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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Prayer to the Infant Jesus: Written by Mother Duchesne in her Office Book

Prayer to the Infant Jesus
You have come down from Heaven, O King of Heaven, to a lowly stable on earth, to cold and poverty. Your love alone has urged You to suffer all this. O Omnipotent Creator of the World, clothed in swaddling bands, Your poverty increases my love for You, for I know that You endure it for me.

O sweet Love of my heart, You leave the bosom of the Father and suffer on this earth, to which love alone attracted You.  But if You desire to suffer, why do You weep? O Jesus, I understand: You weep because I do not weep over my own ingratitude to You. You weep because my love for You is so weak. O Beloved of my heart, do not shed more tears.  I love You; yes, I love You now and forever.

Written by Mother Duchesne in her Office Book
Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Thursday, December 29, 2011

To Mother Adeline Boilvin, American RSCJ

Venerable Pauline-Marie Jaricot
Foundress of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith

December 29, 1844 ~ Mother Duchesne writes to Mother Adeline Boilvin, RSCJ,  "I have asked someone in Lyons to send you the collection of the Annals of the Propagation of the Faith. You should procure the English edition and pay the subscription fee.  I have never in all my life read anything more interesting or better calculated to enkindle zeal.  This reading is my delight."

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

More about the Venerable Pauline-Marie Jaricot...
Pauline-Marie Jaricot was born in Lyons, France on July 22, 1799.  She died on January 9, 1862 and was declared venerable on February 25, 1963. It was under the influence of her brother (a student at the Seminary of St. Sulpice) that Pauline-Marie developed a concern for the Asian missions and at the young age of 17 began to lead a life of abnegation and self-sacrifice. It was on Christmas Day, 1816, that she took a vow of perpetual virginity.  At the young age of 18, Pauline-Marie Jaricot composed a treatise on the Infinite Love of the Divine Eucharist.  
In order to repair the sins of neglect and ingratitude committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pauline-Marie Jaricot established a union of prayer among pious servant girls, the members of which were known as the "Réparatrices du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus-Christ".
During an extended visit to her married sister at Saint-Vallier (Drôme), she succeeded in effecting a complete transformation in the licentious lives of the numerous girls employed by her brother-in-law. It was among them and the "Réparatrices" that she first solicited offerings for the foreign missions. Her systematic organization of such collections dates back to 1819 when she asked each of her intimate friends to act as a promoter by finding ten associates willing to contribute one cent each week to the propagation of the Faith. One out of every ten promoters gathered the collections of their fellow-promoters; through a logical extention of this system, all the offerings were ultimately remitted to one central treasurer. The Society for the Propagation of Faith at its official foundation (3 May 1822) adopted this method, and easily triumphed over the opposition which had sought from the very start to thwart the realization of Pauline Jaricot's plans.
In 1826 she founded the Association of the Living Rosary. The fifteen decades of the Rosary were divided among fifteen associates, each of whom had to recite daily only one determined decade. A second object of the new foundation was the spread of good books and articles of piety. An undertaking of Pauline's in the interest of social reform, though begun with prudence, involved her in considerable financial difficulties and ended in failure. She died on January 9, 1862 and was declared venerable on February 25, 1963. Taken from the site                        

Monday, December 26, 2011

Prayer to the Infant Jesus

Written by Mother Duchesne in her Office Book ~

Prayer to the Infant Jesus

You sleep, sweet Infant, but your Heart is ever watchful.  O beautiful Lamb of God, what are You thinking about? You answer me: I am thinking about dying for you. My God, what love can I offer You in return for this but Your very own love! O Mary, my sure Hope, love Jesus for me, since I cannot do so as I ought.

Taken from the book:  Through the Year Philippine Duchesne

Sunday, December 25, 2011

To Mother Adeline Boilvin, American RSCJ

December 25, 1837 ~  Mother Duchesne writes to Mother Adeline Boilvin, "The Crib and Calvary are the dwelling places dearest to those that love Jesus. Pray to Him for me, that I may never withdraw from these dwellings."

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kateri Tekakwitha destined to become the first American Indian saint

Above Holy Card by Margaret Mary Nealis, R.S.C.J. 
The Holy Card above is a lithograph copy of Mother Nealis' original work titled "Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha".  The original was painted in 1927 (oil on canvas 15"x18") and it shows the image of young Kateri Tekakwitha (Gah-deh-lee Deh-gah-quee-tah) standing before a cross. She is dressed in traditional Native American long dress made of deerskin with a long blouse and a blue blanket over her shoulders. At the bottom right corner of the holy card are the artist's initials, "M.M.N., R.S.C.J. Printed on the reverse is a prayer. 

