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Friday, June 8, 2018

Prayer to the Sacred Heart by Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

Sending my very best wishes to all alumnae/i for a  Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart today!  I am especially thinking of and praying for the RSCJ all over the world who renew their vows on this special day.  

Below is a beautiful prayer found in a small book entitled  Special Devotions Compiled for the Children of the Sacred Heart.  

Prayer to the Sacred Heart
By St. Madeleine Sophie

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I come to Thee because Thou art my only refuge, my only but certain hope.  Thou art the comfort for all my sufferings, the remedy for all my miseries, the reparation for all my losses, the expiation for all my faults, the supplement for all that is wanting to me, the certainty for all my demands, the infallible source, for me and for all, of light, strength, benediction, constancy and peace.  I am sure that Thou wilt not weary of me, that Thou wilt not cease to love me, to aid and protect me, because Thou lovest me with an infinite love.  Have mercy on me, then, according to Thy great mercy, and do with me, and in me, whatsoever Thou wilt.  I abandon myself to Thee, with full confidence that Thou wilt never abandon me.  Amen

Photo taken of the Sacred Heart statue located
at Mount Anville (Dublin, Ireland)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Happy Feast Day Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

Window of St. Madeleiine Sophie Barat with Child
once located at Barat College now in the Library at
Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

Novena of confidence to Jesus' Sacred Heart 
through the intercession of St Madeleine Sophie
(composed 100 years ago by a Religious of the Sacred Heart)

Lord Jesus!
Through the intercession of
Saint Madeleine Sophie

To your Sacred Heart I confide

(this intention)
only look...
Then do what your Heart inspires
I count on it...
I trust in it...
I throw myself on its mercy.
Lord Jesus!

You will not fail me.

Wishing all a very Happy Feast of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat today!  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

OUR AMERICAN VOICE® Springfield Summit Celebrates Students' Civic Engagement


OUR AMERICAN VOICE®, a model civics leadership program for elementary and middle school aged students will host its 9th Annual Summit in Springfield, Illinois on May 2, 2017.  Over 250 students representing 23 schools from urban and rural communities across the state of Illinois are expected to attend.  The purpose of the Summit is to share and celebrate their success and accomplishments. 

The OAV students are eager to share their projects with each other, meet their legislators and tour the capitol in Springfield. However, due to the cost of transportation, meals, etc they need your financial support and have created a GO FUND ME page.

The OAV program sponsored by the Barat Education Foundation teaches students the four core principles of civic engagement and gets them immersed in working on projects that matter to them, their school and community.  These school initiatives completed in collaboration with community agencies and elected officials include: Cleaning and beautifying their community center; Creating a Safety program for their school; Implementing a tutoring program for students; Installing filters in all school water fountains; Purchasing a handicap ramp for school library stage; Raising $20K to make their playground handicap accessible; Setting up a free library for students in lower grades; and Starting a recycling program in their community.  

"Our OAV participants with the guidance and support of their teacher/facilitators have worked diligently to make a difference and to positively impact their communities," says Sheila A. Smith, Barat Education Foundation CEO and Chair. "We are pleased to host this summit to recognize their achievements and contributions as young citizens and are indebted to Edward and Chris Kazemek whose generous donation to the Foundation is helping launch the #OAVsummit2017 GO FUND ME campaign. Our OAV students would appreciate your financial support and help in spreading the word." 

The following schools currently participate  in the OUR AMERICAN VOICE®  program: Emerson, Hiawatha, Irving, Komensky, Pershing and Piper Elementary Schools, Freedom and Heritage Middle Schools in Berwyn;  St. Philip Neri and Robert Healy Elementary, Providence Englewood Charter in Chicago;  Clearview Elementary & Cristo Rey St. Martin  College Prep in Waukegan; Prairie Trail in Wadsworth; Hester Jr. High in Franklin Park; DuBois in Springfield, Riddle in Matoon; Oakwood Jr. High in Danville; Arcola Jr. High ; Lester in Downers Grove; Washington Jr. High in Rock Island, Spenser Crossing Intermediate School in New Lenox; and Littlejohn in Dekalb.

