This week, we celebrate Catholic School Week throughout the country. As educators in a Catholic school, this time provides a perfect opportunity to examine our own commitment to the mission of Catholic education as uniquely expressed through the charism of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
St. Madeleine Sophie was blessed with a vision of education as a powerful, transformative and essential force for good in society. Touched by Jesus’ open heart, she saw that education was a pathway for conversion, liberation and reformation.
Educators in schools of the Sacred Heart share a deep-rooted conviction in the religious and educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart, and we are united in that mission across the globe. Such a gift cannot be taken for granted, nor can it be taken lightly. As Scripture says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48).
Each person in a Sacred Heart school takes up a role of stewardship each day, and each one enacts the mission in a unique way. As a “ministry,” our work is both a gift and a responsibility. Our intention to continue in this great work of education at Sacred Heart should be a free, honest and deep commitment to live out the Goals and Criteria each day at our very best–not in mediocrity, but at our very best; not for ourselves, but for the Lord.
Sometimes, it is easy to romanticize Christmas. After all, there are so many experiences during this time of the year that help us relish the joy of Christmas. There are the many fragrances of Christmas in the pine cones, the smell of the tree, and the wonderful fragrances of baked Christmas cookies. There is the joy of singing in Christmas concerts and in caroling. There is the joy of decorating our homes with red poinsettia plants and white twinkly lights. There is the joy of being together with our brothers and sisters who come home from college, and with friends coming from all over the country to visit and be together. All of these joys truly are part of the Christmas blessing.
As Christians, we also celebrate other joys of Christmas: the joy of coming together as a liturgical community, the joy of sharing a Eucharistic meal, the joy of innocence and children, the joy of hope-filled Scripture readings, and the joy of giving and sharing with others.
In these acts, we celebrate the realization that our joys are not complete when others suffer, if others are alone, or if others are feeling hunger or hurt. The season expresses our longing for God’s kingdom to come, and our hope that Jesus really is coming into the world again, over and over, and in always new ways. What a wonderful joy to celebrate!
I hope that each readersof this blog finds some time during the season of Christmas to discover the gift of Jesus’ coming into your life again and again, over and over, and in ever-new ways.
Have a joy-filled Christmas!
What do you think it means to be a saint? Why is a person considered holy? Is it the miracles that they do, or the way that they live each day? What do you think about being a saint?
Our own Saint, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, had some thoughts about becoming a saint. She understood it as how one lives her life; and that is how a person interacts with people and situations each day. Not about miracles, she thought, being a saint is about the things we do each day.
Once when she listening to a person who was overcome with worry. She said, “I long to help you bear your burden, and it would make me so happy if I could in any way make it sweeter [easier].”
Looking closely at her words, one can observed her desire and her values. She “longed” to help others. Her happiness was in making things easier for others.
Although, it may not always seem to be so, I think that many of our parents and teachers at Sacred Heart feel that way toward their daughters and students. They truly want to help their daughters and students, and their happiness in making their life easier. When ones “longings” are aligned with the happiness of another, I suspect a person is probably moving in the direction of holiness.
Even St. Madeleine Sophie knew that it was not always easy to help others with their burdens or to make them lighter. She was human after all, and she knew it was about intention and our hearts. She once shared that, “Great hearts, generous hearts, are required in the family of God’s Heart.” Let’s all pray for the grace to have big generous open hearts even when tasks are difficult and to love as Jesus loved each day in all that we do.
Note: Title quote attributed to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
Recently, I was reading some very important research about the science of fatherhood, or “why Dad’s matter” to their children, especially to their girl children.
Everyone will pretty much agree that a Dad has an important role in the life of their child, but I wanted to learn more about what research is saying about the role of fathers in the lives of their daughters–our students at The Rosary. As a Headmistress of a large all-girls school, it is, perhaps, natural to inquire: “In what ways do Dad’s influence their daughters?”
Research studies have found that a Dad’s role in their daughter’s life turns out to be highly influential in a number of ways.
- If a child’s father is “affectionate, supportive, and involved, this can contribute greatly to their child’s cognitive, language, and social development, as well as academic achievement, a strong inner core resource, sense of well-being, good self-esteem, and authenticity.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/the-important-role-of-dad_b_5489093.html
- Dad’s tend to be highly influential in teaching their children the meaning of persistence and of perseverance.
- Children who are loved by actively involved fathers, tend to have less behavioral problems, and that they are somewhat more protected against depression, delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse. http://www.livescience.com/20997-science-fatherhood-fathers-day.html
So, studies confirm what most of us suspect: Dad’s who are active and involved in their daughter’s lives are very important: You MATTER!