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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feast of St. Ignatius

July 31st - Today is the Feast of St. Ignatius ~ 

“A virtue that characterized Saint Ignatius was union with God and prayer; it is from that union, the result of serious prayer, that one draws strength and light.”
(St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, Conference, 1834)

Dearest Lord, Teach Me to be Generous
DEAREST LORD, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve Thee as Thou deservest; to give, and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to seek reward, save that of knowing that I do Thy Will, O Lord. Amen

The prayer above was taken from the book: SPECIAL DEVOTIONS Compiled for Children of the Sacred Heart  - Revised Edition 1956

Friday, July 29, 2011

Feast of St. Martha

July 29th ~ Feast of St. Martha

St. Martha
Martha was the sister of Mary of Bethany and Lazarus. In the West, her feast day comes a week after that of St Mary Magdalene because of the old and probably erroneous tradition that Mary Magdalene was the same person as Martha’s sister.
Taken from the Catholic Calendar 

On this feast day I think of a dear friend, Martha Curry, RSCJ who has recently finished writing a book, BARAT COLLEGE: A LEGACY, A SPIRIT AND A NAME.  To learn more about the author and when and where you can purchase her book go to 

To: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Photo taken at Sacred Heart School of Halifax

July 29, 1819 ~ Philippine writes to Madeleine Sophie Barat: "The dear Lord has favored us with a share of His Cross. The greatest, and certainly the hardest to bear, is lack of success in our work here at St. Charles. If a saint had been in charge, all would have gone well.  That thought makes the burden of my office as Superior all the heavier.  Every day I see more clearly that I do not possess the qualities necessary in a Superior."
Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mother Anne Madden, RSCJ

Mother Anne Madden, RSCJ and MER
 October 10, 1981
July 28, 1903 ~ was the day that Anne Loyola Madden was born and the picture above was taken as I was escorting her up to the podium to be honored at the Barat College Alumnae Association (BCAA) Fall Gala in 1981.  She was about to be presented with a gorgeous new chapeau as a going away gift from the alums. She would shortly afterwards leave Lake Forest, IL for Menlo Park, CA to join the retired RSCJ at the Oakwood Community.  

"Mother Madden" as I would always out of respect refer to her, lived in my Dorm (Dougherty Hall) on the 2nd Floor with the students.  She was in charge of the vehicles on campus that had a license plate that always included two distinctive letters "CV"  - the letters stood for Charity Vehicle.  My first job on campus was to drive the blue Nova "CV" into town and pick up the mail for the college.  But my favorite story was the evening I drove Mother Madden and two other alums from Lake Forest to Chicago in the blue "CV".  We were on our way to Zanies a relatively new comedy club that was featuring "Byrne, Baby Byrne" the satirical musical about the then present Chicago Mayor, Jane Byrne (a Barat alumna) and the woman portraying the Mayor was also none other than one of our very own alums, Mona Lyden! While attempting to find Zanies before the show started, I took a wrong (and readily now admit, an illegal) turn and was promptly pulled over by a Chicago Police Officer.  Somehow my fast-talking and honest explanation of where we were going and who was in the car with me, as well as, who was preforming at Zanies got us out of a ticket.  After the squad car pulled away and was out of sight, I promptly made an illegal U-turn to get us back on track and we made the performance on time.  Afterwards Mother Madden insisted that we go to Scornavaco's in Highland Park for pizza and beer -- her treat!  

I have more stories however, if you read this and wish to share your favorite story of our beloved Mother Madden, please do so in the comment section.

Mother Madden is buried in Atherton, CA at the cemetery on
the grounds of Oakwood Community

For those of you reading this who never had the opportunity to meet and know Anne Madden, RSCJ below is biographical info that I received from the Society of the Sacred Heart U.S. Province Archives.

Anne Madden, RSCJ
July 28, 1903 - June 29, 1996

Born on July 28, 1903 in Seneca, Kansas, Anne Loyola Madden was the eldest daughter of Mary Alice Rogers Madden and John Madden.  Anne's father died three years before she graduated from St. Mary's Academy in Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1922.  Anne continued her studies at Duchesne College, where she graduated with an English major and a history minor in 1927.  That next year, on September 8, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at Kenwood where Gertrude Bodkin was Mistress of Novices.  After two years in the novitiate, Anne made her first vows in March of 1931, and returned to Duchesne Academy where she was Surveillante and taught English, History, Latin and Religion until 1935.

