Society of the Sacred Heart, which dates back nearly as far as the founding of America as a nation, is looking to 2018 to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of its internationality.
Philippine Duchesne continued the efforts of Madeleine Sophie Barat by founding the first Sacred Heart school outside of France in St. Charles, Missouri in 1818.
“The 200th Anniversary is a great opportunity to look at what Philippine started by crossing new frontiers and bringing Sacred Heart education to a new era,” Sergio Vasquez, Duchesne House Assistant Administrator, said. “Philippine serves as a model for us to prepare ourselves interiorly by asking the questions: Who am I? How am I at my best? How can I then respond to new frontiers that are emerging?”
The Society of the Sacred Heart and Sacred Heart schools have organized multiple events to celebrate and honor Duchesne, including a year of prayer as well as a Global Service day in which all Sacred Heart schools will participate.
“We are hoping to adopt the Mass of Philippine, as well, so that anytime we as a Sacred Heart school are having a full Mass, we could use what has been written specifically for Sacred Heart schools,” Kristin Monfredini, Convent & Stuart Hall Elementary Spiritual L.I.F.E. Director said.
Convent & Stuart Hall, and possibly sister-school Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton, will come together to celebrate the 200th anniversary for the Feast Day of Philippine Duchesne next year, according to Monfredini.
Duchesne and Barat encompass the Sacred Heart mission in its entirety, according to junior Caroline Phillipps, who also attended Covent Elementary.
“Barat and Duchesne were pioneers in the education of young girls, which is an amazing thing to have in your history as a school,” Phillipps said. “Because of Duchesne and the Society of the Sacred Heart, there are educated, confident girls who are ready to change the world for the better.”
Duchesne’s work serves as the foundation of current Sacred Heart schools across the country. Although her work is more than 200 years old, she still remains relevant, according to Vasquez.
“Relationships are the heart of who we are,” Vasquez said. “Relationships cross differences. Philippine herself crossed the difference of culture and geography, and really crossed the differences of world views, from Europe to the new world. Being in relationships and staying open to respecting differences in others will always remain true to the Society of Sacred Heart.”