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Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Mosaic as seen in
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
by Hildreth Meière, AASH President 1957-1959

Tonight's abc news featured a story about a local artist who has opened the Chicago Mosaic School. Karen Ami, CMS Founder is teaching the ancient art of mosaics and recently acquired leftover material from the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.  This story reminded me of my first visit to the basilica where I saw the gorgeous mosaic of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne created by famed artist and Sacred Heart alumna Hildreth Meière.   

The above book will be published in May 2014
to order or for more info click here

Kathleen Murphy Skolnik an architectural historian recently collaborated with art historian Catherine Coleman Brawer on a new book The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière  which will be published by Andrea Monfried Editions in May 2014.  The book is the first in-depth exploration of Meière who is considered a pioneer artist in the decorative approach to modernism known today as Art Deco and who helped to revolutionize twentieth century architectural decoration.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ from the "Life Lived Perpetual Calendar"

Artwork by Bridget Bearss, RSCJ
Headmistress of the Academy of the Sacred Heart - Bloomfield, MI 
"Without silence no real purity of heart, no real devotion to the Holy Spirit, no real teaching from God who cannot make His still small voice heard in the talkative soul."
Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ (1857 -1914)
6th Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart

Taken from the perpetual spiral-bound calendar "The Life Lived" " which celebrates the Centenary of Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ - click here to order

Monday, January 13, 2014

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat Quote "When the Love of Jesus is in Question,..."

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
This framed image from the halls of Barat College
Home of the Academy from 1904 -1961

"When the love of Jesus is in question, our generosity should know no bounds."

~ St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart 

The above quote was taken from The Wisdom of Madeleine Sophie Barat - Day by Day Calendar.  To order a copy of the calendar (Cost: $10.00 + postage) - click here

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Demolition of Barat College Begins Today

Barat College ~ Lake Forest, IL  c.1990's

The City of Lake Forest has announced that the demolition of Barat College also referred to as "Old Main" will commence today.  Crews are expected to work long shifts all week and on the weekends for the next several months until the entire building is torn down and the site is clear of debris. Since the college closed in 2005, systematically much of the interior and exterior as you will note below has been salvaged with the intention that materials are to be recycled, repurposed or reused.  In future posts, I will write about where various Sacred Heart items are now enjoying a new life. For more info about the demolition of the building, see related story in the LakeForest-LakeBluff Patch.  

"In October 1902, the Society of the Sacred Heart and the architectural firm of Egan & Prindeville of Chicago, one of the premier architectural firms in Chicago at that time, signed a contract to build the new convent and boarding school in Lake Forest." 

The once magnificent classical Georgian style building has been a visual landmark at the corner of Westleigh and Sheridan Road since the Convent of the Sacred Heart opened in 1904.  

"The cornerstone, laid in March, 1903 reads:
To the Greater Honor and Glory of God
Convent and Academy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
 Erected by Reverend Mother Charlotte Lewis, Superior Vicar
Corner-stone laid March 23, 1903 
by Right Reverend Peter J. Muldoon, D.D. Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
Leo XIII Pope 
James Edward Quigley Archbishop of Chicago
Very Reverend Mother Mabel Digby Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
 President Theodore Roosevelt, of the United States 
Richard Yates Governor of Illinois,  
Carter Harrison Mayor of Chicago, 
Egan and Prindeville, Architects"

Barat College Cupola will be restored and placed in 
a garden on the front lawn of the campus

The Cupola was carefully removed last month.  Plans call for the Cupola to be restored and later used as a focal point in a meditation and reflective garden on the front lawn per the Master Plan Phase II.

Woodlands Academy Master Plan Phase II

Another well known icon that once stood on the front lawn of the Barat College campus for decades was the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue.

Sacred Heart Jesus Statue c.2011
Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart
 A plaque on the base of the statue (photo above) reads as follows:
"Created in plaster by French Statue maker Peaucelle Coquet, the rendition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was first dedicated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart Lake Forest.  The Religious of the Sacred Heart expanded their Academy to include Barat College in 1918, and on those grounds the statue remained.  In 1961, the Academy moved to its present location across the ravine from Barat College and was named Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. The Statue was removed from Barat College and restored following the closing of the college in 2005.  It was dedicated on this site n June 9, 2008 in Memory of Robert F. Key, a Woodlands Academy Trustee from 1997-2007."

