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Thursday, September 27, 2012

AASH Gathering at the Wianno Club

AASH alums and a few spouses too enjoy seeing one another at
the Welcome reception hosted at the Wianno Club

What a spectacular evening we had last Friday in Cape Cod as alums gathered for the Eastern Regional Conference.   Former AASH Board Treasurer, Diane Tymick was my co-pilot as we drove from the Hyannis Harbor Hotel to the Wianno Club in Osterville, MA to attend the Welcome reception on Friday, September 21st. As we drove the sun was shining bright in our eyes and simultaneously we experienced a light rain shower. The combination of sun and rain produced a fabulous double rainbow.  We stopped long enough to capture a glimpse of this wonderful sight.

Rainbow as seen in Osterville, MA
More photos to follow as our Saturday program was chock full of awesome speakers and ended with mass in a beautiful setting overlooking the ocean.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cor Unum Nominations for 2013 AASH Conference Due October 1st

Pictured L-R: 2011 Cor Unum Award Winners stand on either side of
Sr. Helen Rosenthal, RSCJ ~ Women of Conscience Recipient
Susanna McPherson Lane, Rosemary Holland Gidionsen,
 Patricia Kolojeski and Toni Walsh Curry

Cor Unum Award 2013

Nominations Due October 1, 2012

Sacred Heart alums are renowned for their accomplishments, achievements and contributions. They are active within their association, at their schools, in their communities, with their families and many other venues. Each biennium, AASH salutes four of these alums with a Cor Unum award. To be able to present these awards, AASH needs your help in identifying outstanding alums. Please take the time to nominate a Sacred Heart alum you feel deserving of this award. Include as many pages as you wish or send along any publicity the person may have received. You may nominate any Sacred Heart alum; it is not confined to your region.  

Criteria for the Cor Unum Award
Excellence in one’s work 
Loyalty to Sacred Heart values 
The gift of self in service to others

Nominations come from the membership at large. One outstanding person residing in each of the four regions (Central, East, South, West) is honored. Nominations can be made electronically via or by clicking here - AASH website

To view a complete list of past Cor Unum and Women of Conscience recipients click here 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Preparing Our Students for a Year of Learning

Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Education
"It is not merely for our sakes that we should try to become interior souls; we should have constantly before our eyes the children who will come to us, help that without prayer we shall never be able to give them."  - St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
Now that we are in full session, it is wonderful to see your daughters so engaged and so excited about this new year of learning.  As September begins, let's take a moment and focus on St. Madeleine Sophie Barat's vision of Sacred Heart alumnae, women who live lives rooted in informed, active faith.  From this foundation of faith, Sacred Heart women draw the courage and confidence necessary to be women of communion and compassion.

How do we prepare such women?  I urge you to review the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education so that you know the essential values we educators hold.  Sacred heart education aims at educating our daughters' minds and their hearts.  First, we believe that every moment counts in the education of your daughters.  We also believe that each age level has unique needs; therefore we design the curriculum to be age appropriate and focused on developing skills and attitudes essential to learning to learn to think. We emphasize concepts and recognize each academic discipline as a way of thinking. 

Of course, the challenge for all of us as educators and as parents is designing the program so that each student  -- no matter her age -- comes to know herself in relation to God, and, at the same time, to be faithful to St. Madeleine Sophie's vision.  In the coming days, you will attend Back to School Nights which will give you and insight into our hopes and dreams for your daughters this year.

Taken from a 2007 excerpt of "The Sacred Heart Experience ~ A Collection of Messages From the Headmistress",  by Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ   Red Envelope ~ 2001-2011

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sr. Maribeth Tobin, RSCJ Dies in Albany

Sr. Maribeth Tobin, RSCJ (seated on the right) with fellow 
Kenwood alumnae ~ Sept 17, 2005

I first met Sr. Maribeth Tobin in 2005 when I went to Albany N.Y., to attend a Conge that was organized by a few Prince Street alumnae from Rochester for the retired religious known as the Pax Christi Community.  It was a spectacular day that included mass followed by a delicious lunch and tours of the Convent.  The day concluded with games and prizes for all!  In the above photo Sr. Tobin is surrounded by fellow Kenwood alumnae: Judith Fitzgerald, Vickie Donahue and Alice Roy Kolb.  

