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Sunday, October 30, 2011

To: Madeleine Sophie Barat

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
the above painting is located at
 The Sacred Heart School of Montreal

October 30, 1820 ~ Philippine Duchesne writes to Mother Barat, "The loss of many religious in France may make it more difficult for you to send us the help we ask for, but you will make an effort for your poor American mission which tries to stretch out its arms but cannot reach across the ocean to you. As for myself, do with me just as you wish. All other desire except that of God's Holy Will is extinguished in me, and my recent illness has rooted me still deeper in indifference." 

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Society of the Sacred Heart at the UN

I've just added the Society of the Sacred Heart at the UN website to my blog under Sacred Heart Sites (right hand column).

The Sacred Heart School of Montreal

On Friday, October 28th, I will attend the CASHA conference being hosted at the Sacred Heart School of Montreal.  The school is celebrating their 150th Anniversary. Sr. Cecil Meijer, RSCJ is the NGO representative of the Society of the Sacred Heart at the United Nations and is a scheduled guest speaker during the conference, her topic “Listening to the Concerns of Others in the world” --

I'll write more on the CASHA conference and include photos when I return home to Chicago!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Journal of Mother Duchesne, 1818-1840

October 26, 1819 ~ Mother Duchesne writes in her journal, "Our days are filled with work for the children and our spiritual duties, along with chores to which we were formerly unaccustomed.  We have frequently to gather wood for fuel in the forest, for when we have a visitor we burn up our whole provision in a single day.  We gather corn, apples, vegetables in the garden, and when the children go for a walk they often bring back wild fruits and farm produce."

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Monday, October 24, 2011

International Heads of Sacred Heart Schools conclude their meetings in Taiwan

News from the Network of Sacred Heart Schools....

The Fourth International Conference for Heads of Schools of the Society of Sacred Heart was recently hosted in Taiwan.

Fifty-six International Heads of School from 15 (fifteen) countries have just concluded their meetings held in Taiwan and  hosted by the Sacred Heart School in Taiwan, Pali.  The conference schedule ran from Thursday, October 20-Monday, October 24, 2011.

Please use the links below to follow the conference through live streaming, conference notes, and the main conference webpage.

Live streaming

Conference Notes

Main Conference Webpage

Prayer used by Mother Duchesne

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
as seen at the Villa Duchesne/Oak Hill School

Prayer used by Mother Duchesne:  Jesus, I live for Thee, I labor for Thee, I desire only Thee.  Thou in me and I in Thee; Thou with me and I with Thee; Thou all mine and I all Thine.

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Sunday, October 23, 2011

To St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

 Old St. Ferdinand Shrine ~ photo taken June 2011
by Wendy Ann Buckland, AASH Eastern Regional Director 2011-13

October 23, 1819 ~ Philippine Duchesne writes to Madeleine Sophie Barat,  "Our new house in Florissant will not be ready until December. That month is already dear to me and full of memories, for it brought me back to Sainte Marie in 1801, and there I met you for the first time in 1804. And now it becomes dearer because it will see the opening of the first house owned by the Society in the New World."

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

MER notes: Would you like to become a member of the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine and help preserve the first house owned by the Society of the Sacred Heart?  If so, please click on this link and donate:  an Individual member for $25.00; Family member for $50.00; or Commercial member for $100.00.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Volunteering brings Sacred Heart alums together all in the name of GOLF

Fellow Chicago Women's District Golf Association board members
and Sacred Heart "Sisters" pose with MER (l-r);
Nancy Martin Hammond, SR'66, MV'72 and Sally Reuter Clissold, NC'64

Since I am a board member of the Chicago Women's District Golf Association, yesterday morning I drove to Itasca Country Club to attend our annual Fall Meeting.  This meeting is a nice gathering of approximately 150 woman from all over Chicagoland and a few from Indiana.  The group consists of Golf Chairs, Team Captains and players who have participated this past golf season in team matches and tournaments hosted by the CWDGA.  We gather together for a little socializing over a delicious breakfast buffet, complete with prepared to order omelets and waffles. During breakfast we hold a business meeting and listen to reports and vote on a new slate of officers and directors for the CWDGA.  Beautifully wrapped prizes, "hole-in-one" pins and certificates of appreciation are awarded to many before they depart.  Traditionally the incoming and outgoing board members gather afterwards around Noon for a celebratory toast to a great year with anticipation of yet another wonderful golf season in 2012.  