On the back of the holy card the following prayer: 

"Oh God, who among the many marvels of Your Grace in the New World, did cause to blossom on the banks of the Mohawk and of the St. Lawrence, the pure and tender Lily, Kateri Tekakwitha, grant, we beseech You, the favor we beg through her intercession -- that this Young Lover of Jesus and of His Cross may soon be counted among her Saints by Holy Mother Church, and that our hearts may be enkindled with a stronger desire to imitate her innocence and faith. Through the same Christ Our Lord.  Amen."

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha as seen in the
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
 in Washington, DC
- photo credit, Sr. Mary Schumacher, RSCJ

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born near the town of Auriesville, New York in the year 1656, the daugther of a Mohawk warrior.  At the age of four her mother died of smallpox and Kateri contracted the disease which caused permanent scaring on her face.  Adopted by relatives she later converted amongst a great deal of hostility by those in her tribe.  She was baptized on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1676 and died on Wednesday of Holy Week, April 17, 1680.  She was beatified on June 22, 1980.  On December 19, 2011 Pope Benedict XVI declared that a medical intervention is to be attributed to Kateri Tekakwitha and she is expected to be canonized a saint sometime in 2012.

Canada celebrates her holy day on April 17 and in the United States it is celebrated on July 14

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Greetings from the AASH 2011-2013 Board of Directors

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world" - JOHN 1:29
"Lambs at the Crib" is a Christmas tradition involving Sacred Heart schools' creche scenes.  Each student is assigned a lamb to place by the scene, and moves it closer to the manger as they complete projects or good works.

The above mosiac can be seen in the Villa Duchesne / Oak Hill School Chapel.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Former Barat College property gets closer to being reunited with Woodlands Academy

Lake Forest resident Ralph Ewart, a trustee at Woodlands Academy,told the Plan Commission 
Wednesday night,  "This is a long term plan in terms of generations, not months or years."
The Lake Forest Plan Commission agreed (3-2 vote) last evening to recommend to the City Council that they grant a special use permit to Woodlands Academy which will limit the combined parcels of their campus and the former Barat College campus to educational use.  Woodlands Academy indicates that this will be an extension of their special use permit and does not expect to gain possession of the property for approximately 12 months after the Old Main buidling is demolished and the property is cleaned up.  Ralph Elwart, trustee at Woodlands Academy indicated that the time frame will allow Woodlands the necessary time to conisder how to properly develop the potential blank canvas for the educational purposes they are considering.  The anonymous donor had hoped to close the deal by December 20th, however, the LF City Council will not meet until January 3, 2012. 

To read the details of the LF Plan Commission meeting held on December 14th as reported by Steve Sadin reporter for the LakeForest-LakeBluff Patch - click here  and to watch the coverage of the meeting see below.

Click here for video coverage.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

To her sister Euphrosine, Madame Jean-Joseph Jouve

Philippine Duchesne Aboard the 'Rebecca' - undated, oil on panel, 13" x 28",
portrait by Margaret Mary Nealis, R.S.C.J.
location Sacred Heart School in Halifax

December 14, 1817 ~  Mother Duchesne writes to her sister Euphrosine, "I am most grateful to you for your gift and for the good wishes you express for my happiness.  I shall find it always in the accomplishment of God's Will for me, so a change of residence will make no difference.  When I came to Paris I neither expected nor desired to remain here.  I love far more the simplicity of small towns.  Wherever, I may be, I shall always find a way to give you news of myself and to recieve news from you. As yet nothing has been decided. . . Fiat in all!"

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Second Convent of the Society of the Sacred Heart opened in Sainte-Marie-d'en-Haut, Grenoble

Former convent of the Visitation of Sainte Marie d'en Haut

December 13, 1804 ~ Arrival of St. Madeleine Sophie and two companions at Sainte-Marie-d'en-Haut, Grenoble, to found the second convent of the Sacred Heart and to admit Philippine Duchesne and her companions into the Society of the Sacred Heart.

