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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sacred Heart: Educating Young Girls in the Congo and Beyond


Sacred Heart student  (photo from flickr @rscj.org)

Today I read a twitter post by @FLOTUS, First Lady Michelle Obama that was featured in the Financial Times entitled "Throw the school gates open to girls everywhere".  The article is about partnerships that will remove barriers to education, stating that this week Mrs. Obama will meet with Prime Minister David Cameron in London and afterwards "announce a series of new partnerships between the US and UK to educate adolescent girls in developing countries around the world".   

A program recently introduced in America is called Let Girls Learn which includes volunteers from the US Peace Corps to help communities in developing countries create solutions that will empower young girls to become future leaders.  Mrs. Obama states, "Our new partnerships build on these efforts, bringing new focus to reach even more adolescent girls across the globe.  Among them is an effort of up to $180m over five years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which will benefit more than 750,000 girls."

Knowing that Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat had opened schools all over the world and that the Congo was one of the 44 countries where the Society has a presence, I decided to do a little research to learn more about the schools in the Congo that the Society of the Sacred Heart had opened.  I also recalled that Sr. Mary Frohlich, RSCJ who lives near me in Chicago and is an Associate Professor of Spirituality at Catholic Theological Union had been to the Congo a few years ago. I found two wonderful articles written by Sr. Frohlich that describe her five-month international experience living in community with her Congolese sisters; "Sorrow and Hope in the Congo"  (CTU November 2011) and "Spirituality: Serving the Children of the Congo"Heart Magazine - Winter 2011).

Below is a brief historical overview of the presence that the Society of the Sacred Heart has had since 1927 when the first Sacred Heart school was opened in The Democratic Republic of the Congo.  

The presence of the Sacré-Coeur in the Congo goes back to November 1926 when five religious of the Sacred Heart accompanied by Mother Vicar Symon  left the port of Anvers in Belgium on 3 November 1926.   After a three week trip, they arrived in the then Belgian Congo, on 17 November 1926 to establish the presence of the Sacré-Coeur in the Congo by founding successively Kalina/Gombe in Kinshasa in (1927);  Kipako (1930), Mbanza-Mboma (1946);  Kimwenza (1956); a more recent addition in Livulu (1988).

Ecole du Sacré-Coeur de Livulu (1988)
Ecole Primaire De Livulu
571 Girls /Boys/Day
      : 317 Girls
      : 254 Boys
Ecole Maternelle De Livulu
306 Boys/Girls/Day
      : 142 Girls
      : 164 Boys
 

Lycée du Sacré-Coeur de Kimwenza (1956)
Lycee De Kimwenza
Total 820: 373 boarders
Ecole Primaire De Kimwenza
Total: 950
553 Girls
397 Boys
 

Lycée du Sacré-Coeur de Mbansa-Mboma (1946)
LYCEE /SECONDARY: 251 Girls
203 boarders/48 day
                                           
PRIMARIES : Girls and Boys
150 Girls
     3 Boarders
     147 Day
138 Boys/Day
Serving: Girls and Boys
 

Lycée du Sacré-Coeur de Kipako (1930)
173 Students
145 Girls/28 Boys
91 Boarders

Serving: Girls and Boys
 

Le Complexe Scolaire du Sacré-Coeur de la Gombe (1927)
Serving: 971 Girls (day)
The information above was taken from the International Network of Sacred Heart Schools  


If I were a young Sacred Heart alum (AMASC Young Alums), I think the experience of working with Let Girls Learn would be very enriching.  Perhaps some of the younger alums reading this blog post will agree? 


Friday, June 12, 2015

Feast of the Sacred Heart


Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal


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.

Feast of the Sacred Heart: Prayer by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Sacred Heart of Jesus 
originally in front of Old Main - Barat College Campus
Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart - Lake Forest, IL



Prayer to the Sacred Heart


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

Taken from Special Devotions Compiled for the Children of the Sacred Heart

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Quote by Madeleine Sophie Barat: "Sacred Heart of Jesus,..."

Academy of the Sacred Heart - Bloomfield, MI


"Sacred Heart of Jesus, give me a heart that is one with your own: heart detached from self-love and embraced by the love of God."

~ St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart 


The above quote was taken from The Wisdom of Madeleine Sophie Barat - Day by Day Calendar.  To order a copy of the calendar (Cost: $10.00 + postage) - click here

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Quote by Madeleine Sophie Barat: "Sacred Heart of Jesus,..."

Digby Stuart College - Roehampton


"Sacred Heart of Jesus, give me a heart that is one with your own: a detached heart that longs for nothing other than the goodness of heaven."

~ St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart 


The above quote was taken from The Wisdom of Madeleine Sophie Barat - Day by Day Calendar.  To order a copy of the calendar (Cost: $10.00 + postage) - click here

Friday, May 29, 2015

Quote by Madeleine Sophie Barat: "Sacred Heart of Jesus,..."


