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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

To St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

part of a collage - as seen at
Villa Duchesne / Oak Hill School

November 30, 1819 ~ Mother Duchesne writes to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, "So much about material things - but my heart is with you and with the Societies of Jesus and of the Sacred Heart.  When I meditate on the fact that I belong to our Society, my soul expands with joy, tears of gratitude flow, and I see only happininess in privations.  Could God do more for me?  Only one greater favor could He bestow - the privilege of martyrdom.  But on my side, how much more I could do!" 

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippne Duchesne

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Patron Saint of Social Causes - Senator Dick Durbin remembers Maggie Daley

More on Maggie Daley by Senator Dick Durbin ~  " A role model for many...she was the heart of Chicago"

In Cor Unum Chicago pays their respects to Maggie Daley

Margaret Corbett Daley
Former First Lady of Chicago

November 28, 2011 ~  Earlier today, First Lady Michele Obama, Vice President and Mrs. Joseph Biden, Mayor Bloomberg, George Lucas,  a host of Chicago politicians and many many residents from all over  the city came to Old St. Patrick's Church to attend the funeral of Chicago's former First Lady Maggie Daley. While Maggie was not an alumna of the Sacred Heart, she truly evoked many of the qualities of a Cor Unum recipient and it is with one heart we all mourn her passing.

Many came not only to pay tribute and celebrate Maggie's life but more importantly to show their appreciation for a woman who quietly and gracefully did more for the city of Chicago and its citizens than any other First Lady before her.  Maggie Daley's number one priority was her husband, children and grandchildren.  They meant the world to her.

Twenty years ago Maggie Daley channeled her energies and passion for high school teens and helped create After School Matters.  When she was first diagnosed with cancer other women with a similar diagnoses found her positive attitude inspiring.  

She has been described as a woman who lived her life with grace and class, always ready to greet you with her heartwarming smile, she loved to dance and sing.  Her life long legacy will be the lesson she taught us all and that is showing us the importance of a giving and spiritual life. And, each spring we will be forever reminded of Maggie Daley as the tulips throughout this wonderful city start to bloom.

Maggie may you rest in peace!  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

To her sister Euphrosine, Madame Jean-Joseph Jouve

Part of a collage of hearts - photo taken at
Villa Duchesne/ Oak Hill School

November 26, 1814 ~ Philippine writes to her sister Euphrosine, "When the desires of one's heart call for separation from a dearly lovcd family, it is not easy to speak of them.  The heart suffers, knowing it must cause suffering to others."

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A very Gaga Thanksgiving and Sacred Heart 3rd graders

Tonight Lady Gaga will visit Sacred Heart ~ 91st Street her alma mater.  Enjoy the show!  

Sister Angela Bayo, RSCJ
Religious Education Consultant

Sacred Heart Academy ~ 91st Street
During the show there was a very touching moment when Sr. Bayo, RSCJ came into the room during Lady Gaga's interview with Katie Couric. (See below for a video portion.)  Lady Gaga spoke of her dad opening a restaurant named Joanne's (named after her Aunt who passed away as a young teenager) and launching the Born This Way Foundation (empowering youth, inspiring bravery) with her mom, to learn more about the foundation - click here.

Happy Thanksgiving from Sacred Heart Schools Chicago - (my kinda town... Chicago is!)

I received the following adorable You Tube video from Sacred Heart Schools Chicago!  
Wishing all a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sacred Heart Academy ~ Saint Charles, Mo ... Pilgrims and Indians prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday

Last week while at our Sacred Heart school in St. Charles, MO I spotted these young pilgrims (students)  waiting for their respective rides home.  How adorable I thought and quickly snapped a few photos to remind me of this very special place and the youngs students who will one day be fellow alums!

A little more about Sprout Creek Farm... just say Cheese!

Many of you have been intrigued about Sprout Creek Farm and my earlier post.  I found a video to hopefuly wet your appetitie for some delicious cheese!  I have ordered a selection of cheeses and now look forward to hosting a few Sacred Heart alums next month for a tasting!  

Please note: Between now and December 1st if you make an on-line donation to AASH we will give 10% back to Sprout Creek Farm. Please tell fellow alums to click here and donate today! Also, did you know that many companies will match your donation!  Please ask your Human Resource department for the proper forms and you can double and sometimes triple your gift!   All Sacred Heart alums let's show Sprout Creek we care and go on-line to donate today and buy some cheese this holiday season!

