Since their foundation more than 800 years ago in a small church in Belgium, the Crosiers have grown into an international Order, serving on five continents.
The Order's international headquarters is in Rome, Italy, at the Basilica of San Giorgio in Velabro near the ancient Roman Forum. Crosiers have cared for this seventh-century church since 1939. From here, Master General Laurentius Tarpin, osc, and his staff provide leadership and support for the more than 400 Crosiers serving all over the world. Fr. Tarpin is the first Indonesian master general. The Crosiers are organized into three provinces.
The Province of St. Odilia is headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz.
The first Crosier missionaries were sent out from the Netherlands into the American Midwest in the late 1800s. Since then, missions have been established by the European Crosiers in Congo and Brazil, and by the American Crosiers in Indonesia.
In 1958, four Crosiers left Minnesota, traveling first to the West Coast and then by ship to Australia. After an airplane trip to Indonesia, they boarded another ship that took them to their final destination in the Asmat region, arriving more than two months after they left. These men—Fr. Delmar Hesch, osc; Fr. Frank Pitka, osc; Br. Joseph De Louw, osc; and Br. Clarence Neuner, osc—were the first Crosier missionaries to Papua.
The first Crosiers arrived in Africa from Europe in the 1920s, working hard to build hospitals, schools, and churches and introducing some of the technical advances of the 20th century to the people of Congo. When rebellion broke out in the 1960s, Crosiers continued their work, even when 23 European Crosiers were kidnapped and massacred in 1965. While the colonists for the most part fled and didn't come back, the Crosiers remained to rebuild the Church.