Three things converged in her life in 1936:  she finished her Master's degree in English at Creighton University; she made her Probation with Julia Datti at the Mother House in Rome; and she became Surveillante of Duchesne College.  For the next 49 years, Anne would work at Duchesne College, Barat College, Menlo Park and Duchesne Academy having various job titles: teacher, freshman councillor, principal, assistant dean of students, secretary for alumnae.  By the time Anne moved to Oakwood to retire in 1985, she had worked 25 years at Duchesne in Omaha, 25 years at Barat College and 4 years at Menlo Park.

It was probably Anne's humor that marks her most in people's memories.  Anne was keenly adept at turning a phrase, at seeing more quickly than most the humor in a situation, at redeeming the mundane with her quick wit.  In the former Chicago Province she was famous for something called "Maddenisms," namely those witty phrases that only she could utter, for example: "One of the nicest features of heaven will be not having to see other people's slide collections."

It often seems to be the case that people gifted with great wit have the gift on the other end of that spectrum: melancholia, and at times, depression.  These were no strangers to Anne.  Her self-image did not always match the wonderful image others held of her.  And when Anne had her heart attack in the late 1970's, she struggled mightily with depression. Perhaps humor bends us to know more our humanness. Anne certainly knew hers.

Besides her humor, there were other facets to this woman from the heartland.  Anne had a contemplative, meditative side to her.  A prayerful woman, she counted deeply on her relationship with God. In her later years at Oakwood, people who came to visit her often found her in the chapel; she loved being there.  Anne would have loved to have studied eastern religions and theology as they related to western mysticism.  A voracious reader, Anne was nothing if not abreast of nearly every new important book published. One RSCJ heard it said, and believed it to be true, that Anne read one book a day. And in fact, as she got older, it was her eyesight that Anne was most worried about losing.  What would she do without the gift of being able to read her books?  They fed her mind and her conversations with others. "I'm reading the best book..." was one of her often-used opening lines.

She had a depth of compassion in her. One of her RSCJ sisters recalls being an aspirant when Anne was Mistress General.  Anne was "always so personally loving and helpful, listening, and supportive. There were a couple of times when I had to go to Anne, in panic, and say, 'I am not ready with my class preparation. Could you help me?' And, sure enough -- life-saver that she was -- she took my class!"

Another alum and fellow RSCJ recalls that Anne was her Freshman class Dean at Barat.  "Our class pushed to their limits the minutia of regulations that all Catholic colleges had at the time.  Our rebelliousness certainly did not make Anne's first year on the Barat faculty easy.  Years later Anne told me that during the summer [before that first year at Barat] her mother died and she was asked to leave Duchesne for Barat.  That fall we students had no idea that Anne was grieving the death of her mother, the leave-taking from her beloved sister Irene, as well as from Duchesne. Anne later admitted to me that that year was very difficult for her, but she hid her deep sorrow, and we saw only her witty, buoyant side."

Anne's cousin, Vera Rodgers, had entered the Society eight months after Anne.  Their relationship in the Society was a great gift to Anne, and she loved Vera very much.  Vera died in 1955.  Years later, when Anne spoke of Vera, one sensed that Anne still felt deeply that loss.  So Anne had lost her father, her mother, and a close cousin by 1955. Her sister, Irene, was the family she had left, and their relationship grew stronger as the years passed.  Perhaps it was the early loss of all but her only sister that gave Anne the endearing quality of inquiring about other people's family members. It is a simple fact that Anne Madden cared deeply about people.  She felt a genuine connection with many, many people, and they with her.  She was one of the RSCJ about whom alums always asked. As one former college student and RSCJ sister said: "We always knew that she was there for us and truly interested in each one, personally."

In these last years, Anne experienced a diminishment which was difficult for her.  She had been a tall woman, and she had had responsible positions in the Society's schools.  The last six years saw Anne physically shrinking and learning a new status: that of one dependent on others, a dependency which, doubtless, was hard for her to accept. Now, though, that diminishment has been transformed, as Anne entered the fullness of time and communion with our God on June 29, 1996.