Wishing all a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving holiday! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In Thanksgiving AASH wishes to help our friends at Sprout Creek Farm

Mosaic of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
as seen in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis - 
one of the many works of AASH Past President Hildreth Meiere
to learn more about her work and upcoming exhibits click here 

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne was known for her pioneering spirit and along with her religious companions they weathered many harsh winters chopping their own wood, tending to the animals and their vegtable garden.  

Philippine wrote:  "I never have the least doubt as to the will of God and his watchful care for the extension of his work in this country.  My consolations exceed my prayer is one continuous thansksgiving for the knowledge of that much-desired will of God."

AASH will give 10% of all on-line donations made to us
between now and December 1st to Sprout Creek Farm

click here to donate to AASH and help feed the animals this winter!

Today, I received the Sprout Creek Farm newsletter from Margo Morris, RSCJ. The weather earlier this fall (remember the freak snow storm?) combined with the mysterious removal (theft?) of 80 thousand-pound round bales of hay have created a financial crisis for them. For those that attended the 2011 AASH Conference in Miami you may recall the delicious cheese in the hospitality / boutique room - it was from Sprout Creek Farm! Why not treat yourself and your friends to some delicious cheese this holiday season!  

Please note: Between now and December 1st if you make an on-line donation to AASH we will give 10% back to Sprout Creek Farm. Please tell fellow alums to click here and donate today! Also, did you know that many companies will match your donation!  Please ask your Human Resource department for the proper forms and you can double and sometimes triple your gift!   All Sacred Heart alums let's show Sprout Creek we care and go on-line to donate today and buy some cheese this holiday season!

Wishing all a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving holiday! 


Sprout Creek Farm would love to be a part of all your Thanksgiving celebrations, near and far. Haven't figured out how to bilocate ourselves yet, but how about a wedge or two of your favorite Sprout Creek Farm cheese before dinner? Grate it atop your mashed potatoes, or shave it onto your salad.  Any way you like it, we'll be right there with you.

 From today November 22nd until Sunday November 27th, you can purchase 2 lbs. of any Sprout Creek Farm cheese, and get a free tub of our fresh goats' milk cheese, Doe Re Mi.

An added bonus. If one of the cheeses you happen to love is Toussaint, little Ruby Toussaint,
a calf born on November 3, 2011 says she'd like to give you a whopping 15% off on a wedge of any size.

No, you can't take Ruby home -- only the cheese that bears her name: Toussaint.  
NOTE:  Market is closed on Thanksgiving Day only.  If you are desperate for cheese, eggs, or anything else we carry in our market, please call the main farmhouse before NOON.  845-485-8438

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Funeral Mass of Mother Duchesne held in the old Church of St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo statue located
at the corner of Jefferson and Second Streets

(photo taken from church history website)

November 20, 1852 ~ The funeral of Mother Duchesne took place on this day. Father Peter Verhaegen offered the Requiem Mass in the old Church of St. Charles Borromeo, which stood where the convent chapel now stands.

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Father Peter J. Verhaegen

Father Peter J. Verhaegen was born in Belgium and he came to the United States with a group of Jesuit Scholastics in 1823.  They settled near St. Louis at Florissant where they began an Indiana school and a seminary for the training of Scholastics.  In 1829, at the age of 30, Father Verhaegen was appointed President of Saint Louis College.  In 1832 he applied to the Missouri Legislature to have the college declared a University. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Newman Center Blessing and Dedication to Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

Photo highlights from the Blessing and Dedication of the Newman Center ~ Lindenwood University

Sr. Maureen Glavin, RSCJ, Head of School at the Academy of the Sacred Heart Saint Charles was greeted by an alum of the Academy and current student at Lindenwood University, as well as,  Dr. Lucy S. Morros, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Lindenwood University and former President of Barat College, Lake Forest, Illinois before the Blessing and Dedication ceremony this afternoon.  Sr. Glavin presented a beautifully framed portrait of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne to hang in the Newman Catholic Student Center.  Forty-Five percent of Lindenwood University students are catholic. Saint Louis Archdiocesan Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Rice presided over the event. 

Prayer of Blessing of Image of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne  

Bishop Rice:  My brothers and sisters, as we dedicate this Newman Center to Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, we ask God's blessing upon this image. When the Church blesses a picture or statue and presents it for public veneration by the faithful, she does so for the following reasons: that when we look at the representation of those who have followed Christ faithfully, we will be motivated to seek the city that is to come; that we will learn the way that will enable us most surely to attain complete union with Christ; that, as we struggle along with our earthly cares, we will be mindful of the saints, those friends and coheirs of Christ who are also our own brothers and sisters and our special benefactors; that we will remember how they love us, are near to us, intercede ceaselessly for us and are joined to us in marvelous communion.  