Of course it seems I can never go far without running into or connecting with fellow Sacred Heart alums.  I first learned from Sally Clissold that she was an alum when she brought to a CWDGA board meeting her copy of Esprit de Coeur which had a photo of me in it. It was later this summer at our annual CWDGA Championship hosted at Ruth Lake Country Club that I learned Nancy Hammond who recently joined the board was an alumna too!  What a wonderful day indeed!   

I hope all have enjoyed this Feast of Mater and have had an opportunity to go to the website to view the beautiful photos.  If not, click below and be sure to turn up the volume!  

The full-sized movie, a much clearer version, can be seen at:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy Feast of Mater ~ October 20th

Mater in the house of St. John
 by Pauline Perdrau, RSCJ  in 1883

October 20th is the day in which Sacred Heart alums world-wide celebrate the Feast of Mater.  Many of you on this day, this weekend or this month will gather together for a reunion or perhaps at mass to celebrate in some way and remember Mater. And, some of you will wear pink today, some current students (and alums too) may gather and enjoy a cup cake with pink icing - all in celebration of this special feast day!  The Associated Alumnae/i of the Sacred Heart will celebrate its 80th year as an organization in 2013.  Just as Pauline Perdrau, RSCJ depicts Mater in her old age, I reflect and think,  "Is this what Mater would look like at age 80?" As I read what Madeleine Sophie Cooney, RSCJ writes (see below) her last paragraph comes to life and over 26 years later appears to be still very poignant. 

MER notes: I personally knew Madeleine Sophie Cooney, RSCJ who taught at Barat College.  Sr. Cooney and I last saw one another at Oakwood prior to her death in 1994. Earlier this week while having dinner with Donna Collins, RSCJ the image of Mater in her old age came up in our conversation and she gratefully forwarded the above image to me.  Upon seeing this image of Mater in her old age, I immediately recalled reading the article below which I found on-line at  I am reprinting it so all can enjoy reading it as much as I did earlier today.  Happy Feast day to one and all! :)

Mater in her old age
by Madeleine Sophie Cooney, RSCJ

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in RSCJ: A Journal of Reflection, Vol. VI, Winter, 1985, No. 1, pages 135-142. It was written by Madeleine Sophie Cooney, RSCJ, who was also the editor of the Journal at this time, and whose erudition and wisdom pervaded both its content and its organization. Pictures appear as full page illustrations on pages 136 (Mater window at Stuart Country Day School, Princeton, New Jersey, no photographer noted) and 139 (Mater in the House of St. John at Ephesus copy by M.M. Nealis, RSCJ (done in 1935) of painting by Pauline Perdrau, RSCJ (done in 1883); pictures here follow the article and the color version of Perdrau’s painting was provided the National RSCJ Archives.

In 1883, nearly forty years after she completed the fresco of Mater Admirabilis on a corridor wall of the Trinita dei Monti in Rome, Pauline Perdrau painted another study of Mary—one much less famous than her earlier work. Though its aesthetic qualities leave much to be desired, this later Mater, which is known in the United States chiefly through the copy made by Sister M.M. Nealis in 1935, rewards careful study and comparison with the Trinita fresco.

In both works we are faced with the puzzling paradox of a mediocre painter, a woman who seems to fit comfortably into the romantically pious atmosphere of the nineteenth century Church, an apparently childlike and innocent soul untainted by any critical or historical sense, who was at the same time a creative artist, integrating, by means of technically poor and quite amateur work, a complex of related themes.

