On March 2, 2013 the Gold Coast Sacred Heart Alumnae hosted their Twenty Fifth Annual Sacred Heart Luncheon. Proceeds for this annual event go to the RSCJ Retirement Fund. This was a special anniversary in many respects. The idea of a luncheon was first conceived by Jean Ward and Mimi Morgan Phelan Welsh two alums from Manhattanville.
During the luncheon we honored Mary Kay Tracy Farley an alumna of Grosse Pointe and Manhattanville. As her business card reads Mary Kay is a "Wife, Mother, Sportswoman and Philanthropist" but most of all she has a passion for life and giving back to causes that are near and dear to her. The Society of the Sacred Heart has held a special place in Mary Kay's heart. Mary Kay openly talked about her recent diagnosis with pancreatic cancer and gratefully told us that after many months of chemotherapy and the Whipple operation in September 2012 she is on the road to recovery. She then asked the cancer survivors in the room to stand. What a powerful moment this was as every table had at least one or more Sacred Heart alums who proudly stood to be recognized as a cancer survivor. A true testament of their courage and faith. To learn more about Mary Kay and her incredible journey - click here to read her Caring Bridge Journal.
Julianne Mattimore, President of the Gold Coast AASH invited Shirley Miller, RSCJ Director of Mission Advancement for the Society of the Sacred Heart to give an update on the Society. Sister Miller gave highlights of the In Mission for Life campaign which began five years ago and concluded successfully with a very generous pledge of $8,000,000. Sister Miller expressed the deep gratitude of all the religious and said, "thank you all for your generous support of the Religious of the Sacred Heart and our elderly sisters for 25 years and so faithfully connecting with one another all these years and keeping the Sacred Heart mission alive".
Sister Miller shared the following:
· "Today in the Society:
o 330 RSCJ in US, 2,500 world-wide – 18 RSCJ in Canada
o We live out the educational and spiritual mission of the Society in many ways: Network of Sacred Heart schools, in universities, and other educational institutions, in spirituality centers, with groups working directly with the poor, in provincial administration, at Oakwood and in Albany with our elderly sisters, as counselors, chaplains, administrators in parishes
o International service – Rome at the mother house, Kathleen Conan, an American, is superior general and in Uganda, Kenya, Mexico, Haiti, Indonesia
o 50 retired sisters at Oakwood in Atherton, CA
o 30 retired sisters in Albany – at Teresian House, Abba House and Avila
· The larger Sacred Heart family:
o 48,000 alums
o 135 associates
o 1,000 Children of Mary
o 12,000 students enrolled annually in SH schools
o At least 24,000 parents
o 2,000 faculty and staff
o 400 trustees
· That’s a lot of love being poured out on the world.
This “little Society” as St. Madeleine Sophie called the Society, has expanded over the years to include all of these groups and benefactors and friends and colleagues, greatly enlarging the 213 year old mission of MAKING KNOWN THE LOVE OF THE HEART OF CHRIST.
Although there are fewer RSCJ, the new wine of hundreds of thousands of lay people has burst from the old wineskins and alumnae and alumni, families, friends, collaborators, associates, Network schools, benefactors- are all involved in the educational and spiritual mission of this great little Society."