Let us pray...

We bless you for you alone are holy,
and because in your compassion for sinners
you sent into the world your Son, Jesus Christ,
the author and perfecter of holiness.

He sent the Spirit
to sustain his newborn Church,
a voice that teaches us the secrets of holiness,
a breeze that strengthens and refreshes,
a fire that sears our hearts with love,
the seed of God that yields a harvest of grace.

Today we praise you
for the gifts of the Spirit bestowed on Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne,
in whose honor we dedicate this image and this Newman Center.

May we follow in the footsteps of the Lord,
keeping before us the example of Saint Rose Philippine,
and grow to maturity
measured not by nature, but by the fullness of Christ.

May we proclaim his Gospel by word and deed
and, shouldering our crosses daily,
expend ourselves for others in your service.

As we carry out our earthly duties,
may we be filled with the Spirit of Christ
and keep our eyes fixed on the glories of heaven,
where you, Father, receive those who will reign with your Son,
for ever and ever.


To learn and read more about the Newman Center - click here

Death of Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769 - 1852)

As seen in the Original House located in St. Charles, MO

November 18, 1852 ~ "The death of Blessed Philippine occurred at noon on this day as the Angelus bell was ringing."

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Today, I will be at the Academy of St. Charles to attend mass with the students and on Saturday with the EdeM (Children of Mary) as they make a Pilgrimage to the Shrine.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

For the Feast of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

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

Gracious God, You filled the heart of Philippine Duchesne With charity and missionary zeal, And gave her the desire To make You known among all peoples. Fill us, who honor her memory today, With that same love and zeal To extend your Kingdom to the ends of the earth. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit , One God, forever and ever. Amen

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A visit with US Provincial Paula Toner, RSCJ and Society of the Sacred Heart National Archives

A busy day as Maggie Kaspura and I stopped by the Provincial office to say hello to
Honorary AASH President and US Provincial, Sr. Paula Toner, RSCJ and then on to the
Society of the Sacred Heart National Archives to meet with Sr. Mary Lou Gavan, RSCJ and Michael Pera.

Monday, November 14, 2011

AASH Announces New National Office Director

This week I am here in St. Louis working in the National Office
with Maggie Kaspura.


     St. Louis, MO (Nov. 3, 2011) – The Associated Alumnae and Alumni of the Sacred Heart 2011-2013 Board of Directors has retained Maggie Sieger Kaspura as Interim National Office Director to replace Susan King. Susan King served as Director since June 2011.

     AASH Board President Maureen Elizabeth Ryan expressed the association’s appreciation for King's service, stating, “This was a difficult personal decision for Susan, and I speak for the entire board when I say that it has been a pleasure to have a woman of her professional caliber working with us during these past months.”

     The AASH Board voted to employ an Interim National Office Director to insure that the National Office continues to run smoothly. The interim designation will allow the Board the necessary time to fully assess its long-term needs and to form a strategic plan for the future. Maggie Kaspura will assume responsibilities immediately in the St. Louis office on a part-time basis.

     Maggie Sieger Kaspura is an award-winning journalist and author of the book Deep in the Heart: Celebrating the First Fifty Years, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. Her work has appeared in TIME Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Reuters, Associated Press, CNN, Realtor Magazine, Readers Digest, LOGO Network and Entertainment Weekly, among others.

     She was valedictorian of the 1985 graduating class at the Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, Houston, Texas, and earned a BA from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. The family recently moved to St. Louis, and their daughter is a student at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles.
      “As both an alum and parent, I know the value of all the intangibles that create our Sacred Heart culture,” Kaspura said. “I am excited by this opportunity to help foster that community nationally and I am deeply honored by the Board's decision to include me in its work."

