Mission & History
Holy Cross Ministries’ history of providing services to vulnerable families in this community dates back to 1875, when the first two sisters of the Holy Cross traveled to what would later become the state of Utah to establish a hospital for injured miners and railroad workers. They were met by a community that had diverse and serious needs, so they set to work immediately. In their first three months of service, the sisters opened a hospital and a grade school. The sisters established an innovative prepaid health plan for miners and others in which participants contributed $1 a month while in good health, which entitled them to free admission. By 1882, efforts were underway to establish a larger hospital and as the hospital grew, sisters from across the country were drawn to serve in Utah, their pioneering spirits driving them to find new ways to educate girls and women, care for orphans, and heal the sick. For decades these women filled the critical needs of the community that no others were prepared to meet.
Over the years, as the healthcare environment and delivery system in the United States became more complex, the sisters decided to move away from the acute hospital setting and to look at new and innovative ways to reach out to the underserved and under-insured. In 1994, the Sisters created Holy Cross Ministries (a 501c3 nonprofit organization) to continue their tradition of compassionate service. Through innovative services and programs, Holy Cross Ministries and its collaborative partners in the community, has been successful in delivering compassionate service and effective programming driven by the commitment to serve those in need.
More than 140 years later, Holy Cross Ministries continues to serve the poor, underserved and marginalized, especially women and children in Utah. These services are provided without regard to age, gender, faith, race, ethnicity, or ability to pay. We conduct this work through prenatal, early childhood, and youth education; information and referrals; legal immigration assistance, primarily for victims of crimes such as domestic violence; and bilingual outreach services in partnership with low-income clinics, which help people connect with community resources.
Sisters of the Holy Cross
Holy Cross Ministries is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross
Holy Cross Ministries, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization serves families in Utah regardless of their religion, and is currently sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. The Sisters of the Holy Cross are a Roman Catholic congregation of women religious who engage in ministries that "focus on building communities of justice and love, eradicating material poverty, and ending gender discrimination against women." There are approximately 400 Holy Cross sisters ministering across the world. They are located in eight countries and four continents (Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, India, Mexico, Peru, Uganda, and the United States) and as an expression of their mission to respond to the unmet needs in Utah, the sisters decided in 1994 to create Holy Cross Ministries to continue outreach services to the poor and underserved in this community. At Holy Cross Ministries, there are two Sisters of the Holy Cross on staff, and four Sisters of the Holy Cross on the Board of Trustees.
Origin and History of the Sisters of the Holy Cross
The Sisters of the Holy Cross were founded by Father Basil Anthony Moreau in Le Mans, France. In 1841 Father Moreau founded a group of women religious; which today form three distinct congregations, including the Sisters of Holy Cross. Two years after founding this group of women religious, four Holy Cross sisters were sent to northern Indiana. They were tasked with helping the Holy Cross priests who were establishing a school for boys that would later become known as the University of Notre Dame. The sisters began to teach young girls and the resulting school moved in 1855 and later became Saint Mary's College.
It was twenty years later, in 1875 that the first two Sisters of the Holy Cross came to Utah.
Click HERE to read more about the origin and history of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
Called to Serve
The Sisters of the Holy Cross became the forerunners of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps when they answered President Lincoln’s call to minister all soldiers in need more than 150 years ago. They served as Army nurses on the hospital ship USS Red Rover. In recognition of their service, Holy Cross Ministries was an honorary recipient of the U.S. Army Civil War Campaign Medal.
U.S. representative Jackie Walorski wrote that this rare honor was “a sign of our gratitude as a nation and a reminder of the price of freedom.” Her words were read by Ben Parsons, constituent liaison, at the November 30, 2016 ceremony at the Sisters of the Holy Cross Congregation’s motherhouse in Indiana on the Saint Mary’s campus.
Sister M. Veronique (Wiedower), CSC, president, commented during the ceremony, stating that “the ‘yes’ of our Congregation and so many other women religious at this period in our history gave birth to the ministry of health care that has grown and developed in this country. The sisters read the signs of their time, and responded with generosity and courage. Each in her own way contributed to preparing for a world better than her own.”
Celebrating 175 Years
January 20, 2016, opened a yearlong celebration of the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Marianites of Holy Cross in Le Mans, France. As a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Holy Cross Ministries joined in the celebration to commemorate a long history of service to the community. Both here in Utah, and across the globe.
Board of Trustees
Maria S. Farrington
President / Executive Director
Sister Catherine Kamphaus, CSC
Sister Madeleine Clayton, CSC
Rev. Msgr. Terrence Fitzgerald
Maria Isabel Gomez
Sister Patricia Riley, CSC
Sister Sharlet Wagner, CSC
Annual & Financial Reports
In 2016 Holy Cross Ministries served over 4,000 individuals and their families. This document gives a snapshot of that work.
This is the first Highlights document produced for Holy Cross Ministries. It gives an overview of the great work happening in the organization over the course of 2015.
At Holy Cross Ministries, we know that every resource given to us can help to transform a life. That is why we commit to our donors and grantors that the funds we receive provide quality services and programs to achieve the greatest good for those we serve. In 2015, Ninety-four cents of every dollar received went directly to the serve the poor and underserved.
2016 Annual Report
Stay tuned! This year's Annual Report is coming soon.
2015: paving the way for bright futures. We believe that everyone deserves a bright future, which is why we partner with organizations to provide health, education, and justice services in our community.
On June 6, 1875, two Sisters of the Holy Cross arrived in Utah to establish a hospital for injured miners and railroad workers. We carry on their legacy today, through the innovative programs and services offered by Holy Cross Ministries.
The 2013 Annual Report describes the broad range of work we do with our partners that benefits the diverse community in which we live in in Utah.
"Our commitment to the community drives us to stand alongside the people we serve on their journey toward empowerment and community integration."
The stories shared in this report help share the depth and richness of the relationships between the people we serve, our community partners, and the many stakeholders in our organization.