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Thursday, May 29, 2014

#ThrowbackThursday: Sacred Heart Commencement Exercises Held on June 27, 1876

Sacred Heart Graduates from Taylor Street (circa late 1800's)

Recent correspondence with a fellow Sacred Heart alum had me researching Sacred Heart students of yesteryear.  While researching the newspaper archives, I came across an article in the Chicago Tribune dated, June 28, 1876.  And, since it's the time of year when commencement exercises are held, I thought I would use the theme of a #ThrowbackThursday and take this opportunity to share  the article here in my blog.  Below is a recount of the events of the day taken from the newspaper story. 



"The closing exercise of the scholastic year at the Seminary of the Sacred Heart, corner of Taylor and Throop streets, were held yesterday afternoon.  As usual, the invitations were limited.  The Sisters, who are doing a noble educational work, avoid publicity as much as possible, and only care that the immediate results of their labors shall be witnessed by the clergy of their own faith.  Those who were present at the exhibition -- which  was in every respect excellent and worthy of the institution -- were the Rt. Rev. Bishop Foley, Fathers Damen, Cooemans, Sautois, Corbett, Niederkorn, Schaffel, O'Neil, Zealand, Coughlin, Condor, Van Lent, Hillman, of the Society of Jesus; Fathers Donohue, Conway, Macher, Dr. McGovern, and several other priests.

The exercises took place in the study hall, a large cheerful room, which was neatly decorated for the occasion.  All the pupils were attired in white, the dresses of the graduating class especially beautiful.

The proceedings opened with the "Grande Marche de Concert" (Wollenhaupt), which was admirably played by Misses Brenock, K. Naghten, L. O'Connell, and C. Sauter. The salutatory, quite a model in its way was delivered by Miss N. Kehoe, who charmed everyone with her fine elocution.  Miss A. Freeman followed with a vocal solo, "My Harp, My Beloved Harp." This was sung with great taste and feeling, and was one of the most pleasing features of the programme.

A French sketch, "La Joie, La Tristesse, et La Moderation," was next enacted by Misses M. Brenock, N. Kehoe and J. Almini.  this showed the careful training in the French language these pupils had received.  the pronunciation was good, and their gestures proved they had caught the spirit of the piece.

An instrumental duo, "II Trovatore Fantaste" (Alberti), was played in good style by Misses N. Cunningham and A. Reid.  Miss M. Connolly followed with a German poetical recitation, "Hirtenruf", which she rendered with a due regard to the sentiment of the piece as well as the elocutionary proprieties. 

The "Consecration Hymn to the Sacred Heart", a beautiful composition, was next on the programme. It was exceedingly well sung by a number of pupils.

That the graduating class is composed of young ladies of learning and ability was proven by their joint production, "The Mission of the Child of the Earth", a poetical sketch, which was performed by Misses A. Towel, B. Londergan, H. LeBrun, A. Williams, A. Stamm, M. Onahan, J. West, E. O'Hara, M. Towel, M. Garrity, L Koenig, C. Eagle, E. Walsh, K. McQuaid, - the youngest scholars in the Seminary.  This charming little production shows the "child of earth" tempted to join in the revels of the fairies, but she resists all their entreaties, on the ground that her missions to bear an earthly cross. The manner in which the delights of fairydom were described by the little girls was very fascinating. 

The overture, "Siege of Corinth" (Rossini), was given by Misses N. Cunningham, A. McLaughlin, A. Reid, and A. Fanning with great effect, their execution being remarkably brilliant. Misses A. Reid and M. McManus displayed the vocal talent in the duo, "Genevieve et Attila".

At this stage Bishop Foley bestowed graduating honors on Misses M. Brenock, N. Kehoe, N. Cunningham, and M. Connolly.  The valedictory was then delivered by Miss Brenock, and the formal part of the programme was brought to a close by the "Parting Song" which was sung by the graduates and A. Reid, C. Sauter, A. McLaughlin, M. McLaughlin, S. Smith, H. Hooker, A. Coffee, J. Almini, R. Heeney, M. McMannas. 

HONORARY DISTINCTIONS AND PREMIUMS were then awarded as follows, Bishop Foley taking a prominent part in the ceremony:  First medallion and first blue ribbon, Maggie Ryan and Annie Reid; second medallion and second blue ribbon, Mary Conway and Annie Horan; third blue ribbon, Anna McLaughlin and Mary Connor; fourth blue ribbon, Jessie Cole; fifth blue ribbon, rosie Dunham, Addie Sheahan and Susie Smith; distinguished, Carrie Sauter and H. Clifford.