     Ryan said the board is looking forward to working with Kaspura. She has previously volunteered her services to AASH and is currently writing biographies of its 37 past presidents. The biographies will be included in a book that will be published in time for distribution at the 39th Biennial AASH Conference to be hosted in Omaha, April 11-14, 2013. ##

Making a difference in the 21st Century... Listening with One Heart

Listening with One Heart...To Make Change Together

The panel of Sacred Heart alums above (l-r): Philomene Makolo '59 (Bruxelles) - Project Congo,
JoAnn MacKinnon Murphy '66 City House, Montreal - Pathway to Progress Nicaragua and
Barbara Fisher Townsend, '66 City House, Montreal - The Rave Project - Univ. of New Brunswick

For Alice Burns, AASH Vice-President; Pam Snyder, AMASC President; Barbara Lopiccolo, AMASC Vice-President; Maureen Elliott, AMASC Secretary-General; June Donovan, AMASC Coordinator for North America; Anne Marie Conn, rscj, Religious Counsellor and AMASC Liaison with the Society and myself, our very full day attending the CASHA conference at the Sacred Heart School of Montreal on Friday, October 28th started with the usual meet and greet as well as a continental breakfast followed by a warm welcome and opening reflection.
Pictured above clockwise:  Alice Burns, AASH VP and Pam Snyder, AMASC President;
AMASC Board members present at the meeting;
Beatrice Keleher Raffoul, Event Coordinator with Cecil Meijer, RSCJ and Sheila Donahoe, CASHA President

Sheila Donahoe, CASHA President quoted Clare Pratt, RSCJ superior general of the Society of the Sacred Heart (2000-2008) when she spoke at the first CASHA conference hosted in Halifax.  

In 2007, Sr. Pratt stated: “As limited human beings we cannot address all the needs of the world. If we try we become either paralyzed or do a little here, a little there, and do it superficially. BUT, as human beings we are able to be passionate about something!

My message to you is: GET IN TOUCH WITH WHAT YOUR PASSION IS AND YOU WILL FIND WAYS TO CONCRETIZE IT. Often passion is sparked by a personal experience… Let me offer a few examples of what a passion might be:

                The plight of trafficked women
                The abuses of mining companies
                The Care of the earth as in recycling/composting. There is a slogan I find helpful:   
          “repair – reduce – refuse, recycle what you can’t reuse”.
                Teaching English or French as a second language
                Other ways of welcoming immigrants......
                ....Whatever is calling forth the gift of yourself, connect with others with the same passion.

Perhaps you will ask: “How can I do any more?” I have a job. I am caring for an elderly parent. I am in the “sandwich generation” (caring for parents as well as for children/grandchildren).

With all of that, can you find ways to stay informed, make your voice heard?
The Internet offers alternative sources of news, analysis. A site like the Hunger Site (by which you can give a cup of food a day to a hungry person, provide free mammograms to women without means, make health care possible for some children unable to afford it, provide books for children who have none, save acres of the rainforest, provide adequate shelter for abandoned animals) takes one minute a day and you can request a daily e-mail message to remind you!”

What followed was a panel of three alumnae with a lot of passion for three important causes dear to their hearts.  Philomene Makolo spoke of the Project Congo.  Books are needed for the children in grades K-12.  JoAnn MacKinnon Murphy spoke of her involvement with  Pathway to Progress Nicaragua and Barbara Fisher Townsend gave us an overview of how she got involved with The Rave Project.  Barbara Martell, Communications and Advancement Manager at Sacred Heart School in Halifax has posted background info on each speaker on the school's website click here  to learn more about each of these passionate Sacred Heart woman.

It was a wonderful day and I thank all who had a hand in making the day so successful with special gratitude to Beatrice Keleher Raffoul, Event Coordinator.  I am looking forward to returning to Montreal in 2014 when the AMASC Congress will be hosted in this beautiful city! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

To St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Madeleine Sophie Barat
painting originally hung in Lake Forest and
now hangs outside the Chapel at Sacred Heart Chicago

November 10, 1852 ~ Mother Duchesne writes to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat,  "I come to say farewell to you, though God alone knows the moment when death will come.  There is much I should like to say to you about the suffering I have caused you - if you were less indulgent and I were in a condition to express myself better.  But God has humbled my pride by loss of memory and continual forgetfulness.  I humbly beg pardon for all the suffering I have caused you.  I think I shall never do so again."

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Patricia Reiss, RSCJ shares her thoughts on the future of former Barat College Old Main building

Sr. Patricia Reiss, RSCJ speaking in front of the Old Main building at the
Barat College  Commencement Exercises circa 1980's
Monday evening, the Lake Forest City Council hosted its monthly meeting.  On their agenda the property of the former Barat College campus.  The city council was asked to consider a recommendation from the Historic Preservation Commission to deny a request to amend the Lake Forest Historic District to remove Old Main, located on Barat Campus from the Historic District. After much discussion, the city council members voted 7-1 in favor of a wrecking ball to demolish the Old Main an American Colonial Revival style building built by Egan & Prindeville which has become a landmark for generations of Lake Forest residents since 1904.  The vote Monday evening ended the debate as to whether the building has reached its life expectancy and should be allowed to be demolished or should millions be raised and pumped into its interior all for the sake of preservation. 

