Education is at the heart of everything we do as Religious of the Sacred Heart. Untold numbers of people have come to know and experience God’s love through their Sacred Heart education or through relationships with Religious of the Sacred Heart. This issue explores a variety of stories about Sacred Heart schools ministries, RSCJ ministries and the breadth of Sacred Heart education today.
In 1818, Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne, of the newly-founded Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, left France to participate in the missionary expansion of the Catholic Church in the New World, at the request of Bishop Louis William Dubourg, named bishop of “Louisiana.” This vast area, acquired by the United States from France in 1803, extended over a territory of 530,000,000 acres (828,000 square miles), from New Orleans to Canada, including all the lands drained by the vast river system of the Mississippi and the Missouri, the future Midwest of the United States.
During our bicentennial celebrations in 2017 and 2018, our goal was to make Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne better known and to highlight the Society’s internationality.
In this issue of Heart magazine, you will read about our bicentennial events in 2018. Global Service Day and the Frontiers Conference offered international context, and the closing Mass provided joy and glorious music. We also spoke the names of those enslaved by the Society in the 1800s and walked with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation as they remembered a heartbreaking time in their history.
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne – What have we learned from her…
Even though Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat never used the words social justice or justice, peace and the integrity of creation (JPIC), the spirituality and values that she held are the same – the importance of human dignity, right relationships, preventing inequality and respecting God’s creation.
This issue of Heart explores some of the ways our Stuart Center and many individual Religious of the Sacred Heart demonstrate their commitment to JPIC by engaging with issues related to youth, immigration and ecology in their daily lives.
Grave on the Prairie, by Maureen J. Chicoine, RSCJ, is the story of the mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart to the Potawatomi in Kansas. Inaugurated by Philippine Duchesne in 1841, the mission lasted until 1879 when the religious of the Sacred Heart withdrew from Saint Marys, Kansas. The title refers to the grave of the seven RSCJ who died in Kansas.
Karen Olson, RSCJ, has written a life of Philippine for middle school children.The book is liberally illustrated with photos taken by Sister Olson during her travels to places where Philippine lived. The narrative is based on the standard biographies by Louise Callan and Catherine Mooney. It answers actual questions some middle school students posed to Sister Olson about Philippine’s life and personality and about canonization.
Edited by Juliet Mousseau, RSCJ, and Sarah Kohles
“Times Change,” written by Susan Putman Maxwell, RSCJ, is an apt description of the developments in schools of the Society of the Sacred Heart and other Catholic schools throughout the world in the era since the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church. In this book, the author, who has played a significant role in these developments, offers her memoir of the turbulence and the triumphs of this piece of educational history. She traces the development of the vision statement of Sacred Heart education against the background of the educational philosophy of the Society.
Two hundred years ago, Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne and four companions set sail for the New World. These were the first Religious of the Sacred Heart missionary sisters. These courageous women led the way for multitudes of RSCJ to take Sacred Heart education around the world!
In 2017 and 2018, we are celebrating! The pages of this issue of Heart magazine are special because they are filled with our bicentennial activities from 2017. Read about the Spirituality Forum, pilgrimages, the Year of Prayer, a celebration in New Orleans, upcoming events and more!