• History

    We are an apostolic religious family of priests and brothers bound together in one indivisible brotherhood in service to the Church and in a communal response to the Lord’s mission.

Our Foundation

Fr. Basil Moreau

Basil Moreau, C.S.C (Feb. 11th, 1799 – Jan. 20th, 1873), he was a French priest who founded the Congregation of the Holy Cross Priests and Brothers in 1841 and three distinct Congregation of Sisters: The Marianita’s of Holy Cross (France), Sisters of the Holy Cross (United States) and Sisters of Holy Cross (Canada). He was known not only as an inspiring professor, but also a man of God who faithfully sought to grow in the image of Christ through prayer, personal asceticism, and service.


Fr. Jacques Dujari'e

Rev. Jacques-François Dujarié was a key figure in the foundation of the Congregation of Holy Cross. His heroic determination to serve the material and spiritual needs of the poor in France helped to lay the groundwork for the mission of Holy Cross throughout the world

Dujarié was born in Rennes-en-Grenouilles, France, on December 9, 1767. He grew up wanting to be a priest and was a seminarian in Angers when the French Revolution broke out in 1789. Two years later, in 1791, when the Revolutionary government required all clergy to take an oath of fidelity to the state, the seminary disbanded and Dujarié returned home.

History of..

The Congregation of Holy Cross Province of East Africa



The Congregation of Holy Cross, a Roman Catholic religious order established in 1837 in France, almost immediately provided missionaries to foreign lands. In 1840, religious were sent to Algiers; one year later, others were sent to Indiana. In 1853 Holy Cross took on the mission of East Bengal (now Bangladesh).

Congregation of Holy Cross Province of East Africa


Holy Cross in East Africa

It was in 1958 that the Congregation answered the mission call at the invitation of Jean Ogez, W.F., Bishop of Mbarara, in western Uganda. On November 4, 1958, four members from the U.S. arrived in East Africa to start a mission.

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Erection of the District of East Africa

In 1960 it was erected as the District of East Africa, and the then Fr. Vincent McCauley was appointed the first District Superior. On April 19, 1961, Pope John XXIII erected the Diocese of Fort -Portal and appointed Rt. Rev. Vincent Joseph McCauley C.S.C., now Servant of God as its first Bishop. While Bishop McCauley made a significant contribution in promoting the local Church and ministering to refugees, He also fostered the establishment of institutions of learning at all levels and encouraged indigenous clergy in East Africa. In 1953, the Diocese was detached from Mbarara Diocese, which up to 1953 was Rwenzori Vicariate. Bishop McCauley was zealousy opted for new parishes opened: Bukwali (1960), Munteme (1961), Kahunge (1963), Kasese (1966), Kasanga (1968). 1962 Saaka property was purchased, which now serves as our novitiate. More ministry efforts like St Augustine T.T.C. (1959), St Leo’s College (1961), and St Mary’s Seminary (1966) were part of the Holy Cross educators’ ministry response to educate Minds and Hearts.

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Ministry and challenges

Times of working to restore Hope and be present with the people we serve. In 1968 there, Uganda experienced rapid growth, which required more presence in ministry and opening up to help our people deal with social, political, and natural calamities. In 1966 the Earthquake hit western Uganda, leaving a huge infrastructural breakdown, many people homeless in our parishes, and tearing down the Cathedral. In 1968 the new Cathedral was built under Bishop McCauley. Other issues included over 12,000 Rwandese refugees (1960 genocide) in Kahunge Parish + Bakiga immigrants. Obote government planning expulsion of missionaries (1969) (Aux Bp) Reign of Idi Amin (1971-1979) Expulsion of Asians (1972). Amidst all, the bove ministry kept growing in the hands of the zealous missionaries. Bp McCauley handed over to Bp Magambo (Dec 1972) … goes to Nairobi until death (1982)

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Our Impact on Education


  • St Leo’s College under Government H/M (1973) … Brothers leave school (2003).
  • St Augustine T.T.C. under Government H/M (1974) … Brothers leave school (1976).
  • Bp Magambo advised C.S.C. Priests (1974) to start teaching, and they take on their role as educators in schools like: St Henry’s College, Nyakasura School, Ggaba National Seminary, Alokolum Major Seminary.
  • Brothers to Nyegezi S.T.C. Mwanza (1974), Kitabi Seminary (1975)
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Time to move outside Uganda, start ministries and formation program for the indigenous

In 1978 Priests began Dandora Parish in Kenya, founded on a small model of Christian Community to build a strong community of faith.

