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Meet the 2018 Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat Award Recipient: Sister Jane McKinlay, RSCJ

  • Sister McKinlay receives the St. Madeline Sophie Barat Award from Beth Talbot Dienes '79, Rosary Sacred Heart Alumnae Association President
  • Sister McKinlay and her guests at the Legacy Brunch
  • Sister McKinlay with other Alumnae Award winners

The Academy of the Sacred Heart and the Rosary Sacred Heart Alumnae Association are pleased to announce Sister Jane McKinlay, RSCJ, as recipient of the 2018 Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat Award. This award is given to a Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) who has contributed greatly to the needs of the students and the Rosary community.

Sister McKinlay entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at age 19. For 30 years, she was in teaching, counseling, and administration at Sacred Heart Network schools on the West Coast (San Francisco, Atherton, and Seattle). For a decade, she coordinated the Ministry with Separated and Divorced Catholics for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Following that, she received training as a spiritual director in a nine-month intensive internship at Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA.

Sister McKinlay has been in New Orleans for 25 years, initially playing a part in Rosary faculty retreats and teaching centering prayer to the eighth graders. Currently at Sophie Barat House, she facilitates spiritual growth groups—one just for mothers of Rosary students and others in which Rosary alums are a lively presence.

In addition to Sister McKinlay's dedication as a spiritual leader, she is very involved with the ATD (All Together in Dignity) Fourth World Movement, which works to overcome the injustices of poverty and social exclusion by bringing people from all walks of life together.

What does Sacred Heart mean to you?
Sacred Heart means to me young women, leaving us with "some self-knowledge, some energy, some purpose." (Janet Erskine Stuart) A panel of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar carries the Rosary statement, "Our girls change the world." Rosary alumna Madison Ashley '12 comes to my mind. She is working in solidarity with low income tenants in Oakland, CA, to prevent community displacement and protect tenants' rights.

How has your time as part of the Sacred Heart community impacted you?
My time as part of the Sacred Heart community has impacted me in that, when I am at Rosary masses in the company of close to 800 current Children of the Sacred Heart, I picture them as graduates, drawing on their own gifts and interests to make creative changes, healing and bringing greater justice to our troubled world.

What is your favorite memory at Sacred Heart?
My favorite memory of Sacred Heart is the tangible earnestness (to grow in relationship with God) of the Rosary moms at Temenos (sacred space group), now in our eleventh year.

What does it mean to you to be the recipient of the Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat Award?
At Sophie Barat House, I facilitate spiritual growth groups. In May, with all the groups, I concluded a year where the spirit of St. Madeleine Sophie ("deep caverns counter whirlwinds") worked its charm on us. For me, receiving her award suggests that Sophie liked what happened and blesses all of us who spent the year listening to her life and her soul.

Article and photos courtesy of Academy of the Sacred Heart, New Orleans, Louisiana