From the Society of the Sacred Heart - U.S. Province

Religious of the Sacred Heart Mary Elizabeth Tobin, RSCJ,
Former Congregation Leader and Educator,
Dies in Albany

Religious of the Sacred Heart Mary Elizabeth Tobin, wise mentor, international and local leader, educator, and spiritual director, died at Teresian House in Albany, New York, on Sunday, September 9, 2012. An extraordinary model of how to live religious life, she loved life and was always ready to take on a new challenge. She will be remembered at a Mass of Christian Burial at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, September 14 at Teresian House. Visitation will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the chapel.  Burial will be in the Kenwood cemetery in Albany.
Maribeth Tobin was born August 1, 1917, in Albany, New York, to Charles J. and Sara Devitt Tobin. She loved her city of Albany, and was happy to spend her final days there after a lifetime of ministry elsewhere. Sister Tobin was an alumna of Kenwood Convent of the Sacred Heart in Albany. She made her First Communion there and entered the Society of the Sacred Heart there, on June 18, 1939. She made her final vows on July 30, 1947, at the Society of the Sacred Heart motherhouse in Rome, Italy.
Sister Tobin was predeceased by her brothers Charles Tobin and Edmund Tobin, and sister, Alice Tobin O’Brien. She is remembered with fond affection by many loving nieces and nephews, Religious of the Sacred Heart around the world, former students and colleagues and the staff and residents at Teresian House, where she was a warm welcoming figure.
In positions of leadership most of her adult life, Sister was always straightforward, honest and often challenging, but her predominant characteristics were an intense interest in the person she was with and a passion to serve.
From 1942 until 1961 Sister Tobin served as teacher and principal in Sacred Heart schools in Washington, DC; Noroton, Connecticut; Bethesda, Maryland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1961-64, she was local superior for the Society of the Sacred Heart in Philadelphia. She had just been assigned to be superior for the Princeton, New Jersey community in 1964 when she was called to serve as assistant general of the international Society of the Sacred Heart in Rome. She was responsible for dialogue and communication with all English-speaking RSCJ throughout the world during the post-Vatican II years of change, a particularly critical time for the Society of the Sacred Heart.  
She returned from Rome in 1970 to serve as director of public relations and alumnae relations for Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda. From 1975 to 1989, she worked as spiritual director and counselor in retreat centers in Boston and Washington, D.C. Sister Tobin also served as the administrator for the Society of the Sacred Heart retirement community in St. Charles, Missouri, 1985-92. She was for many a pillar of strength, love, profound spirituality, and grounding wisdom. Even to her death she was full of life and deep love and fidelity for the Society.
The closing Kenwood in 2008 was personally difficult for Sister Tobin, and she truly appreciated the loving welcome the Sacred Heart Sisters received at Teresian House. She was deeply grateful for the love and care she received and wanted the staff and administrators to know her deep gratitude for being able to thrive as she lived her last days at Teresian House.
An alumna of Kenwood Convent of the Sacred Heart in Albany, Sister Tobin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Manhattanville College in 1938 and a Masters in guidance and counseling from Fordham University in 1953. She received a certificate in Spirituality from the Jesuit School of Theology at Loyola University, Chicago, in 1975.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart, 4120 Forest Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108.
The Society of the Sacred Heart was founded in France in 1800 by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat and brought to the United States by St. Rose Philippine Duchesne in 1818. There are 330 members in the United States Province and more than 2,500 professed members in 41 countries. Members of the Society are committed to discover, live and announce God’s love through the service of education for transformation, in diverse ministries, particularly addressing the needs of children, young people, women and those in society who are marginalized.
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One heart and one mind in the Heart of Jesus. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Martha Curry, RSCJ Upcoming Book Signing Events Scheduled in the Chicagoland Area

Barat College of the Sacred Heart ~ Lake Forest, IL

Sr. Martha Curry, RSCJ author of BARAT COLLEGE: A LEGACY, A SPIRIT AND A NAME will be making appearances and signing books at the following locations ...

  • Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. Lake Forest, Illinois. Friday, October 5, 10:00 talk, then book signing. 3:00-6:00 reception and book signing.
  • Archives, DePaul University. Thursday October 25, 4:00-6:00, informal talk and book signing.
  • Sacred Heart Schools at Chicago, Sheridan Road. Sunday, November 4, 2:00-4:00, reception and book signing
  • Lake Forest / Lake Bluff Historical Society. Sunday, November 18, (Sunday before Thanksgiving) 3:00, talk and book signing.
The book will be sold at the events, or you may order it by calling Loyola Press at 1-800-621-1008; provide the book’s title the ISBN number, which is 3734-8. Price is $20, plus shipping. Payment may be made with a Visa, MasterCard, or personal check mailed to Loyola Press, 3441 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, Il 60657.