Act of Faith: – Like Abraham- ‘I will make your descendants like the stars of the sky’ with only 13 U.S. Historical Members in 1980, plans began to be made to begin formation programs in E. Africa, and so began an act of faith: if it is God’s plan it will succeed!


  • Candidate program for seminarians in Dandora, Kenya: Philosophy at Hakema or Consolata, while the program for Brothers at Virika, F/P Uganda: community and work experience for 2 yrs. (1982).
  • joint novitiate program at Saaka (3 novices begin) (1984) . * First profession of vows (1 professed): June 3, 1985 … on the front line of Museveni war!.
  • Post novitiate’ Tangaza Theological Consortium for Religious’ (1986).
  • Pre novitiate program: another consortium for religious -‘ Philosophy Center Jinja’ (1989)
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Archbishops Theotonius Ganguly and Marcos McGrath and VincentMcCauley


Unification of Brothers and Priests

  • Fundamental Pact: ‘Birth of the Congregation of Holy Cross (1837). The Congregation members here celebrated 150th birthday (1987) Its after the celebration that the Priests and Brothers in East Africa wrote their own Fundamental Pact – Unification of Priests of I.P. and Brothers of E.B. (July 16, 1988) thus the ‘Birth of the future Province of East Africa.’ A historical event that marked the first unification of the Priests’ Society and Brothers’ Society in the Congregation since 1946! An error of growth in ministries: 
  • Archive Office of the District (1988)
Pope Pius XII, who proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of Mary in 1950, is seen at the Vatican in 1956. A report presented to the (Anglican) Church of Ireland's general synod claimed there is no biblical or historical basis for the Catholic doctrines of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception. (CNS photo) (May 15, 2006) See IRELAND-MARIAN May 12, 2006.


Opening New Ministries and Est. formation Houses

  • Holy Cross Parish Bugembe, Jinja (1990).
  • Andre Candidate House Jinja(1994, 2007).
  • St Jude Tadeo Parish, Kyarusozi F/P (1994) … Holy Cross Family Ministries (1996).
  • McCauley Formation House Nairobi (2000, 2004, 2016).
  • St Brendan’s Parish Kitete, TZ (2000).

All these happened with challenges like the Earthquake in F/P (1994) … 1994 Rwanda Genocide … ADF war (1995- 2002) … Senior Members’ from the U.S serving in the district began to reduce leaving Br Alan Harrod, Br Bernie Klim, Fr Dick Stout, Fr Jim Karafa, Fr Pat Gafney, Br Joe Walsh, Br Robert Nebus, Fr Tom O’Hara, Br Bill Zaydak (CSCs) mentoring the indigenous religious and priest into leadership of ministries and those who completed their novitiate during this period at Holy Cross Novitiate Saaka during that transitory time include 16: Fr Fulgens Katende … to Fr. Fred Jenga (CSCs)


The Year 2000s

Divine Providence: God’s promise to Abraham … and to C.S.C. in East Africa begins to shine forth


  • Holy Cross Lake View S.S.S. becomes a district commitment (2001).
  • Bp McCauley House: District Headquarters Kampala (2002).
  • Most of the ministries of the District are headed and staffed by indigenous C.S.C., including the first East African District Superior: Fr James Burasa (2003-2011).
  • Nile’ retreat site’ begins to take shape (2008).
  • St Joseph’s Hill S.S. becomes a district commitment (2010).
  • More new parishes: – Sombetini, Arusha T.Z. (2015).
  • Musoma, TZ (2017).
  • Mwanza, T.Z. (2017).
  • Kampala, Uganda (2018).
  • New community residences: – Dujarie House, Wanyange, Jinja.
  • Moreau Community, Bugembe, Jinja.
  • Bernie Klim Community, Kyembogo, Fort Portal – very many members begin advanced studies, some to PhD level

Challenges: Rapid growth in a District composed of a large proportion of very young members brings along its own ‘growing challenges’

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Province Status

The District of East Africa began a process of moving toward Province Status (2004). Membership: These ‘Millennial Members’ are almost totally made up of East Africans. C.S.C. members coming from the U.S.A. in this period were very few, e.g.: Frs Pat Neary (now Bishop Patrick Neary of the Diocese of St. Cloud U.S.A., Dave Burrell, Claude Pomerleau, Michael Matthews and Jim King.