Anne Madden was buried in a navy blue hat. That hat is a symbol: of Anne's hat-wearing days, of her elegance, of her flair for living. God was good to bless us for 93 years with such a one as Anne Madden.  Anne, you rest in peace now, entertaining, we are sure, the inhabitants of heaven.  We await the day when we, too, will taste the life which you now enjoy.  "Won't heaven be grand!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Golf and a very special RSCJ

MER and Ginny Dennehy, RSCJ
photo taken at Oakwood in the Rose Room on May 29, 2011

Last week as I volunteered for the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship being hosted at Olympia Fields Country Club, my thoughts turned to a very special RSCJ whom I met when I attended Barat College.  Virginia Dennehy, RSCJ, PhD., lived in Dougherty Dorm and once I found out that as a young girl she played competitive golf,  I cajoled her into giving those interested in the game a few pointers on their respective swings.  Sr. Dennehy moved out to California shortly after I graduated.  She currently teaches at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and serves as a spiritual guide and counselor to individuals, couples and families in the Atherton/Menlo Park area of California.  Yes, on occasion she may even get in a round of golf!  On a recent trip to Atherton, after Sunday morning mass with the retired religious at Oakwood, Ginny came up to greet me with a warm smile.  She currently lives near the Oakwood Community in Redwood City.  We had an opportunity to catch up over lunch before I headed to the airport and back to Chicago. To learn more about Sr. Dennehy, click here to  read the Winter 2010 issue of Heart Magazine (page 20-21).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

A beautiful bouquet of yellow roses and a
Welcome note from Sr. Patricia Reiss, RSCJ greeted me
upon my arrival to Oakwood on May 26, 2011 

July 26, 1838 ~  Philippine writes to Madeleine Sophie Barat: "By your letter of May 1, my incomparable friend, you arranged a most acceptable bouquet for me by giving me news of yourself and details about the interesting work for poor children which you are now carrying on at Sainte Marie.  How happy it makes me to know that this dear home of happiness continues to be a center of virtue where God can take delight!"

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Monday, July 25, 2011

To: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

July 25, 1825 ~ Philippine writes to Madeleine Sophie Barat:  "We have just celebrated the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, which recalls such tender memories.  We tried to rejoice in spirit with all our Mothers and Sisters in France, trusting to the Heart of Jesus our love and wishes. Mass, Holy Communion, and a little extra recreation were all that circumstances permitted us by way of celebration, but we do not want any house in the Society to surpass us in heartfelt affection and devotion to our loved Mother General."

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Louise Lundergan, RSCJ (1911-2011)

Louise Lundergan, RSCJ (1911-2011) sits with
Margaret "Kelly" Howe, RSCJ (1920-2009)
photo taken in Albany, NY on September 17, 2005

Louise Lundergan, RSCJ passed away at age 100 years last Wednesday (July 20th)  and will be laid to rest tomorrow in the Kenwood Cemetery.  I had the distinct honor to attend my very first Conge hosted by the Rochester alums in 2005 for the retired religious before they all made the move to the Teresian House.  Sr. Lundergan and I discovered that we both had ties to Chicago and Barat College.  It was a lovely afternoon and I am so very happy I attended the wonderful celebration.

Both Sr. Louise Lundergan and Sr. Kelly Howe pictured above are now deceased.  May they rest in peace!  To read the full obit for Sr. Lundergan click here.

St. Madeleine Sophie to Mother Duchesne:

Icon depicting  Madeleine Sophie Barat and
Philippine Duchesne by Anne Davidson, RSCJ

July 24, 1810 ~  St. Madeleine Sophie to Mother Duchesne: "Setting out for the missions is not the whole affair.  You must know where you are going and what you are going to do when you get there. But you may not be very far from your goal. Only keep your soul in peace, if that is possible, and desire only the Will of God."
Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Saturday, July 23, 2011