Green ribbons, Helen Quertier, Alice Williams, and Emma Ludwig. Red ribbon, Ella O'Hara.


Blue ribbons, Lizzie O'Connell, Katie Naghten, Mary Garvin, Anna McMahon, Lizzie Kehoe, Laura McGovern, Mary McManus, Maggie Healey, and Nora Breene.

Green ribbons, Jennie Nesbitt, Johanna Burke, Gertie McMahon, Annie Towle, Mary Keating, and Blanche Lonergan.

Red ribbons, Annie Schaefer, Louisa Collins, and Katie McQuaid.


Exemplary conduct, Maggie Ryan; distinguished, Annie Reid and Mary Conway.

Christian conduct, first course, Annie Reid; distinguished Annie McLaughlin and Maggie Ryan. Second course, Maggie Dillon and Gertie McMahon; distinguished, Mary Garvin, Amelia McLaughlin, C. Sauter, M. Healey.  Third course, Lula George; distinguished, Johanna Burke and Jennie Nesbitt.  Fourth course, Anni Schaefer; distinguished, Louisa Collins.

Application, first English Class, Jennie Cole and Annie Horan; distinguished, Lizzie O'Connell and Anna McLaughlin.  Second class, Mary Conway; distinguished, Mary Connor.  Third class, Susie Smith and Lizzie Kehoe; distinguished, Kittie Shea, Lulu George, and Maggie Dillon. Fourth class, Carrie Sauter; distinguished Gertie McMahon and Nellie Shea. Second division, Julia Walsh. Fifth class, Helen Quertier;  distinguished, Kittie Smyth. Sixth class, Annie Schaefer; distinguished, Annie Stamm.

Premiums of Success - Anna McLaughlin; distinguished, Annie McMahon and Lizzie O'Connell.


First English Class -- Lizzie O'Connell, Anna McLaughlin, Annie Reid, Katie Naghten, Maggie Ryan, Mary McManus, Annie Fanning, Jessie Cole.
Second Class -- Mary Conner, Mary Conway, Lulu Koatz, Josie Ochnini, Rosie Heeney, Annie McMahon, Minnie Buckley, Katie Duffy.
Third Class -- Rosie Dunham, Susie Smith, Lulu George, Addie Sheahan, Katie Shea, Amelia McLaughlin, Maggie Dillon, Laura McGovern, Mary Mullaney, Ophelia Heatley, Lizzie Kehoe, Mary Garvin, Mary Gearey, Isabella Waller, Maggie Healey, Mary Mcenery, Mary Walsh.
Fourth Class -- Carrie Sauter, Kizzie Keller, Hannah Clifford, Nellie Shea, Nellie Healey, Helen Hooker, Gertie McMahon, Johanna Burke, Annie Towle, Lizzie Carey, Mary Keating, Second divison, Alice Williams, Mary Koenig, Maud Loneragn.
Fifth Class - Helen Quertier, Kittie Smyth, Emma Ludwig, Jennie Nesbitt, Blanche Lonergan, Lizzie Downey, Laura Koenig, Sarah Gaynor, Julia Kanff.
Sixth Class -- Annie Schaefer, Annie Stamm, Louisa Collins, Ella O'Hara, Hattie Le Brun.
Seventh Class -- Katie McQuaid, Julia West, Lena Koenig, Ella Walsh.

After the prizes had been awarded, Bishop Foley delivered a brief address to the pupils.  He congratulated them upon their happy knack of dressing their thoughts in beautiful language, as well as their persons in chaste and elegant attire.  The exercise of the day had afford him great pleasure and satisfaction.  He had been agreeably surprised at the learning and ability displayed, and at the lady-like manner and deportment which characterized every pupil.  He hoped that after leaving the Institution, the pupils would put into practice the virtues which the good Sisters of the Sacred Heart had taught not alone by precept, but by example.

This closed the proceedings.  The seminary will reopen on the 1st of September, at which time a branch will be started on the North Side."  ###

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sacred Heart Schools Chicago Fine Arts Council Hosts Spring Lecture on Madeleine Sophie Barat

Sacred Heart Schools Chicago (Sheridan Road)

Sacred Heart Schools Chicago Fine Arts Council hosted a Spring Lecture earlier this month in the Driehaus Center with a most appropriate topic entitled: "St. Madeleine Sophie Barat and the progressive influence of her life in the art and music of her time." The three guest speakers were: Dr. Christina Drogalis, Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University; Catherine Zurybid, Professor of Art History at DePaul University; and Sr. Sally Brennan, RSCJ, a member of the Board of Trustees for Sacred Heart Schools Chicago.  