Only Fr Michael Matthews was still in the District and those who completed their novitiate during this period:
Fr David Eleaona, Ronnie Kawooya, Cyprian Binaka and all the others, down to those who professed in July 2018. In April 1958 on his ‘come and see’ trip to Uganda Fr McCauley wrote: This is going a long, long way to look over a mission that 3 – 30 C.S.C.’s might work in all their lives … it better be good!


Our Deceased Brothers

Buried in East Africa

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1st. January 1967

Rev. John Harrington, C.S.C (Age 61) Fort Portal – Uganda

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7th. April 1983

Br. Ellis Greene, C.S.C (Age 61) Fort Portal – Uganda

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7th. August 1988

Rev George Maclnnes, C.S.C (Age 55) Nairobi – Kenya

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2nd. November 1989

Sem Evarest Mulinda, C.S.C (Age 32) Fort Portal – Uganda

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23rd. April 1994

Br. Janvier Murenzi C.S.C (Age 26) Rwanda

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6th. May 1994

Br. Eulade Gasasira C.S.C (Age 26) Rwanda

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6th. May 1994

Br. Leonard Karemangingo C.S.C (Age 29) Rwanda

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6th. May 1994

Br. Venant Kayitana C.S.C (Age 26) Rwanda

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6th. May 1994

Br. Jean-Baptise Mundeli C.S.C (Age 31) Rwanda

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6th. May 1994

Br. Claude Simard C.S.C (Age 61) Rwanda

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22nd. February 1996

Sem Aristarik Safari C.S.C (Age 33) Jinja – Uganda

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15th. September 2002

Sem Czesto Mushi C.S.C (Age 32) Nairobi -Kenya

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23rd. June 2002

Fr James Karaffa C.S.C (Age 50) Nairobi- Kenya

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23rd. February 2005

Deacon Erogi Asiimwe C.S.C (Age 33) Fort Portal – Uganda

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3rd. February 2007

Rev. Robert Hesse C.S.C (Age 80) Jinja – Uganda

Died in Algiers, North Africa

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16th. September 1841

Br. Louis Marchand C.S.C (Age 28)

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14th. January 1848

Br Cyprien Menage C.S.C (Age 18)

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15th. October 1849

Br. Hilarion Ferton C.S.C (Age 32)

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2nd. September 1851

Br. Clement Deschamps C.S.C (Age 42)

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19th. August 1852

Br. David Lottin C.S.C (Age 22)

Died in the U.S. and served in East Africa

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4th. April 1977

Br. Reinald Duran C.S.C (Age 58)

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1st. November 1982

Bishop Vincent McCauley C.S.C (Age 76)

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16th. September 1989

Br. Patrick Halpin C.S.C (Age 74)

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28th. July 1999

Rev. Thomas Fotusky C.S.C (Age 74)

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26th. October 2000

Br. Thomas Keefe C.S.C (Age 81)

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26th. July 2009

Rev. John J. Croston C.S.C (Age 87)

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1st. January 2010

Br. Gerald Suddick C.S.C (Age 82)

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27th. December 2010

Br. Robert Nebus C.S.C (Age 70)

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4th October 2015

Br. Bernard Klim C.S.C (Age 85)

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24th. August 2016

Br. Tad Las C.S.C (Age 87)

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6th December 2016

Br. James J. Rio C.S.C (Age 77)

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16th. February 2017

Br. James Kelly C.S.C (Age 85)

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9th. September 2017

Br. Francis R. Ellis C.S.C (Age 80)

Rev. David Bakewell Burrell

1st. October 2023

Rev. David B. Burrell, C.S.C (Age 90)

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Dick Stout, C.S.C

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