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Monday, December 12, 2011

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat born on this day in 1779

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
(The above portrait hangs in the Sacred Heart School of Montreal)

Madeleine Louise Sophie Barat was born two months premature and on a night that her parents would soon not forget. On December 12, 1779 a fire broke out in Joigny, France.  It is said that the stress and terror that her mother Madame Madeleine Fouffe Barat experienced brought her third child into this world earlier than expected and she was considered to be very fragile.  Baby Madeleine's parents took her very early the next morning to be baptized in St. Thibault Church.  A local woman by the name of Louise-Sophie Cedor was also heading to the 5 am mass and so she and baby Madeleine’s brother Louis Barat were chosen to stand in as her godparents.

"Sophie had once overheard someone telling the story of the fire on the night of her birth, and the grown-ups would ask: "What brought you into the world, Sophie?" for the pleasure of hearing her grave reply: "It was fire." This answer became a family legend, and grew into a symbol of the destiny of this "child of fire". But at the time none of them could have given it its true significance, the fiery devotion to the Divine Heart to which Sophie's life was to be given.  This devotion had not yet penetrated into Joigny."

Taken from the book: St. Madeleine Sophie - Her Life and Letters by Margaret Williams, R.S.C.J.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sacred Heart alum's HBO film won Best Documentary at Tribeca Film Festival - now you can own a copy!

A beautiful way to celebrate the holidays! 

The Emmy-nominated HBO film won Best Documentary at Tribeca Film Festival and is currently airing in over 30 countries around the world.

MONICA & DAVID is the love story of two adults with Down syndrome and the family who strives to support their needs. Directed & produced by Sacred Heart alum, Alexandra Codina.

EDUCATIONAL EDITION DVD--For schools, companies, libraries & organizations to share with groups in their community. On sale now - please visit the MONICA & DAVID website (see link below).

HOME VIDEO DVD--online sales start Tuesday, December 13th

**Both DVDs are fully accessible & bilingual, with Audio Description (for people who are blind or vision impaired) and enhanced Subtitles (for people who are deaf or hearing impaired) in both English & Spanish.**

**Educational Edition includes 5 bonus features on: employment, independence, sexuality, relationships, and reflections on society.**

MONICA & DAVID will also be airing again on HBO this month!  Tune in or set your DVR for 12/12, 12/25, 12/28 or 12/29.  Check your local listing for times.

I first saw this incrediable documentary in Miami at the AASH National Conference last April.  Ali Codina a Sacred Heart alumna has done an extrodinary job capturing the real life love story of Monica & David.  This film will touch you!  Congratulations to Ali for producing and directing a documentary that is both insightful and inspiring!  All my best to Monica & David and their families.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

St. Madeleine Sophie to Mother Duchesne:

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

December 10, 1805 ~ St. Madeleine Sophie to Mother Duchesne: "Safeguard your peace of soul and sacrifice all else for it, for it conditions the soul for the reign of our beloved Jesus. Grow in His love and you will have peace. Daily I beg this grace for you from our Lord.  Do the same for your friend who is all yours in life and in aerternum."  Sophie Barat

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

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

O LADY, QUEEN of Heaven, My Mother Mary, I offer thee my memory and my imagination, begging of thee by thine Immaculate Conception, that I may never let them dwell but on things pleasing to thee!

Ave Maria
O Lady, Queen of Heaven, my Mother Mary, I offer thee my mind and understanding, begging of thee by thine Immaculate Conception, that I may judge and esteem all things according as they are pleasing to thee! 

Ave Maria
O Lady, Queen of Heaven, my Mother Mary, I offer thee my heart and will, begging of thee by thine Immaculate Conception, that I may choose and love only those things that are pleasing to thee!

Ave Maria
O Mary, by thy love for Jesus and for me, I beg but one more grace of thee: never to let pass an opportunity of serving thee, and to persevere in fervor until death.  Amen

From the book: SPECIAL DEVOTIONS - Compiled for the Children of the Sacred Heart

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

María Josefa Bultó, RSCJ (1905-2011) has died at the age of 106

María Josefa Bultó, RSCJ

María Josefa Bultó, RSCJ who served as the 11th Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart  died Tuesday evening in Barcelona, Spain.  She was 106 years old.  Mother Bultó is considered to be one of the longest surviving religious in her order. She served as Superior General through three years (1967-1970) of tension and tumultuous adjustment as the Society undertook the implementation of the the changes enacted in 1967.  Mother Bultó  presided over the transition to full participation of the religious in the governance of the Society during a brief, transitional mandate.  Five fundamentals were reaffirmed at the close of Mother Bulto's term: internationally, an educational mission, solidarity with the poor, solidarity with the Third World and community life. 

