Contact: Amy H. Smessaert
Communications Director
Congregation of the
Sisters of the Holy Cross
Telephone: (574) 284-5728
Date:February 10, 2017 


Holy Cross Sisters launch “19:33 Offering” initiative to support immigrants and refugees

Notre Dame, Indiana — In ongoing response to the needs of immigrants and refugees in many parts of the world, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross is undertaking a new initiative called the “19:33 Offering.” The name of the initiative is inspired by the Bible’s Book of Leviticus:

When foreigners live with you in your land, do not mistreat them. You shall treat the foreigner who lives with you no differently than the citizens born among you; you shall love them as yourself; for you too were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I, the Lord, am your God. –Leviticus 19:33

“In Leviticus 19:33, God commands us to love the stranger as we love ourselves, and to treat the stranger no differently than we treat the citizens born among us,” said Sister Sharlet Ann Wagner, CSC, a member of the General Council of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, who, with others on the leadership team, developed the 19:33 Offering initiative. She noted that the number 1933 has historical significance in the fight against religious-based persecution as it was in that year that the first anti-Jewish laws were passed in Germany. 

The Sisters of the Holy Cross will donate $1,933 to each of six organizations that serve immigrants and refugees, either through direct service to these vulnerable groups, or through pursuing legal challenges to unjust laws and practices. The six organizations are:

Individual Sisters of the Holy Cross, the Holy Cross Associates group in the United States, and the Church of Our Lady of Loretto worshipping community in Notre Dame, Ind., have been invited to participate in the initiative by sending donations of $1.93, $19.33, $193.30 or another amount to the Congregation. The 19:33 Offering initiative runs from February 12 through February 28, 2017. Others are welcome to borrow the 19:33 Offering concept for use in their parishes, college campuses, workplaces and local communities.

“As Christians, people who are, by definition, followers of Christ, we are called to action on behalf of the most vulnerable among us,” said Sister M. Veronique (Wiedower), CSC, president of the Congregation. “As people of God, we must speak out in support of our millions of Muslim sisters and brothers, and all who are targets of persecution because of their religion. Finally, as Sisters of the Holy Cross, our core value of compassion “compels us to stand with and embrace others in their suffering….”

About the Sisters of the Holy Cross

Founded in 1841 in Le Mans, France, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross is an international community of women religious whose motherhouse is located in Notre Dame, Ind. The congregation serves in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, India, Mexico, Peru, Uganda and the United States. Sisters of the Holy Cross are called to participate in the prophetic mission of Jesus to witness God’s love for all creation. Their ministries focus on providing education and health care services, eradicating material poverty, ending gender discrimination, and promoting just, mutual relationships among people, countries and the entire Earth community. To learn more about the Sisters of the Holy Cross, visit our website at or our Facebook page.

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