The evening began at 6:30 pm when Sacred Heart alums and friends gathered at the Driehaus Center for gouter and shortly after  7 pm Nat Wilburn, Head of Schools welcomed the attendees and guest speakers.  

The three guest speakers covered the following historical figures below:  Rousseau by Dr. Christina Drogalis; Jacques-Louis David by Catherine Zurybid and Madeleine Sophie Barat by Sr. Sally Brennan, rscj. Kudos to the organizers of the lecture and all three presenters for an enlightening evening.   Below are the notes that were passed out to all the attendees.

Who are these three historical figures?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778): Rousseau is considered the father of Romanticism, an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that is considered one of the most violent changes of direction in intellectual history. He is attributed with being the catalyst to the French Revolution and the revolt against the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, in which science and rationalism would no longer be the authority over the individual.  Romanticism strongly influenced the visual arts, music, literature, education, and natural sciences. Rousseau was born in Protestant Geneva, but lived most of his life in Paris where he was both part of the Encyclopedia staff in Paris, and a revolutionary thinker in intellectual achievement. Some of his most notable intellectual idea and works include "child centered learning", "Julie", "Confessions", "Discourse on Inequality", "On Education", and many others.

Jacques-Louis David (1748 - 1825): David is considered one of the most influential painters of the Neoclassical (Grecian and Romanesque) style and considered the preeminent painter of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Era. He aligned himself with Robespierre and Napoleon and was effectively the empire's authority on the French Arts until Napoleon's fall from power and the Bourbon revival, where he lived the remainder of his life in exile.  He aligned with the Neo-classical movement, and is most noted for his artistic themes of the French Revolution, and imperial and Republican Rome. His most famous works include "The Death of Socrates", "The Death of Marat", "Oath of the Horatii", " The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons", and "The Intervention of the Sabine Women" which was his personal plea to the French people to reunite after the bloodshot of the revolution. 

Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779 - 1865): Sophie is a French saint of the Roman Catholic Church, and founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart.  She was born in Burgundy, into a family who owned vineyards. She was classically educated in Latin, mathematics, literature, and scripture. This kind of education was not available to most children, especially girls. She was mentored by her very bright brother, Louis.  She lived in Paris at the age of 18 at a very anti-religious time for France.  She also has Jesuit mentors, who encouraged her to build schools to educate girls - she implemented that vision of educating girls of every socio-economic class, no matter the financial condition of their families. In 1820, she called a meeting of all Superiors of the Society of the Sacred Heart to discuss the quickly growing network of schools and to establish a uniform course of studies for the schools founded by the Society.  She felt strongly that these studies were to cultivate the mind and the whole child as well as the spirit by developing a deep and profound devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus and to actualize goodness in God's name. 


1712  Rousseau is born into a merchant class family: his mother dies shortly after his birth.

1742  Rousseau moves to Paris - always proud that he is a citizen of Geneva.

1748  David is born into a prosperous family.

1749  Rousseau's Discourse on the Arts and Sciences wins the Prize at the Competition of the Academy of Dijon.  This is the Central Reversal of Enlightenment Paris 

1754  Rousseau is a celebrity all over Europe - he is hated and loved in intellectual circles.

1778  Rousseau dies at the age of 66.

1779  Madeleine Sophie Barat is born into a land-owner family in Burgundy, France.

1789  David is all on his way to leave his artistic mark on the historical beginnings of the French Revolution.  These paintings of the French Revolution appear in the Salons by 1781; David is aged 42 by then.

1793  Marat is assassinated in Paris.  David's painting, "The Death of Marat" is probably one of his most famous of paintings. King and Queen are on their way to the guillotine by October 1793.

1797  Sophie moves to Paris. David has a sitting with Napoleon (his only sitting).

1804  David becomes Napoleon's court painter. Completes the famous painting "The Coronation of Napoleon in Notre Dame". Napoleon's self-coronation outrages many Romanticists in the Art circles of Europe.

1806  Sophie is elected Superior General of the entire Society of the Sacred Heart.  She remains so until her death, 60 years later.

1820  Sophie calls council meeting of all the Society's superiors to establish a uniform course of studies for the Network of schools.  The Society has schools all over Europe by this time.

1824-25  David's last great work - "Mars Being Disarmed by Venus and the Three Graces". In 1825, he sends the paintings while in exile, to Paris salons knowing full well that Romanticism is ascending in the Art Salons of Paris.  It reflects his own consciousness about Love, Faith, Hope, and Charity conquering war and rebuilding France.  In 1825, David dies in a carriage accident at age 77.