Superior General, Kathleen Conan, RSCJ writes, "Mother Bultó guided us with grace, understanding and enormous trust that God remains faithful in the midst of great challenges.  It is clear from her writings and letters that her primary concern was to call us to maintain union of hearts and minds at a time of divergent viewpoints concerning the way to live religious life following Vatican Council II.  Over and over in her letters she pleaded with us to move beyond our differences into one much wider vision. We thank God for giving to the Society a leader so well suited for those times, and we are grateful to Mother Bultó for exemplifying and calling us to live our Cor unum et anima una in Corde Jesu."

Mother Bultó, RSCJ wrote to the Society in September 1968: “Love must be real, concrete; we must train ourselves ceaselessly to recognize the presence of Christ in our Sisters…The only way we can learn to love one another truly, courageously, is to abide in the living Christ…For it is truly a matter of giving one’s life, of wearing oneself out in the service of others, of sharing the responsibilities of others, of bearing their burdens.”

Mother Bultó celebrating her 105th birthday September 15, 2010
pictured on the left  Sr. Margarita Bofarull, RSCJ, Provincial of Northern Spain
Today let us pray for Mother Bultó and all of our beloved RSCJ who have passed away.

St. Madeleine Sophie to Mother Duchesne:

Window of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat and child
(photo taken on December 8, 2008) and
Bishop George Rassas
 at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

December 7, 1810 ~ St. Madeleine Sophie to Mother Duchesne: "Be docile and faithful, and even if you do not make great strides, go on trying without losing courage.  Can you refuse these efforts to the Infant Jesus, Who in His little crib preaches so eloquently, so persausively, the virtures of humility, meekness, obedience?"

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Below is a brief history of the window pictured above with Bishop George Rassas

The Woodlands Academy St. Madeleine Sophie Barat Window

Thanks to the generosity of the Barat Education Foundation, a historic Barat College stained glass window picturing St. Madeleine Sophie Barat and a young child now graces the Bolton Sullivan Library at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. A bequest from the William B. Traynor Estate to the Barat Education Foundation funded the restoration and installation of the beautiful floor-to-ceiling window, which was formally dedicated in December 2008 as part of Woodlands’ Year long commemoration of 150 years of Sacred Heart education in Chicago.

The St. Madeleine Sophie Barat window was dedicated to honor Barat College of the Sacred Heart faculty and alumnae/i. The engraved plaque next to the window reads:

"For the sake of one child, I would have founded the Society of the Sacred Heart."
-St. Madeleine Sophie Barat-
This window is dedicated to honor the Alumnae/i and Faculty of Barat
College of the Sacred Heart, 1918- 2005, each of whom is that one child.

The St. Madeleine Sophie Barat window was commissioned for the Academy of the Sacred Heart at the time of the building of the chapel at Barat College of the Sacred Heart. The chapel was built in 1924 by George Hellmuth of St. Louis, whose sister, Mother Mary Hellmuth, RSCJ was a faculty member at the Academy.

The window itself was one of three above the entrance to Old Main welcoming students to the Academy of the Sacred Heart and Barat College. All three windows were designed by Emil Frei, Sr., also of St. Louis. It was the Emil Frei Art Glass Company, still based in St. Louis, which undertook the window’s restoration.

Today, those who use the Woodlands library and pass through the hallway to its adjoining courtyard experience the window’s beauty and serenity, and are reminded of the Sacred Heart legacy that connects Woodlands Academy and Barat College.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

To her sister Amelie, Madame Constans de Mauduit

As seen in the former convent at Old St. Ferdinand in Florissant, MO

December 4, 1836 ~ Mother Duchesne writes to her sister Amelie, "Our first foothold in America was at St. Charles, beyond the Missouri River; our first permanent convent was at St. Ferdinand de Florissant, where I am living now. The second permanent convent in Missouri was at St. Louis on the Mississippi, and the third was a return to St. Charles, where the convent is built near a very pretty Jesuit Church, so spiritual helps are numerous.  As St. Louis is the chief city in the state, that convent is in every way the most important one we have."

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Thursday, December 1, 2011

To St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

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

December 1, 1822 ~  Mother Duchesne writes to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat ~ "Kneeling in spirit at your feet, dear Reverend Mother, I offer my wishes for you to the Heart of Jesus.  May He bless the year that is ahead of us; may He take care of you, help you bear the burden you carry, and never let me add to it by any fault of mine."

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne