Since the very first day, Holy Cross Congregation strove to be “educators in the faith” in all that we do in ministry, and especially in our ministries of education.

My years of teaching taught me the true meaning of Hope. To believe in each student, in their abilities, in their determination to do as well as they can, and who can overcome obstacles in their way to success. Hope that they can learn, Hope that they can discover their God given talents, and Hope that they will become men and women of faith who can, and will, make a difference in the world.

The Atanansi Primary School in the Diocese of Jinja, Uganda, where Holy Mission Center recently funded desks and chairs for the students, is an illustration of Hope. The children, sitting on the dirt floor and using the little benches for a desk, do believe that dreams can come true. That picture touches my heart and fills me with Hope. Against many odds, these young children showed me how much their education means to them!

Atanansi Grade School 1

The second picture, showing Fr. Fred Jenga, CSC, from the District of East Africa with students in front of the school, is a story by itself! You see, it is in this same school that Fr. Fred Jenga studied as a child. This is where his learning began! Education has changed his life. He went from humble beginnings to become a greatly respected member of our Congregation. He then served in community leadership, the director of Holy Cross Family Ministries for East Africa and is currently in his doctoral studies in Communications at the University of Texas. It happened because he had a family and a school that believed in him. Seeing him alongside these students inspires me to believe opportunities exist, that all of them can achieve great success they might not even imagine possible. Hope.


Many young people in the world start their life with so little. Let us believe in all of them – even the most rebellious – and invite them to challenge themselves, encourage them in their faith, and open ourselves to seeing the goodness in each one. It will shape their future. We will be amazed and continue to have hope for the future as it will be in good hands.

God Bless them! They inspire me. Fred’s story inspires me. I think of the many students I have had who have dreamed big, worked hard, and accomplished so much to become great leaders of their families and communities.

I look forward to taking this message of Hope to the community of Saint Joseph’s Oratory and to young people of Montréal and beyond! Peace!

Father Michael DeLaney, CSC