From the Heart, Community Voices

Community Voices

From the Heart

December 14, 2023

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This week, we share a brief Advent reflection from Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ, Provincial of the Society of the Sacred Heart, United States-Canada Province. As we move into these last days before Christmas, we wish you time to stop, breathe and pray.

Advent reminds us that the self-discipline of stopping, breathing and praying is a simple practice, but there is no better preparation for Christmas. During Advent we listen to prophets who are beckoning us to trust in the fidelity of God’s promise. We hear stories of Christ demonstrating the depth of the Father’s love. The words of the Scripture consistently challenge us to see the light of Christ being revealed through acts of justice, acts that build peace, acts that inspire hope. Advent comes alive for me when I spend time with children. Just look into the face of any child during these weeks of waiting for Christmas and what do you see? A sense of wonder, a sense of expectancy, a sense of excitement, and a sense of confident joy.

— Sacred Heart Advent Calendar —

An Important Sacred Heart Week

December 12: On this date in 1779, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat was born in Joigny, France. Her desire to educate young women was sparked during the French Revolution and she went on to found the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1800 to make known the love of God. We celebrate her vision that lives on in the 25 Network of Sacred Heart Schools in the U.S. and Canada and 150+ worldwide with more than 50,000 alumnae and alumni.

“The spirit is always speaking to us deep within our hearts, if we only listen.”
— St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

December 13: On this date in 1804, Madeleine Sophie and Philippine Duchesne met for the first time in France. This connection is the spark that brought Sacred Heart education to this country when Madeleine Sophie sent Philippine to start a school in 1818. From this school, other schools in North America began, then spread further. It’s a perfect time to celebrate the gift of life-long Sacred Heart relationships!

This 1804 meeting at the Visitation Convent in Grenoble, France is depicted in the icon created by Anne Davidson, RSCJ, which is displayed at the entrance of the 1835 building, near the Primary wing.