These universal motifs revolve about primeval concepts such as mother, matter, material, maternity, and matrix; about divine, feminine, prophetic spinners of destiny, such as the Greek fates: Clotho, who spins the thread of each human life, Lachesis, who determines its length, and Atropos, who cuts the strand of life at the moment of death i; about Ariadne, whose saving thread led Theseus from the mortal danger of the labyrinth; about female competition in weaving and embroidery, such as the contest between Athene, patroness of womanly arts, and Arachne, who wove such a marvelous tapestry of divine love affairs that she aroused the jealous ire of the goddess and was turned into a spider doomed to spin a web from the stuff of her own body; about Penelope’s weaving and unweaving of a shroud, the obverse of swaddling bands, since grave wrappings swathe the body destined to be reborn from the tomb; about the ominous purple carpet of Clytemnestra and the flaming shirt of Herakles; about the peplos, or newly woven garment, gift of the maids of Athens, offered annually to Athene in the Pan-Athenaic procession; about the doomed Lady of Shalott and her magic web; about the harpweaver in Edna St. Vincent Millay’s ballad; and about spindles, such as that which wounded Sleeping Beauty, the Spindle of Necessity in Plato’s Myth of Er, and the spindles, entwined with maidenhair, offered by the virgins of Delos to Eileithyia, weaver and midwife, helper of Leto, goddess of childbirth.

The act of spinning or weaving represents the temporal and the developing, the incremental and the cyclic, and is analogous to the growth of the child in the womb. One wonders whether, in her study of art history, Pauline Perdreau examined any of the thousands of Byzantine icons of the Annunciation in which Mary is holding a spindle from which a scarlet thread passes across her body. The spinning of red thread obviously suggests the development of the arterial system in embryonic life, especially when, as in some icons, the unborn infant is dimly seen through his mother’s flesh. In the Apocrypha, the young Mary is described as living in the Temple and weaving the Temple veil, and in the liturgical hymns for the feast of the Sacred Heart, the piercing of the heart of Jesus is equated with the rending of that veil on Good Friday. As the author of Hebrews reminds us: “Through the blood of Jesus we have the right to enter the sanctuary, by a new way which he has opened for us, a living opening through the curtain, that is to say, his body.”ii The “curtain” is, among other things, the veil of the new Holy of Holies to which generations of mystics have found their way through the wound made by the lance at that moment the Society of the Sacred Heart regards as the kairos of its own mystical conception.

A veil, not only a symbol of wrapping, of hiddenness, and of mystery, is, like the seven veils of Ishtar, related to the orbits of the planets and the structure of the cosmos, whose meaning is gradually un-veiled only through time and space and history. The climactic moment of the Incarnation occurs when God is veiled in the flesh woven by woman; surely the prime example of concealment/manifestation.

Many of the Journal’s readers have been familiar since childhood with the symbolically charged objects surrounding the young Mater Admirabilis: the distaffiii and the spindleiv; the lilyv of purity, innocence, youthful freshness, suggesting the Immaculate Conception of this child and the virgin birth of the Child to come; the book of the Scriptures, source of revelation, including the Messianic prophecies, surely the subject of this elected young woman’s profound meditation; the work basket, another example, both in its woven form and in its contents, of woman’s work of fashioning from the raw materials of nature fabrics and textures which protect, enhance, and enrich human

In the later painting one can observe the significant changes in the symbolic structure; these modifications assure us that the artist held a continuing and consistent view of the archetypal quality of the “woman’s work” of spinning and weaving.

Mary, looking as young and fresh as in the Roman fresco, is seated in the house of St. John at Ephesus, in a courtyard much like the first one. In the background is a chapel with altar, lamp, a vase of lilies, and a drawn curtain, which gives access to a little sanctuary. Behind Mater, and out of her reach, are the distaff and work basket of the earlier picture. She is seated as before, except that she is in the act of completing an altar cloth whose finished length is rolled up on a stool before her. In her left hand she holds a spindle attached to the final thread of the woven cloth. In her right hand she holds a small pair of scissors, with which she is cutting that thread. Her head is raised and she looks up with a joyful air, as if saying, “It is finished.”

