Alumnae use Trés Bíen cards

Emma Fahy (’09) and Hallie Young (’09) visit Instituto Sacro Cuore della Trinita dei Monti in Rome, the home of the original fresco of Mater Admerablis. EMMA FAHY | with permission

Emma Fahy (’09) and Hallie Young (’09) visit Instituto Sacro Cuore della Trinita dei Monti in Rome, the home of the original fresco of Mater Admerablis. EMMA FAHY | with permission

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Rebecca Siegel
Design Editor

Emma Fahy (’09) and Hallie Young (’09) visit Instituto Sacro Cuore della Trinita dei Monti in Rome, the home of the original fresco of Mater Admerablis. EMMA FAHY | with permission

Emma Fahy (’09) and Hallie Young (’09) visit Instituto Sacro Cuore della Trinita dei Monti in Rome, the home of the original fresco of Mater Admerablis. EMMA FAHY | with permission

The fresco of Mater Admerablis that is significant to the Sacred Heart community is housed in a private school at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome. The building is closed off with a sign that reads, “Private all girls school. No tourists,” but its doors are always open to a Convent alumna who carries her Sacred Heart International Passport. Broadway alumna Hallie Young (’09) used her International Passport four times in the eight months she spent studying abroad in Italy. The card is usually given to every Sacred Heart Graduate internationally, and acts as a “passport” into any Sacred Heart affiliated institution around the world. Young used hers to visit the original painting of Mater in Rome.

“At first, someone tried to tell me to leave, but as soon as they saw my Trés Bíen card, they opened the doors and asked if I wanted to see Mater,” Young said. “It happened the same way every time.”

The passport, a small piece of cardstock with the Sacred Heart logo emblazoned on the back in deep red can serve as a means of introduction and even help in the 44 countries where Religious of the Sacred Heart presently serves. Young used hers the most to visit the original painting of Mater. The fresco was produced by the young nun Pauline Perdrau in 1844, and today a painting of statue of Mater hangs in every Sacred Heart institution.

The Trés Bíen card can even assist alumnae is gaining access to institutions no longer affiliated with the Society of the Sacred Heart.

“The school in Rome is now run by a different religious organization and the building has always been owned by the French Government,” Sister Wachter, RSCJ, said. “But they know us. They know how close Mater is to us, so they always let our girls in.”

Many different Sacred Heart students from all over the world have used their Trés Bíen cards and recorded their visits to see Mater. Young advises other Sacred Heart alumnae to always keep their Trés Bíen card with them, because the chance to use it may come as a surprise.

“My favorite story about my Trés Bíen Card was when I was having a lecture at the Spanish Steps,” Young narrates. “My professor pointed to the school and said, ‘There’s some incredible art in there, but no one is allowed to see it because it is a private school!’ Later in the in the day I told him I went to CSH and I could get in whenever I wanted, he was impressed and super jealous.”

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