U.S. Girls' Junior Championship... Final Match

Being hosted at
Olympia Fields C. C. (South Course)
July 18-23, 2011

Nothing can be more rewarding than to see a bunch of young ladies (12 - 17 years old) play golf!  Especially if they play as well as the girls that have been playing this week at Olympia Fields C. C.  And, today after two rounds of stroke play to qualify, and five rounds of match play, two young ladies (Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand and Dottie Ardina from the Philippines) will play 36 holes of match play golf to determine the winner of the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.  As some of you know, golf is my favorite sport.  However, I do not play the game as often as I do seem to volunteer for tournaments and matches being played in Chicago and its south suburbs.  I currently serve on the CWDGA board and have had the opportunity to volunteer for various local events, as well as, the 2009 Solheim Cup  and the 2009 U.S. Senior Amateur.  This year when asked if I would volunteer for the U.S. Girls's Jr. Championship, I did not hesitate.  I was fortunate enough to work the first two days of registration handing out packets of info to the 156 participants.  On both Wednesday and Thursday, I was enlisted to be a "walking scorer".  This volunteer job requires you to walk with the USGA official (also a volunteer!) and to record into a hand-held devise each players score so that in real time, live scoring can be posted to the internet for everyone to view. And, yes, despite the record breaking heat, it was a pleasure to be involved and watch so many wonderful young lady golfers play!

I am pleased to say that one of the young players that I walked with on Thursday has made it to the finals, her name is Dottie Ardina from the Philippines.  Dottie will be playing against a very strong player from Thailand, Ariya Jutanugarn. Oh, what a day it will be as both young ladies are awesome golfers!  So today, I will be a spectator and cheerleader as I watch the final match with much anticipation.  

Stay tuned or better yet, sign up for a "follow by email" (upper right hand corner of the blog) update as later I will talk about a favorite golfing RSCJ friend of mine!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Feast of St. Mary Magdalen

St. Mary Magdalen ~ St. Madeleine Sophie's Patron

July 22 ~ Feast of St. Mary Magdalen, St. Madeleine Sophie's patron.  This day was always celebrated as a family feast in the Society during her lifetime.  
Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Thursday, July 21, 2011

To: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

July 21, 1841 ~  Philippine writes to St. Madeleine Sophie, "At last we have reached the country of our desires, the tribe and village of Potawatomi at Sugar Creek. There are no difficulties here except for people who worry too much about tomorrow. We have two fine cows, we can plant a good vegetable garden, and a house is being built for us, so what can we complain about?"
Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mother Duchesne travels to Louisiana

July 20, 1822 ~  Mother Duchesne left St. Louis for Louisiana, traveling by steamboat with Mother Cyr and Therese Pratte, to visit Grand Coteau for the first time.  The trip downstream was made without great danger, but the return journey took nearly three months and included yellow fever, steamboat accidents, and many other trials.  
Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

It should be noted that the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau opened its doors to eight students in October of 1821.  The school has remained in the same location for over 190 years continuing a rich long history of Sacred Heart education! The current Headmistress, Sr. Lynn Lieux, RSCJ has a journal which can be found on the school website and I encourage all to read it!  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

To: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

 Blessed Rose Philippine Duchesne
Co-foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart
in the United States arrived in the village of
St. Ferdinand de Fleurissant
December 21, 1819

July 19, 1824 ~  On this day Philippine writes to Madeleine Sophie Barat, "Here at Florissant we are at least no longer afraid of starving to death, and that is something. If God takes from us the means of doing good, we must accept His Will. Do not worry about us, for not one of us is discouraged."  
Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Margaret Munch, RSCJ  was interviewed by St. Louis television, KMOV - Channel 4 last month prior to our AASH board meeting.  The Old St. Ferdinand Shrine is a very special place indeed!  I encourage those interested to learn more and visit this very historic place.  If you wish to help in the preservation of the  Old St. Ferdinand Shrine click here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

To: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

The above icon was commissioned by Sacred Heart Schools Chicago
and the original hangs in their newly refurbished Chapel.
by Artist and Iconographer Patricia Reid, RSCJ

July 18, 1823 ~  On this day Philippine writes to Madeleine Sophie Barat, "We have had the honor of being severely criticized, and in order to undermine our work still further it is now reported that we are leaving here.  There are people who wish we would do so.  We must devote ourselves more and more to the poor and to our own perfection" 

Take from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Sunday, July 17, 2011

BRAD THOR, NYT best selling author...

Brad Thor, HP'83 
BRAD THOR, Sacred Heart alum of Hardey Prep and New York Times best selling author will  release his 10th novel, "Full Black" on July 26th!  Congratulations Brad!  

Those interested in meeting BRAD THOR and British-born author ANDREW GRANT can join them for a presentation followed by a book signing on Friday August, 12th from 7 pm - 8:30 pm at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL   Books will be available at the event. This event is open to the public however, you must register!  Registration includes a raffle entry! The Raffle Drawing to include copies of Brad Thor's entire backlist (11 books) signed!!  Courtesy of Atria Books/Simon & Schuster.  Must be present to win!

Click here for further information and registration details.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

July 16, 1820 ~  Today the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  If Mary glories in being our Mother and in protecting all mankind, think what special and loving care she extends to those who honor her by wearing her holy scapular. 

The above quotation is from Father Joseph Varin, S. J. and taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Prayer to the Blessed Mother of Mount Carmel
    Oh most beautiful flower of Mt. Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. Oh Star of the Sea, help me and show me you are my Mother. 
      Oh Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to secure me in this necessity (make request): there are none that can withstand your power. 
     Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee (say three times). Holy Mary, I place this prayer in your hands (say three times). Amen."
Taken from: A Collection of My Favorite Catholic Prayers by G. P. Geoghegan

Friday, July 15, 2011

St. Madeleine Sophie to Mother Duchesne:

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
July 15, 1807 ~ St. Madeleine Sophie to Mother Duchesne: "I must lay down this condition with regard to permission for nightly adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: if after some months of this secret prayer with your divine Spouse you do not become more humble, more obedient, more patient, I shall withdraw the privilege.  But oh, my dear Philippine, that will never happen, will it?"

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bishop Rosati to Mother Duchesne (from Paris):

Bishop Joseph Rosati
July 14, 1840 ~ Bishop Rosati to Mother Duchesne (from Paris):
"Now I hear you are pleading to leave Missouri in order to go to the savages.  Well, when one loves God one never says, "Enough."  If I did not know you well, I might say this effort is too difficult for you, but knowing you as I do, I say "Go!" And God will be with you."

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Remembering Betty Ford

A wonderful short video about Betty Ford!  May she rest in peace!

Betty Ford and an RSCJ connection

Mary Schumacher, RSCJ, LPC and Betty Ford

Earlier today, I spoke to Mary Schumacher, RSCJ, LPC  better known as Sr. "Shoe".  We first met at the AASH Conference in Los Angeles in 2007.  Sr. "Shoe" a graduate of Sheridan Road and Maryville was in Miami for the 2011 AASH Conference in April and returned to Chicago this past May for the Hardey Prep 75th Anniversary celebration.  At our first meeting in 2007, I learned that "Shoe" lived in Palm Desert, CA and worked as a Counselor at the Betty Ford Center. She is currently conducting recovery and spiritual direction retreats on weekends. Sr. "Shoe" had many connections to Betty Ford (same birthday and same type of heart surgery) and told me how meaningful it was for her to attend the wake this afternoon. Below is a poem written by Emily Dickinson that was printed on a memorial card and given out to all the mourners who attended the wake at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church today. So appropriate for such a gracious, courageous and inspiring First Lady!

IF I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again, 
I shall not live in vain.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cokie Roberts remembers Former First Lady Betty Ford

Betty Ford

Cokie Roberts (Sacred Heart alumna of Stone Ridge) will give the eulogy for Former First Lady Betty Ford today at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Springs, California.  

In an interview with ABC news yesterday, Cokie describes the impact Mrs. Ford had and her legacy with regard to breast cancer awareness, the Equal Rights Amendment and substance abuse treatment.  It was in the Fall of 1982 that the Betty Ford Center opened and tens of thousands have credited Mrs. Ford for helping them.  The center provides treatment for alcoholism and drug dependencies. 

Mrs. Ford will be laid to rest on Thursday in Grand Rapids, MI on the anniversary of her husband's 98th birthday. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Photos of 2011 AASH Conference hosted in Miami, FL

2011 AASH Conference 
Miami, Florida
April 7-10, 2011

Photos from the 2011 AASH Conference hosted in Miami, Florida are still available for viewing and purchasing - (click here).

Ada L. Stevens of SnapHappy Photos will keep these photos on line until September 1st.