The study of this aspect of the Mater tradition might bring many who have loved the earlier picture, as it probably brought Pauline Perdrau, full circle. The significant detail of the Atropos shears marks this work as a commentary on aging, retirement, diminishment, and death. The young Mater’s work, interrupted by a moment of profound recollection, could be interpreted as the spinning of the thread to be woven into the Temple veil, a symbolic pre-enactment of the spinning and weaving of the body, including the heart, of Jesus. The aged Mary, instead, fashions an altar cloth for the infant church. The light, rather than the dawn of the Roman fresco, whose rosy flush presages the coming of the Sun of Justice, is the sanctuary lamp denoting the Eucharistic presence. There could hardly be a clearer indication that the little Madonna of the Lily of Pauline’s noviceship days has become the fully mature Mother of the Church and is involved in the weaving of salvation history.

Overlook the obvious confusion concerning the actual processes of spinning, weaving, and sewing. The painter was not interested in technical details, or perhaps had not the artistic skill to portray them. What she very obviously achieved is a contrast between the young Mater and the old; between the student of the Hebrew Bible, looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, and the contemplative before the sacramental presence of the Lord, engaged in work related to the liturgical life of the growing Church. The pious fantasy, as in the case of the imaginative flights of Ste. Therese of Lisieux, is decked out in contemporary garb but reflects an authentic and ancient mystical tradition. Every revelation has a veil in the middle of it, and the contemplative spins her own fabrics and fabrications, all of which, of course, partake of the nature of the veil of Maya—the illusion and distortion present in all phenomena and in all interpretations of phenomena.

Are the two paintings of Mater really “about” these themes? Did Pauline Perdrau know the Greek Orthodox tradition concerning the Annunciation scene? Had she read in myth about the shears of Atropos? Was she acquainted with all the feminine aspects of spinning and weaving?vii  It is difficult, if not impossible, to know whether her use of symbolic motifs in the Mater paintings was studied or wholly intuitive, a result of her imagination’s being closely in touch with the anima mundi. But whether Pauline was conscious of the total content of her pictures is not really important. What is of consequence is that members of the Society of the Sacred Heart, of whose rich tradition these paintings are a part, should understand for themselves and share with others the meanings which Pauline Perdrau’s legacy yields to reflection, study, and prayer.

i The Roman parcae were also three, as were the Teutonic Norns who appear weaving history and destiny in Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungen.

ii Hebrews 10, 19.

iii Mary’s distaff, with its crown of pure wool (the golden Fleece of the Lamb who was slain), is related to many other forms of the cosmic or archetypal tree, such as the ladder of Jacob, the mystic vine, the sacred mountain (e.g., Fuji and Thabor), the ladder of perfection, the tree of life, the cross of Jesus.

iv In shape, the spindle is a mandorla, the oval form used in the great almond of light encompassing he body of Christ in medieval iconography. But a mandorla is originally the two intersecting circles that stand for heaven and earth and for the sacrifice that renews the generating force of the universe. All spindle shaped symbols represent this idea of mutual sacrifice and of interaction between heaven and earth. In The Republic, Plato recounts the Myth of Er – a description of the cosmos as the Spindle of Necessity, a mandorla shaped reality with an axis or shaft surrounded by a whorl consistent of eight concentric spheres. The outermost sphere is the universe of the fixed stars and the seven inner sheres are those of the moon and the planets, carried in a rotating motion within the movement of the whole. This imaginative scheme is related to Dante’s cosmic vision, beyond and above which he saw the Mystic Rose, a symbol of fullness and perfection. Both spindle and mandorla are powerful cosmic images.

v The lily of Mater is the lilium candidum, the campanulate or bell-shaped flower which holds a calyx or chalice of golden sepals surrounded by a corolla or crown of white petals. These protect the triple pistil, whose heart, in Trinitarian multiples of three, shelters the life-giving principle of the flower, which has always been a symbol of the virgo intacta, and is thus related to the gardenenclosed and the fountain sealed. In the Roman fresco the lily rises from a vase of blue crystal, like all containers of water, a primitive symbol of woman’s power to give life—and thus related to that living fountain appearing throughout the liturgy, the Scriptures, and the world of poetry and myth.