1865  Sophie dies in Paris at age 85.

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat Feast Day: A Reflection from Pam Snyder, AMASC President

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat by Tommy Meaney, AM'13


May 25, 2014

Reflection by Pam Snyder, AMASC World President

On Saint Madeleine Sophie’s Feast Day we alumnae and alumni have the happy task to reflect upon Sophie’s life and heritage.  We celebrate her memory. 

Aware of Sophie’s many challenges: poor health, finances, the growing pains of the Society she founded, the politics of the Church, we admire Sophie’s courage to face those challenges during her many years of leadership.  We celebrate her wisdom. 

We, in our day, are challenged by Sophie’s fortitude which was sustained by her faith and prayer.  May we imitate her through our actions and our attitudes, so that we too, her daughters and sons may make known the Glory of God. We celebrate her footsteps. 

We acknowledge the work of God’s hand in Saint Madeleine Sophie and the other foundresesses of the Society.  May we hear the voices of our foremothers and consciously follow their wise guidance as we walk our 21st century paths.  We listen to their echoes. 

In the presence of the angels and saints we proclaim the present day good work of the Society in many areas around the world…areas both hidden and visible.  Let our lives reflect the fruit of that good work. 

We thank God for the many gifts we enjoy as Children of the Sacred Heart especially our education.  We are truly blessed.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Susan Brennan Morrison Receives St. Philippine Duchesne Outstanding Alumna Award at Induction Ceremony

Photos L-R: Helen Bruns Ryan, WA'50 and Susan Brennan Morrison, WA'69;
Class of 2014; Zara Anderson '15; Margaret Andersen, '15; Maura Chamberlin, WAAA Coordinator
with Pat Colbert, '69 and Marni Mans, '90; Susan Brennan Morrison with husband Bob and family

The Woodlands Academy Alumnae Association Induction Ceremony hosted on Friday, May 16, 2014 began with a warm welcome by WAAA President, Marni Soderland Mans, '90  and then fellow WAAA Board members: Pat Colbert, '69, Molly Keating, '95 and Maureen Hogan Lang, '56 distributed AASH Passports to thirty-eight young ladies who now become part of their local alumna association (WAAA), as well as, National (AASH) and International (AMASC) Sacred Heart Alum Associations.

Besides the distribution of passports, the ceremony held in the Sacred Heart Chapel included:  musical ambiance by Shi Yu (Angela) Wong, '17,  a very gifted pianist; the introduction of the 2015 Class Officers; Turning of the Rings, led by Junior Class Vice President, Zara Anderson, '15; blessing of alumnae by Head of School, Gerald Grossman; and the announcement of class representatives.

Junior Class President, Margaret Andersen, '15 gave a very moving reflection followed by a musical tribute preformed by the Woodlands Academy Choral Students and Mrs. Elizabeth Kurowski accompanied the young ladies on the piano. To listen to "Here Within My Heart", click on the video link below and enjoy!

Before concluding remarks were given and we all recessed to Coeur de Jesus the St. Philippine Duchesne Outstanding Alumna Award was presented to Susan Brennan Morrison, '69.  This award has become a highlight of the Induction ceremony and honors alumnae of Woodlands Academy whose lives exemplify, to an extraordinary degree, the values and standards that the school represents.

Susan Brennan Morrison is a Lake Forest resident, and former advertising executive with DDB Needham in Chicago and Darcy MacManus Masius in London.  She currently serves on several boards, including: Women's Board of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, Women's Sports Foundation in New York, where she has served on various committees including a special task force for expanding their grass roots, award-winning GoGirlGo! program. Additionally, Susan is a trustee of The Chicago Foundation for Women and a founding member of Women Moving Millions, a philanthropic initiative of the Women's Funding Network in San Francisco.

Susan spoke of her own mother Eileen Bruck Brennan Hunt a 1949 graduate of Barat College of the Sacred Heart. She stated that her mother's "Barat experience was everything to her especially since her own mother had died when she was only 7 years old" and that her mother had "learned the Sacred Heart values and lived them her entire life".  Entering Barat College in the mid-forties,  young Eileen Bruck found her teachers and the upperclassmen to be her role models, she also felt a sense of love and support from the whole Sacred Heart community. Eileen Bruck's Sacred Heart experience was so transforming that she decided she wanted the same for her daughters and enrolled both Susan and her sister in the Academy at birth.  Susan entered Woodlands Academy in 1966 as a sophomore boarder and "loved knowing that her mother had gone to school across the ravine and that she was carry on a tradition that was close to her mother's heart."  