For further info ~ click here.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Someone You Should Know ...Rev. Mother Celeste Thompson, RSCJ

On the left: Superior General Marie -Therese de Lescure, RSCJ
 bidding goodbye to Rev. Mother Celeste Thompson, RSCJ  
(Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL - circa 1953)
Celeste Thompson was born June 13, 1875 in Saint Louis, Missouri and died on August 17, 1970 in San Diego, California.  She made her first vows at Maryville on January 16, 1898.

On January 24, 1896, the Decatur Illinois newspaper The Daily Republic headline read:
Miss Celeste Thompson, of St. Louis Takes Sacred Heart Vows  
"Miss Celeste Thompson, one of St. Louis' wealthiest heiress and most accomplished young women, has taken the vows of the order of the Sacred Heart and dedicated her life and fortune to religious work.  She will be known as Mme. Celeste, and on account of the wealth she brings to the order will be given a position of authority at once.  Miss Thompson was graduated from the Convent of the Sacred Heart only two years ago and immediately thereafter made her debut in society, where she at once became a favorite.  Her family have known of her disposition to renounce the world for some time but the step came as a great surprise to society.  Miss Thompson is a daughter of Marklot Thompson and is related to the Choteaus and Maffits." 
The youngest of five children (four girls and one boy) Celeste was the daughter of Macklot Thompson and Celeste de Laureal.  Her father was born in Maryland and her mother in West India. Celeste was very proud of her cultural heritage and was most influenced by her mother.  In 1889, Celeste entered Maryville where two of her sisters,  Zelina and Augustian had preceded her.  Both her mother and sister Zelina were artists. Her father died when Celeste was very young and her mother supported the family by giving painting lessons.  

From the Society's archives.  "In 1920 she was named Mistress General and for twenty-one years filled this employment at Menlo, Pine Grove (Chicago), and St. Joseph, Missouri.  It was at St. Joseph that she "flowered".  Her years there -- fifteen as Mistress General and nine as Superior -- were among the happiest of her life.  As Mistress General, in the words of one of her co-workers, she "met every child in a spirit of strong faith.  Justice, impartiality, strict discipline made the High School in St. Joseph under her direction a joy for teachers and pupils.  She asked a strict account of each child. Her influence was understanding, maternal and, above all, supernatural.  She implanted in the student a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to Mater that was outstanding and enduring.  There were many solid vocations during these years, both for our Society and for other religious orders."

It should be duly noted that the alumnae of St. Joseph, Missouri aka "Hilltop" annually host a reunion on or around Mater's Feast on October 20th. 

Further from the archives, ..."these were difficult years for the academy in St. Joseph.  Closed in 1916, it had been reopened in 1920 at the insistence of the Alumnae, but its financial situation remained precarious.  The house was poor and manual labor abounded.  Mother Thompson was the first to appear when help was needed in the garden or in the house.  She was ingenious, also, in devising means to add to the house's income.  The Labor Day Fair at the Convent, which was organized, became an annual event, prepared for, patronized and loved by the Alumnae and indeed by the city of St. Joseph.  In these years also, the two schools -- the Academy and the parochial school -- were united at Hilltop. Mother Thompson's tact and sympathetic understanding carried through to success this difficult and delicate enterprise.  An excellent spirit was the result."

"In 1941 Mother Thompson was named superior of the house in St. Joseph.  this appointment enlarged her sphere of influence, while her charm, zeal and enthusiasm drew many to the convent and to the Heart of Our Lord.  Her zeal gave strong direction to the E. de M. and the interest taken in each one (shown by a personal telephone call in case of an absence) gathered 'incredible numbers' for the monthly meeting.  This same interest and zeal extended to the Alumnae, the parents of the children and the families of the religious.  Everywhere she spread a spirit of joy and confidence that lifted hearts and gave courage."

In 1950 Mother Thompson left St. Joseph where she had found such love and also heavy burdens, to go to Chicago as Superior of the more prosperous academy o Sheridan Road.  there again love and understanding won friends and supporters within and without the community.  How widespread that had become was evidenced in the glorious Golden Jubilee Profession, celebrated on July 22, 1953.  The spiritual riches of that day were crowned by the visit of V. R. M. Therese de Lescure to Chicago in the fall when Mother Thompson had the joy of welcoming her in her loved French language."

At age 79 years, Mother Thompson went west to San Diego where she would live out the remaining years of her life.   She was welcomed by Rev. Mother Rosalie Hill.  As the years passed Mother Thompson would eventually suffer from a loss of hearing and almost complete blindness.  Despite her failing health Mother Thompson continued a correspondence with hundreds of alumnae.  After her death many of these alums wrote that it was "her strong advise, cheery confidence and loving interest" that they appreciated most.  Reverend Mother Celeste Thompson passed away peacefully at age 95 years and her long life was celebrated at El Cajon with many fellow religious in attendance. "Her spirit of joy permeated all". 