Prayer used by Mother Duchesne

Dom Claude Martin, La Vie de la venerable Mere Marie de l'Incarnation,
premiere superieure des Ursulines de la Nouvelle France.

Prayer of Mother Marie of the Incarnation, Ursuline ~
O my God, I thank you for having chosen the most blessed Virgin Mary as Your Mother, bestowing on her all the graces befitting that high dignity, and for having given her to us also as our Mother.  I worship the sacred moment of Your Incarnation, O Jesus, and every moment of the life you led for us here on earth.  I give You heartfelt thanks, O Jesus, for the example of Your divine virtues, for the merit of Your labors, for the outpouring of Your Precious Blood.  I desire neither life nor movement apart from Your divine life.  Then purify my sullied and defective life by the purity and perfection of Your own divine life and by the holy life of Your immaculate Mother. Amen

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Sunday, July 10, 2011

News on Barat Academy - Missouri

Barat Academy
1 Academy Place
Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368

Barat Academy located in Dardenne Prairie, MO is a provisional member of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.  The school opened in 2007 and this year 68 students graduated in June.  Due to an ongoing financial dispute the future of the school continuing to operate at its present location is in question.  Students, alums and parents are planning a prayer vigil on Wednesday, July 13th and rally on Thursday, July 21st.

To read more click here -

Please keep this new provisional member of the Network in your prayers!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

To: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

July 9, 1818 ~ Philippine writes to St. Madeleine Sophie, "I saw the wisdom of the inducements held out to keep us here in New Orleans, but I answered consistently that it is God's Will for us to go on to St. Louis. In this matter we know the Will of God.  I am so glad to have come to America, I shall willingly make any sacrifice in order to advance our work.  I think I am ready for anything, even to face again the terrors of the sea."  Taken from: "Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne"

Friday, July 8, 2011

Future alums finish their Service Project in Chicago

Sacred Heart students in Chicago for their Summer Service Project
pose for a group photo in the Driehaus Center on Sheridan Road 

Last Friday on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Sr. Martha Curry, RSCJ invited me to join her and fellow Religious of the Sacred Heart, along with students representing eight Network schools for mass at Sheridan Road.  The students were concluding their week long Level II Summer Service Project. The ten young ladies (pictured above) represent the following Sacred Heart Schools: Bloomfield Hills, Duchesne Omaha, Forest Ridge, Newton, Stuart-Princeton, and Woodlands. 

Under the guidance of two faculty members from Sheridan Road and one faculty member from 91st Street these young ladies spent a week in Chicago learning about the Juvenile Justice system.  The Level II service project takes a critical look at the Juvenile Justice system in the United States (and Cook County in particular) and proposes changes that should be taken to ensure a better outcome for those affected.  In addition, the students return to their schools with practical steps that they (and their peers) can take to better the situation.  

It was a wonderful experience for me to witness the RSCJ renew their vows and meet these bright and energetic young ladies. They all sang so beautifully!  After mass we all enjoyed a buffet super in the Driehaus Center.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

To her sister Euphrosine, Madame Jean-Joseph Jouve

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

July 7, 1852 ~ Philippine Duchesne writes to her sister Euphrosine, "At our age we should like to enjoy peace, tranquility, and the sweetness of friendship, yet we must bear our burden of years along with the suffering that comes from misfortune, whether in public affairs or in our personal lives.  Old age has many sacrifices to make, and these can be of great value as one's purgatory - a less rigorous one than might come to us in the next life."

As my own birthday is approaching I was drawn to what Philippine wrote to her sister on this day. The above quote was taken from: "Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne".

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

To whom much is given, much will be required...