vi “The labor of the great material primordial mothers is likened to the skillful plaiting and weaving which lends articulation, symmetrical form, and refinement to crude matter.” Myth, Religion, and Mother Right, Selected Writings of J.J. Bachofen, translated from the German by Ralph Manheim, Bollingen Series LXXXIV, Princeton University Press, 1967, p. 56.

vii The roll of woven linen in the later picture reminds the thoughtful observer that the horizontal and vertical axes of woven material, as they meet at right angles, bear the same symbolic significance as the yin and the yang, the feminine and masculine principles whose intersection and interaction are the motive power of life and organic development. The Christian form of this meeting of vertical and horizontal is, of course, the cross, seen in the warp and weft of every woven fabric, as well as in the interweave of Mater’s sewing basket.

Pursuit of these themes leads to the notion of quaternity, the four directions of space indicated by the arms of the cross and by the outer limits of a woven fabric; the four elements; the four seasons; the four living creatures which evolved into the symbols of the evangelists; the two equinoxes and the two solstices, with their relationships to the quartet of zodiacal signs associated with the change of seasons and the four cardinal points; the intuited shape of things as the mind orders them in its need to capture in an intelligible pattern the ever-elusive flux. “Quantum theory forces us to see the universe not as a collection of physical objects, but rather as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of a unified whole.” Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, Shambhala, Boulder, Colorado, 1975, p. 138.

One last suggestion: Related to the themes of spinning and weaving is the strategy of networking, a typically feminine device for bringing about needed change in society. Perhaps networking, with all that it involves in the context of 1985,--social consciousness, concern for others, cooperation, communication, education, intelligent mustering of all the available forces for good—is the contemporary form in which women can engage in the weaving of destiny.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To Mother Adeline Boilvin, American RSCJ

A "double yoke" considered to be a stroke of good fortune!

October 18, 1843 ~  Mother Duchesne writes to Adeline Boilvin, RSCJ, "If humility is always desirable, generous humility is still more so.  God has willed it, so bend your shoulders to the double yoke of Superior and Mistress of Novices."

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

Builders of the United States Province: Adeline Boilvin, RSCJ
This month we continue the series on “Builders of the U.S. Province” with a sketch of the life of one of Mother Duchesne’s earliest and best-loved pioneer associates, Adeline Boilvin.

Philippine wrote from Florissant in 1820: “We now have twenty boarding pupils, most of them docile.” Among the most docile was Adeline Boilvin. She was born September 24, 1813, in St. Louis of a Creole family engaged in the fur trader; she had some Osage blood in her veins.

Her parents both died while she was at school, and Philippine then gave the little girl special attention. She wrote later: “Obedient and diligent, Adeline obtained all the school honors. She was most attractive in appearance, but her good judgment saved her from vanity, and she was never light-headed. She had a beautiful voice, was gifted for music and learned the piano. She studied Spanish and grasped all the subjects taught in our school. In short, she was ready for anything.”

After her school years, Adeline went home to her grandmother, Madame St Cyr, but returned to Florissant as a postulant at the age of fifteen. When she received the habit she took the name Gonzague, after St. Aloysius Gonzaga. Philippine, then in St. Louis, wrote to her: “You, more than anyone else, can contribute to the fervor of the novitiate.” While still a novice, Sister Gonzague was sent to St. Louis to be formed by Philippine herself. After her vows, Philippine followed the young nun in letters that reveal the affectionate side of Philippine’s nature, as well as her unsparing and inspiring spiritual direction. She guided Gonzague through her probation, the period of preparation for final vows, which she pronounced on September 30, 1838.

Before long Philippine was begging Mother Barat to allow her to retire as superior in favor of Sister Boilvin, for “though quite young she has natural talents for governing a house.” The request was not granted, but when Elisabeth Galitzin came to St. Louis as representative of the superior general, she named Sister Boilvin as one of the foundation stones of the Society’s works in the eastern United States. In the same year that Philippine set out for the mission to the Potawatomi, 1841, Adeline Boilvin went to New York. Here she spent two years teaching music and French in the day school on Houston Street. She came to know Aloysia Hardey, the superior, who wrote to Mother Barat: “I gladly consult Mother Boilvin, for the spirit of God is in her.”

Mother Hardey chose Adeline to be superior and mistress of novices at McSherrystown, Pennsylvania, where things were going badly. The remote school was without resources, and several nuns and children died of tuberculosis within the first year. The new superior brought the sunshine of her optimistic vigor to the overshadowed house. Mother Duchesne continued to write: “If humility is always desirable, generous humility is still more so now.” And later: “Ever since I learned of the successive blows that have tested your resignation to God’s will, I have been occupied with you in prayer.”

McSherrystown was closed in 1846 in favor of a foundation in Philadelphia. Mother Boilvin led the community to Logan Square; the establishment was transferred within the year to the property on the Delaware River that became Eden Hall. She placed her stamp on Eden hall: a warmly welcoming and joyous spirit. Bishop Kenrick came on July 4 to give the students their first congé (a holiday at school, traditional at the Sacred Heart). There were outings from the parish when “piety and pleasure combined to drive silence from our solitude,” wrote the convent annalist.

Pupils were few, however, and debts mounted. Mother Boilvin’s health broke under the strain. In the summer of 1848 Mother Hardey sent her to the bracing air of Canada and left her in the care of Mother Amélie Jouve, Philippine’s niece. It was too late: Adeline Boilvin died on her thirty-fifth birthday, September 24, 1848. The Annals tell of the burial on the Île Jésus of “a child of Florissant and daughter of Mother Duchesne in pioneer days, Julie Adeline Boilvin, one of America’s most distinguished Religious of the Sacred Heart.”

From St. Charles, Philippine wrote in tribute: “For me Mother Gonzague was a support and a consolation, for the Society a valuable and edifying member, for God a docile child and a faithful spouse of the Sacred Heart. It is sweet and consoling to think about her.”

                                                   Adapted from Margaret Williams, RSCJ, RSCJ Newsletter, May 1988

Monday, October 17, 2011

To her cousin Josephine Perier, Baronesse de Savoye-Rollin

As seen at Villa Duchesne / Oak Hill School

October 17, 1837 ~ Philippine writes to her cousin Josephine, "The author of the Imitation says that those who travel to distant lands rarely sanctify themselves; and elsewhere, that change of residence deceives many. I had hoped to do out here in America something for the glory of God and the salvation of His children, and now I find myself with hands as empty - and perhaps not so clean - as when I was in my little room on our Mountain of Love at Sainte Marie."

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Friday, October 14, 2011

Photo Highlights from ... 175th Anniversary of the Founding of the Children of Mary Sodality in St. Louis (1836-2011)

To view these photos and more click on the photo
right hand side of my blog page.

I have just added a few more photos to my blog - Click on the photo (right hand side of this blog)  to view the above and additional photos taken this past week of my trip to St. Louis.  Also, check out the survey on the upper right hand corner of the blog. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

The St. Louis Children of Mary ( ... Spreading the Love of the Sacred Heart for 175 years

Pictured L-R are a few of the RSCJ in attendance with Bishop Edward M. Rice
 and MER: Srs. Lillian Conaghan, Connie Dryden, Sheila Hammond

Nancy Ghio, Carol Haggarty, Bishop RiceShirley Miller, Mary Pat Rives
Pat ThroElaine Abels, Maria Schlomer, Lucie Nordmann, and MER

October 9, 2011 ~ Today the St. Louis Children of Mary Sodality (  hosted a special mass at the Villa Duchesne Chapel in honor of their 175th Anniversary.  Helen Mashburn Penton fellow Barat alumna and a board member of the  E. de. M., had invited me to attend the celebration today.  I was honored to be at Villa and share with the Children of Mary both their joy and love of the Sacred Heart.  In his homily Bishop Rice encouraged the women to not rest on their 175 year history but instead look to the future and make it their mission to see the Children of Mary Sodality grow and flourish.  Pictured above with Bishop Edward M. Rice are just a few of the many RSCJ who were in attendance.  Coming the farthest was Connie Dryden, RSCJ from Africa and Lillian Connaghan, RSCJ from California.  
Following mass a delicious lunch complete with Champagne toast awaited us!  Each attendee received a copy of the recently published book, "The St. Louis Children of Mary - SPREADING THE LOVE OF THE SACRED HEART FOR 175 YEARS" written by past President, Patricia Rice

Mary Ann Rourke a student at City House received the first Child of Mary medal in 1836,  A couple of years prior a St. Louis student returned home from studying abroad at the Hotel Biron Academy and hand delivered to Mother Duchesne a packet from St. Madeleine Sophie Barat.  Among the many items in the packet was "the rule for the Children of Mary who left school".  A descendent of the student who hand carried from Saint to Saint the Code for was our very first AASH President Sara Chambers Polk (1933-1935) and to this day many of the St. Louis Children of Mary include women that can say they are fourth generation members of the group.

To read more about the Children of Mary by longtime moderator Mary "Be" Mardel, RSCJ click here
and learn more about the St. Louis group - "Our History" - Children of Mary St. Louis.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

To her cousin Josephine Perier, Baronesse de Savoye-Rollin


October 9, 1834 ~  Philippine writes to her cousin Josephine, "So Sainte-Marie-d'en-Haut has been closed! Surely it is not wrong for me to grieve over this, for it was a home to us in childhood, the cradle of our faith and of the friendship that has united us through life and is so dear to me."

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

In 1805 Sainte-Marie-d'en-Haut became the second house of the Society of the Sacred Heart

Saturday, October 8, 2011

To St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Mosaic of  Our Lady of Prompt Succor.
Old Ursulines Convent complex,
French Quarter, New Orleans

October 8, 1818 ~ Philippine writes to Mother Barat, "Last Saturday, (October 3) we received the first packets of mail from France, when our three boarding pupils arrived.  So our Lady, on this day dedicated to her, added to the many graces we owe her that of the foundation of our first American boarding school. We are invoking her under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, as we promised the kind Ursulines we would. 

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Friday, October 7, 2011

To the Religious of the Sacred Heart in Paris

October 7, 1827 ~  Philippine writes to the Religious of the Sacred Heart in Paris, "How I thank the Heart of Jesus with you for the great grace of the Society's approbation by the Holy See! What pure joy it brought us! It gives us courage to suffer in order to sustain by our labors a work which God Himself directs and in which by His gracious bounty He has given us a share.  Each new foundation brings us renewed happiness, for it increases the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Thursday, October 6, 2011

To St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Sacred Heart students from Chicago - circa 1890's

October 5, 1834 ~ Philippine Duchesne writes to Mother Barat, "The distribution of prizes took place this year in the presence of Bishop Rosati and several priests.  A young Irish girl received the prize of excellence.  The Bishop thought all went off very well.  There were more recitations in English than in French.  An English dialgue on natural philosophy gave the greatest pleasure to the audience. One must always put in some high-sounding phrases in this country." 

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Prayer before saying the Rosary

The following prayer was written by Philippine Duchesne in her office book.

Written by Mother Duchesne in her office book, Prayer before saying the Rosary: "O Jesus, my divine Savior, I offer You my mind and my heart.  Direct their movements while I pray, so that I may offer my prayer in union with Your immaculate Mother."

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Sunday, October 2, 2011

To her niece, Mother Amelie Jouve, R.S.C.J.

Statue of Philippine Duchesne as seen at the
Academy of the Sacred Heart ~ St. Charles

October 1 & 2, 1847 ~  Mother Duchesne writes to her niece, "It was hard to see you leave me forever - for we can not hope to see each other again this side of Heaven.  So we must strive to reach there, you and I, but by such different paths - I doing nothing, and you accomplishing great things for God through the education of youth.  God has given you the necessary talents, and you must use them to produce a hundredfold in His service.  Never forget that the road to Heaven is the Way of the Cross. Jesus has called us to follow Him, bearing the cross as He did. We have no choice about it; we must take it up and carry it if we are to be saved."

Taken from the book Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Passport to from the event

Martha Curry, RSCJ and students from the Jo
A terrific evening last week.  To view the photos I took, click on the photo to the right.  The best shots of the event can be viewed on the Josphenium Facebook page, click here -