the Christian vocation of realizing the fullness of love" (Const. 11.1), and so "we forego marriage and live as celibates" (Const. 11.2). Living the vow of obedience is our "response of love and service and of being available to the Church and all people" Const. 14.1). This vow is concretized by sharing our lives in community in dialogue with our Crosier superiors.
A typical day in the priory is anchored by a rhythm of liturgical prayer and community activities. We pray five times a day (morning, Eucharist, midday, evening, night) and have regular community gatherings for fraternal interaction and deliberation (chapter, recreation). A variety of circumstances determine the kind of work each confrere is responsible for, but the goal is to nurture a balanced, holistic and integrated life focused on deepening and living out our common religious vocation for the life of the Order in the Church and world.
The Crosiers were founded in 1210 during the Medieval Period. The people of the Middle Ages paid intense attention to the symbolic nature of clothing and the first Crosiers designed the habit to be a highly visible statement of the community’s religious values. Placed over the heart, the Crosier Cross is the most prominent feature of the habit. The cross has a distinctive shape; it is the crusader cross, worn by soldiers on the fabric over their armor to identify themselves as Christian. The red and white color makes it stand out, it demands our immediate attention. The red represents the blood and the white represents the water that flowed from Jesus’ side after a soldier thrust him with a lance (Jn 19:34). The blood is a reminder of our devotion to the Eucharist, while the water recalls our baptism. As a multivalent symbol, the red also represents suffering, while the white signifies the glorification that follows. The crusader cross says, “I belong to Christ!” “I will fight for Christ!” “I am a person devoted to the cross!” Typically Crosiers wear their habit for liturgies, including Mass and morning and evening prayer, Crosier gatherings and special events. Crosiers continue to take pride in wearing their habit, aware that it represents a way of life that is faithful to values of community, ministry, and prayer. As a form of honor, Crosiers are buried in their habit.
We've been told by several people we have the best looking habit of all the religious orders!
Canons regular is a family of religious life in the Church. Orders of canons regular combine the clerical office (canons) with the observance of community religious life (a Rule, “regula”) and the evangelical counsels. They have their origin in the communities of clergy who lived with their bishop. It was St. Augustine who, at the end of the fourth and the beginning of the fifth centuries, gave this form of religious life its most characteristic features. The 11th and 12th centuries saw a flourishing of orders of canons regular, including the Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (you can see why we go by Crosiers!). Norbertines and Augustinian Canons are among other orders of canons regular.
Crosiers minister out of our community life with diverse gifts to various needs of the Church and society, including parishes assistance; lay ministry formation; multicultural ministry; Sacrament of Reconciliation and reception of Holy Communion; spiritual direction/counseling; daily celebration of the Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours; spiritual healing for veterans; pastoral services to jail inmates; weekly Mass and Communion service to Alzheimer’s patients; immigrant services including citizenship classes, coordination of pro bono legal services and direct need services for eligible candidates, spiritual guidance, conduct retreats, and coordinate parish missions; pastoral care to patients; conduct healing Masses and novenas in concert with the intercession of St. Odilia, patroness of the Crosiers and intercessor of the blind and afflicted; and elder care.
Becoming a priest or brother requires several years of formation and education. In addition, the life of the vowed and ordained servants of our church can be demanding and require a great deal of personal stamina. Limits vary according to the religious community or diocese you wish to join. Normally, our age requirement is 18-40 years of age. Those older than 40 years of age are included on a case-by-case basis.
An applicant should be a United States citizen or have permanent residence status to enter into the Crosier formation process in the United States.
Holding student debt or other personal debt is a significant concern for those who are exploring a Church vocation. The Crosiers recognize this concern and want to work with inquirers to address debt issues. The Crosier policy is that an inquirer must make every reasonable effort to pay all personal debts. Once the postulant enters the novitiate, the Order will assume responsibility for his remaining debts and pay interest on them as long as he is a member of the Order. If he leaves the Order, all debts incurred by him prior to the novitiate again become his responsibility. Inquirers who seek to apply for postulancy who have declared personal or business bankruptcy will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Yes, it is possible to become a Crosier if you are divorced or widowed. If a person is separated or divorced, he needs to have successfully completed an annulment and not have any dependent children. In the case of a widower, a man needs to have been a widower for at least one year, not have any dependent children and be negotiating the grieving process successfully.
A diocesan priest is generally ordained to serve a particular geographic area (diocese) for his entire priesthood, primarily in parish life, and lives on his own. Religious priests are also ordained to serve the Church, but within the context of a particular religious community's charism (which could mean specific ministries, like teaching, health care, chaplaincy, etc.) and wherever the order has a presence in the world. Religious priests are assigned by their own religious superior and live with others in a community. Religious priests also take vows of poverty which means they do not own any property.
Each of us makes some choices in our lives that do not make sense to our parents. If you pursue a life of celibacy and you find your best love and happiness there, it is hoped that your parents will come to understand. The best course of action is to be open with them about your desires, to ask for their acceptance and to pray with and for them.