Marianna Bolognesi Florian
(1919 - 2011)
Barat College alumna ~ Class 1940

Today I attended the Mass of Resurrection for Barat College alumna Marianna Bolognesi Florian.  Marianna was a 1940 graduate of Barat College in Lake Forest, IL.  She was a true child of the Sacred Heart and lived a full life as wife, mother, and friend to many. From an early age her mother, Rose Garibaldi Bolognesi (1908 alumna of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, IL)  taught Marianna and her sister Catrina the importance of giving back and boy did she!  A classmate friend of Marianna's sat next to me and before mass commented that until she read her obit on Sunday was not fully aware of the shear number of charitable organizations that Marianna was involved in and then she paused and stated that in their college years Marianna was always ready to pitch in and do whatever task needed to be done.  No job was beneath her!   So, as I sat in Saints Faith, Hope and Charity Church this morning and listened intently as her son read the Second Reading, a particular sentence struck a Sacred Heart chord in me.  Second Reading (Philippians 4:8-10),  "Farewell; I wish you all joy in the Lord.  I shall say it again; all joy be yours.  Let your generosity be clear to all.  Then God's own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and mind, in Christ Jesus.  And now my family, all that is lovable and gracious, whatever is excellent and admirable - fill all your thoughts with these things.  The lessons I taught you, the traditions I have passed on, all that you heard me say or saw me do, put into practice; and the God of love will be with you."

Knowing that Marianna's mother Rose Garibaldi Bolognesi had been buried from the very same church in 1988, I smiled and thought of the current Sacred Heart Goals being taught in our schools today.  Yes, to whom much is given, much will be required!   

Thank you Marianna for a life well lived and full of service to others! May you rest in peace.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

To: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Space under the stairs where Philippine Duchesne slept ~ Florissant, MO
Today, many visitors leave their special intentions here.

July 5, 1836 ~  Philippine writes to Mother Barat, "If only I could be completely hidden in a corner, so as not to be tempted to worry about things that are really not my business!"   

The above quote was taken from:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, canonized July 3, 1988, lived in the convent from 1819 to 1846 in Florissant, MO.  During this time she established a boarding school for wealthy families from St. Louis, a free local school and Indian girls school.  

Monday, July 4, 2011

In Philippine's words to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

July 4, 1825 ~ Philippine writes to St. Madeleine Sophie, "Today we are celebrating the feast of independence  in this country, rejoicing among all classes and religions, for the Catholics do not forget that this day gave them freedom of worship. As for me, I shall anticipate July 22 and celebrate in my heart now and always the treasured and inspiring dependence which binds me to you.  Yes, I shall bless God for it to my dying day, and we shall be united in spirit to you on your feast day."  Taken from:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Independence Day 2011

Sacred Heart Schools Chicago

Wishing all a very safe and happy 4th of July holiday!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Twenty-Three years ago today...

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

It was on this day in 1988 that Pope John Paul II canonized Mother Philippine Duchesne as Saint Philippine, the fourth American saint.  Let us take a look back at her life.  Below is a brief chronology of Blessed Philippine’s life as written in the booklet: “Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne”

1769 born August 29 in Grenoble, France; parents: Pierre-Francois Duchesne and
                Rose Euphrosine Perier

1780 went with her cousin Josephine Perier to boarding school at Sainte-Marie- d’em-haut,          Visitation; received First Communion and Confirmation there.

1782 returned home; studied under tutor four years

1792 was obliged by the French Revolution to return home; spent nine years either with her family or doing works of charity in Grenoble; lost her mother in 1797.

1801 secured possession of the Old Monastery of Sainte Marie, which had been converted into a prison; failed to rehabilitate the monastery under Visitation rule.

1804 welcomed Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat to Sainte Marie.

1815 made her first vows in the Society of the Sacred Heart and remained at Sainte Marie ten years.

1818 sailed for America; landed in New Orleans on May 29; reached St. Louis on August 21; opened the first Convent of the Sacred Heart in America at St.Charles, MO., on September 7.

1819 transferred community and school to Florissant, Missouri

1823 welcomed the Jesuits to Florissant.

1827 founded the Convent of the Sacred Heart, St. Louis  

1829 visited the convents founded by Mother Aude in Grand Coteau and St. Michael’s, Louisiana.

1834 was transferred to Florissant again as Superior.

1840 welcomed Mother Galitzin as Visitatrix and was relieved of office as Superior; went to live at City House.

1841 was one of the foundresses of the mission for Pottawatomie girls at Sugar Creek, Indian Territory.

1842 returned to St. Charles, Missouri, where she spent the last ten years of her life.

1852 died on November 18 and was buried in the convent cemetery.

1940 beatified on May 12 by His Holiness, Pope Pius XII.

1988 canonized by Pope John Paul II on July 3 and became the fourth American Saint