One could not describe the Mission Immersion Program that took place this summer as anything other than life changing. Nine Sacred Heart educators from eight Network of Sacred Heart Schools travelled to Uganda to enhance partnerships built on solidarity and mutuality between the United States Sacred Heart family and the Sacred Heart Uganda family through the RSCJ Uganda/Kenya educational mission.
If it was heritage that drew Carlota Duarte, RSCJ, to southern Mexico, it was the prospect of empowering people through art that convinced her to stay. For the last twenty years, Sister Duarte has overseen the Chiapas Photography Project, which has trained more than two hundred indigenous photographers – Mayan Indians – in creative skills that are enabling them to tell their own story, building dignity and cultural pride in Mexico’s poorest state.
My memory of the sensory world of Rio is powerful. Lush mountain greenery, noisy birds and clean air brought us our earth connection. Our stay was graciously arranged by Marina di Polto, provincial of the Brazil Province, and hosted by our Brazilian rscj at Alto do Boa Vista convent situated atop a magnificent mountain.
We went to Rio hoping that contact with earth-conscious people would transform us. Actually it was insertion on the mountain that remains in my heart memory as a gift of consciousness transformation.
Maura Keleher, RSCJ, celebrated her 50th Jubilee with the Society of the Sacred Heart in 2012. At the time, she was serving as the school archivist at Convent of the Sacred Heart (Ninety-First Street). She recently retired from that position, so we thought now would be a good time to look back at her interview.
Nancy Koke, RSCJ, has served in the Uganda/Kenya province of the Society of the Sacred Heart for three and a half years. While on a home visit this spring, the ministry in which she serves was never far from her thoughts. She created the presentations below to try to convey the beauty and the poverty of the people she serves in Chekalini, Kenya.
Betsy Hartson, RSCJ Class of 1955 is a living model of many of the values upon which the Religious of the Sacred Heart were founded. Hartson has been involved in educating for over 25 years in Sacred Heart schools, but she has applied the educational mission to her efforts outside of the Society’s schools as well. Currently, and for the past 12 years, Hartson has been the Program Director of an adult education program called Living Wages.
It would be tempting to draw a contrast between a religious of the Sacred Heart and the “heartless” world of corporate America. Yet many mid-career executives are drawn to the classes taught by Terri Monroe, RSCJ at the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Sister Monroe does not experience this as a conflict or problem. In fact she would likely say the perceived contrast stems from a “mental model” out of sync with today’s social reality.
For a quarter of a century, Mary Pat Rives, RSCJ, and her friend Mary West have taken a group of students on a mission trip to a group of villages just outside San Miguel de Allende in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, where they spend a week in service and reflection. Each year, the group of high school students works on such service projects as planting trees and gardens and building dams while engaging in cultural exchange with the native Mexicans. They also bring along solar ovens – a particular godsend for people where energy resources are scarce.