Duchesne Students Living out Saint Madeleine Sophie’s Mission
At 7 a.m. on November 6th, Julia Harfenist, Margot Graham, and Ms. Sarah Junek boarded a plane to St. Louis Missouri to represent Duchesne Academy at the Network of the Sacred Heart Living Our Mission Program. Julia Harfenist (11th) is the representative of Duchesne Academy of Houston on the Network Student Advisory Committee (NSAC) of the Sacred Heart and Margot Graham (10th) was chosen by Duchesne to attend the Program as well. At the program, 40 students, 16 Network educators, and many Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (RSCJ) met to engage in in-person intergeneration conversations about the history of the society for the sacred heart. This was an opportunity for Sacred Heart students to network with other people in the Sacred Network.
Margot and Julia stayed in suites at the Pallottine Renewal Center with students from other Sacred Heart Schools from across the United States. From talking with other students, they found similarities between their schools but also some differences. For example, differences in schedules and the sacred heart song “Coeur de Jésus” is sung.
“I always know that my school belongs to a network with other schools. But actually, meeting in person other Sacred Heart Students was an eye-opening experience. I’m really grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of the Sacred Heart Community and make new friends that I might have not met before," said Julia.
Margot said, “I loved the program so much and I learned so much as well. I will admit at first, I was a little bit anxious because I had never done something like this and I had no idea what to expect. But throughout the program and through the RSCJ’s, educators, and NSAC member leaders I learned so much. I especially enjoyed learning about the RSCJ’s vocations and ministry stories. I also enjoyed the deep dive into St. Madeline Sophie Barat’s life and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne’s life presented by Sr. Suzanne Cooke. All and all I am so grateful I got to experience this program and take away and apply what I learned.”
Margot and Julia had conversations with many RSCJs and discussed their critical roles to carry out St. Madeleine Sophie’s vision to discover and make known God’s love. St. Madeleine Sophie had a vision of education and a revolution of spirit and confidence. She sent Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne from France over to begin multiple schools in the United States.
They also went to Villa Duchesne, a Sacred Heart school in St. Louis. The students and educators took part in a welcome prayer service organized and executed by the Villa Duchesne student representatives and educators. After the prayer service, everyone was seperated into groups for a tour of the school. After the groups were finished touring the school, a group photo was taken before loading back onto the bus for departure back to the Pallottine Renewal Center for dinner and more activities.
On their last day, they went to the All-Saints Academy of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne for a tour of the school and the final ceremony. Julia, Margo, and Ms. Junek got to see Saint Rose Philippine’s room and many artifacts of hers like St. Rose Philippine Duchesne’s sewing box, and pieces of her coffin. Once the tour of the Academy ended, the Sending Forth Service final ceremony occurred. Students shared words of gratitude to the RSCJs who attended the program, imparted their wisdom, and shared their personal stories with the participants.
The reflection song sung was called Para Amar Como Tu, which was then followed by each school being recognized. Each educator and student received a Sacred Heart Inheritance green heart pin at the end of the ceremony. The service ended with the sending song, Coeur de Jésus. Hugs and contact information were exchanged before schools left for the airports.
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