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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Day of Reflection hosted at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

Day of Reflection hosted at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart
Spirituality and the Resilient Woman

The Woodlands Academy Alumnae Board (WAAA) hosted a Day of Reflection for all Sacred Heart alums and friends on Saturday, March 8, 2014. Upon arrival all attendees were warmly greeted by: WAAA President, Marni Soderland Mans,'90; WAAA Immediate Past President, Maureen Hogan Lang, '56 and WAAA Board member, Helen Bruns Ryan,'50.  A packet filled with our schedule for the day and supplemental materials along with two books "Excerpts from the Letters and Writings of Janet Erskine Stuart R.S.C.J." and "Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ A COLLECTION", as well as, a beautiful prayer card with the image of a statue of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat were prepared and ready to be collected at 9:30 a.m.   

After coffee and sweet rolls we began our day with Associate Director of Advancement, Alumnae Relations, Maua Chamberlin introducing our facilitator Dr. Nancy Kehoe, R.S.C.J. who aptly wove the theme Spirituality and the Resilient Woman into three topics
Women of Prayer: Old Testament and New Testament Models
Women of Prayer: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, St. Philippine Duchesne, Janet Erskine Stuart
Women of Prayer Today:  Developing Our Own Lives in Prayer

After Sr. Kehoe was introduced she told us of her background and deep roots in Chicago. She currently resides in Boston, serving as the Director of Expanding Connections and is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School.  Sister is an alumna of both the Academy of the Sacred Heart Chicago and Duchesne College in Omaha, and Jeannette Kimball, R.S.C.J. (1914-1994) was her Aunt! Sr. Kehoe currently serves as a Trustee of Woodlands Academy, which brings her back to the campus on a regular basis. But most notably, Sr. Kehoe has authored the book, Wrestling With Our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness and the Journey to Wholeness. 

Everyone introduced themselves and briefly expressed what they hoped to gain from attending the Day of Reflection.  After discussing the first topic we broke for a delicious buffet lunch in the Faculty Dinning Room. In the afternoon our intimate group of twenty-four Sacred Heart alums and friends returned to the Haggerty Center to continue to nourish our minds and souls as Sr. Kehoe discussed the next two topics.  We concluded our day with group sharing and the Sacrament of Reconciliation was available before we ended our day with a closing liturgy in the Woodlands Chapel celebrated by Fr. John Trout the Pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, IL.

Below one of the many prayers enclosed in our packet.   


I could not move against this wind if I did not
And all that is said of me that is untrue 
would make lame my gait if I
could not free myself from 
the weight of other's 

I could not move against all His light
if I did not 

See how things become: what a change
can happen, when we find a way
to keep Him

Rabia (8th c. woman from Sufi tradition)

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