Fifth Class teacher Megan McGraugh Horner ’78 shared the following remarks at the conclusion of Mater’s Feast Day Liturgy on October 20, 2017.

“I have to tell you that October 20th is one of my favorite days. Now many who know me, may think that that 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 gouter 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. 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 with Mrs. Glenn and Mrs. Metcalf, I knew a trip to the Trinita, where the original fresco is located, was a must. You will see in the video that we are about to watch the Spanish steps outside of the Trinita and the Courtyard in the Trinita. I bet you can imagine my excitement as we climbed the Spanish steps and waited in the Courtyard to be escorted to the chapel where the fresco is located. I got goosebumps as we entered the chapel and actually laid eyes on the stunning 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 still am awed by the experience. Even though I consider Mater my special birthday buddy, I know she is the special friend of each and every one of you. We honor her today here in St. Charles and in every Sacred Heart School around the globe as children all over the world celebrate her feast today. As you hurry through the halls, please don’t forget to stop and make friends with my special birthday buddy. Happy Feast Day!”