Sr. Patricia Reiss, RSCJ an alumna from the class of 1957 who returned to Barat College as a religious and lived on the campus for 37 years stated the facts most eloquently when she stated at the city council meeting,  "Institutions, like people, have life spans. I passionately urge you to approve Woodlands' application leading to the demolition of Old Main - my home - so that the fullness of this gift to the Academy of the Sacred Heart may be realized." 

Lake Forest City Council Meeting ~ November 7, 2011

The video above demonstrates the passionate response from both sides on this very important topic.

Photo highlights from CASHA 2011 (Canadian Association of Sacred Heart Alumnae) CONFERENCE

Making a Difference in the 21st Century.... Listening with One Heart
Second CASHA Conference on Social Justice
Photo Highlights taken on Friday, October 28, 2011

A group photo taken before we broke for lunch

To view the many photos click on the Sacred Heart Photo Album
 on the right hand column of my blog

Barbara Martell, Communications & Advancement Manager of Sacred Heart School of Halifax has a nice recap and more photos.  Click here to read details of the speakers at CASHA 2011.

Monday, November 7, 2011

To St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

 Handmade dolls of Saints for the Feast of All Saints Day
 on display in the Chapel at Villa Duchesne/Oak Hill School
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

November 7, 1852 ~ Mother Duchesne writes to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, "My heart yearns to call up all the dear names of the past, but memory fails me.  My sight, too, is very dim. Reverend and beloved Mother, send me your blessing for a happy death, for death is really chasing me."

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Barat College alumna tells her story of leaving India with realization of not turning back

L-R:  Connie Campbell, RSCJ; Dean Traynor, RSCJ and
President of Barat College, Margaret Burke, RSCJ
taken in Drake Theater ~ Barat College (circa 1960s)


The story below was taken from a recent article in The Washington Post magazine section that I saw last week and has since been brought to my attention a few more times by fellow Barat College alums.  I met both Achamma and her sister Chinnamma many years ago in Virginia.  This is a story worth sharing and a very poignant moment in a young woman's life!  

From The Washington Post

Editor’s Query: Tell us about a time when there was no turning back

Published: October 27

In 1962, getting a full scholarship to Barat College in Illinois to do my undergraduate work was a dream come true. But some of my colleagues didn’t understand why I wanted to leave all the good things I had in my native India. “You have a good job, a good name as a teacher and a good position in the community,” they said. “Why do you want to leave all this and go to the U.S.?” Yes, I was a primary school teacher. Yes, I did have a good position in the community. But to realize my dream of a college education in the United States, I had to leave all that.

I had decided to take a ship from Cochin to New York. My family and relatives had come to see me off. They came on board to see my cabin. We said goodbye, and I watched them go down the precarious rope ladder to wait on shore. Saying goodbye to my father was difficult; I tried hard not to cry. But he was happy to see me set off on my quest.

In about 10 minutes, the siren sounded, the ship pulled anchor and was on its way. I waved back to my relatives, watching each one getting smaller until they were undistinguishable. As the land receded, slowly taking the palm tree filled green coast with it, and the ship headed to the Arabian Sea, I realized that there was no turning back.

Achamma Chandersekaran,

© The Washington Post Company

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

St. Madeleine Sophie wrote to Mother Duchesne:

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
the tapestry above can be seen in Los Angels, CA at the
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

November 1, 1811 ~ St. Madeleine Sophie wrote to Mother Duchesne: "Your short letter tells me much, and I answer: Courage and patience.  Let God have His way.  He will lead His servants to the goal of their desires. If we desire only His Holy Will, I believe I can assure you He will do our will." 

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Today is the Feast of All Saints and I thought it befitting to use the above photograph of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne that I took while attending the 2009 Cor Unum mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels during the AASH Conference. John Nava is the artist who created the tapestries for the Cathedral.  The most prominent of the three tapestry groups is the Communion of Saints.  This is by far one of the most beautiful Cathedrals that I have ever been in and I highly recommend a visit if you are in the area.