The Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at Holy Cross derives its mission from the College’s conviction, set out in its mission statement, that "the search for meaning and value is at the heart of the intellectual life." The McFarland Center ensures that exploration of the complex interrelationships among religion, ethics and culture plays a vital role in the life of the Holy Cross community. It thereby contributes to the ongoing renewal of liberal arts education and the human quest for self-understanding.
The McFarland Center provides a forum for intellectual exchange that respects differences, embraces persons of all faiths, and regards none as religious strangers. It provides common ground for inquiry that is multidisciplinary, multicultural, and multinational in scope, and aims to enrich the spiritual as well as intellectual life of all who participate in its work. Dialogue about basic human questions—the search for meaning, our obligations to one another and to the world's poor and powerless, and the moral character of learning and teaching—informs life at Holy Cross and the McFarland Center. In an increasingly interdependent world, the McFarland Center works to enhance awareness of injustice and the conditions that foster human wellbeing. The McFarland Center recognizes a special responsibility to foster Catholic intellectual life and to further Catholicism’s ongoing conversation with other faith traditions in the distinctive context of a Jesuit liberal arts college.
To these ends, the McFarland Center sponsors conferences, lectures, and arts programs that seek to engage the broad Holy Cross Community, and it supports faculty in addressing religious and ethical issues in teaching and research.