Yesterday, the Class of 2015 was inducted into the Association of Alumna and Alumni of Sacred Heart (AASH) in a formal ceremony at the Rosary. These are my opening comments and reflections on this beautiful event.
Welcome to the Senior Class of 2014-2015, parents, alumna of the Sacred Heart, Religious of the Sacred Heart from the New Orleans area, and to friends of our students and school!
Together today, we celebrate a special event in the life of a Sacred Heart student; that is, their formal induction into the Alumnae Association of the Sacred Heart. This association is more than just a name, a legal entity or a formality.
The Association of Alumna and Alumni of Sacred Heart (AASH) is truly that—a network of relationships and friendships–a sisterhood, and a brotherhood of well over 200,000 women and men that are all united by an experience of education that they have received at Sacred Heart schools across the world.
Our foundress, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat had a vision that our students would change the world, and she saw that it was through their relationships with one another and with others that this transformation would occur in the world. The international and national alumnae associations are important ways that we empower you as graduates on your journey in life—empower you through a network of women of Sacred Heart from 150 schools across the globe to connect with, to form tight bonds with, and to join together with in changing the world in the areas of your passion and giftedness.
Just think of the potential of this for a moment: As you prepare to graduate from this school, you and other Sacred Heart Seniors just like you are being inducted into the AASH across the globe this year—all of you united around values which you have learned here and in a passion for excellence in all they do! With you, they will receive their International Passport, which gives you entry into a very unique society—and one that is full of friends with whom you share an educational story, educational traditions, a special language, and core values.
I wish that you could know how important or special this will be for you now as you are inducted this evening; but, perhaps, this is something one can only learn in retrospect, or during the years ahead.
I received a beautiful letter from a parent and an alum just two days ago, who shared this in the following way, “Today, I feel even more connected to the ASH community than I did standing around the fountain on graduation day.” As an alumna of the Rosary as well, I can say that in every city that I have lived in on my journey of life, I have met and worked with powerful, effective, dynamic, loving women of the Sacred Heart and my friendships with all of them have been profound. This lies in wait for all of you!
As a Sacred Heart community, we congratulate you for arriving at this threshold moment of induction into our Association as women of the Sacred Heart this evening.
This induction takes place at a special liturgy because we are first joined not through an association but in the heart of Christ, central to our mission and our charism. I invite each of you, especially our seniors, to focus your attention on the Silver Ciborium in front of this lectern. This ciborium was a gift to the Rosary given to us 100 years ago by the graduating class of 1915. I bring this to your attention this evening, not so much to focus on it as a silver ciborium, but because this class of 1915, a class of only 7 young women understood in their hearts how precious and how central Christ was in their lives, and how important the Eucharistic liturgy was in forming communion. Even before there was a formal articulation of Goal IV, these young women understood what it means to “build community as a Christian value.” Tonight, as we use this ciborium at the Eucharist, we can remember the centrality of Christ’s life and reflect on Gods call to give of ourselves to others in a life of service, wherever this finds us on our life’s journey.
As a newly inducted member of the Rosary Chapter of the Alumnae Association, a group of over —3297 living members, and, as the class of 2015, when you leave Mass this evening, you too will carry with you in a new way the responsibility of living out through your faith Goal IV – the building of community as a Christian value and of continuing the mission of the Society of the Scared Heart throughout the world. How blessed we are to welcome you in to this new role as Alumnae of the Sacred Heart!