From the Heart, Community Voices

Community Voices

From the Heart


October 20, 2022

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Mater’s Feast is special to generations of our Sacred Heart family. Each year, alums and parents of alums return to celebrate this feast day with the Academy community. Today we thank Mrs. Horner for preparing a beautiful gathering in the Shrine of St. Philippine Duchesne and share her reflections:

I have to tell you October 20 is one of my favorite days. Now, many who know me may think that this is because today is my birthday. Who doesn’t love their birthday, right? But my love of this day goes beyond just my birthday. 

Once I became a student at the Academy, my birthday became even more special because of the Feast of Mater Admirabilis. From the very beginning, I felt a special connection with Mater. As a student here, I loved finding that perfect pink bow to wear in my hair; I looked forward to the special goûter with pink icing; and one year in the retelling of the story, I even played the part of the Pope and exclaimed “Mater Admirabilis” as the curtain was opened. But my relationship with Mater has grown much deeper. 

She has become my special friend, my heavenly mother, always wanting what is best for me and continually bringing me into a deeper relationship with her son. Throughout my years here as student and teacher, there have been many occasions that I have placed a note in her lap, asking for or thanking her for her intercession. I spent quite a few years teaching in the main hallway under Mater’s loving gaze. Daily, she reminded me to tune out all of the distractions of life and turn my attention inward to the essential, to Jesus.

To this day, she continues to welcome me each morning and send me off each evening. So, when I had the opportunity to travel to Rome for Philippine’s canonization in 1988, I knew a trip to the Trinita, where the original fresco is located, was a must. You can imagine my excitement as I climbed the Spanish steps and waited in the courtyard to be escorted to the chapel where the fresco is located. I got goosebumps as I entered the chapel and actually laid eyes on the breathtaking painting. Words and pictures cannot adequately describe it or show its beauty. I can’t believe how fortunate I am that I was able to kneel in prayer in front of this miraculous painting. That visit to Rome was many years ago, but I am still moved by the experience.  

We honor Mater today, here in St. Charles and in every Sacred Heart School around the globe, as children all over the world celebrate her feast. We pass Mater often, always on our way somewhere else. Let her be your destination. Go to Mater, our heavenly mother. Learn from her prayerful, peaceful, inward gaze, and let her lead you into a deeper relationship with her son. Happy Feast Day!