Susan shared in her own words some observations about life and things she has come to value since her graduation.  Below are what Susan described as her "top ten tips": 
 1.   Stay curious
 2.   Find your passion
 3.   Raise your voices and let them be heard
 4.   Believe in yourself and dream big
 5.   Embrace a sense of wonder
 6.   Cherish music
 7.   Keep your sense of humor
 8.   Give something back each and every day
 9.   Feel empathy
10.  Cultivate Community

In conclusion Susan shared with the senior class what her mother had told her upon graduation, "Everywhere you go in life, across the world, as long as you live, you will find other Sacred Heart girls and you will immediately feel like you know them like long lost sisters."   With that knowledge Susan explained that she now understands why alums keep coming back and said, "The fact is we really never leave. Sure we leave campus.  Sure we get on with our lives and we have great adventures, but we don't leave behind the values that we learned and the sense of community that we share. Someday, as Margaret {Andersen,'15} said, many of you will stand up here for one reason or another and you'll feel in community with the young women seated before you as I feel right now.  So go forth young women of the Sacred Heart and do great things in your lives.  Before you know it you'll find yourselves back here too and you'll feel like you never left. Because in fact you never really did!" 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Cokie Roberts visits Josephinum Academy

Photos clockwise: Cokie Roberts with Michael Dougherty, President of 
Josephinum Academy and Sr. Carol Bredenkamp, SCC (Religion teacher), 
Students gather around her after her talk, Cokie with Sr. Muriel Cameron, RSCJ (Campus
 Ministry) and Sr. Mary Bernstein, RSCJ (Registrar); Sr. Cameron with Celeste Denton
former Board Member; invited guests line up to have Cokie sign copies of her latest
 book, Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies. 

Earlier this month, Cokie Roberts, Sacred Heart alumna, author, political commentator for ABC News and NPR senior news analyst was in Chicago to attend; the 20th Annual Spring Luncheon for the Woman's Board of Rush University Medical Center as their keynote speaker and to take part in a discussion on the The State of the World's Mothers report by Save the Children.

In between these two engagements Cokie graciously spent time at Josephinum Academy talking to students and invited guests about her Sacred Heart education and recently released book, Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies.  Afterwards books were available for purchase and Cokie personally signed copies much to the delight of attendees.  The best part was that all book proceeds benefited the Jo that day!  

To learn more about Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies - click here.  And, if you too are passionate about providing affordable Catholic educational opportunities to deserving young women, please consider supporting Jospehinum Academy

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sacred Heart Alums and Friends of the IHMA view Hildreth Meière's commissions in Washington, D.C.

Clockwise: National Academy of Sciences (book and inside); Hilly Dunn, Michele Finn,
MER, Ginny Coudert, Liz Leckie, and Louise Meiere Dunn; Liz Leckie and Louise Dunn,
Anna Kupik with her grandmother Louise, Anna Kupik with her mother Hilly,
and David Bowers and wife Barbara 

It is hard to believe that over two weeks have passed since I have posted to this blog.  In addition to this post, I have uploaded many photos from my weekend in Washington, D.C. with Sacred Heart Alums and friends of the International Hildreth Meière Association (IHMA) as we toured various spots where Hildreth's commissions can be seen.

On Friday, April 20th (photo above) we gathered at the National Academy of Sciences building to tour Hildreth's first commission, The Main Foyer and Great Hall.

Earlier that afternoon we had an opportunity to view the West Interior Courtyard at the Municipal Center. The exterior frieze in glazed terracotta was commissioned in 1941.

On Saturday, I enjoyed lunch with my college roommate, her two sisters and niece - all Sacred Heart alums!

Saturday afternoon, I went to Georgetown University to learn more about The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière, and to buy the book and get it signed by the authors.  After the audience received a warm welcome by Ismini Lamb, Gregory Nagy and Zoie Lafis we heard from Kathleen Murphy Skolnik as she discussed "Hildreth Meière and the Classical Roots of Art Deco" followed by her co-author, Catherine Coleman Brawer who discussed "Designing Mosaics: Hildreth Meière and the Art of Collaboration".  It was inspiring to hear directly from the authors,  however,  the man of the hour was Antonio (Tony) Schiavo as he discussed "Restoring the Pillars of Herakles".  Tony came out of retirement to oversee the restoration of the panels that he originally worked on with Meière in 1960.

A highlight of the weekend was attending the evening reception at The Center for Hellenic Studies and seeing up close the two side panels that have been lovingly restored to their original beauty.

To view photos taken over the weekend in Washington, DC - click on either this link or the photo on the right side of the blog.
Hildreth Meière, AASH President 1957-1959

Wonderful article printed in the New York Times - If These Walls Could Speak, They'd Say Her Name