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History Part 3

Early Crosier studentsThe modern era began in 1840 when the law forbidding the reception of new members was repealed and surprising numbers joined the Order, some of them diocesan priests who believed all along they had a call to religious life. Henricus van den Wijmelenberg was one of them. Before long, this new Crosier was appointed superior, and then, in 1841, he was named Commissary General of the revitalized Order. Houses were reestablished in Belgium and the Netherlands and beyond.

In 1850 Fr. Van den Wijmelenberg sent priests and brothers to Wisconsin to work among the Dutch and Belgian immigrants who had settled in the Green Bay area.  Along the Fox River, Fr. Edward Daems, osc, tried to establish a priory, but plans were abandoned when the Civil War began. A second attempt to establish an American presence by the Crosiers came in 1910. In 1922, a priory and school were established in Onamia, Minn., 90 miles north of Minneapolis. At the same time, men were sent into other parts of the world as well, beginning missions in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1920; sending Crosiers to the island of Java in Indonesia in 1926; and, in 1934, establishing a presence in Brazil. Since 1958, Crosiers have worked in the Diocese of Agats-Asmat in the West Papua region of Indonesia.

Today, the worldwide Order of the Holy Cross has communities in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Congo, Germany, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and the United States. There are about 400 Crosiers throughout the world. The residence (Generalate) of the Master General is in Rome, at the Church of San Giorgio in Velabro, a seventh-century basilica the Order has cared for since 1939.