“...knowledge and understanding about our system of government is not something that's handed down in the gene pool. You have to learn it." Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor


To learn more about OAV students and their community projects, visit these websites: OUR AMERICAN VOICE® and OAV Facebook Page 


The Barat Education Foundation is an independent 501(c) (3) organization that develops and seeks support for innovative scholarships and entrepreneurial educational ventures which reflect the deep commitment to: intellectual, spiritual, and ethical values; empowerment of women; social awareness that impels to action; and the building of community.  For further information and/or to help support the BEF, please visit

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Provincial Barbara Dawson, RSCJ Elected 17th Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart

Barbara Dawson, RSCJ   (photo taken on May 25, 2013 in Atherton, CA) 

August 2, 2016 ~ Today in Nemi, Italy the Religious of the Sacred Heart at their 2016 General Chapter meeting announced that Barbara Dawson, RSCJ current provincial of the United States - Canada Province has been elected as the 17th Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart.  Sr. Dawson will succeed Kathleen Conan, RSCJ (2008-2016) as she becomes the third American to serve consecutively an eight year term as Superior General.  The first American elected was Clare Pratt (2000-2008) a native of Washington, D.C.  General Chapter 2016 began on July 7th and will conclude on August 10, 2016.  

Sister Dawson who is currently serving a fourth term as Provincial in the United States-Canada province, is an alumna of Lone Mountain College, now University of San Francisco where she also  received her law degree. She earned a masters degree in international comparative education from Stanford University.  For further background info: click here

Please join me in prayer as Sister Dawson selects members of her General Council and begins her term as 17th Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

To St. Madeleine Sophie

St. Madeleine Sophie, wonderfully chosen by God to make the Divine Heart of Jesus known and loved, and ever faithful to that apostolate, accept this day our confidence and prayers in proof of our allegiance. Guide us in the path of meekness and humility; set our hearts on fire with the zeal with which thine own was devoured; protect us, that we may deserve to see our names written in that most Sacred Heart, and to make in It our home for time and for eternity. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Morning of Reflection to Celebrate the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

"The Pilgrim"
Ignatius of Loyola

July 31 ~  Celebrating the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola via a Morning of Reflection organized by the Ignatius Volunteer Corps of Chicago is fast becoming my annual mid-summer treat to myself.  I so enjoyed the first retreat hosted last year at St. Ignatius College Prep that I looked forward to attending this year; the theme was "Pragmatic Mysticism: Ignatius Loyola and the God of Now" led by Fr. Pat McGrath, SJ.  During the break it was a pleasant surprise to run into fellow Sacred Heart alumna, Sr. Mary Bernstein, RSCJ who currently is working at Josephinum Academy.  On a sunny morning in July it was a pleasure to enter the gate of St. Ignatius College Prep and walk past the beautiful flowers into Tully Hall. To learn more about this great venue with its meaningful location and why I like it so much click here.   

Kudos to Christine Curran, Chicago Regional Director of IVC and Jackie Fitzgerald, Program Associate and their many helpers who once again organized a very successful and enjoyable morning followed by a delicious box lunch. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016


June 30, 2016 ~  Today a very treasured friend, mentor, former English professor and fellow alumna of Barat College celebrates her 90th birthday.  Yes, it is true Sr. Martha Curry, RSCJ is celebrating her 90th birthday! This past Sunday many friends and family members gathered to kick off this milestone celebration with Martha and her fellow RSCJ community in Hyde Park.  What an enjoyable afternoon we all had as we reminiscent and paid tribute to her.  

For those who still wish to purchase a copy of Sr. Curry's book, BARAT COLLGE: A Legacy, A Spirit and A Name - click here for more info.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat ~ Feast Day Celebrated on May 25th

Sacred Heart Chapel Roehampton,England

"Let Love Be Your Life For All Eternity"

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

The above statue of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat is located in the Sacred Heart Chapel in Roehampton, England.  The statue was donated by former pupils in 1925 after her canonization and  the buildings that were bombed are held in her hands.  

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sacred Heart Alums Take the Polar Plunge

MER with Sarah Burke at Carnivale Restaurant
attending a Legal Reception for Special Olympics

Sacred Heart Goal #3: "A Social Awareness which impels to action" 

I ran into Sarah Burke (Sacred Heart alumna of Woodlands Academy) and current board member of Special Children's Charities, Special Olympics Chicago at a Legal Reception for Special Olympics hosted on January 28th at the Carnivale Restaurant. I asked Sarah why she got involved in this particular charity and she responded: "I am involved in Special Olympics because I believe every one of us should have the opportunity to live full lives.  Special Olympics brings athletes together through athletic competition but friendship, joy and fun are the ultimate goals.  There is no better feeling than knowing that Special Children's Charities/Special Olympics Chicago support athletes and their families experience all that our City, State and World have to offer." 

This Sunday, March 6th, marks the 16th annual Polar Plunge, a fundraiser for Chicago Special Olympics' sports programs and athletes.  The weather in Chicago promises to be a balmy 50 degrees.  There is still time to support this very worthwhile cause.  To learn how you too can make a difference by jumping into Lake Michigan and participating in the Chicago Polar Plunge - click here #MAKEASPLASH FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS CHICAGO!