Calvary Cemetery - St. Louis, MO

"Sacred Heart of Jesus, give me a heart that is one with your own: a pure heart that seeks only the face of God."

~ St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart 


The above quote was taken from The Wisdom of Madeleine Sophie Barat - Day by Day Calendar.  To order a copy of the calendar (Cost: $10.00 + postage) - click here

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Quote by Madeleine Sophie Barat: "Sacred Heart of Jesus,..."


Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart

"Sacred Heart of Jesus, give me a heart that is one with your own: a loving heart that has compassion for the sufferings of others."

~ St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart 


The above quote was taken from The Wisdom of Madeleine Sophie Barat - Day by Day Calendar.  To order a copy of the calendar (Cost: $10.00 + postage) - click here

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Quote by Madeleine Sophie Barat: "Sacred Heart of Jesus,..."

Convent of the Sacred Heart Mount Anville Secondary School - Ireland

"Sacred Heart of Jesus, give me a heart that is one with your own: a gentle heart that holds and calms its anxieties."

~ St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart 


The above quote was taken from The Wisdom of Madeleine Sophie Barat - Day by Day Calendar.  To order a copy of the calendar (Cost: $10.00 + postage) - click here

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Quote by Madeleine Sophie Barat: "Sacred Heart of Jesus,..."

 
Former Barat College - Lake Forest, IL

"Sacred Heart of Jesus, give me a heart that is one with your own: a humble heart that knows and loves its poverty."

~ St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart 


The above quote was taken from The Wisdom of Madeleine Sophie Barat - Day by Day Calendar.  To order a copy of the calendar (Cost: $10.00 + postage) - click here

Monday, May 25, 2015

Feast of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat Celebrated by Sacred Heart Alums Worldwide

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat
Sacred Heart Schools - Atherton, Calf


"The nature of Love is to change the lover into the Beloved. What a wonderful one-ing of God and creation, which makes us able to say, "I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me."
~ St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart 


The above quote was taken from The Wisdom of Madeleine Sophie Barat - Day by Day Calendar.  To order a copy of the calendar (Cost: $10.00 + postage) - click here

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Madeleine Sophie Barat: Relationship Builder

Madeleine Sophie Barat - A Life by Phil Kiroy, RSCJ
to order a copy

"As a 19th century woman, Sophie Barat found her way out of a private life into a public role with a public profile; and she did this with her colleagues because she had a public service to offer which met a need in society and in the church. However, another inner narrative was taking place at the same time, one that informed the outer and gave the impulse and energy to sustain so much activity. While she was engaged in the founding and consolidation of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Sophie made an inner, spiritual journey in the course of which she continually strove to transform her image of a severe, harsh God into one of warmth and love and vulnerability. Though her exterior success was the focus of her fame in the 19th century and beyond, her inner achievement had greater, long term consequences for the image of the divine, of the holy in our time. Sophie was endowed with a remarkable capacity for human relationships, a gift she used to good effect in her leadership of the Society of the Sacred Heart."   
The quote above is from the book Madeleine Sophie Barat A Life by Phil Kilroy

I have posted the following homily by Fr. Frank Buckley, SJ before (see Blog post - July 20, 2013)  however, today on the eve of Sophie's Feast Day which will be celebrated tomorrow and marks the 150th anniversary of her death, I feel the need to share Fr. Frank's homily again.  Believe me it is well worth the time to watch this all the way to the end.  If you should wish to jump to the part about Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat and her life you should advance the video to the 11 minute mark but trust me you will have missed most of the message: "Who is my neighbor?" 

In full disclosure I should tell you that I first met Fr. Frank at Oakwood (the RSCJ retirement community in Atherton, CA) when he said mass for the 2013 Feast Day of St. MSB.  After his homily which was fabulous we were introduced.  So naturally when I learned he would be the presider at the last mass hosted during the 2013 Society of the Sacred Heart Spirituality Forum I made certain to have my camera ready to video tape his homily. 




Sunday, May 10, 2015

"I Want to Thank You Again..." quote from Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ




May 10, 1840 ~ Philippine writes to her sister Euphrosine, Madame Jean-Joseph Jouve: "I want to thank you again for all the pretty things you sent me recently.  The vase is in a gilded case in our parlor here at Florissant and is admired by everyone who sees it.  The percale roses deceive all by their likeness to nature.  They ornament the altar and the parlor on our biggest feast days.  Several ladies have tried to copy in embroidery the bouquet designed on the vase, and we have enjoyed this very much."

Taken from the book: "Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne"


Monday, March 30, 2015

Fifty Years After RSCJ and Barat Students Marched...Chicago Students Plan Civil Rights Travel Study to Selma


Photo of Nancy Kane, rscj and Al Pounian at the Montgomery Airport taken
from p149 of the book, BARAT COLLEGE, A LEGACY, A SPIRIT AND A NAME


Earlier this month, I learned that friends of OAV (Our American Voice) were helping to raise funds so that students from the Libby Elementary school in Chicago could participate in a Civil Rights travel study program.  The students are raising funds so that they can travel during their spring break in April to Memphis, Montgomery and Selma. The students will learn from the past how to become better citizens today.  For more info on the Civil Rights Travel Study Fundraiser click here!

As a member of the Barat Education Foundation Board, I was pleased to help support the effort of these students from Libby Elementary school.  I did so in memory of two RSCJ that taught history at Barat College: Sisters Nancy Kane and Marguerite Green, RSCJ.    

In her book, BARAT COLLEGE: A LEGACY, A SPIRIT AND A NAME, Martha Curry, RSCJ interviewed Sr. Kane to get her recollections of the trip she took with fellow faculty members: Margurite Green, RSCJ and Al Pounian and twenty-four Barat College (Lake Forest, IL) students in 1965.  

The excerpts below were taken from pages 141 and 142 of Sr. Curry's book.  


Barat Students March to Montgomery, Alabama, 1965
         "At the time when the Civil Rights Movement of the mid- and late- 1960’s was embroiling the country, the most notable example of the social activism of Barat’s faculty and students was participation in the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in March of 1965. On March 24, twenty-four students accompanied by the chairman of the Art Department, Albert Pounian, left by train for Montgomery, and the next day Mothers Marguerite Green and Nancy Kane flew to Montgomery. Both the train and the airplane arrived in Montgomery about noon on March 25 and, therefore, the contingent from Barat did not march with Martin Luther King the whole fifty miles from Selma.  They joined the march in Montgomery at a black church, the Church of St. Jude, and continued the three-plus mile march to the capitol."  

News Article and photo of Nancy Kane, RSCJ from Society Archives

         "By the middle of March, Barat’s faculty had voted that the college as an institution “should do something if the opportunity arose.” 13  The student council had asked each class for an indication of student support and received a donation of $200 from its general fund.  Other donations totaling $300 came from the college’s social committee and from chairs of the social committees of the four academic classes. These donations were sufficient to support eleven students in their travel to Alabama, and thirteen other students paid their own way."
Marguerite Green, RSCJ 
photo from Barat College Collection


         "An article in Barat News that covered the events of the march described the speeches delivered on the steps of the capitol in Montgomery by MartinLuther King, Jr., and Whitney Young. The article recounted that, when one small black girl saw Mother Kane in her habit, she exclaimed, “That’s my church.” Of the three faculty members who participated in the events in Montgomery, only Mother Kane was living at the time of the author’s interviews; and she was able to fill in many details. She remembered that all the black churches were open that day to accommodate the marchers, and she commented on the cheering they received as they progressed through the black neighborhoods. “There was a great euphoria like we were coming into the Kingdom. . . . As we got close to [the capitol], the atmosphere changed and we were really sort of scared. . . . I never felt such hatred.” Sister Kane went on to explain that since their flight back to Chicago did not leave until the next morning, she, Mother Green, and Professor Pounian slept on benches in St. Jude Church overnight. The students returned to Chicago by train on the evening of March 25. "

Please join me in helping fund the good works of the OAV and make it possible for the students of Libby Elementary school to participate in this Civil Rights Travel Study to Selma.  To donate click here.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Quote by Janet Erskine Stuart: "Courage and Confidence"



"Do not give up any high aspirations, aim at the very highest and the best, but understanding that to get this is a life's work, not the work of a day, so never let failure cast down or disappoint you, but always begin again with great courage and especially great confidence."

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

The above quote is taken from the perpetual spiral-bound calendar "The Life Lived" which celebrates the Centenary of Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ - (click here to order). To order your very own Janet Erskine Stuart Centenary Memorabilia - click here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014 Winter Wonderwalk and Holiday Boutique: December 9-10

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart


If you're looking to find some unique items for the holidays, while at the same time supporting Woodlands Academy Scholarship Program, then you must head up to Lake Forest, IL to the Winter Wonderwalk.  

Boutique opens on Tuesday, December 9th from 1pm - 5 pm and from 6 pm - 8 pm you can "Sip & Shop" the night away.   Wednesday, December 10th the Boutique is open from 9 am - 3 pm

Housewalk Tours on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 (10 am - 3 pm) will feature four spectacularly decorated estates. 

For further info and to purchase tickets - click here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mother Aloysia Hardey, RSCJ and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Mother Mary Aloysia Hardey, RSCJ
(December 8, 1809 - June 17, 1886)

December 8th

On this day in 1809, Mother Mary Aloysia Hardey, RSCJ was born.  In honor of her birthday on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception a quote from her.

"Make your preparation for Christmas an active prayer, a prayer of fidelity, of silence, of mortification."