Note:  Historical quotes are taken from  Barat College: A Legacy, A Spirit and A Name by Martha Curry, RSCJ  

Click this link to learn how you can order a copy of Sr. Curry's book.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Harriet Padberg, RSCJ (1922-2014) - Her Musical Ties Go Back Generations

Sr. Harriet Padberg, RSCJ  (1922-2014)
photo taken at 2013 Spirituality Forum in Atherton, CA

I was sadden to read that Sr. Harriet Padberg had passed away on January 2nd.  I had the pleasure of meeting her last summer in California at the Society of the Sacred Heart Spirituality Forum.  We had a delightful conversation over lunch.  While Harriet may have followed in her older sister Marie  Louise's (1914-1994) footsteps entering the Society of the Sacred Heart, she seems to have also followed a passion for music that spans generations. 

Harriet was the daughter of Marie Louise Kilgen and Harry J. Padberg.  When you read her full obituary on the site you get a flavor of her musical background. But not until you dig deep into her ancestry do you start to learn that she was the great granddaughter of two very prominent men who have as they say "an ear for music".  

Harriet attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart known as City House which closed in 1968 and then she went on to Maryville College located at 2900 Merramac Street.  Coincidentally the 22 acre property is rumored to have been donated in 1872 to the Society of the Sacred Heart by Eugene Miltenberger, Harriet's maternal great uncle.  One connection to the Society that is certain is that Eugene Miltenberger's oldest daughter Elise, entered the novitiate of the Religious of the Sacred Heart at Kenwood, Albany, NY, in 1875.  

Mother Elise Miltenberger, RSCJ (1848-1929)
photo c. 1893 from McAnany-Guignon Genealogy website
Mother Miltenberger would teach at several Sacred Heart schools and became treasurer for the St. Louis Vicariate.  Mother Miltenberger died in 1929 in Saint Charles and is buried with the RSCJ in Calvary Cemetery. 

Harriet's mother's maiden name (Kilgen) was very familiar to me as I had researched the history of the Barat College Chapel years previously.  So I knew that the Organ that was once housed in the Barat College Chapel was manufactured in St. Louis by Kilgen.  Charles C. Kilgen, a Master organ builder was Harriet's grandfather who took over the family business in 1873 upon his father George's death and ran the company until 1923.  "Charles was a descendant of Sebastian Kilgen, who built his first organ in Durlach, Germany in 1640."

Photo of the name plate is from the Kilgen Organ originally purchased in 1925 for
Barat College of the Sacred Heart Chapel ~ Lake Forest, IL 

Charles Kilgen (1859-1932) was married to Louise Robyn (1855-1897),  daughter of William Robyn, a prominent musician in St. Louis and founder of the music department at St. Louis University, as well as several symphony orchestras.  Eugene Miltenberger  (1819- 1879) and Robyn first met in the 1840's when Miltenberger played the violin in one of Robyn's first orchestral ventures. In 1852, Robyn a young widower married Eugene's sister, Clemence Miltenberger (1826-1901).  

William Robyn (1814-1905) 
Harriet's maternal great grandfather 
photo from McAnany-Guignon Genealogy website

So it is no wonder that Harriet Padberg, RSCJ, great granddaughter of both George Kilgen and William Robyn would serve as founder and director of Music Therapy at her alma mater, Maryville.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by her cousin John Padberg, S.J., at Villa Duchesne Academy on Saturday, January 25, 2014 and Sr. Padberg will be buried in Calvary Cemetery.  To read complete funeral details for Sr. Padberg, click here

Website Sources: The Prep News of St. Louis University (November 2011), McAnany Family Genealogy, Find A Grave 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Prayer to the Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart of Jesus in St. Charles, MO greets those that arrive on the campus
founded by St. Rose Philippine Duchesne in 1818 

From the Society of the Sacred Heart - first friday reflection

Prayer to the Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart of Jesus,
you who are always present to us,
we ask for the courage to open our hearts to you.

May we be filled with you,
with your life and love
so that we may in turn reveal you - 
your life, your love, your peace, your kindness, your compassion
and your wisdom -
in all that we do.

We ask this grace for the Sacred Heart family across the world 
now and forever.


Prayer by Sr. Maureen Glavin, RSCJ

The reflection above is taken from the Society of the Sacred Heart United States - Canada Province website.  Click here for additional First Friday Reflections 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Prayer for the New Year by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

"I shall pray that in the New Year you will gain much in the practice of virtue."

~ St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart 

The above quote was taken from The Wisdom of Madeleine Sophie Barat - Day by Day Calendar.  To order a copy of the calendar (Cost: $10.00 + postage) - click here