Previous Polar Plungers have included Sacred Heart alumna Lady Gaga (91st NY) as well as, Taylor Kinney, Vince Vaughn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Jimmy Fallon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Josephinum Annual Winter Lunch at Union League Club of Chicago

"Your example, even more than your words, 
will be an eloquent lesson to the world" 

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)

To view additional photos click on the photo album link
(right column of my blog)

Alumnae from Josephinum Academy, various Sacred Heart Academies and Colleges, as well as, many of Chicago's finest civic and corporate leaders eagerly arrived to the Union League Club of Chicago on Tuesday, February 16th to attend Josephinum Academy's annual Winter Lunch. 

Supporting Scholarships for Exceptional Young Women 

Kudos to Co-Chairs: John and Ellen Engel & Kevin and Janice Lee, along with their stellar Host Committee: Michael and Cathy Brennan, Doug and Lee Ann Hoover, Ben and Maureen Kelly Ivory, Alan and Janet Lougee, John and Liz McEnaney, Rich McMenamin and Patty Mulvihill, Kenneth Venzant and Desiree Pepper-Venzant, R. Matthew and Jacque Simon, Robert and Jean Spence.

The highlight of the luncheon was Keynote Speaker, Elizabeth Hartigan Connelly, Sacred Heart alumna and former Board Chair of Sacred Heart Schools Chicago (her alma mater) who spoke eloquently on Women in Leadership.  

The student Keynote Speaker, Stefany Rendon, is a current senior at Josephinum Academy and member of the Peace Exchange. Stefany having applied to nine colleges plans to study sociology and was returning from a college visit when a delay at the airport prevented her from joining us in person.   As a member of the Peace Exchange, last summer Stefany traveled to Nicaragua exploring solutions for peace and nonviolence with community leaders and other student activists. 

Stefany was named an Illinois State Scholar this past December and is the president of Josephinum's National Honor Society.  She was also featured in the Allstate "Good Starts Young" film series about her involvement with the Peace Exchange.  While we were not able to personally meet Stefany we were treated to a clip of the "Good Starts Young" Chicago's Peacemaker film which premiered at the Aspen Ideas Festival

Josephinum Academy is an all-girls Catholic high school located in the heart of Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.  It is one of twenty-four Network of Sacred Heart Schools located in the United States and Canada.  For 125 years, "the Jo" has been educating and empowering young women to become confident, faith-filled leaders.  Every day young women travel from 40 zip codes around the Chicagoland area to receive the quality education that prepares them for college and life after academia.  
  • Currently 88% of students receive additional financial aid and/or scholarship support
  • Josephinum will offer 60 scholarships (nearly $330,000) to the incoming Class of 2020
  • 100% of 2015 graduates were accepted to college and awarded $6.9 million in merit-based scholarships 

Save the Date: October 1, 2016 

Gala Co-Chairs: Celeste and Alan Denton & Maureen and Ron Sippel ask you to mark your calendars and plan to join them and Keynote Speaker: Archbishop Blasé Cupich in supporting Josephinum Academy at the Intercontinental Hotel for dinner and dancing on Saturday, October 1, 2016 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Prayer by Janet Erskine Stuart

Sacred Heart Chapel - Roehampton, England
October 11, 2014


"Heavenly Father, unseen Companion of our life, give us faith and eager expectancy as we begin this fresh stage of our journey.  Take from us all fear of the unknown and teach us to wrest treasures from the darkness.  As the days come and go, may we find that each of one is laden with happy opportunities and enriching experiences; and when this year is ended may our best hopes be more than ever fulfilled."

Janet Erskine Stuart RSCJ (1857-1914)
6th Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Feast of Mater Admirabilis Proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1846

Mater Admirabilis

October 20, 1846 ~ "Pope Pius IX visited the Monastery of Trinita dei Monti. While on tour, he asked what was hidden behind the curtain. Pulling back the curtain to the surprise of all, there was the most beautiful fresco of Mary, the painting by Pauline Perdrau.  The Pope exclaimed Mater Admirabilis, thus giving her the title that she bears to this day."

Note: The ahove excerpt taken from Visions of Jesus Christ

Friday, October 16, 2015

In Memory of Sister Marge Seitz, RSCJ on the Feast of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

Photo Credits: Ada Stevens, Maureen E. Ryan and Mary Schumacher, RSCJ

Margaret T. Seitz, RSCJ
Date of Birth: April 13 1936
Date of Profession: July 22, 1965
Entered into Eternal Life: October 14, 2015

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation nun, born in France and known to have learned from "a vision of our Blessed Lord that it was His divine will that a liturgical feast be kept in honor of His Sacred Heart and in reparation for man's gratitude"

This feast day reminds me of a beloved RSCJ named Margaret T. Seitz, known to her students as Sister Seitz and to family and many friends as  "Marge".  Sister Seitz died suddenly of a heart attack on Wednesday evening surrounded by members of her community in Florida.  The Carrollton community writes that they are comforted by the memories of "her wonderful sense of humor, her love of teaching and her love of the students. A true educator." 

