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Remembering Cokie Roberts

  • Cokie Roberts at the Missouri History Museum with Provincial Sheila Hammond (left), RSCJ; Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ; and Dr. Frances Levine, President and CEO of the Missouri Historical Society (right)
  • Cokie Roberts with students at Stuart Country Day School
  • Cokie Roberts with Nat Wilburn, Head of Schools, Sacred Heart-Sheridan Rd.
  • Cokie Roberts at Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, Missouri, in July 2018, before her presentation about St. Rose Philippine Duchesne in collaboration at the Missouri History Museum
  • Cokie Roberts visiting at Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • Cokie Roberts at Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • Cokie Roberts speaking at one of her alma maters Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Cokie Roberts giving the commencement address at her alma mater Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Maryland

The Religious of the Sacred Heart join all who are mourning the loss of Cokie Roberts, legendary journalist, political commentator and Sacred Heart alumna. As we listen to Cokie’s well-deserved accolades, our hearts are filled with a profound mixture of sadness and gratitude.

We have lost a wonderful friend and a faithful partner in mission. In all that she did, Cokie was that eloquent lesson to the world whom Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat described when she wrote to the Children of the Sacred Heart, “Through your very lives, you will extend into the world our mission.”

Indeed, Cokie was consistently an articulate champion of the Society’s mission to reveal God’s love in her words and deeds. Thus, our hearts are filled with a deep sense of thanksgiving to and for Cokie.

Our Provinical Sheila Hammond, RSCJ, remembers Cokie Roberts as a woman of strong faith. “She inspired with her words, her laughter and her great love of all that had made her who she was: her family, her Church, her Sacred Heart education. We thank God for this woman who helped us cherish our historical roots and encouraged us to face the future with confidence.”

“Cokie attributed her life-long mission to be the voice of women – whether in the halls of Congress, in journalism or speaking up in defense of the poor or disenfranchised – was because of her Sacred Heart education,” Joan Magnetti, RSCJ, said. “As a devoted Roman Catholic, she saw loyalty to the church meant not only treasuring her faith but challenging us all to be truly women and men of faith, questioning and prodding us on to find the Holy Spirit alive today.”

“As we began planning events during the Bicentennial, Cokie’s was the first phone call we made,” said Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ. “Without hesitation, she accepted to speak at the Frontiers Conference in St. Louis and decided on the spot to bring her granddaughter ‘to meet a great saint (Philippine) where she lived.’ Cokie was completely approachable, and she disarmed friends and skeptics alike with her quick sense of humor and infectious laugh.”

Cokie was endowed with a brilliant fusion of grit and grace. “We are grateful that she appreciated her Sacred Heart education at Academy of the Sacred Heart ‘the Rosary’ in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Maryland,” shared Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ, head of the Conference of Sacred Heart Education. “She used it as a foundation upon which to build a life marked by intelligent, competent professionalism, and generous, active compassion.”

As Sister Magnetti said, “We consider her one of our own!”

While we shall miss our dear friend Cokie, we will continue to be inspired and encouraged by her and all that she has shown us. We thank God for showering Cokie with so many gifts of mind and heart and for her generous use of these gifts for so many, including within the Sacred Heart family she so cherished. May she rest in the peace of Christ.

Watch Cokie Roberts July 2018 presentation at the Missouri History Museum here.

Read a First Friday reflection written by Cokie Roberts here.

Articles about the life of Cokie Roberts:

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

National Public Radio (NPR)

ABC News

National Catholic Reporter

National Catholic Reporter article from 2005