In 2018 the Newton Country Day School community joined Sacred Heart Schools across the country to celebrate 200 years of Sacred Heart education in America.
- Year of Prayer
- Spring 2018: Flat Philippine - Around Town, Around the World
- November 14, 2017: Upper School Chapel for Philippine
- April 29, 2018: NewtonSERVES: A Day of Service to Honor Philippine
- October 27, 2018: 200th Celebration Gala
- November 18, 4 p.m.: Bicentennial Mass
Dear members of the Sacred Heart Family,
As you may have been alerted by RSCJ friends, the Bicentennial Year of Prayer has begun. This Year of Prayer celebrates the missionary journey of Philippine Duchesne and her four companions from France to the New World, thus beginning the internationality of the Society of the Sacred Heart, now in 41 countries.
Sister Barbara Dawson, our Superior General, and her Council have invited the whole family of the Sacred Heart to enter the Year of Prayer, to be and to act as one Body, and to create space and silence to listen to the heartbeat of God. What a wonderful way to celebrate Philippine Duchesne, known affectionately as “the woman who prays always.”
Every Monday from November 20, 2017, to November 19, 2018, the worldwide family of the Sacred Heart will be united together in prayer and reflection. Thanks to regional editors, Françoise Greffe, RSCJ (France), Kim King, RSCJ (Canada), Elizabeth Nakayiza, RSCJ (Uganda), and Park Jeong Mi, RSCJ (Korea), the collection of reflections represents nearly all the countries where we are located. The subjects of these reflections are as varied as the background of the writers: friendship, suffering, loss, courage, boundaries, perseverance, hope. The styles include prose, poetry and prayer, and each reflection is accompanied by an image.
Philippine kept a journal, a spiritual practice that helped her become ever more attentive to the inner stirrings of her heart. A journal will be provided on here and here for those who wish to download the PDF or to complete online. The use of social media is also encouraged throughout the world so that insights might be shared among us across our geographic frontiers.
You are welcome to encourage others to join us in prayer. I also urge you to explore the bicentennial website for news of coming events and for numerous resources: a short Philippine biography, images, music, lesson plans, pilgrimage options, etc., to enrich your celebration of the Bicentennial Year.
Thank you for helping to make the Year of Prayer a time of grace for all of us.
Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
Pioneer missionary of the Society of the Sacred Heart, she came to St. Charles, Missouri, from France and founded the first free school west of the Mississippi in September 1818. Because of her missionary spirit, the Society of the Sacred Heart spread around the world.
If Saint Philippine were to arrive here today, where would her heart be drawn? What needs of our world would capture her compassion? Where would she want you to serve with her?
Introduce #FlatPhilippine at school, work, or family or community activities. Take selfies with her and share them on social media using #FlatPhilippine.
Find out more about Saint Philippine here.
Artwork by Mary Marley, art teacher at Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart.
Below is an excerpt from a Reflection given by Emma Montgomery '18
We might draw inspiration from Saint Philippine on this bicentennial celebration of her devotion to the Sacred Heart. Outside the chapel are cards with the prayer of Saint Philippine which reads: “I am where God wills me to be, and so I have found rest and security. God’s Wisdom governs me, God’s power defends me, God’s grace sanctifies me, God’s joy sustains me, and All will go well with me.” Instead of letting her worries be her limitations, Philippine lived with courage by pursuing her passion.
Her journey across the Atlantic illuminates her virtues of courage and resilience. During her seventy day voyage, I imagine she endured moments of doubt. “Will I get there safely? How will I be received by those whom I encounter? Will I be met with love and acceptance, or instead be shunned and isolated?” 200 years later, I think we confront similar worries to Philippine. Maybe for us as seniors, you are constantly preoccupied about the way your future will unfold, anxious about the unknown, like Philippine. Or maybe you are uncertain of who your trusted friends are or will be, another painful question Philippine endured. A consistent worry for me is thinking about my future job and vocation. What will it be, and will I find meaning and a sense of fulfillment? But I find myself encouraged by Philippine’s example; for she, too, had to discover her purpose in life. I imagine it was her unwavering confidence and faith that helped her overcome moments of doubt. As you look around the chapel, it isn’t difficult to recognize the good that has come from Philippine’s courage, fueled by her trust in Jesus and the hope of spreading the mission of Sacred Heart Schools across the Atlantic.
On Saturday, April 29, students, families, alumnae, and faculty, participated in a morning of service. In honor of the 200 year anniversary of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne's arrival in the United States, NCDS community members volunteered at the Carroll Center for the Blind as part of the City of Newton’s NewtonSERVES event. Our volunteers served as guides and provided encouragement for walkers for the Carroll Center’s annual Walk for Independence. View photos.