Carol Bialock, RSCJ, is not a traditional nun. She is a poet, an activist and a student of Sufism, and she has spent her life deeply devoted to those in need. And now she is a published author as well, seeing her vivid book of poems, Coral Castles, released by Fernwood Press on her 90th birthday.
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…
How grateful we are to each of our donors! You continue to share in our life and mission, and you make it possible for us to continue to “discover and reveal God’s love in the heart of the world.” During this bicentennial year, we have been thanking God and rejoicing because Sophie sent Philippine to this part of the world to fulfill the dream of spreading God’s love among people who would not otherwise know that love. Your generosity enables us to continue with that legacy.
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.
Saint Philippine Duchesne and four religious companions of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus came from France to Louisiana in 1818 with the express desire of working among Native Americans to bring them knowledge of the love of Jesus Christ for them.
Karen Olson, RSCJ, has written a life of Philippine for middle school children. Entitled Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne: a Dream Come True, the book is liberally illustrated with photos taken by Karen 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 Karen about Philippine’s life and personality and about canonization.
Written by a diverse group of younger women religious from North America, In Our Own Words offers a collection of essays on issues central to apostolic religious life today. The thirteen authors represent different congregations, charisms, ministries, and histories. The topics and concerns that shape these chapters emerged naturally through a collaborative process of prayer and conversation. Essays focus on the vows and community life, individual identity and congregational charisms, and leadership among younger members leading into the future.
“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.