Mr. Olen Kalkus, Head of School at Carrollton of the Sacred Heart writes: There will be a viewing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. this Sunday, October 18 at the Maspons Funeral Home, 3500 SW 8th Street. A Mass celebrating her life will be offered this Monday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Hugh’s Church. All are welcome to attend.
 On Tuesday morning our students and faculty will celebrate the Feast of Mater, as planned, keeping the memory and spirit of Sr. Seitz close to our hearts.
 I ask you all to join me in keeping Sr. Seitz, and her family and loved ones in your prayers.
 Yours in Prayer,

For more information about Sister Margaret T. Seitz, RSCJ, please visit

"I need nothing but God, and to loose myself in the heart of Jesus." 
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Amazing Sophie by Dacia Van Antwerp

Amazing Sophie by Dacia Van Antwerp, BH'48, MC'52

Dacia Van Antwerp is no stranger to the story of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart. After all she spent 16 years being educated by the Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) and is an alumna of both the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield, Michigan and Manhattanville College.  After graduation Van Antwerp decided to become an RSCJ and joined the Society of the Sacred Heart. She taught for 17 years in various Sacred Heart schools until a life altering event occurred and she chose another life path.  She discusses her journey in the book she wrote entitled You Go Girl: Life and Adventures of a Former Nun

Upon making a retreat in Joigny, France, the birthplace of Madeleine Sophie Barat,  Van Antwerp was so inspired that she decided to write a book for children about the Saint whom she admired so much.  The story of Amazing Sophie is a delightful children's book that tells the story of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, complete with illustrations by Carla Maria Melendez Relli, ASH, 2020. All of the net proceeds of the book will go to the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield, Michigan. 

The above video was recorded on October 20, 2012 (Feast of Mater Admirabilis) during the AASH Central Regional Meeting hosted in Detroit, Michigan.  To oder a copy of Amazing Sophie click here - Info/Order Book

Thursday, October 1, 2015

#TBT: "Hello Martha, Hello Mary", in memory of Reverend E. Corbett Walsh, SJ

Pictures of Fr. Walsh, SJ taken with  his siblings & Sacred Heart friends:
AASH 2011 Conference in Miami; AASH 2012 Regional Meeting in Cape Cod, MA
and AASH 2015 Conference in Boston, MA

The following #TBT blog post is written in memory of Reverend E. Corbett Walsh, SJ who was called home to be with God on September 24, 2015.  Father Walsh, SJ is survived by the following siblings: Bonnie Stoloski,  NC'59; Robert B., Thomas F., Inez Moore, Quentin I., and Toni Curry, NW'68. For many years Sacred Heart alums either met or interacted with Fr. Walsh, SJ as he was often asked to celebrate Mass and/or speak to alums at various Sacred Heart gatherings at the request of his sister Toni Walsh Curry, AASH past President (1981-1983).

On September 22, 2012, Father Walsh, SJ was invited to be a guest speaker at the Associated Alumnae/i of the Sacred Heart (AASH) Eastern Regional Conference hosted at The Wianno Club, Osterville, MA.  Rev. E. Corbett Walsh, SJ gave a talk entitled: "Hello Martha, Hello Mary".  Father Walsh tells those in the audience (Sacred Heart alums) of his partiality to the Gospel according to Luke.  He also tells us how his youngest sister "Anthony" aka Toni Curry, AASH past President (1981-1983) came to be named.  Toni is the current President of the Cape Cod & Islands Alumnae/i of the Sacred Heart Association and she was Co-Chair of the 40th Biennial AASH Conference hosted in Boston, April 9 - 12, 2015. Those who watch this video (twenty-five minute portion of his talk) will find Fr. Walsh an engaging, very charming, intelligent priest whose stories are both endearing and heartwarming, sprinkled with his wonderful sense of humor.  During his talk Fr. Walsh mentions that when you read Luke you often think of Father Faber (see quote below) and some of his poems. 

Rev. E. Corbett Walsh, SJ  you will be sorely missed by your extended Sacred Heart family...may you rest in eternal peace.

"There's a wideness in God's mercy
like the wideness of the sea;

there's a kindness in his justice,

which is more than liberty.

For the love of God is broader
than the measure of man's mind;
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind."