The Congregation of Holy Cross evolved from a group of young religious, the Brothers of Saint Joseph, founded by Father James Dujarie (1767-1838) in Ruille, France. They were organized to teach young people in the poor village and parish schools in the area.
Due to age and ever-increasingly rheumatism, Father Dujarie felt that he was no longer able to lead the Brothers of Saint Joseph. In 1835 in the presence of Bishop John Baptist Bouvier and a gathering of priests, he transferred his administration to Father Basil Moreau (1799-1873).
At this time, Father Moreau, a priest from Le Mans, France, was in the process of forming his own group of priests to conduct missions in the local parishes.
By 1837, initial steps were taken to join these priests and the Brothers of Saint Joseph into one single organization which is now known as the Congregation of Holy Cross.
The first permanent foundation of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the United States was the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, founded in 1842.
In 1946, the Brothers and Fathers of Holy Cross were reorganized into independent provinces, under one general administration. Brothers Ephrem O’Dwyer receives documents from Father Albert Cousineau, superior general, naming him as first provincial of the United States Brothers’ Province.
In 1958, the South-West Province of Brothers, which includes California, was established with headquarters at St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas.
In 1965, Bishop Floyd Begin of Oakland invited the Brothers of Holy Cross to found a high school for boys in Hayward. The school, named for Father Moreau, the founder of Holy Cross, was conducted in the temporary quarters of St. Bede’s Parish School for its first year.
By September, 1966, the building on Mission Boulevard was completed. In 1969, the school became co-educational. Brother John Baptist Titzer, provincial of the South West Province, directed the foundation.
The insignia consists of a cross, representing faith, and anchors, representing hope. The Latin words “Spes unica” translate to “only hope” and are taken from an old liturgical hymn “Vexilla Regis,” which includes the line, “Hail, O Cross, our only hope.”