Editor's Note:  My sincere appreciation to the U.S. Province Archives for sending me the photo and bio  of Mother Thompson.  And a special thanks to Marie Johannes Lederer alumna of "Hilltop" for sending me her lovely note and remembrances of Reverend Mother  Celeste Thompson which  inspired me to research further this remarkable RSCJ. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Claude Demoustier, RSCJ Dies at age 72 years - Will Be Laid to Rest in Grand Coteau, LA

Claude Demoustier, RSCJ
as seen on the hollow grounds of
Grand Coteau

From the Society of the Sacred Heart  - U.S. Province

Claude Demoustier, RSCJ, Educator and Administrator,
Dies in California
Religious of the Sacred Heart Marie-Thérèse Claude Demoustier died Sunday, September 2, at Oakwood, the Society of the Sacred Heart’s elder care center in Atherton, California. She was 72. Her life will be celebrated in a Mass of Resurrection Saturday, October 13 at 10:00 a.m. at Oakwood, 140 Valparaiso Avenue, Atherton, CA 94027. Burial will be in the Sacred Heart cemetery in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, where Sister Demoustier attended high school and later served as director of students as well as headmistress. It is also where she was introduced to the Society of the Sacred Heart.
Claude Demoustier was born July 31, 1940 in Pointe à Pierre, Trinidad, West Indies, the oldest of five daughters of Marc and Germaine de Verteuil Demoustier, both deceased. Her father worked for an oil company, so the family relocated many times and lived in France, Trinidad, Martinique, the United States, Venezuela and Switzerland. As a result, Sister Demoustier became proficient in several languages, which served her well in the international Society of the Sacred Heart.
She is survived by her sisters France (Mrs. Vincent) Balay, Christiane (Mrs. Guy) Delahaie, Nicole Demoustier and Geneviève (Mrs. Olivier) de Reynal, all of whom now reside in France. She entered the Society of the Sacred Heart October 20, 1963 at Kenwood in Albany. She professed first vows in April, 1966 and final vows in Joigny, France, September 10, 1972. She became an American citizen in July of 1983.
Since 2010, Sister Demoustier served the international Society of the Sacred Heart’s general council as secretary general in Rome, until illness prompted her to return to the United States this summer. She had earlier served in the motherhouse Secretariat, 2000-04.
Sister Demoustier’s earliest ministries were at Sacred Heart schools around the country where she taught French, Spanish, English and religion. Her first teaching position, in 1968, was at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, the oldest school in the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, founded by St. Rose Philippine Duchesne. The following year, she served as director of students and religion teacher at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, New Orleans, before returning to the Academy in St. Charles for two years. In 1971, she returned to her alma mater, the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau, Louisiana, where she stayed until 1977. She then served as director of students at Villa Duchesne Academy, St. Louis, Missouri, 1977-91.
In 1991, Sister Demoustier became headmistress at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois, where she remained until she was called to serve the international Society in Rome in 2000. When she returned to the United States, she served as campus minister and teacher at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, Houston, 2004-07 and as headmistress of the Schools of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau.
Her friend and former colleague Debby Watson said, “I had the great privilege of teaching and working with Claude for many years. Her friendship was a great gift. Claude had a way of connecting with so many people. Her gift of relationships was like Madeleine Sophie’s and her gift of “simple duty daily done” was like Philippine Duchesne. I am honored to have called her friend. Her life’s work was the mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart – she lived it well and taught all of us along the way.”
Sister Demoustier earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Maryville University in St. Louis, also a school founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart. She later earned a master’s degree from St. Louis University.
Besides being credentialed to teach French, Spanish and English, Sister Demoustier had special skills in drawing, calligraphy, design and sewing.  She also loved reading and sports. She was a member of the Community Development Team in St. Louis from 1973-1976, the Network School Committee from 1983-1985, and the Board of Trustees at Duchesne in Omaha, Nebraska, from 1988 to 1991. 
Memorial contributions may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart, 4120 Forest Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108.
The Society of the Sacred Heart was founded in France in 1800 by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat and brought to the United States by St. Rose Philippine Duchesne in 1818. There are 330 members in the United States Province and more than 2,500 professed members in 41 countries. Members of the Society are committed to discover, live and announce God’s love through the service of education for transformation, in diverse ministries, particularly addressing the needs of children, young people, women and those in society who are marginalized.
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One heart and one mind in the Heart of Jesus.