Sharing Some Beautiful News

Dear Parishioners,

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Some months ago we learned that our parish, the Church of the Holy Cross, was named the sole beneficiary of an endowment established at the Catholic Community Foundation by the Brya Family. Each year our parish will receive a disbursement of the accumulated interest. We will meet this exciting opportunity with a spirit of prudent discernment and sound stewardship.  

The Brya family’s decision to designate their beloved parish as the recipient of this gift and their humility in specifying that the gift be made known publicly only after the passing of the last member of the family highlights their quiet, unassuming dedication to the Church and their deep faith in Christ. For me it is a story that represents familiar stories of many other immigrant families who came to Northeast Minneapolis and lived their faith and life within a neighborhood parish. There they found spiritual nourishment through the Sacraments.  

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This gift arrives at a providential time, meeting us in the midst of transition and at the threshold of parish renewal. We strive today to strengthen our care and service to current parishioners and to reach out in new ways to those in the neighborhood. The gift will allow us an opportunity to respond effectively to many of the parish’s needs that were identified through the Steier Report. You may recall that report. It was released this past summer based on a parish-wide questionnaire. It pointed to needs ranging from deferred maintenance and capital improvements, to faith enrichment offerings for all ages, to charitable outreach and staffing. Attending to these needs with a prudent and careful development of priorities will allow us to strengthen our parish into the future.

The important work of the Kingdom goes on because each one gives according to their means. Your generous contributions have truly supported the important work of our parish and they are a practical exercise of your faith and trust in God. In order to continue our basic parish operation, together we need to sustain --- even increase --- our weekly sacrificial giving to take full advantage of the gift that has come to us today. We are deeply grateful to each of you who give so faithfully according to your means. Together we can accomplish what the Lord calls us to be as a vibrant Catholic multi-campus parish in this neighborhood.

In humble gratitude for your dedicated support,
I remain grateful to serve you,
Fr. Howe  

The Brya Family

While there will be a future opportunity to tell the fuller story of the Brya family, perhaps a few details and images can begin to share their legacy.

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Stanely Brya and Felicia Skorupska emigrated from Poland sometime around 1912. They married and settled in Northeast Minneapolis and raised four children, Genevieve, Elizabeth, Raymond and Florence. Their life as a family centered around Holy Cross parish and school. Of the siblings only Genevieve and Raymond were married, but had no children.

The last living members of the family were Raymond and Helen Brya who in their final years were residents of Catholic Eldercare and attended St. Anthony of Padua, though Holy Cross always remained home. Raymond passed in 2012 and Helen followed in 2016.